The Light for July 9, 2019
By Kathy Tate-Bradish
Photography by Fran Caan
President Helen Oloroso called her first official meeting to order by leading us in “Why We Are Rotarians.”
Joy Joyce’s Thought for the Day was provocative. As she enjoys talking to all of the club members, anyone interested is invited to engage her in a conversation based on the concept phrase “Less is More.”
Helen invited technology committee chair Marv Edelstein to give us our first “Tech Tip” of the new Rotary year. He taught everyone how to use the new-ish microphones. Thanks, Marv. Note from your scribe – thank you to everyone who now makes a point of using their mike; it is an important accommodation for people with hearing loss, and is imperative for our live-streaming of meetings.
Helen reported that the next Rotary International Convention will be in Hawaii next year, the District Leadership Academy is open to all and begins in October, and the District Assembly will be in April next year. More details will be coming.
Gary Peterson read a quote from Melinda Gates on behalf of the Foundation Chair: “How can we summon a moment of lift for human beings – and especially for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity. And how can we create a moment of lift in human hearts so that we all want to lift up women? Because sometimes all that’s needed to lift women up is to stop pulling them down.” . . . “More than at any time in the past, we have the knowledge and energy and moral insight to crack the patterns of history. We need the help of every advocate now. Women and men. No one should be left out. Everyone should be brought in. Our call is to lift women up – and when we come together in this cause, we are the lift.”
Bill Glader gave the last Taste of Evanston update before the big event on Sunday, July 14, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Charles Gates Dawes House, located at 225 Greenwood St.. The main beneficiaries are the Connections for the Homeless coalition, Joining Forces for Affordable Housing, and Reba Place Development Corp. Thanks to Linda Gerber we will have a full roster of 40 restaurants. Noted Chicago Sun-Times journalist Maudlyne Inhejirika will be the MC, and Open Studios will run children’s art activities.
Fran Caan announced some of the wonderful experiential auction items, including a three-night stay and 18 holes of golf in Door County, WI; a week at a condo in Park City, UT; lots of good sports tickets; voice lessons; CSO tickets; and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me tickets. Upbid your friends!
Media appearances will include Fran on ABC 7 with Good to Go Jamaican’s chef on Wednesday at 11 a.m., and Friday Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s chef will appear at 11 a.m. on channel 5.
Bill showed ads designed by Jim McGuire, who has also done all of the signs and banners.
Marisa Naujokas explained that for social media posts to work, everyone who is on Facebook should share and comment. We need the amplifier effect.
Gary Peterson is in charge of volunteers, and asked that everyone check the schedule he put on the tables to be sure the assignments are correct.
Bill explained that the goal is to raise $100,000 gross. Sponsorships have brought in more than $48,000 already. We have about 185 tickets yet to sell. If you wait for the last minute – THIS is the last minute. Only 28 of our members have bought tickets. Please step up. There will be tickets available for walk-ons.
Charlotta Koppanyi thanked all volunteers, and emphasized the importance of helping with breakdown at the end.
Gary Peterson announced that Ira Graham’s Family Foundation made a $2,500 donation to The Rotary Foundation.
Dale Bradley announced the Evanston Chamber of Commerce golf outing on Monday, July 29. Go to for details and tickets. It will be followed by a barbeque dinner.
Neil Gambow reminded us that it was our Rotary Exchange student Gui Isfer Garcia’s last meeting with our club before he flies home to Brazil, though there will be a farewell dinner at Koi. Gui and Helen did a flag exchange. Gui told us that Evanston is his second Rotary City and we are his second Rotary family. Helen told us that Gui seemed to know nearly everyone in Evanston as they called out to him during the Fourth of July parade. Gui, the whole club will miss you, you have made your mark here.
Helen Oloroso and Gui Garcia
Roasts & Boasts
New Sergeant-at-Arms Nick Powers reminded everyone to put a dollar in the receptacles on the table.
Neil Gambow boasted new member Kassandre McGovern for stepping up to help organize the 4th of July parade, and Don Gwinn for taking care of delivery and return of the flags.
Marv Edelstein boasted Neil for all of the work that goes on behind the scenes in organizing the parade.
Bruce Baumberger boasted Kassandre for taking on such a big job as the newest member of the club.
Kathy Tate-Bradish boasted the club for our commitment to the Chessmen of the Northshore, and Joan Borg, Bryant Wallace, Greg Klaiber, and Kathy’s husband Bob Bradish for playing in the event, and Linda Gerber for helping with registration and selling mulligans.
Randy Usen boasted Barb Miles and Michael Merdinger – the sponsorship of their companies put us close to the $50,000 mark.
Helen unveiled the new “Rotary Connects the World” flag.
Topic: Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women
Speaker: Renee Engeln, PhD, Northwestern University
Jackie Mack introduced her friend Dr. Renee Engeln, a psychology professor and director of the Body and Media Lab at Northwestern University. She is the author of Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women. Her work has appeared in numerous academic journals and she is regularly interviewed by media outlets, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, and the Huffington Post. Her TEDx talk at the University of Connecticut has garnered more than half a million views. An award-winning professor, Dr. Engeln has been voted to the “faculty honor role” for eight consecutive years at Northwestern University.
Dr. Engeln’s first visit to a Rotary Club was when she was a high school senior and won the Service Above Self Award.
Dr. Engeln spends a lot of time with young people because she is a teacher, and sees how worried her female students are about their looks, size, skin, make-up . . . This seems to be universal across the US, as she recounted in a story where a friend’s female students didn’t feel ready to go on a service trip because they hadn’t lost enough weight yet.  She defines beauty sickness as when so much time and energy are focused on looks that girls and women don’t have enough left for the things that matter more to them.
According to Dr. Engeln, beauty sickness is not about vanity. We can’t expect people to live in a culture and not be affected by it. In our culture it starts young, and is a large segment of girls and women. It is neither fair to have a beauty standard that no one can meet and call them vain if they try, nor to dismiss it by saying “everyone is beautiful in their own way.” In every country girls are more likely to report that they are too fat, but boys are actually more likely to be overweight.
She says this isn’t inevitable – it comes from training little girls that the most important thing is being pretty. Negative criticism of girls’ and women’s looks is a way to silence them.
And beauty sickness is expensive. It steals our money and time.
The cultural solution, a la Dove commercials saying that everyone is beautiful, won’t work. No one believes it, and it makes a cultural problem into the woman’s problem.
Dr. Engeln says we can’t turn the focus on beauty off, but we can turn it down. Put beauty in its place – behind things that matter more to us. Leaving the world a better place than you found it is more important than the shape of your body.
We talk about things that matter to us. If what you mean is “you matter to me,” say that, don’t compliment the little girl’s looks. Dr. Engeln concluded by saying that “pretty" is a fragile plot of land to be standing on in this culture.”
Helen Oloroso and Renee Engeln
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarians
Robin Chi, Rotary Club of Taipei New East, Taiwan, and Fanny Chan, Rotary Club of Taipei Fu Jung, an all-female club – they are in Evanston visiting their son, who graduated from Northwestern.
Carolina Barrios, Rotary Club of Cartegena de Indias, friend of Kristen Brown, for her 3rd visit to our club.
Other Guests
Doris Xie, new employee at Rotary International and prospective member, introduced by Eric Schmelling
Kirsten Simmons, wife of Dave Simmons, prospective Friend of Rotary
Ilana Seligman, July 13
Club Anniversaries
Horton Kellogg, 28 years
Carol Bild, 18 years