ROUNDABOUT – OCTOBER 2, 2018
Our speaker on October 9 will be Elizabeth (Liz) Watson, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Indiana’s ninth congressional district. Liz was born in Bloomington and attended Bloomington High School South before earning degrees from Carleton College and Georgetown University Law Center. One of her first jobs was as an intern in the district office of Congressman Frank McCloskey. She held jobs as the director of workplace justice at the National Women’s Law Center, as the executive director of the Georgetown Poverty Center, and as the Labor Policy Director for Democrats in the United States Congress. Most recently, she has taught constitutional law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Liz has set forth clear positions on political issues: She supports the Affordable Care Act (calling it a starting point that needs work), Medicare for All, legalization of medical marijuana, expansion of access to early childhood and pre-kindergarten education, and the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons; she opposes school voucher programs and further expansion of charter schools. We will be meeting in the Frangipani Room of the Indiana Memorial Union.
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
* At the beginning of her presentation, District Governor Sue Wright presented his credentials to newly named Area Membership Chair Lance Eberle. Lance is one of seven Area Membership Chairs for District 6580, an increase from only a single Area Membership Chair in the past. This increase reflects DG Wright’s emphasis on membership, and on increasing the diversity of membership in many dimensions.
* Sara Laughlin, with help from other members of the Bloomington Rotary Foundation Board, led a ten-minute Hyper Happy Dollars session to fulfill our Centennial pledge of $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Club for a playground at the club’s Crestmont facility. One week ago, we were about $5,000 short of fulfilling our pledge. The Foundation Board agreed to match the Happy Dollars amount raised today, so we really need $2,500 in Happy Dollars to meet our goal. While many Happy Dollars contributions were anonymous, others were happy about accomplishments by friends and relatives, important upcoming events, and the impressive work done by the Boys & Girls Club. At the end of the meeting, President Loren announced that $2,198 had been raised during Happy Dollars, and others had pledged to make up the difference to $2,500. Hyper Happy Dollars was a smashing success!
* President Loren introduced our new quarterly Lunch Buddies program. A list has been set up which randomly pairs each Rotarian in our club with another Rotarian in our club – you may be good friends with the other Rotarian or you may not know her or him. The idea is for the members of each pair to contact one another and set up a time to meet and visit, perhaps for lunch but it could be just for coffee or a late afternoon drink. The list is available from our secretary and will also be distributed by e-mail. Please get together before the end of the quarter – then next quarter a new Lunch Buddies list will be generated.
* Our next Rotary 5:05 social event will be held at Joy Harter’s home on Thursday, October 18. Bring your own favorite beverage and join the fun – it will be held outside, weather permitting. Directions to Joy’s home will be distributed closer to the event.
* Our “Twelve Months of Service” project for October will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, at WonderLab, where we will be tending the WonderGarden.
* The Business Outlook Panel will be held on Thursday, November 1 at noon at Woolery Mill.
* The Rotary Toast will be held on Friday, November 2, in Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union. This year the Toast will be honoring Steve and Connie Ferguson. Get your tickets now – “It’s gonna be awesome!”
* Interfaith Winter Shelter chosen to receive Rotary gift. Each quarter, Bloomington Rotary selects by lot a local charity to receive a gift from the club in the names of the speakers who provide our weekly programs. During this quarter gifts will go to the Interfaith Winter Shelter. The Interfaith Winter Shelter is a low-barrier shelter for homeless individuals in Monroe County. Its purpose is to offer a warm, safe space to those who have nowhere to go and do not meet admission requirements for other shelters in the community.
OCTOBER 2 PRESENTATION – DISTRICT GOVERNOR SUE WRIGHT
Assistant District Governor and District Governor Nominee Jessika Hane introduced our speaker, District Governor Cornelia Sue Wright (who goes by Sue). As governor, she is responsible for 32 Rotary clubs throughout the southern half of Indiana. DG Sue joined Rotary in 2010 and has served the Rotary Club of Clarksville as secretary, foundation chair, board member, and president. At the district level, DG Sue served as an assistant district governor from 2015 to 2017. DG Sue is a retired AT&T manager who, although she grew up in Indiana, spent more than 20 years working in the San Diego area. She graduated with honors from the University of Redlands in California with a master’s degree in business management.
DG Sue began her remarks by praising our club as one of the most dynamic clubs in southern Indiana, and said that she is honored to be here. She gave her definition of a Rotarian: one who dares to seek, dares to dream, dares to believe, and dares to act. The new Rotary vision statement says it well: “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change — across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”
In her talk, DG Sue focused on three of the Rotary goals for this year. The first goal is to increase diversity – to bring more awareness of diversity to our district. We need to be concerned with all of the dimensions of diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, religion, nationality, economic status, abilities, and age. Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, gave a speech on the importance of diversity in 1933, and that speech is available today on YouTube. Rotarians are people of goodwill. DG Sue is proud that our club has proposed a resolution (Resolution 18R-31), which has been endorsed by District 6580, to “request the RI Board to consider increasing opportunities for women, young leaders, and people of different races and ethnicities to serve in district, zone, and RI leadership positions.” Voting on this resolution will take place online from October 15 through November 15 of this year.
The second goal is to support and strengthen clubs by attracting, educating, and developing new members. We need to support, assist, and guide each other. To help with this process, DG Sue has appointed eight Assistant Governors (including Jessika Hane) to work closely with the 32 clubs in our district. She has also appointed seven Area Membership Chairs (including Lance Eberle) to stress the importance of membership. District 6580 has also resurrected the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) in our district. An initial RLI was held in Vincennes in June of this year, and the next RLI will be held in Vincennes on October 27. Another RLI will be held in Columbus at a later date. Attending RLI is a valuable experience for almost everyone in every club. In addition to the speakers, there is much value to sit in a room with members of other clubs and share information. DG Sue mentioned that in one RLI she attended, attendees included one person who had only been a member for two weeks and another gentleman who was 87 (he said that he “enjoys learning”). Another way to support clubs is through member engagement grants, whereby the district will support attendance by a member of a club to a Rotary event outside his or her club. The initial deadline for these grants has now passed, but there is money left in this account, so the district will likely open these grants up again in January – but only for members to attend the district conference on April 27, 2019, in Clarksville.
The third goal is to focus and increase humanitarian service. Remember that Rotary is an international organization, and that Rotarians are bold enough to change the world. DG Sue attended the Toronto Rotary International Conference, and she heard a number of impressive speakers. To her, the most impressive speakers were from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). These speakers were impassioned about their subjects and complimentary about the work that Rotary is doing. We are very close to ridding the world of polio, but there is still work to be done. There were 22 wild cases of polio in 2017, and so far there have been 18 in 2018. In the area of humanitarian service, Rotary has six areas of focus:
- Promoting peace
- Fighting diseases
- Providing clean water
- Saving mothers and children
- Supporting education
- Growing the local economy
Rotary International President Barry Rassin’s theme for the 2018-2019 Rotary year is “Be the Inspiration!” DG Sue echoes that theme: By working together, we can be the inspiration and create something that will live beyond each of us.
In closing, DG Sue quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Our October 2 Weekly Gathering
President Loren Snyder led the meeting and Charlie Osborne greeted us.
Joy Harter led the pledge and reflection, which she billed as a “two-minute” RYLA reflection. Many in the audience knew what RYLA stands for, which is Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Every Rotary district in the world has some sort of RYLA activity. For District 6580 (our district) RYLA is a weekend activity at Bradford Woods in rural Morgan County, this year being held on Friday, October 26 through Sunday, October 28. All the clubs in the district have the opportunity to nominate high school students from their area for RYLA, and this year the majority of clubs in the district did nominate students. The average attendance at RYLA in recent years has been around 60, and this year the number that will be attending RYLA has jumped to 88! For many of those in attendance at RYLA, the event is a transformational experience. Joy and President Loren Snyder will be volunteering at RYLA. RYLA has enough volunteers for this year’s event, but Joy encouraged anyone who wants to learn more about RYLA to call her or Loren to let one of them know you are coming and then drop by RYLA for an hour or so just to see what a wonderful experience it is.
Steve Ingle introduced guests:
- Jessika Hane, Bloomington Sunrise Rotary Club, Assistant District Governor and District Governor Nominee
- Jean Dayton, Bloomington North Rotary Club
- Hannah Laughlin, guest of Sara Laughlin, Indiana University employee
- Zahradeen Ahmad, international student at Indiana University
No member birthdays this week
Membership anniversaries this week:
- Jeffery Schauss, 1 year
- Art Oehmich, 4 years
- Rex Hillery, 7 years
Loren’s thought for the week: “One day, we will just be a memory for some people – do your best to be a good one.”
Bill Perkins, Reporter
Charlie Osborne, Photographer