Our speaker next week will be Rotary’s own Owen Johnson, who will talk about the history of Rotary International. Owen, an IU associate professor emeritus, specializes in research and writing on Russian and East European area mass media, particularly during the Communist period; Czech and Slovak history; and World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle.
THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Register NOW for Gala
President Mike Baker offered a few Rotary Gala Updates:
- A 20-page historical program is being designed for the event.
- As of April 3, there are 12 days left to register!
- The event will include four wonderful singers.
- The beautiful billboard is now up, right next to Bloomingfoods West, along the B-Line Trail.
Bloomington Rotary Foundation Report
Past-past President Sara Laughlin, now President of the Bloomington Rotary Foundation (BRF), reported on the financial wellbeing of the organization. A not-for-profit, the foundation has a mission of promoting and supporting the charitable and education pursuits of the Bloomington Rotary Club. The foundation has a small endowment of around $32,887, which is managed by the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County. Contributions from Bloomington Rotary members, either through quarterly contributions, or contributions in honor of a past Rotary member, are collected by the BRF, which continuously adds to the endowment. The BRF distributes funds to Rotary projects, such as Friends of the Library, or income from the Toast (which is divided evenly between all Bloomington Rotary clubs). A financial report was shared and new members of the board (see below) were offered as the slate for the year. Liz Feitl moved and Joyce Poling seconded approval of the report, and a vote in favor by a show of hands was unanimous.
2018-2019 Members of the Bloomington Rotary Board:
- Leslie Green, BRF President
- Sara Laughlin, BRF Past President (following the meeting)
- Glenn Steenberger, BRF Treasurer, Club Treasurer
- Ashley Sullivan, BRF Secretary, Club Secretary
- Mike Baker
- John Hobson
- Liz Irwin
- Glen Inman
- Jerry Pagac
- Joy Harter
- Craig Spence
- Loren Snyder
APRIL 4 PROGRAM: BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS OF BLOOMINGTON
Mike Baker introduced Jeff Baldwin, executive director of Bloomington’s Boys and Girls Clubs. Jeff joined the Boys and Girls Club organization in September 2006 and has played a key leadership role in the development and expansion of the organization since then, including the recent opening of the spectacular Steve & Connie Ferguson Crestmont Club.
The organization now has three locations – downtown, Crestmont, and Ellettsville. The club’s mission is to empower all young people, especially those who need us most to reach their full potential as caring, productive and responsible citizens. Jeff said one of the emergent issues these days is mental illness. An example of the impact is the growing number of suicides among teens and the fact that around 64% of gun attacks of late have been associated with mental illness of the perpetrator. The organization serves 450 students each day and fills a huge gap in their lives, a lifeline, providing role models, structure, mentorship, activity, and human connection.
Denell Parrott, recently named the club’s Youth of the Year, was introduced. Denell will compete in the state leadership contest in Indianapolis and hopes to be nominated for the Midwest region. Winners from the Midwest region are invited to compete at the White House for the national finals. Denell’s life story was gripping: a rollercoaster ride that involved a deeply personal reckoning with his own tendency to bully others, a broken family that included the death of his brother and a grandfather to whom he was very close, a mother involved in drug use, an incarcerated stepfather, and the need to step into an adult role in the family, taking care of younger sisters, who finally went into foster care. Through his involvement with the Boys and Girls Club, Denell has been able to find a personal path to stability, discipline, relationship success, and graduation from high school this June. He plans to join the U.S. Army and go on to college. He received a warm standing ovation.
A sampling of answers to questions:
- Children attending the club are between the ages of 6 and 18. One-third are teens, which is older than most other clubs nationwide.
- The club is a hub for a number of other organizations, including Boys and Girls Scouts of America.
- The downtown club space is being completely renovated and will be in use going into the fall.
- Most funding comes from individuals. Less than 7% of funding is from government.
- Cost per kid per year averages $650. They pay just $5.
- Future capacity of the Club is in the high 600s.
Our April 4 Meeting
Mike Baker led the meeting. Beth Spradley was our greeter.
Martha Wailes led the Pledge of Allegiance and reflected on two diseases that the world hopes to finally eradicate soon: polio and guinea worm. Some say that the symbol for medicine, with the two snakes winding down a winged staff, is the rod needed to draw out the guinea worms, which find their way into the human body through water fleas. In 2015, the disease was still found in South Sudan, Mali, Chad, and Kenya. Polio is still found in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan. We hope that both diseases will be completely eradicated soon!
Glenda Murray introduced guests:
- Mary Jensen (Ron Jensen)
- Jon York (Jeff Baldwin)
- Leslie Abshier (Jeff Baldwin)
- Denell Parrott (Jeff Baldwin)
- Elaine Amerson (Glenda Murray)
- Jim Sims (Earon and Martha Davis)
- Terry (district extension chair) and Carolyn (chair, district speech contest) Frey
- Additional guests from the Sunrise Club included Susan Rinne, Sandy Keller, Jessika Hane, and Len Tieman.
- Steve Moberly (1st)
- Sara Laughlin (2nd)
- Lynn Schwartzberg (4th)
Anniversaries This Week
- Charlotte Zietlow – 30 years
- Christina Swanson – 29 years
- Monika Kroener – 28 years
- Jerry Pagac – 3 years
- Glen Inman – 1 year
Alain Barker, Reporter
Charlie Osborne, Photographer