The Rotary Club of

Ojai Rotary Reminder Newsletter
March 6th, 2020

Wendy Barker, Editor

March is Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Month

Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world? Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for community service and friendship. 
Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
In the beginning...
President Cheree opened the meeting by welcoming us all to the best Rotary club she knows. Larry Beckett lead us in the flag salute, and Kathy Yee gave the invocation. Then it was time for lunch.
President Cheree thanked Bill Prather and Fred Coleman for setting up, Terry Beckett and Bryant Huber for getting the audio / visuals set up (where would we be without them?), Deirdre Daly who was on desk duty, greeter Suzanne Scar, Tara Saylor with the  roving microphone, Christine Golden for fining, reminder editor Wendy Barker, Betsy Watson who was filling in for Carl as photographer and Ginger for a delicious lunch.
Upcoming Programs/Announcements
Bill Gilbreth told us about upcoming programs. We all need to especially remember that on March 27th we’ll be at the new Community Care Center. We look forward to a tour of the facility with Haady Lashkari.
Nancy O’Sullivan told us that the April 5th Walk 4 Kids in Ventura is shaping up to be a competition between Rotary Clubs. The Walk benefits the new Ronald McDonald House in Ventura. Consider walking with our club – it’s lots of fun and easy. You can sign up, or donate, online.
Diedre Daley and Jack Jacobs welcomed a new Red Badge member, Jennifer Berry. She is sponsored by Sandy Buechly. Janet Campbell will be her mentor. Jennifer is from Ukiah and spent much of her college years abroad. She is the Executive Director of the C.R.E.W. Welcome Jennifer!
Kathy Yee introduced us to Stephanie Hall who is the teacher advisor for the Interact Club at Matilija Middle School. The club meets weekly with leadership meetings every day. Club President Mariana was thrilled to receive a gavel from our own President Cheree. The club officers talked about the projects they are pursing that include helping gorillas and nomad street girls. They will be selling Mother’s Day cards and candles soon to help finance their projects, and are recycling phones too.
Dr. Marty Pops talked about COVID-19 and precautions we should all take. Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizers too. Stay home if you are sick. If you are really sick and think you have COVID-19 (fever, cough and shortness of breath), contact your doctor’s office before going in so they are prepared. Don’t go out in public if you are don’t feel well.
Tara Saylor announced there will soon be monthly vocational service meetings. She encourages everyone to join the committee, be an advisor, and/or just meet her for coffee to discuss your ideas.
Christine Golden was ready for fining, but it was postponed due to time.
The Program-Our International Avenue of Service
Tony Thacher introduced the program. If you have donated funds to the Rotary Foundation, you have helped with many projects around the world. Through matching grants, our club has probably levered close to a million dollars in the last 15 or so years. Impressive! And we heard about some major programs and the impact we helped three amazing women accomplish.
First up was Kay Bliss. She talked about Street Girls Aid in Ghana. It started with her participation in a polio vaccination in 2001. Since then our club has done a lot of work in to help street girls who have no adults in their lives other than social workers from SGA. Our first project in 2005 was $43,000 was to provide beds and furnishings, along with vocational training. After the 2008 recession, we helped with strategic planning. That resulted in a 2015 global grant of $77,000 to help with skill building and a facility for a laundry business. In 2017 their building was condemned so we helped provide $18,000 for beds and furnishings, along with equipment and supplies for bread making.
Leslie Clark talked about her Nomad Foundation. The foundation was started in 2005 after a friend’s wife died as a result of the largest famine to hit Africa. They began by distributing grain at festivals. There have been many accomplishments including 26 food banks, 10,000 animals vaccinated, and 26 wells dug. Then came bigger accomplishments. A center for nomadic life clinic, adult educational center for vocational training, motorcycle repair classes and madron (traditional birth attendant) training. Leslie and the foundation, with help from individual Rotarians like Dr. Bob Skankey, and our Rotary club and others, is making a big difference in the lives of nomads in Niger.
Leslie Bouche shared information about her, and our, work with the Prashanti International School in Puri, India. She recently returned from India where a new classroom building was dedicated. It started with 21 sick, traumatized children, after a horrible hurricane in 1999. Today there are 250 students. It is an English immersion school for students from K to 8th grade.
They are in the process of adding grades 9 and 10. Rotary grants have paid for computers, safe drinking water, a septic system and then in 2019, helped complete the school. She showed a couple of short video clips of the children giving us a big “thank you.”
President Cheree ended the program by handing these inspirational women delicious Ojai citrus. She shared a quote by Mother Theresa,
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

You are invited to visit us at an upcoming meeting.

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Russell Hampton
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