Meeting Notes — September 9th, 2020

Quote: “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up” John Holmes, author. The social portion of the meeting welcomed Kinnari Shah, who is nominated to become a member on September 24. She had already attended a STRIVE meeting so is off to a great Rotary Career.

Past President Rosemarie Rowney

Past President Rosemarie Rowney called the meeting to order at 12:25. She substituted her kazoo for the bell. Tom Strode played God Bless America; Norma Sarkar followed with an inspiration about public health. Steve Pierce shared a video of the Babette Labeij Children’s Choir singing “We Got to Give a Little Love, Have a little Hope”.

Past President Rosemarie thanked the people who make these Zoom meetings possible and announced birthdays. Larry Eiler – wrote an outstanding article in the September issue of the Observer: Life after Prison. It was well written and timely – commenting on advocacy for former prisoners and mental health issues.   She congratulated MJ Raab on negotiating the sale of Lurie Terrace to the city. Our Rotary has an ad in the September Observer (and also the Ann Arbor City Guide) which Past President Rosemarie showed to the crowd, and she thanked the Public Image Committee for its creation and placement. The ad publicizes that our Club gave over $107,000 to 21 community non-profits this year.

Tom Millard employed every “trashy” word he could think of in his announcement inviting all Rotarians to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway project on September 26.  You can get full details by clicking this link:

Kathy Waugh reported on the online auction, upcoming October 19 – 23.  This replaces our Golf and Tennis Outing and will be the source of funds for our Community Allocations.  The auction will be open to members of the public so spread the word.  She asked us to be creative and generous with items for the auction and gave us some starter ideas.  Please contact Kathy at if you any questions or items you think might be great additions to this exciting event! And if you have an item to donate now, click here for a form to fill out with information on the item.

Eric Lipson and the International Humanitarian Projects Committee presented a video of the students at the nursing school in Leogane, Haiti.  The Haiti Nursing Foundation of Ann Arbor is the primary source of support for the school.  Marcia Lane was the first Executive Director of the Foundation and Rosemarie Rowney was an early supporter of the school and remains involved. Eric is currently on the Board, and Ashish Sarkar has also served. As of 2017, ten classes have graduated, totaling 170 BSNs and 16 NPs, most of whom remain in Haiti. They have been educated to international standards for service as clinicians, leaders, and agents of change in their country. First Presbyterian Church scrambled to get fiber-optic cable installed so the students could go online when the pandemic struck so their education continues.  Our club donated $2,000 to the school this year.

Notes from the Program

Bill Feldt

Mary Avrakatos introduced our Speaker, Bill Feldt.  Bill is a representative of Rotarian Malaria Partners, which works to eradicate malaria.  Bill told us that malaria has killed more than half of all the people in the world.  It kills 450,000 people every year, 75% in Sub Sahara Africa and the majority under 5 years old.  Malaria can be mitigated and the campaign, Getting to Zero, concentrates on education, vector control, and medical care.  The project is currently operating in the Copperbelt in Zambia.  They have trained, equipped, and are sustaining 1055 Community Health Workers in the area.    The CHWs are volunteers whose main occupation is farming; they are chosen by their communities so are already influencers. They train at the Rotary Training Center and then go into their communities with rapid testing (at a cost of 68 cents per test) and the information to mitigate spread.  They make monthly reports on their activities, which makes it possible for provincial and national public health officials to monitor malaria.  Rotary International is heavily involved in this project, which will be the next Rotary push when polio is officially eradicated.  The Gates Foundation is matching all contributions to this project. Our club donated $2,000 to Rotarian Malaria Partners.

Past President Rosemarie announced that next week’s speaker will be Warde Manuel, Michigan Athletic Director.  She left us with this quote from author John Holmes, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”

And she closed the meeting with her kazoo.