Return to the Union! Meeting Notes, Wednesday October 6th, 2021

Rotary Meeting Notes

The two ways to participate (in person and Zoom) was pulled off expertly by the club. Masks were plentiful, as requested.

The Zoom conversation was lively throughout the 30 minutes and we could see everyone passing the camera before the in-person meeting began.

Inspiration: Ken Fischer

Tom Strode played our patriotic music from Zoom to the Anderson Room very successfully. Ken Fischer reminded us, with an inspirational message, of the Kennedy on the steps of the Union of service by people.

Don Duquette outdid himself with a reflection on the club’s last year with video and music. The humorous and ingenious video can be watched here.

Tutoring support is expanding to Dickens and Haisley schools in addition to Angel and Burns Park where tutors have been for years. Spread the word to friends to join this effort.

Some fun with masks: Shelley MacMillan

Shelley McMillan has requested “masks stories,” funny and poignant ones that we can share. They will be collected and then reported back out. Shelly shared a story to get everyone started.

Collyer Smith removed his mask so he could see October 20 on Zoom. He announced an author’s talk on the James Tobin book on Roosevelt and $10 of every book sold will go to Polio Plus.

Rosemarie Rowney announced the Distinguished Service Award to someone who became a Rotary Readers, as president presided over the raising of 1 million dollars and the playground and then as district governor; other services include Toastmasters and the Family Learning Institute. He leads the District Mental health….Collyer Smith was the exceptionally deserving awardee.

Distinguished Service Award: Collyer Smith

Eric Lipson introduced our speaker from Georgian Bay, Ontario.

Tom Bales is ED of Haiti Nursing Foundation which oversees the Haiti Nursing School, was our speaker. Founded in 2005, Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor partnered with the Episcopal Church of Haiti to increase the number of nurses qualified to meet the health needs of the country. Nurses are working all over the country in programs that provide direct care both in facilities and by traveling to homes. School nurses provide direct care to students and work with families to teach them how to care for the children.

Covid is increasing after an initial distrust of vaccines because the people distrust the government. Political protests and government instability make it hard to accomplish the work.

The August earthquake and a subsequent hurricane both impacted the people with facilities destroyed and many deaths. Violent gangs control 60% of the country through command of roadways which means shipments didn’t get through, people were kidnapped for ransom.

FSIL “in spite of” the current situation, is dispersing every weekend to provide first aid, hot meals and clean water. They serve 300-500 people each weekend and plan about 10 weekends of service.

FSIL attendees agrees to do a two year term of service before you receive the diploma. 90% of people stay in country beyond the required service. The selection criteria includes a certain level of education in order to enter the school. The largest percentage of students receive financial aid.


Notes by Marsha Chamberlin

Photography by Fred Beutler