January 4, 2021

The meeting was opened at noon by President Mindy Sehon. 29 people were in attendance.

A presentation was given by Arny King on founding Rotary Club of Eureka member, Burr McConnaha.  Burr is our newest Paul Harris founding member person.

Klark Swan- announced that the Board of Directors for 2021-2022 will be: Past President Mindy Sehon, Blane O’Shaughnessy Incoming President, Annalise von Borstel secretary, Kris Marquez treasurer.  Returning board members Linda Wise, Kate Witthaur, Darus Trutna and Lynn Dugaw.  Newly elected Board Members: Jill McDonald, Jera Newland, Steven Lafferty

A big thank you to Tom Schallert for kicking off the fundraising for Toys for Tots.  Our club raised 1,445. Contest winner Nancy Dean received a dinner from President Mindy Sehon featuring steak, lobster, champagne brio bread  and chocolate peanut butter pie.

RECOGNITIONS – Kate Witthaus, Arny King, Jay Reed and their families all enjoyed the snow this week.

Neal Carnum has a birthday coming up.  Happy Birthday!

PRESENTER- Vitaliy Bezrodnov with the Rotary Children’s Fund.

Vitaliy was born in the Soviet Union.  At the age of 15 he left home and went to music college.  By his 20s he was traveling all over the world performing.  He eventually emigrated to USA where he put together a music group called Moscow Nights.  They traveled all over the USA and Europe and were very successful.

In 1995 he was  invited to a Rotary meeting and it changed his life. He said one person stood up and talked about the need to help people in Russia.  Another person stood up and said there was 5 million dollars worth of used medical equipment that could be sent.  Another person stood up and said we can handle shipping.  He realized he was in the company of great people who had the will and experience to identify problems and solve those problems. He joined Rotary in Cleveland.

His club  later sponsored a club in Russia.  They built many friendships.  He thought this could develop into a program of friendships and he presented the idea to the club.  They ended up founding the Rotary Children’s fund and program Golden Gates Cultural Exchange Program.  (Not to be confused with the Youth Exchange Program which is a separate program.)

This group builds cultural relationships and bridges. Since 2003 over 40 groups have come on this exchange to USA.  Each group visits 15 to 25 states and make a cultural presentation to up to 55,000 individuals.  Groups have come from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Lithuania and more. Many of these visitors end up joining Rotary and being involved in Rotary.  Their goal is to break stereotypes.  65% of presentations are given to public schools. There are many contributors to the program like Walmart, Miami University, art and culture groups, etc.

For more information:

  • EMAIL: RotaryCF@gmail.com 216-214-0828
  • Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RotaryCF/
  • Twitter – https://twitter.com/GoldenGatesRCF
  • YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/goldengatesrcf
  • Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/goldengatesrcf
  • Video Lithuanian Group: https://youtu.be/3UtODWiJXSA
  • Video Ukrainian Group: https://youtu.be/ojK6gK6dspQ
  • If you feel this program is worthy to support, here is your opportunity:
Donations from the website or (PayPal/Visa/Master Card/Discover/American Express): https://www.paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1266060
  • Checks made to: Rotary Childrens Fund 2322 Wrenn St., Fuquay-Varina NC 27526

Mindy closed the meeting at 12:59 pm.