Latest News Blog

Check out the latest news and happening with the Rotary Club of Albuquerque Sandia.


  • 24 Jul 2012 7:53 PM | Anonymous

    President Judy called our meeting to order at 12:00 Noon, followed by our pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence.

    Guests: Isabel & Piper Cobb, along with Dianne & Bob Cobb, Kirsten’s in-laws.

     Pamela Cornish, guest of Andy

    July is  – “Literacy Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    Thanks to the efforts of Pat, our refreshment table has been refreshed!

    Sgt-at-Arms Mollie queried the group on a now famous Rotarian “hand signal”… The winners (they’ll have to split the prize) were Libby & Harris, with the “We’re This Close to Eradicating Polio” answer.

    A “Pin Check” resulted in only a single buck being added to our Club’s coffers.

    Kirsten threw in two bucks for the safe return of the girls, from their vacation.

    John gave up a buck for his visiting brother-in-law and seconded the suggestion that we spend all of our funds on liquor.

    Mollie was good for two, announcing the opening of a local art gallery on 3 August.

    Pat coughed up a buck to announce her speaking date at the Unitarian church, this Sunday (9:30A & 11A) on Comanche & Carlisle. She’ll put in another dollar for each Rotarian attending!

    Club & District News and Business:  

    The new Rotary year is now in full swing. Your Rotary dues have been “due” as of 1 July…

    Make your $125.00 checks out to:  “The Rotary Club of Albuquerque Sandia” (Cheap at any price).

    Libby – Sabbath House – You’ll recall Rev. Bonnie Hardesty’s visit to our Club last April. So, you’re aware of her need for supplies. Please bring in any of the following items to next week’s meeting and Libby will tote them to the Sabbath House:

    3x Twin blankets, 2x Queen blankets, 2 sets of Crib blankets, sheets & waterproof mattress pads,

    10 reams of 20# Copy/printer paper, 500 Avery business card forms, 3x Coffee carafes, Disposable storage containers for food (single serving size), 1 set patio hanging swing… Money is good too, in order to help defray utility costs and to maintain the property.

    Update on “Don’t Meth With Us” – Last Friday, Andy attended a project meeting, where all of our local Rotary Clubs have finally become united/coalesced in this common cause. All $$$ will go into one pot and the new T-Shirts and other supplies will be provided for, from that single source of funds. Approximately $40K/yr will be needed to fund presentations at all area schools… So far, we have $20K.

    The kids’ designed logo will be printed on the new shirts. Presenters are needed – Some should be bi-lingual, too! Let’s try for some fund raising ideas. Most schools will accept our programs next Spring.

    Here’s a note from our District 5520 outbound GSE team leader:

    Dear fellow Rotarians,

    The Group Study Exchange Team from District 5520 will travel to Maharashtra (District 3030) in India, in November/December this year. As part of our preparations we are interested in reaching out to Rotarians in our district who may be of Indian (Asian, not Native American) heritage or who may have particular experience of living or traveling in India. Their insights and guidance have the potential for helping us immensely. We would be grateful to learn of the names, clubs and contact information of Rotarians in the district who fit this description so that we may reach out to them and involve them in our preparations.

    Responses can be sent directly to me by email (nholman@nmsu.edu) or phone (575-646-4033).

    Team members Cristina, Shalem, Peg, Dave, Mike, and Ken join me in thanking you for your assistance.

    Nigel Holman - GSE Team Leader, District 5520 to District 3030

    Today’s Program:  New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy –

    Kirsten introduced Monique and John Ramacciotti. John is the VP of Friends of the NM Youth Challenge Academy, while Monique is in charge of PR and everything else. FNMYCA is a 501(c)3 corporation.

    A preliminary video was shown, after which Monique & John further expounded upon this program:

    The New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy (located in Roswell, New Mexico) is designed to reach "at risk" youth before they become permanent fixtures in juvenile systems, adult prisons, or in the welfare system.

    The program consists of eight core components: Life Skills, Academic Excellence, Job Skills, Responsible Citizenship, Physical Fitness, Health & Hygiene, Leadership & Followership, and Service to the Community. Cadets must successfully complete all eight components to graduate from the Academy. The core components are designed to educate and produce youth that will become productive members of the community upon graduation.

    Cadets can earn a G.E.D. and up to 15-18 hours of college credit from Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell.  There’s a 12-month post-residential Mentor Program following completion of the 22-week residential phase. The current enrollment (in NM) is 40-50 kids/cycle, due to budget cutbacks. Usually, the facility is capable of 120 persons per cycle.  

    All eligible cadets can earn credits in Basic Fire Fighting Skills, First Aid-CPR and Physical Fitness. Cadets receive life skills training which include: Financial Management, Health & Hygiene, Stress & Anger Management, and a variety of other contemporary education topics.

    This program is FREE to all eligible 16-18 year old high school dropouts who are residents of NM. However, the expense per enrollee, is $14,000 to $17,000. The Department of Defense, through the National Guard and the State of New Mexico, sponsor and partially underwrite this program. National statistics reflect the overwhelming success of the program. Of the 100,000 ChalleNGe graduates (1,662 from NM), over 60% have received their G.E.D. and over 90% were placed in the workforce after graduation.  Of the 60% of cadets who reported involvement with the legal system prior to enrollment, only 2% of the graduates had contact with legal authorities after graduation. There are thousands of "at risk" youths in the State that can benefit from this program. If you or someone you know can benefit from being a New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe cadet, please contact the recruiting department at 800-366-9098 or at 575-347-7610. More Info? Go to www.NGYCP.org/site/state/nm. Or, try (505) 710-9005 & (505) 463-0733. Also, try www.fnmyca.org and www.NGYouthFoundation.org. The new facility does need 130 beds and additional furniture. Mentors are needed for the 12 month period following graduation. Many program enrollees are from Albuquerque. Many of these highly intelligent applicants must be turned away due to current budget cuts.

    As a remembrance of their visit to our Club, President Judy presented Monique and John with our packet of cards.

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Kirsten, who presented us with two quotations:

    “One of the signs of passing youth, is the birth of a sense of fellowship with other human beings, as we take our place among them.” Virginia Woolf

    AND,

    “If youth knew; If age could.” Sigmund Freud

    At 12:50 PM, President Judy concluded our meeting and sent us packing.

    Programs and Happenings: 

    27 July  Opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London

    30 July  International Day of Friendship

    31 July  Regular Meeting – An Experience in South Africa, w/ Julie Frendle (GSA)

    31 July  J.K. Rowling BD

    7 August Regular Meeting: Hear about our Juarez matching grant, too! AND

    7 August Board Meeting following our regular Club meeting.

    12 August International Youth Day

    14 August Regular Meeting -

    15 August 1st Rotary National Convention, in 1910 (There were only 16 Rotary Clubs back then)

    Members sign up with Mollie to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeters. Please help out & volunteer with this task. Thanks to Mollie & Andy for their assistance with this task during the month of July.

  • 17 Jul 2012 6:18 PM | Anonymous

    President Judy called our meeting to order at 12:00 Noon, followed by our pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence.

    During that moment of silence, we were asked by members to keep the following persons in our thoughts: Harris’ mother-in-law, Maria; Mollie’s friend w/ cancer and Pat’s friend’s son, w/melanoma.

    July is  – “Literacy Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    Sgt-at-Arms Mollie asked the musical question: What group had their first #1 hit, in July of 1963?

    Janet won the prize! It was the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”.

    Mollie also reminded us of the things we think, say or do… “Is it the truth?”

    Harris mentioned the upcoming “Route 66 Summerfest” on Saturday, 21 July – 2PM to 10:30PM, on Central (Rt. 66) between Girard and Washington. There’ll be live music, shows, demonstrations and the 12th annual neon cruise & old route 66 car show.

    Kay will be travelling to Portland and thence to Montana with family, over a 2 week period.

    And Wim will be visiting with his son in Detroit for a week.

    Club & District News and Business:  

    The new Rotary year has begun anew. So, your Rotary dues were “due” as of 1 July…Make your $125.00 checks out to:  “The Rotary Club of Albuquerque Sandia”. Keelhauling will commence shortly.

    Our District 5520 Rotary Friendship Exchange chair, Donna Pedace, needs host homes for the incoming RFE group of 9 men and 2 couples from Chile. Their stay will be from 21 November to 26 November.

    Wim asked “How come the Del Sol Club had their new board of directors list published in the Journal?”

    We’ll have our PR chair, Janet, contact the paper, also.

    Harris will be donating those “left” items from “Gloria B’s” to our sidewalk sale. Usually, those items have been donated to the “Hug-a-Horse” thrift shop in Edgewood.

    Libby noted that John Salamack has two storage lockers available for our use, at $54/month, if we need the space.

    Today’s Program:  Circles New Mexico – Ending Poverty.

    Introduced by Pat and presented by Scott Miller.

    Circles New Mexico is a program started up by “Move the Mountain Leadership Center, Inc. (MTM)”, a 501-c-3 national nonprofit which is headquartered in Albuquerque. Scott C. Miller, CEO of MTM, is the founder of Circles, which was launched in January of 2007.

    Circles is a new addition to a 24 state national campaign to end poverty. The organization believes that by building relationships across class lines, they can shift the way a community thinks about poverty, in that there IS a solution to poverty in our country and that the problem is not too big to solve.

    The Circles model matches volunteers with low-income families to expand the family resources and to create networks in the community, thereby reaching economic stability.

    Everyone “in the circle” works together and, in doing so, helps to identify and dismantle systemic barriers that keep people stuck in poverty. To date, this strategy has made great strides in 62 communities around the country and early results have demonstrated that, for every dollar spent on the Circles, two dollars in welfare and food stamp subsidies are returned to the state and four dollars are returned to the community as new earned income.

    Albuquerque has become the headquarters for a national network of 12 regional centers which are currently being established by MTM. The network is charged with inspiring and equipping communities to increase their capacity to end poverty.

    A world-class team of experts in health, education, human services, economic development and philanthropy will focus on strategies which will provide a viable economic future for the communities involved.

    This fall, a pilot plan is being launched in Albuquerque’s South valley, in partnership with the South Valley Economic Development Center and other community-based organizations. The initial project will include 18 families, who will participate in a nine week leadership training course. Upon graduation these families will be matched with 2 to 4 “Allies”.

    Circles will not target housing or food provision. Instead, Circles seeks to expand social capital by fostering relationships across racial and economic lines. It engages the community as a whole and encourages growth from people of all financial classes and is designed to assist families in creating their own personal paths out of poverty while, at the same time, expanding their opportunities, connections and

    eliminating barriers in the community which present difficulties to family successes.

    Circles also works with corporations, by teaching them how to work with people coming out of poverty.

    Note that very few native Americans have been reached by this program, to date.

    Of course, some funds will be needed in order to underwrite this effort, i.e.:

    $50 will provide one training kit for one family and three Allies.

    $100 provides the funds for child care for two meetings.

    $250 will provide one meal for forty people at a weekly meeting.

    $500 covers the cost for two families during Circle Leader Training.

    Social Return on Investment:

    Circles has been designed to inspire and to equip communities to make progress in reducing the national fallout costs of raising children in poverty. According to the Center for American Progress, the cost of raising children in poverty was estimated at $500 Billion per year (in 2007). Dividing the 12.9 million children in poverty into the $500 Billion cost = $38,760 per child per year.

    Current national investments in Circles are estimated at $5.7 Million. The return (using the above formula) is $7.4 Million per year. 191 children enrolled in Circles were moved over the federal poverty guidelines. The social return on investment has been estimated at 30%.

    It was suggested that we could assist the Circles organization, by providing a meal at one of their Thursday evening meetings. Circles meets at the Holy Family Church on Atrisco, South of Central Avenue, at 5:30PM to 8:00PM. 15 to 100 people attend meetings, depending upon the schedule.

    Our Club members could also volunteer as Allies, by joining a resource team, recruiting and serving as volunteer coaches.

    More info may be found at www.CirclesNM.org 

    Following an informative Q&A period, President Judy presented Scott with our package of cards as a remembrance of his visit to our Club.

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Pat, who presented two quotes from Scott Miller’s book.

    At 1:00 PM, President Judy concluded our meeting.

    Programs and Happenings: 

    18 July  Mandela Day

    20 July  Ramadan begins – Muslim holy month.

    21 July  Garry Trudeau BD

    24 July  Regular Meeting – New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy

    24 July  Amelia Earhart BD

    27 July  Opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London

    30 July  International Day of Friendship

    31 July  Regular Meeting – An Experience in South Africa

    31 July  J.K. Rowling BD

    Members sign up with Mollie to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeters. Please help out & volunteer with this task. Thanks to Mollie & Andy for their assistance with this task during the month of July.

  • 10 Jul 2012 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    President Judy called our meeting to order at 12:00 Noon, followed by our pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. No bell, no banners, no lectern… “ding !” Well, maybe next week.

    Wow !!! 20 out of 22 members present, today.

    Applause & welcome to our new Club president!

    Guests: Mari Lombardi, guest of President Judy

    July is  – “Literacy Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    Sergeant-at-Arms Mollie was to be “reckoned with” – A surprise pin check (Wendy – oops!).

    And a late James explained himself!

    A pop quiz on R.I. President Sakuji Tanaka won a big cork (no bottle) for the correct answer.

    Many bucks materialized:

    Maggie’s son Steve in VT Graduated w/ a master’s degree.

    John’s visiting cousin is leaving tomorrow.

    Pat’s back from Maine, where she OD’d on sea food. While visiting, she stayed with Evergreen families.

    IPP Fofo was good for two bucks – last Saturday, she had an SRO crowd at her restaurant. The second buck was ‘cause she was glad to be sitting down for this meeting.

    Mary’s back in NM for a little while from So. Carolina & CA. She’ll be leaving again on Friday.

    The late James answered his quiz question correctly… from whence does our new R.I. president hail?

    James also will tell us (at a near future meeting) about his visit to the Juarez Children’s Hospital & cancer ward. Remember our participation in that International grant?

    Club & District News and Business:  

    The new Rotary year has begun. So, your Rotary dues are “due” as of 1 July…

    Make your $125.00 checks out to:  “The Rotary Club of Albuquerque Sandia”

    Rio Grande Club sponsored a plaque – Anderson’s Rotary Experience

    Andy says that the “Don’t Meth With Us” project people will be meeting in July.

    Today’s Program: 

    Member Profile –

    Allan Bash of the cloth and of the B&B. Wow, he’s younger than I (well, only one year).

    Floyd Allan Bash III, first saw the light of day in Des Moines, Iowa and was quickly moved to Hartford, Connecticut. His dad was a navy (ours) man and Allan was one of three siblings.

    He soon returned to Des Moines and then to Wichita, KS, where he attended school (that was 50 years ago!). After attending TCU (that’s in Texas, y’all), a New York seminary was the next stop. Rattling about as a hospital chaplain and a couple of years as a pastor in TX and two children later, F.A.B. the third spent 40 years as a church pastor and some more years as a hospice chaplain. He even spent some time in Cedar Rapids, too. After several tries at adoption, Karen & Allan were blessed with their adopted son, Keenan.

    Allan first joined a Rockport, MO Rotary Club in 1994 and, also, another strange type of club, too (it begins with a K). So, after all of that travel & work, He and wife/Rotarian/Minister “retired” to Albuquerque, where they still work at their very own Sarabande B&B.

    Then, President Judy moved us into an open forum, re:

    Club Project Planning & Participation/Discussion.

    Projector –

    Some Club program speakers require the use of a video projector. Since IPP Fofo’s projector does not function ideally with all computers and complex issues arise with Mac computer interface, some technical assistance would be required from a Club member. James will assist when he is available and Harris  volunteered his personal projector and assistance when required.

    Club Service Projects -

    Mary Bresnahan (Chair) will coordinate all Club service projects. The member who proposes a project will lead that project.

    Possible sources of service projects were presented: 1. President Judy – Diaper Bank of New Mexico

    2. Andy mentioned “The Chocolate Run” at the end of August, The “Dirty Dash” and a bike event – “The Day of the Tread”

    Additionally, Andy did mention that schools contacted regarding the “Don’t Meth With Us” project, exist in the South East part of Albuquerque and that it would be of great help, if a Spanish speaking/ bi-lingual member could assist (Miguel?) in project development at these schools.

    President Judy will forward service project request forms to Andy, in order that he supply all needed information on these events. These will be used to determine whether they could take the form of projects or fund raisers, etc. We are hopeful that our Club will work on one service project per month.

    Yard Sale -

    This 3rd annual fundraising event will take place on 28 & 29 September, 2012.

    Items discussed, were:

    Temporary storage must soon be found. Wim reports that a storage unit may be obtained. An approximate cost for the 60 day period (On Eubank) will be in the order of $180.00 +/-

    Mary Jane, Pat, Harris and Peggy noted that they are able to provide some storage space, ie: ½ of a garage, a shed and a “box truck”. So, a commercial storage unit will probably not be needed for the storage of large items.

    James suggests that we start moving forward with plans, ASAP.

    Wim will provide a preliminary list of “sale rules”, in which (among other items) the following will be addressed:

    No discounts will be offered on Friday,

    Any discounts (deals) on Saturday will be administered only by a maximum of two designated members,

    A sign “No Checks Accepted” or, “Cash Sales Only” will be displayed in a prominent location.

    IPP Fofo may be able to permit us to “load-in” items on Thursday, 27 September.

     

    At our 19 June meeting, IPP Fofo brought up the question of our use of table linens at Club meetings: We will make use of her stock linens and wash them when necessary and their use would be of no cost to the Club. Wim was courageous and has volunteered to undertake the task of cleaning the linens (when necessary) for the year. So, let’s keep ‘em clean for as long as possible.

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Karen, who quoted Ruth Gordon: “Never give up. And never, under any circumstances, face the facts.”

    At 1:00 PM, President Judy concluded our meeting.

    Programs and Happenings: 

    11 July  World Population Day

    11 July  John Quincy Adams BD

    14 July  Bastille Day

    16 July  Ginger Rogers & Barbara Stanwyck BD

    17 July  Regular Meeting – Circles New Mexico – Ending Poverty / Pat Diem

    18 July  Mandela Day

    20 July  Ramadan begins – Muslim holy month.

    21 July  Garry Trudeau BD

    24 July  Regular Meeting – New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy

    24 July  Amelia Earhart BD

    27 July  Opening of the 2012 Olympic Games in London

    30 July  International Day of Friendship

    31 July  Regular Meeting – An Experience in South Africa

    31 July  J.K. Rowling BD

    Members sign up with Mollie to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeter. Please help out & volunteer with this task.

  • 26 Jun 2012 6:25 PM | Anonymous

    President Fofo called our meeting to order at 12:15 PM and asked us all to stand for the only invocation of the year.

    Today’s meeting was the last Club meeting of the 2011-2012 Rotary year. President Fofo was kind enough to convene our meeting at her restaurant, Caribbean Temptation. The cost of our luncheon was also borne by President Fofo. So, members and guests were treated to Caribbean fare today.

    Visiting Rotarians: Assistant District Governor Donette Wagner

    Guests:  Piper & Isabel Cobb, Margaret Kramer, Dan Herick, Donna Bauer, Ramona Martinez, Gretchen Kryda & Susan Ellenwood.

    July is  – “Literacy Month”

    Club & District News and Business: 

    Please note that our 3 July meeting has been cancelled !      So, don’t show up…

    The Rio Grande Academy, District 5520’s Rotary Leadership Institute, will be starting up again this fall. Tentative dates are 15 September, 27 October and 8 December. As in the past, classes will be held at the Kirtland Federal Credit Union training center, near the base entrance. All Rotarians will benefit from the three part course. If you can’t afford the $35 fee, Our Club will pay. Another great investment!

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Please bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary.

    Please wear your Rotary pin every day!

    Today’s Program: 

    As is the Rotary custom, the captive audience was then addressed by President Fofo, during which she enumerated our Club’s accomplishments for the past year.

    Awards time! President Fofo then recognized Club members for Rotary service and perfect attendance,

    followed by the induction of our New Board of Directors for the 2012-2013 Rotary year, by AG Donette Wagner.

    President Judy Jeffrey

    President-Elect Wim Kramer

    Secretary John Kryda

    Treasurer Kirsten Cobb

    Sergeant-at-Arms Mollie Papen-Eatinger

    Membership Chair Kay Guadagnoli

    Public Relations Chair Janet Wheatley

    Service Projects Chair Mary Bresnahan

    Foundation Chair James Morrison

    New Generations Chair Maggie Noyes-Smith

    Appropriate pins, hugs and gifts were exchanged and the now Past-President Fofo (as of 1 July) received a plaque which commemorated her term of service as Club president, as well as an engraved Nambe tray, expressing our Club’s indebtedness to her, for our use of The Event Palace as our meeting venue.

    AG Donette then inducted our newest member, Harris Belsky, sponsored by Miguel.

    At 1:30 PM President-Elect Judy & President Fofo concluded today’s meeting, followed by dessert!

    Programs and Happenings: 

    3 July  NO MEETING TODAY!

    4 July  Independence Day

    10 July  Regular Meeting #1 -

    11 July  World Population Day

    14 July  Bastille Day

    17 July  Regular Meeting – Circles New Mexico

    17 July  Board Meeting #1

    18 July  Mandella Day

    20 July  The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins.

    24 July  Regular Meeting – New Mexico Youth Challenge Academy

    30 July  UN International Day of Friendship

    31 July  Regular Meeting -

    Members are asked to sign up with Sgt-at-Arms Mollie to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeters. Please help out & volunteer for this task.

  • 19 Jun 2012 5:35 PM | Anonymous

    President Fofo called our meeting to order at 12:00 Noon and asked us to stand for a moment of silence and send good thoughts to all of our travelling members.

    Guests: Don Williams, guest of Harris

    June is  – “Rotary Fellowships Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    Mary Jane finally bought a new car… from Costco, yet! AND, she has a new grandson, Max. That makes 6 grandsons and 1 granddaughter (so far).

    Miguel threw in a no pin buck.

    President Fofo was good for a buck, to celebrate the approval of a new handicap ramp. Still fighting the firewall and sprinkler system.

    Club & District News and Business: 

    Next week’s meeting will be held at President Fofo’s restaurant, Caribbean Temptation, at 109 San Pablo Street, SE. Our luncheon meeting will take place from 12N to 1:30 PM. This will be our last meeting of the Rotary year. Bring your significant other… there’ll be awards and our new president and board of directors will be sworn in, too!

    Please note that the 3 July meeting has been cancelled !

    The District 5520 Installation and Celebration for DG Mark Glenn will take place on Friday, 22 June from 6:30PM to 9:00PM, at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Heavy Hors d’oeuvres & cash bar. $30 per person. This is a family of Rotary event. Dress is business casual.

    Checks to The Rotary Club of Las Cruces Mesilla Valley, 1206 E. Lohman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001.

    Questions and RSVP to: Keith Austin AustinsJewelry@zianet.com (575) 644-7749

    The Rio Grande Academy, District 5520’s Rotary Leadership Institute, will be starting up again this fall. Tentative dates are 15 September, 27 October and 8 December. As in the past, classes will be held at the Kirtland Federal Credit Union training center, near the base entrance. All Rotarians will benefit from the three part course. If you can’t afford the $35 fee, Our Club will pay. Another great investment!

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Please bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary.

    Remember to wear your Rotary pin every day!

    Today’s Program: Outgoing & Incoming Boards.

    Today, it was time for Q&A and suggestions, re.: the old year & the new year, etc, etc.

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Mary Jane: “When all is understood, all is forgiven”.

    President Fofo reminds us to always communicate… always ask “why”.

    At 12:30 PM President Fofo closed out today’s short meeting.

    Programs and Happenings: 

    20 June First Day of Summer.

    23 June UN Public Service Day.

    26 June The last Regular Club Meeting of this Rotary year – At Pres. Fofo’s restaurant:

                  “Caribbean Temptation”. Bring your significant other!

    2 July  John’s BD… Only small tokens of your esteem will be accepted.

    3 July  NO MEETING !

    4 July  Independence Day

    Members are asked to sign up with Miguel to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeters. Please help out & volunteer for this task.

    Thanks to Libby & Mary Jane for setup & to Kirsten for breakdown this month.

  • 12 Jun 2012 4:27 PM | Anonymous

    Guests: Kay Ballinger, guest of Mary & husband, Dick Marcy, Mollie’s sister

     Vi, guest of Pat Piper Cobb

    June is  – “Rotary Fellowships Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    President Fofo sure needs an encouraging message. Various city agencies are giving her a runaround and they want her to install a new firewall and a handicap ramp.

    Wim related a story, in which city authorities wanted a newly constructed laboratory building to be moved. Hey, things could be worse!

    Miguel stayed at the Bashs’ B&B and really enjoyed himself.

    Bruce seems to have survived (he got back, didn’t he?) his latest trip to Djibouti, Africa. You know, the place near Somalia. He also recently visited his daughter Kelly, in CO.

    Pat returned last night from Oregon, where she attended her granddaughter’s graduation.

    Harris thanks our Club members for attending and supporting the “Gloria B’s” tea party on Sunday.

    At this point, President Fofo had to deal with some city agencies via ‘phone.

    So, PE Judy took over the meeting.

    Club & District News and Business: 

    Please note that the 3 July meeting has been cancelled !!! So, there!

    Maggie mentioned that our RYLA candidate has been accepted after the District interview… Club money well spent!

    The District 5520 Installation and Celebration for DG Mark Glenn will take place on Friday, 22 June from 6:30PM to 9:00PM, at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Heavy Hors d’oeuvres & cash bar. $30 per person. This is a family of Rotary event. Dress is business casual.

    Checks to The Rotary Club of Las Cruces Mesilla Valley, 1206 E. Lohman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001.

    Questions and RSVP by 15 June to: Keith Austin AustinsJewelry@zianet.com (575) 644-7749

    The Rio Grande Academy, District 5520’s Rotary Leadership Institute, will be starting up again this fall. Tentative dates are 15 September, 27 October and 8 December. As in the past, classes will be held at the Kirtland Federal Credit Union training center, near the base entrance. All Rotarians will benefit from the three part course. If you can’t afford the $35 fee, Our Club will pay. Another great investment!

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Please bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary.

    And, please make a point of wearing your Rotary pin every day!

    Today’s Program: IPP Mollie provided and introduced our program today: “Would Santa Anna be a good Rotarian?” – A presentation by Ray Dent, author, past Rotary president & Paul Harris Fellow.

    Ray’s novel, Vaulted Eagles, is a story of the American Southwest. The fictional tale presents a blend of true events, real people and actual places. The saga's backdrop is the seventeen year period in which Mexico descended from its stature as the second largest country in the world ... and the American West was born. Rayzor Dent created today’s program specifically for Rotary, based on research for his novel.

    Ray provided us with a short history of Mexico’s Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his exploits from 1836 through 1853. He presented the supposition that, during this period before Rotary existed, many people held similar views and ethics as do today’s Rotarians.

    We were asked to consider Santa Anna’s conduct with respect to the 4-way test and if we would accept him into our Rotary Club, after hearing of his acts. (He wasn’t one of “the good people”)

    Ray also included additional historical facts, re: Mexico, NM, Texas, etc., which were related to Lopez’s political adventures.

    A lively Q&A session followed Mr. Dent’s presentation, after which President Fofo presented Ray with our packet of cards as a remembrance of his visit to our Club.

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Libby, who quoted Thomas Jefferson: “Educate & inform the whole mass of the people. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

    At 1:00 PM President Fofo concluded our extravaganza.

    Programs and Happenings: 

    14 June Flag Day

    17 June Father’s Day

    19 June Regular Club Meeting – Outgoing & Incoming Boards. Both will be present.

                  It’ll be time for Q&A and suggestions, re.: the old year & the new year, etc, etc.

    19 June Board Meeting at 1:15 PM

    20 June First Day of Summer and Erol Flynn’s BD

    23 June UN Public Service Day

    26 June The last Regular Club Meeting of this Rotary year – At Pres. Fofo’s restaurant…

                   Bring your significant other!

    2 July  John’s BD… Only small tokens of your esteem will be accepted.

    3 July  NO MEETING !

    4 July  Independence Day

  • 05 Jun 2012 4:20 PM | Anonymous

    Guests: Harris Belsky, guest of Miguel Piper & Isabel Cobb

    June is  – “Rotary Fellowships Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    President Fofo’s brother-in-law has recently passed away.

    Harris Belsky announced that his place of business, Gloria B’s, is inviting all to attend a tea & cookie event on 10 June, 1PM to 4PM. Location: 4010 Central Avenue, SE.

    We missed Mary during her trip to So. Carolina. She’s back and told of her car’s altercation with a hailstorm.

    Wim paid to make an observation regarding his trip to San Francisco last week, in that, he saw people rummaging about in garbage cans, etc., for recyclables. This was quite an unnerving sight, to say the least.

    Wim’s comment reminded President Fofo to relate the fact that there are homeless people in Albuquerque, too! One of these has been “living” in front of the Event Palace.

    Club & District News and Business: 

    IPP Mollie reminded us that next week, author and Paul Harris Fellow Ray Dent will be speaking on the subject “Would Santa Anna Be a Good Rotarian?”.

    This will prove to be an interesting program. So, bring a friend!

    The District 5520 Installation and Celebration for DG Mark Glenn will take place on Friday, 22 June from 6:30PM to 9:00PM, at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Heavy Hors d’oeuvres & cash bar. $30 per person. This is a family of Rotary event. Dress is business casual.

    Checks to The Rotary Club of Las Cruces Mesilla Valley, 1206 E. Lohman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001.

    Questions and RSVP by 15 June to: Keith Austin AustinsJewelry@zianet.com (575) 644-7749

    James asked the group about our plan to obtain a POD for storage of our upcoming sidewalk sale items.

    Libby and Wim related the saga of the attempt to find a unit. A discussion ensued, which resulted in two possible “solutions”, ie: James will call the local PODS rep (he did find their number) and we’ll attempt to “partner” with President Fofo’s charitable organization, in order to get a freebie POD. Also, Pat will take some pictures of the already gathered furniture and post an ad on Craig’s list (hey, money is money).

    Upshot: We’re still podless.

    Last week, at the ABQ & Rio Rancho Club Presidents’ meeting, a new Rotary Park was discussed. It’ll be located in the South Valley, near Rio Bravo. The Rotary Club of Rio Grande will be the lead Club in this effort and all Clubs are asked to help with funding of this project.

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Please bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary.

    Please remember to wear your Rotary pin every day!

    Today’s Program: 

    James welcomed Maryle Jackson Barber, Director of Development at Casa Esperanza.

    Albuquerque's hospitals provide medical care and Casa Esperanza works with area hospitals to extend "human" care. The 18,000 sq.ft. facility, 501 C-3 organization provides appropriate housing and emotional support for patients and their families who reside temporarily in Albuquerque while the patient receives treatment. Casa Esperanza's families come from all backgrounds and income levels, but they share one thing in common - each family is facing fear and emotional upheaval.

    The facility is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day

    Clients may be referred by hospital social worker, case manager, nurse or chaplain. Self-referrals are also accepted. Fees range $30 to $35 per night for families of 2 to 5 persons and housing is available to families at all income levels.

    There are four fully equipped kitchens with food storage and refrigerators.

    Free transportation is available to UNM Hospital and to the Cancer Treatment Center.

    Private phone lines available in all rooms with voice mail messaging.

    Free laundry facilities, an enclosed playground for children and computer with Internet is also available.

    At Casa Esperanza, the goal is to meet the needs of families in a caring and professional environment. The Clinical Counseling Program provides professional counseling and clinical support services to residents, families, and staff through the following services:

    •  Professional counseling and confidential consultation regarding any mental, emotional, or psychological issues related to their diagnosis and treatment for individuals and families
    •  Presentations and discussion groups on a variety of issues related to cancer and cancer treatment
    •  Ongoing training for Guest Services Team and support staff
    •  Confidential consultation for Casa Esperanza Staff

    The program is directed by Bob G. Stice, LPCC. Bob has worked professionally with individuals and families for over 30 years in a variety of settings, including private practice and hospital settings. He has extensive experience with the cancer community, including providing clinical supervision for staff at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

    A cancer diagnosis brings many challenges. In addition to learning how to manage a disease and the

    effects of treatment, one may suddenly be faced with overwhelming physical, emotional, financial, and

    practical issues. Just getting through the healthcare system can seem impossible at times.

    Their belief is that people affected by cancer deserve support during this difficult time, not added stress.

    Casa Esperanza’s Nina Bean Patient Navigation and Survivor Services Program exists to help. The on-site Susie Storr Cancer Information and Resource Center offers free publications and materials on many cancer topics, and a staff person is available to assist with:

    Locating resources, Communicating with a health care team, making appointments for treatment and follow-up care, coordinating interpretation services, understanding doctors’ instructions, locating counseling and mental health providers and connecting survivors with other support groups.

    Their services help to solve practical problems related to treatment (such as transportation, childcare, financial assistance, wigs and prosthetics, pain management and exercise) and they also help find free and low-cost legal and financial counseling services.

    Casa Esperanza celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and has served over 31,000 families, to date, in their facility of 28 rooms and suites.

    Casa will not only assist cancer patients, but offers their assistance to trauma and transplant patients. Since Casa is not a medical facility, they do require that patients who are in active treatment be accompanied by a care giver. They’re working to unite cancer agencies throughout New Mexico and they’re a member of NAHHH (National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses).

    In addition to contributions, volunteers are also welcomed. If interested, contact Debbie Trujillo, their community outreach & volunteer coordinator. (505) 277-9880 DTrujillo@CasaEsperanzaNM.org

    Maybe we could throw them a theme party on some holiday! They’d like that.

    Following a lively Q&A session, President Fofo presented Debbie with our packet of cards as a remembrance of her visit to our Club.

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Mary Jane (through PE Judy), who quoted Dwight Eisenhower: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

    At 1:00 PM President Fofo concluded our meeting.

    Programs and Happenings: 

    6 June  D-Day and Nathan Hale’s BD

    12 June Club Meeting – “Would Santa Anna be a good Rotarian?” – Ray Dent, author.

    14 June Flag Day

    17 June Father’s Day

    19 June Regular Club Meeting – Outgoing & Incoming Boards will be featured.

    19 June Board Meeting at 1:15 PM

    20 June First Day of Summer and Erol Flynn’s BD

    22 June On this day in 1847, the donut was invented.

    23 June UN Public Service Day

    26 June The last Regular Club Meeting of this Rotary year – At Pres. Fofo’s restaurant…

     Bring your significant other!

    Members are asked to sign up with Miguel to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeters. Please help out & volunteer for this task.

    Thanks to Libby & Mary Jane for setup & to Kirsten for breakdown this month.

  • 29 May 2012 7:40 PM | Anonymous

    President Fofo called our meeting to order at 11:45 AM and asked that we share a moment of silence to reflect upon the service of our armed forces.

     

    Guests: Piper and Isabel Cobb

     

    May is   “Sharing Community Month”

     

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    John thanks our members for helping move some furniture to storage, for our upcoming sidewalk sale (A lot of “plus ones”).

    Happy Birthday to President Fofo.

     

    Club & District News and Business:           

    The District 5520 Installation and Celebration for DG Mark Glenn will take place on Friday, 22 June at 6:30PM to 9:00PM, at the Las Cruces Convention Center. Heavy Hors d’oeuvres & cash bar. $30 per person. This is a family of Rotary event. Dress is business casual.

    Checks to The Rotary Club of Las Cruces Mesilla Valley, 1206 E. Lohman Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001.

    Questions and RSVP by 15 June to: Keith Austin AustinsJewelry@zianet.com (575) 644-7749

     

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Please bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary. We’ve a pretty big bag of them on hand.

    Please remember to wear your Rotary pin every day!

     

    Today’s Program: Instead of gathering at our usual venue, today we met at NM(X) / Warehouse 508.

    Executive director Andy Braman was kind enough to invite our Club members to tour the facility, where we were treated to lunch, too! Upon entering the beautiful facility, we met many of the staff members and found that, during their presentation, NMX is Youth Focused and Youth Driven for all youth.

    Founded in 2005, NMX Sports is a 501(c)-3 non-profit organization that gives interested youth the opportunity to become involved in non-traditional or “extreme” sports.

    NMX Sports helps to overcome many obstacles that often prevent interested youth in participating in these sports. These obstacles include travel, proper supervision, cost and finding like-minded kids who enjoy the same lifestyle activities.

    NMX provides a fun atmosphere and coordinates activities to help kids enjoy their youth while taking advantage of all our beautiful state has to offer. Studies show that kids that are active in positive and constructive outlets are less likely to participate in delinquent behavior and in alcohol and drug use that is so common to today’s teens.

    NMX hopes to give these kids an opportunity to become involved in activities in which they desire to participate and, more importantly, they want to help to create better kids.

    Primary activities include skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, mountain biking, BMX and wakeboarding.

    The goal of NMX is to engage New Mexico kids from 12 to 18 years of age, in outdoor activities that appeal to them. These activities are conducted in a safe, structured and supervised environment. They  teach and stress important life skills that benefit the kids, the community, their families and it will enhance the way members live their lives. Through empowering these kids within the organization and introducing them to community involvement, NMX intends to help create a better generation arising from New Mexico.

    The organization is geared toward giving all Albuquerque teens the opportunity to become involved in extreme/non-traditional sports in the beautiful regional outdoors. Through the assistance of the City, Retailers, Ski Areas, and this organization, they have made an incredible organization for the youth.

    Adventure Leaders are paid employees of the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department.

    They submit to a background screening during the hiring process. Once hired, they’re extensively trained on safe driving procedures, dealing with groups, disruptive behavior, problem solving and positive motivational techniques. They follow a strict learned protocol to make every adventure safe and a positive learning experience. 

    These Adventure Leaders participate on every trip and are responsible for the kids on that day’s activity.

    NMX is seeking volunteers (i.e. parents, college students, etc.) to help assist on trips and adventures.  Volunteers will be trained on the proven policies and procedures set forth by the Boy Scouts of America and the City of ABQ’s Park and Rec. Dept. Should you be interested or know of somebody who is interested in assisting on these trips, please contact NMX via the website.

    NMX is also looking for people who want to make a difference through the internship program, assistance in administration, marketing, sales, website design/maintenance and chaperones for their ski trips this  winter season. 

    If you know of someone that can help, have them send a resume and cover letter to info@nmxsports.org.

    At warehouse 508, many creative arts programs are also made available, including musical practice and performance, open mic nights, art and dance. There are youth activities 52 weeks a year, including concerts, performances and a yearly fashion show. To date, over 16,000 kids have entered into the programs. The organization’s $294K budget is currently “maxed out” and all of the programs are “booked solid”. NMX could double their programs and kids if the budget were larger. NMX partners with over 30 other non-profit organizations. In addition, their outreach program is available at 12 schools in ABQ.

    Following the presentation by members of NMX staff and extensive Q&A, our Club members toured the facility.

     

    Our Thought For The Day was provided by Maggie, who quoted Helen Keller:

    “It is not possible for civilization to flow backwards while there is youth in the world. Youth may be headstrong, but it will advance it’s allotted length.”

    At 12:45PM President Fofo concluded our meeting. (Got any quarters for the meters?)

     

    Programs and Happenings:

    5 June              Regular Meeting - Casa Esperanza Presentation

    5 June              UN World Environment Day

    6 June              D-Day and Nathan Hale’s BD

    12 June            Club Meeting – “Would Santa Anna be a good Rotarian?”

    14 June            Flag Day

    17 June            Father’s Day

    19 June            Regular Club Meeting -

    19 June            Club Board Meeting at 1:15 PM

    20 June            First Day of Summer and Erol Flynn’s BD

    22 June            On this day in 1847, the donut was invented.

    23 June            UN Public Service Day

    26 June            The last Regular Club Meeting of this Rotary year – At Pres. Fofo’s restaurant

     

    Members are asked to sign up with Miguel to set up our venue and break down after our meetings and, also act as greeters. Please help out & volunteer for this task. Maggie has helped us with this task during the month of May. Thanks Maggie!

  • 22 May 2012 7:37 PM | Anonymous

    President Fofo called our meeting to order at 12:00 Noon. She then asked that we take a moment to consider those things for which we are thankful .

     

    May is   “Sharing Community Month”

     

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    James and Wendy have returned from San Diego with a new motor home. He’s been certified to sail a 35’ craft and Wendy has been certified to captain the 35’ sailboat. While sailing, they were fortunate to see the Americas cup craft “Stars & Stripes”. Also, they were warned to “stand clear of the warship”, a destroyer which was passing by. While receiving sailing instructions with 2 couples, James told her what to do only once!

    John coughed up a buck to tell of his GSE hosting experience and encouraged all to try it out next year.

    Mollie also parted with a dollar, to extol the virtues of Pat, who hosted visiting (conference) Rotarians (from Chalma and Ft. Stockton) for dinner, last week.

    President Fofo returned from a visit to the dentist, today and she’s doin’ just fine.

    Alan gave credit to Fofo for her presentation to our Didtrict, re: the Haiti disaster.

    Wim related his experience at the Saturday conference youth breakfast and the great talent show which the youth exchange put on.

     

    Club & District News and Business:           

    James brought back two trading banners from Clubs which he visited.

     Spaketh he: “Go and visit a Rotary Club when you travel! (And, bring a banner from our Club)”

     

    President Fofo, Wim and IPP Mollie noted that other Clubs have expressed an interest in our success as a “brown Bag Club”. Clubs should investigate venues which would not be interested in serving a meal during their meetings… El Paso did it!

     

    Maggie has “touched base” with Selena, an on-the-air reporter at KRQE channel 13 (our CBS affiliate). Perhaps Selena will visit and present at one of our meetings. This may prove to be a good contact for future Club PR.

     

    Our Club has received a letter of thanks from Eileen Cook, CEO of Casa Esperanza, recognizing the contribution of our Club members’ time and efforts in providing a dinner for their clients on 2 May.

     

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Please bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary. We’ve a pretty big bag of them on hand.

     

    Ya just gotta wear your Rotary pin every day!

     

    Today’s Program: R.I. Foundation & Paul Harris Fellow Recognitions with James, our very own foundation chair. James is also the District 5520 extension chair.

    He shared with us some of his extensive knowledge about the beginnings and history of Rotary, Paul Harris and the Rotary Foundation. In addition, James also told of the wonderful things that the Foundation does and how the Foundation is funded.

    IPP Mollie then enumerated all of the good works that our EREY ($100.00) can accomplish.

    When IPP Mollie told of the number of mosquito nets that $100 could buy, Wim just had to relate a story about how, when he was in Botswana, a snake took ½ an hour to get through such a net!

    It was also pointed out that our Club donated $1220.00 through those District cruise chances, this year.

    Since its inception in 1957, Paul Harris fellowships have provided a means of recognizing Rotarians’ contributions to the Rotary Foundation. Today, we were fortunate enough to recognize two additional Club members as Paul Harris fellows. Wim Kramer and Pat Diem were presented with certificates and pins, thereby increasing our total of Club PHF fellows to 14. Congratulations to you both!

     

    Our Thought For The Day (Actually, two thoughts) were provided by Maggie, from Colin Powell:

    “Always show more kindness than seems necessary, because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.” And

    “To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world”.

    At 12:45 PM, President Fofo concluded our meeting.

     

    Programs and Happenings:

    28 May            Memorial Day (Observed)

    29 May            Meeting and Luncheon at NM(X) / Warehouse 508.

    5 June              Regular Meeting - Casa Esperanza

    5 June              UN World Environment Day

    6 June              D-Day

    12 June            Club Meeting – “Would Santa Anna be a good Rotarian?”

    14 June            Flag Day

    17 June            Father’s Day

    19 June            Regular Club Meeting -

    19 June            Club Board Meeting at 1:15 PM

    20 June            First Day of Summer

    23 June            UN Public Service Day

    26 June            The last Regular Club Meeting – At Pres. Fofo’s restaurant

  • 08 May 2012 4:35 PM | Anonymous

    President Fofo called our meeting to order at 12:10 PM.

    Guests:           Harris Belsky, guest of Miguel            Piper & Isabel Cobb

    May is   “Sharing Community Month”

    Announcements/Sad-Happy/Brag Bucks:

    PE Judy lost power at her home at 7:37AM. So, Libby let Judy in, to use her curling iron.

    Andy extended his thanks to President Fofo, for assistance from her restaurant, to NM(x).

    Kay’s back from visiting her Sons and grandchildren in Florida. She played 18 holes yesterday, in spite of the winds… She did get closest to the hole, too! (Maybe the wind helped)

    Miguel’s son landed a part in “Breaking Bad”!

    Maggie related that Violet, last week’s guest (by Pat), graced her dinner table.

    IPP Mollie thanked Kay for sending a badly needed day planner (with tons of postage attached) to her, for use by Mollie’s sister.

    Mary Jane pointed out, after serving in his absence, Wim’s tremendous efficiency as Treasurer.

    Wim’s back after visiting his son, who’s apparently doing very well – he received 25% of his yearly salary as a bonus.

    President Fofo related an amusing story: Both Dem and Rep party women’s groups want to rent The Event Palace on the same date! The party that writes the first check, wins.

    TK’s still down in Houston, Texas. Unfortunately, her mother passed away and then her mother’s nephew died of a heart attack an hour later! There’ll be a double funeral in Ft. Bliss nat’l cemetery, today. TK’s MS is also kicking in. She’ll be spending the next couple of weeks settling her mom’s estate, but would rather be here, with us.

    Club & District News and Business:            Kirsten is our Service Projects chair.

    The Albuquerque Rescue Mission will be hosting “A Celebration of Womanhood” at the ARM women’s day room, on 11 May, 12:30PM to 4:30PM. Club members are donating door prizes and munchies.

    Libby announced that we presented our three essay contest winner awards on Monday, 7 May, at St. Therese School. As part of the awards celebration, we provided pizza for all of the 8th graders.

    PE Judy reminds us to attend our District 5520 Conference in Albuquerque, 17 May thru 20 May.

    There’ll be NO Club meeting for the week of 15 May. Our “Paws & Stripes” hero will be recognized at the Friday night conference dinner. PLEASE Register at www.Rotary5520.org to attend this dinner at the ABQ Museum of Fine Arts, and show support for our hero. How about attending the Polio Plus luncheon, too!

    Hosts are still needed to provide dinner for visiting Rotarians, on Thursday, 17 May. Mary, Judy, Pat, Allan and Karen will be serving as hosts.

    “Don’t Mess With Meth” (DMWU) project: As per Drew, on Friday, 4 May, Dan Wilkenson presented the program at Eubank Elementary School.

    Save your aluminum can pop-top tabs for donation to Ronald McDonald House. Bring them to a meeting and give them to Mary.

    Don’t forget to wear your Rotary pin every day!

    Today’s Program “A Visit to Cuba” w/Jeannine Potter.

    Six months prior to their visit, the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe women’s group had been in communication with their partnership church in Cuba via e-mail and surface mail. A church member  fluent in Spanish translated and assisted the two groups in letter writing and coordinating their activities.

    The Protestant churches in Cuba are working to collect medications which act as immune system support to patients with AIDS. The Mission Committee has sent these items to the partnership church in Sagua la Grande, carried by another US group, to the pastor of the sister church in Sagua in September 2011.

    This delegation from New Mexico visited during November 2011 for a period of two weeks. The group carried additional complements of medications to last until the next visit in November 2012. They also carried with them and delivered a total of 32 cases of letters, small packages, gifts and items of clothing.

    It appears that few restrictions to travel between the US and Cuba exist, since the group of twelve flew (via American Airlines) between Miami, Florida and Havana, Cuba with only the addition of visas to their passports.

    While we all crowded around Jeannine’s laptop to see her photos (‘cause we couldn’t get the @#$% thing to talk to the video projector), we learned many interesting facts about the people and places that were visited. A big blue hippie “love bus” served as a primary source of transportation during their travels. Minimal accommodations were provided for the group at various churches and their diet consisted of “lots of rice and beans and pork” (No cow). Since little water is filtered or treated, bottled drinking water had to be used by all.

    A tour of Havana was included in the group’s “working” visit, during which they were able to see Hemmingway’s home and the Che Guevara memorial.

    During the presentation, our questions provided several facts about life in rural Cuba, ie:

    The group should have brought more baseballs with them!

    Since Raul “took over”, the only social reforms taking place, happen primarily through church groups.

    Those people with which the group interacted, seem to be in good spirits and were very friendly.

    Only older model automobiles and tractors were seen (some were really beautiful).

    The additional form of transportation appeared to be bicycle type taxis.

    An average monthly income of $500 makes life rather difficult for all.

    Items cannot be shipped to Cuba and letters/post cards take at least 3 months to arrive.

    Beach resorts do exist (pristine beaches) but not for the Cuban general population.

    If you don’t declare them, you’d be able to bring back Cuban cigars! Sounds good to me.    Good rum is cheap!

    At the conclusion of Jeannine’s program, President Fofo presented her with our packet of cards as a remembrance of her visit to our Club.

    Our Thought For The Day (Actually, two) was/were provided by Maggie:

    “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist” – Indira Gandhi

    “As long as Florida remains a swing state, Cuban exiles in Florida will remain a very powerful voting bloc” – Joshua A. Tucker (Assoc. Prof. of politics at NYU)

    At 1:05 PM, President Fofo concluded our meeting and started to set up for the food bank distribution.

    Programs and Happenings:

    13 May            Mother’s Day

    15 May            NO Meeting! Have you registered to attend our District Conference?

    15 May            BD: Frank Baum (He wrote the OZ books)

    17-20 May       District 5520 Conference/Convention in Albuquerque

    19 May            Armed Forces Day

    22 May            Regular Meeting – Rotary Foundation & Paul Harris Awards

    28 May            Memorial Day (Observed)

    29 May            Meeting and Luncheon at NM(X) / Warehouse 508


The Rotary Club of Albuquerque Sandia.  For more information on service, please contact us:  service@RotarySandia.org

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