Service Above Self
We meet Wednesday at 12:00 PM
2918 Elm Road NE
Warren, OH 44483
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on May 15, 2013
This week, Dr. Dave Brobeck from Walsh University joined us to talk about whole brain learning. Dr. Brobeck joined Salem Rotary in 2000 and obtained his Ph.D. from Kent State University. He has been in public education for approximately 38 years and has been recognized by the State of Ohio for lifetime contributions to public education.
He talked about his belief that education should be fun. Having been a former custodian, septic tank cleaner and school superintendent, he felt his life experiences all played a part in his success in education today. Dr. Brobeck said that the human brain has an unlimited capacity for learning and that by using certain tools, enough time, and techniques, anyone can learn.
Many times, we hear people say that a particular child simply cannot learn or is unwilling to learn. Dr. Brobeck disagrees. He believes that the burden is on the teacher not the child. If interest is generated, a desire to learn is created, and good teaching techniques are employed, then there will be a good outcome. In education, teachers have a tendency to teach things that students have no interest in learning and then wonder why they failed to get a good outcome.
While his presentation focused for the most part on education, his teaching and motivational techniques can also be used in business and getting the most out of people. Employers can use this information in creating and developing leadership teams and employees so that they actually exceed expectations.
Dr. Brobeck then share a True or False quiz with everyone about learning, motivation and the brain. Some of the statements were:
Enthusiastic, interested and committed learners are capable of greatness.
Learners who seek to continually grow and improve will almost always out-perform talented and bright individuals who avoid risky situations.
Positive emotions, including laughter, releases endorphins that enable learners to retain more content.
The best teachers adjust their teaching to ensure the learner gets what is needed to be successful.
The quiz had 20 statements and ALL of them were true.
Dr. Brobeck used humor throughout his presentation to get his points across and provided us with numerous resources if we wished to learn more about whole brain learning. Dr. Brobeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His website address is www.davidbrobeck.com.
We thank him for joining us today and for giving us so many valuable resources to use in our own businesses.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on May 08, 2013
Ken LaPolla, Warren Rotarian, was our speaker this week. He spoke about his service in the U. S. Naval Reserves and a mission to Suriname.
As almost everyone knows, Ken is a dentist in Howland and serves as a Captain in the Reserves as well. Ken first began his military service in 1990 and served with the U.S. Marines in Operation Desert Storm. After Desert Storm, he served in Italy, Rwanda and Bosnia. After serving for three years, he came back home and opened his dental practice. He then “volunteered” to serve in the Naval Reserves and has been assigned to Jacksonville and Pensacola, Florida.
Ken explained that originally Reservists filled in for active military members who had been deployed. Now, Reservists are deployed directly to whatever area is designated instead of filling in for active military members. This is one of the key reasons why the number of active service members has declined. It has been of benefit to the Reserves, but no so for active duty personnel.
In 2008, Ken was assigned to an Army mission to Suriname. Suriname is located between Guyana and French Guyana and has been an area of conflict for some time. He and other military medical personnel were there to supplement Surinamese health care and build friendships among the military personnel and dignitaries in the area. He said the conditions were very basic and virtually all he and others did was tooth extractions. Because there was no electricity, most of the equipment and tools used in modern dental practices were not available.
He and the other members of his team were escorted by heavily armed Surinamese military personnel everywhere they went. The clinic was located less than two miles away from combat areas. Ken reported that Chinese and Cuban representatives were also in Suriname and they would start rumors about our U.S. presence and motives for being there, which then had to be addressed by those on the mission.
Ken also showed us a number of pictures of the clinic where they worked and the people that were assisted. Clean water was a major problem for residents in Suriname-- much of the drinking water was contaminated by pesticides, human waste, and garbage.
The primary language of Suriname is Dutch, with English as a second language. Its primary crop is rice. The Dutch influence on architecture was obvious throughout the country.
We thank Ken for sharing this information with us. It was a fascinating look at what he and others do as part of our Naval Reserves.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on May 01, 2013
We were very fortunate this week to welcome the GSE Team from India. We had an opportunity to learn a little more about each Team Member as they briefly introduced themselves. Their professions include dental surgeon, biology teacher, chemical engineer, engineer, and music teacher/artist.
They spent the morning at Berk Enterprises and then had a personal tour of the National Packard Museum. They also did some shopping and ended their day at Rob Berk’s home where Nick Verina performed some magic and they were able to have fun playing with Rob’s pinball machines and arcade games.
Our thanks go out to Pam Hood from the Champion Rotary Club for giving us this opportunity to spend time with the Team. Thanks also go to George Thompson for provided the van for their transportation and to Nick Verina and Rob Berk who always warmly welcome GSE Team members and organize their activities for the day.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on May 01, 2013
This week, Rotarians learned more about some of the opportunities available to low or moderate income home owners. Susan Johnson from Warren’s Community Development Office shared information on programs that are available to either enable a purchase of a home or the repair of a home currently owned.
The first program she discussed was the Emergency Home Repair Program which provides up to $6,000 for home repairs that would ensure the safety and health of homeowners and their families. The types of repairs covered are replacement of a furnace or water tank, installation of a wheelchair ramp, correction of electrical problems, repair of a roof, etc. Individuals must meet the income requirements and agree to live in the home for 5 years after the completion of the repairs at which time the loan is forgiven. The funding is provided by HUD through the Community Development Office.
The second program was the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program. This program enables a homeowner in the City of Warren to bring their homes up to code. Funding amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000. Homeowners must agree to remain in their home for 10 years following the completion of the project at which time the loan is forgiven.
Susan also told members about the Home Ownership Loan Program, Land Reutilization Program, and the WINN (Warren Invites New Neighbors) Program, all coordinated through the Community Development Office.
Members had numerous questions about them and Jim Ditch, a member who works at Home Savings and Loan, told Rotarians that these programs are incredibly helpful, making home ownership possible for many who may not have qualified previously.
Rotarians could help by sharing information on these programs with those who may qualify for them. Anyone interested in applying for any of these programs or in obtaining additional information can contact Susan Johnson at 330-841-2595, ext. 11.
Our thanks go to Susan for joining us today and sharing such valuable information.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Apr 24, 2013
Our own Danny Rowland was our featured speaker this week as we gathered at Champion Estates Assisted Living. Danny explained that this facility opened approximately six months ago bringing the total number of facilities under the Windsor House umbrella to 15.
He told us that there are 56 apartments at Champion Estates and approximately half of them are occupied. The facility has four different apartment styles and can accommodate single individuals or couples. They range in size from 315 square feet to 745 square feet. Discounts are available for veterans and their surviving spouses.
While some residents come and go on their own, transportation is available for those who choose not to drive or are no longer able to do so. The monthly fee includes everything a person would need to allow them to live independently. Services include personal care, three nutritious meals a day, housekeeping, private laundry, assistance with activities of daily living, 24-hour emergency call system, a variety of social and recreational activities, transportation, and 24-hour nursing care 7 days a week. Small pets are permitted as long as residents can care for them on their own.
He went on to say that respite care is also available for families who need to be away but need to ensure care of a family member in their absence. The maximum stay is 30 days.
Windsor House was founded in 1959 by John and Dorothy Masternick. They originally converted old mansions into nursing homes/long-term care facilities. Windsor House later became the first organization to build modern nursing home facilities from the ground up. The old mansions have been converted back to private homes.
Danny shared that years ago the belief was that those who were admitted to nursing homes were expected to spend the rest of their lives there. Now, the reality is that more people are being discharged from nursing homes to return to independent living than those who pass away there.
Windsor House operates 11 nursing homes and 4 assisted living facilities and employs 1,500 people. They also offer Home Health by Windsor, skilled-nursing services in homes or assisted living facilities that enable individuals to maintain independent living longer.
After the presentation, members were escorted around the facility by Danny, Deanna Spirko (Danny’s coworker and Austintown Rotarian), and Susan Morrison (Home Health by Windsor).
We thank Danny, Deanna, and Susan for making us feel so welcome and allowing us the opportunity to see this beautiful facility.
For those wishing to learn more, they can log on to www.ChampionEstatesAL.com.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Apr 17, 2013
Nunzio DiVieste, Operations Director for the City of Warren, was our speaker this week. He joined us to talk about some of the projects his department has coming up in and around the City.
He started by saying that his department is responsible for the repair and maintenance of 184 miles of road in Warren, along with 21 City parks, 9 soccer fields, 55 City buildings, and 150 City vehicles. Quite impressive when you consider they have only 30 employees (down from 90 employees 20 years ago).
Some of the projects that will be undertaken: The groundbreaking for three volley ball courts (funding provided through Community Development grant funds), repair of the Packard Park Shelter House and tea garden, and preparation of the Amphitheater for summer programming.
In addition to the above projects, the department will be resurfacing Pine Street, Niles Road, and refurbishing Atlantic Street from Genesee to North Road.
The department also worked diligently to reduce costs and collaborated with the County on the cold mix (asphalt) used and was able to save approximately 20% on the cost. They also tried a different mix of products used to treat roads for snow and ice. The results weren’t exactly what Nunzio wanted and will require further experimentation. The mix, if they are successful, will be more effective at lower temperatures than salt alone.
Members asked a number of questions regarding demo of condemned or abandoned properties and the development and use of parks.
We thank Nunzio for joining us and bringing us up to speed on what his department will be doing in Warren.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Apr 10, 2013
Our speaker this week was Jean Waris, Co-Director of NEOCORR (Northeast Ohio Coalition on Rescue and Restore). The mission of NEOCORR is to organize to rescue and restore victims, create awareness of human trafficking through education, work with law enforcement, and work to change social structures that continue to victimize survivors.
Jean shared some of the staggering statistics regarding human trafficking which shocked many of us. Some of those statistics are:
There are 30 million slaves in the world today, more than at any time in our history.
Nearly half of the victims are children.
Eighty percent (80%) of the victims in the sex industry are female; more than 50% of them are children.
Between 100,000 and 300,000 American children are involved in or are at risk of being trafficked into the sex industry according to the FBI.
It is estimated that over 1,000 Ohio-born children become victims each year, with thousands more at risk.
Human trafficking occurs in Youngstown and Warren. It is everywhere.
Human trafficking is a $32b business. It is the second largest criminal activity in the world and is expected to overtake drugs as number one within the next five years. Drugs can be sold and used only once; a human being can be sold and used many times.
The average age of a victim in sex trafficking is 11.
Jean also said that while human trafficking involves the sex trade, there are other forms of human trafficking such as labor trafficking. Victims of trafficking can be found in the commercial sex trade, domestic situations (nannies or servants), factories, construction, farming/landscaping, fisheries, hotels/tourist industries, panhandling, janitorial services, and restaurant services.
The first step in being able to help victims of human trafficking is understanding the mindset of those victimized. Many do not speak English and do not understand our culture. Some are not even aware of what city or country they are in as they are forced to move often. Many others do not even realize that what is happening to them is wrong.
Jean went on to talk about some of NEOCORR’s successes in working with legislators and law enforcement officials to help put a stop to human trafficking here. She also distributed information on how individuals can get involved in NEOCORR and/or help survivors.
For those wishing to obtain more information, they can reach Jean at NEOCORR2@gmail.com or at 330-967-0659.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Apr 03, 2013
This week our speaker was Ken Kramp who joined us to talk about his very personal battle with cancer and to encourage us to support efforts to eliminate the disease.
Ken works at Diane Sauer Chevrolet and has been an active participant in the Warren Relay for Life. He does so as a means to increase support for the American Cancer Society and thank all those who supported him as he battled the disease.
For Ken, his journey began in July 1998 when he was diagnosed with a Ewing Sarcoma involving his upper left thigh. His doctors told him how the tumor had grown to the size of a grapefruit in a very short time and how serious the situation was. The doctors’ goal was to give him as much time to live as possible. He had a 10-hour operation in December 1998 where his leg was amputated. After being home for eight weeks, he returned to the hospital to be fitted for his first prosthetic leg. He then underwent several weeks of rehabilitation and then started chemotherapy.
He eventually returned to play golf and attend Kent State University. For two years he continued to attend school and live life as a cancer survivor. Then he received news that a mass was found in his lower left lung leading to four different surgeries over three years. He also had chemotherapy treatments, all of which led to complications. In 1994, he had his last surgery and met the woman who would become his wife.
He has since married, graduated from Kent State University, and had two children. He said this is why he is so committed to supporting the American Cancer Society through the Warren Relay. Every day, the ACS helps people take steps to reduce their risk of cancer or find it early when it is the easiest to treat. He went on to say that the organization provides free information and services and has invested in groundbreaking research to find, prevent, treat and cure cancer.
The most striking impression we had of Ken was his overwhelmingly positive attitude despite the many challenges he has faced. Much of this can be attributed to his faith and the support he received from his family, friends and caregivers. Ken’s personal journey through cancer has lasted 25 years, but his hope and belief in a cure for cancer has far outlasted the disease.
He encouraged everyone to either establish a Relay team or support one. He went on to say that Relay is more than just a fund raising event. It is a celebration for all those who have survived the disease. He can be reached at 330-373-1600 for information on how to help.
Those wishing to learn more about Ken can go to http://main.acsevents.org/goto/kenkramp. Our thanks go to Ken for joining us this week and for being such an inspiration.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Mar 27, 2013
This week, our speaker was none other than our own Dallas Woodall. For those who do not know him very well, Dallas is a partner in the law firm Letson, Griffith, Woodall, Lavelle and Rosenburg. He has been extremely active in Rotary and has served as Club President and District Governor, and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and benefactor.
Dallas began by talking about some of the charitable activities and events that our Rotary Club conducts each year and saying that Rotary International takes those same kinds of activities and raises them to an all new level worldwide. He also said that there are many service organizations like Rotary, but what sets Rotary apart is the Foundation. He believes it is the Foundation that has enabled Rotary to maintain its membership while other organizations have lost members.
Polio Plus has been a major focus of Rotary for decades. In 1985, Rotary established a goal of raising $125m toward the eradication of polio. Today, more than $250m has been raised enabling us to also receive matching funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Today, polio is no longer a risk for children in the Western Hemisphere. We can all be proud to be a part of an organization that is wiping this disease off the planet, one child at a time.
The RI Foundation also supports the GSE Team and its activities each year. This is more than just a cultural exchange between countries. It goes to the very foundation of Rotary—building peace and understanding—among nations. Dallas shared some of his personal stories involving some former GSE Team members and how those friendships have been sustained over many years.
He went on to talk about some of the projects undertaken in countries that do not have drinkable water. We take our immediate availability of clean water for granted here. But in many underdeveloped countries, people have to walk for miles just to draw water that is safe for drinking.
All the contributions we give to the Rotary International Foundation go to support these life-changing programs around the world. Dallas said that Warren and Canfield Rotaries are two of the largest clubs in the District. However, Canfield Rotarians give more than twice the amount of Warren Rotarians. He is encouraged to see, however, that this year more of our members are giving to EREY (Every Rotarian Every Year) and hopes to see this trend continue.
Dallas also educated members on how the RI Foundation functions and said that it is without question the most efficient foundation in the world. He reminded us that it costs $33 to provide artificial limbs to those who have lost their legs through a variety of means. For our $100 per year, we can enable three people regain the ability to walk.
He concluded by telling all of us that there are a variety of ways to give to the Foundation—cash, check, credit card, donation of appreciated stock, life insurance, and IRAs. For more specific information, members can contact Dallas who will assist them in making their donations. All funds given to the RI Foundation are recorded in the Rotarians name and the funds can accumulate, ultimately enabling them to become Paul Harris Fellows.
We thank Dallas for sharing this information and reminding us that being a Warren Rotarian is being part of a worldwide family of people whose purpose is to make the world a better place for everyone.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Apr 03, 2013
This year’s Rotary theme is Peace Through Service. Many of our members actively volunteer and participate in community service projects. This section of our bulletin is designed to inform our community not only about the important events going on but the ways in which our Rotarians achieve Peace Through Service.
April 20 – Semi Annual Blood Analysis will be held at SCOPE in Warren from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Cost is $36. Thyroid testing will also be available for an additional charge of $24 for those wishing to have this test. Appointments are not necessary.
May 1 – Rotary’s Annual Rose Sale takes place today! Place orders on May 1 for delivery on May 8. Late orders can be placed on May 8 for pick up at Berk Enterprises on May 10. Roses are $15 per dozen and are available in assorted colors. All net proceeds benefit the Warren Rotary Foundation.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Mar 13, 2013
Foundation President Bob Hoy had the pleasure this week of presenting two donation checks to two deserving organizations. The first was to Danette Palmer for Homes for Kids in the amount of $200 for the purchase of therapeutic tools which will be used to help their children, some of whom are autistic.
The second donation was for the YWCA of Warren in the amount of $20,000. Executive Director Shari Harrell was on hand to accept the check which will be used toward the construction of the housing unit that will be built on site of the old Wean pool. The YWCA was able to receive funding through various sources including federal grants for the construction. However, the funds are primarily given on a reimbursement basis, making it necessary to obtain a construction loan to provide gap funding through the final phase of the project. Proceeds from Warren Rotary’s last two Chocolate Festivals have made the gift to the YWCA possible. The proceeds from our 2013 event will enable us to complete our full $30,000 commitment to the organization.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Mar 13, 2013
Warren Rotarians were delighted to welcome Mike Notar, Superintendent of Warren City Schools, to our meeting this week. Needless to say, the past week had been a difficult one for him and his teachers as they tried to support their children following the tragic death of several of their students in a vehicle accident. For those of us who have heard Mr. Notar speak before, it was apparent that the last few days have been sobering for everyone in the school system.
He talked with members for a time about what the school is doing to meet the emotional needs of children as they and the adults deal with their feelings surrounding the tragedy. He complimented Valley Counseling Service and other school districts for sending counselors to help the students. He asks that the community not judge those involved in the accident or their families, but instead support them as they go through this very difficult time.
Mike then told everyone how proud he was to be the Superintendent of Warren Schools. He said his students are beautifully behaved, the buildings are a wonderful learning environment for all the children, and teachers and administrators work very hard to provide an excellent education for all students.
The School District’s mission is to create a culture of education to guarantee the success of every student and his or her ability to learn at high levels in accordance with state standards. He explained that he is absolutely committed to making sure that failure is NOT an option for any student. He said the school district has six basic principles for making student success the only option and they are:
- Common Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals
- Ensuring Achievement for All Students – Systems for Prevention and Intervention
- Collaborative Teaming Focused on Teaching for Learning
- Data-Based Decision Making for Continuous Improvement
- Gaining Active Engagement from Family and Community
- Building Sustainable Leadership Capacity
Mike was born and raised in Trumbull County, graduating from Brookfield Local Schools. He is the first local candidate to be hired as Superintendent. This, he believes, strengthens his resolve to make Warren City Schools one of the finest Districts and its students given the best opportunities for success.
He went on to say that for the first time in 10 years the District went from the Academic Emergency designation to the Continuous Improvement designation. He is very proud of the schools efforts and has even been approached by leaders in Washington, DC about what has been done locally to result in such dramatic improvements.
He talked about the Read 180 program designed to assist freshmen who have a below average reading level improve their skills so that they reach the at/above level. Reading is critical to any student succeeding and through federal funding the school has hired two reading teachers to assist those who are struggling.
He also said that going forward the school hopes to have dual credit courses for students looking to attend college. These dual credit courses will enable student to graduate and actually enter college at the sophomore level.
It was apparent to all in attendance that Mr. Notar loves being Superintendent of Warren Schools and truly cares about the students in the school system. He invited any Rotarian who would like a tour to stop in at his office and he would personally escort them through the buildings. For those wishing to learn more about the Warren School District and/or how to reach Mr. Notar, they can log on to www.warrenschools.k12.oh.us.
Our sincere thanks to Mike Notar for joining us this week. We wish him and his teachers much success in meeting their goals and providing a superior level of education to Warren City students.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Mar 06, 2013
Anthony Urankar, Deputy Director of ODOT District 4, joined Rotarians today to update us about changes taking place within ODOT and inform us about upcoming road projects in our area.
District 4 includes Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Summit, Stark and Portage Counties. Its mission is to provide easy movement of people and goods from place to place by taking care of what they have, making their system work better, improving safety, and enhancing capacity.
Statewide, steps have been taken to increase efficiency and reduce operating costs. Through the steps taken, more funds have been made available for projects around the State. More than 400 positions were eliminated through attrition saving approximately $34m. The bid process was changed for the acquisition of salt saving approximately $17m. And, the small vehicle fleet will be reduced by 40% in time.
Tony also informed members that there are 19 projects that will be undertaken in Trumbull County this year at a total cost of $72m. Those projects include resurfacing, bridge replacements, culvert replacements, and safety improvements. Some of those projects include I-80 resurfacing, US 422 bridge replacement, replacement of the bridge at SR 46 and 169 in Niles, resurfacing of SR 82, replacement of the bridge on I-80 over Mt. Everett Road, and replacement of the Olive Street bridge in Niles.
Individuals can learn more about ODOT projects at www.dot.state.oh.us. ODOT District 4 can also be followed on Facebook at ODOTD4 and Twitter at ODOT_Akron.
It was exciting to learn about projects that will be undertaken in our area over the coming year or so. We thank Tony and Justin Chesnic, Public Information Officer for District 4, for joining us today and sharing such important information.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Feb 27, 2013
Shirley Lisk, Manager of St. Joe’s at the Mall, was our speaker this week and shared information on the programs and services offered to our community.
St. Joe’s at the Mall is located near Sears and it has been in that location for approximately seven years. Its goals are disease management and prevention. While treatments are not given by those at the Mall, they work closely with providers so that if screenings show results that require treatment, they share the results with physicians or provide referrals for those who do not have a physician.
Many of the programs offered focus on education and lifestyle changes. For those with diabetes, for example, this is particularly important as certain foods can negatively impact medications they take to manage the disease. They also have Pharmacists available to meet with individuals to review their medications and learn about food interactions.
A monthly schedule is published with the various programs offered, many of which are free. Businesses were encouraged to contact Shirley if they would like to be added to the mailing list.
Shirley went on to talk about some of the special programs in March such as Colorectal Screening and Lab Express where certain blood tests are done for $35. Every other month, there is a price rollback and some tests are as inexpensive as $10 to $15.
The aerobics program is growing so much that they are hoping to lease additional space once funding is in place. Businesses and individuals can help St. Joe’s at the Mall by spreading the word about their programs.
The facility receives its funding from St. Joseph’s Hospital, Humility of Mary Health Partners, and grants. For those wishing to get on the mailing list or obtain additional information on specific programs, they can contact Shirley at 330-652-7542 or Shirley_lisk@hmis.org.
We thank Shirley for joining us and providing us with valuable and, in some cases, potentially lifesaving information.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Feb 20, 2013
Our speaker this week was Julia Wetstein who spoke on the efforts to bring Rotary to Cuba. Julia was a Rotarian in Carbondale, Illinois, served as President of her Club in 2010, is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, and is a former member of the GSE Team. Julia recently moved to our area when her husband had a business transfer. Carbondale’s loss was surely our gain.
Julia worked at Southern Illinois University and many of her club’s Rotarians were also university staff. As part of their work, many members had traveled to Cuba on educational or humanitarian trips. She explained that Rotary was in Cuba from 1917 until the revolution when it ceased to exist.
Because of her club’s frequent trips to that country and RI’s lack of progress in getting Rotary re-established there, she knew that a new approach would be needed in order to successfully reintroduce it to that country. As the course of her research progressed, she learned that Cuba would frequently send doctors into other countries to provide medical care and complex surgeries. Julia’s own club would often work with the country of Belize to bring children who needed orthopedic surgeries to the Chicago area for their operations. Her club, after much effort, gained permission to go to Cuba and met with a prominent physician, Dr. Cambras, to discuss providing surgeries for these children in Cuba.
The road was a long and complex one requiring many trips back and forth to Cuba. Julia told members about being invited by Dr. Cambras to attend the Orthopedia 2010 Conference in Santa Clara where her group went to share information about Rotary and its project to provide medical care to the children of Belize. Members of the Rotary team were warmly received, particularly after they presented a Paul Harris Fellow to Dr. Cambras who was a hero to many in that country.
Dr. Cambras later traveled to Chicago where he visited Shriner’s Hospital and met with the members of the Rotary Club of Carbondale. In his speech to the membership, he spoke about how he was going to return to Cuba and tell his countrymen that Rotary needs to be in Cuba again.
The presentation reminded all of us about the power of Rotary for doing good in the world and made us all very proud to be Rotarians. We offer our sincere thanks to Julia for joining us and reminding us of what can be accomplished for the betterment of the world through Rotary.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Feb 13, 2013
We were delighted this week to present a donation to SCOPE of Trumbull County for its food basket program for needy elderly individuals. Bob Hoy, President of the Rotary Foundation Board, presented the check to Genevieve Bauman, President of the SCOPE board.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Feb 13, 2013
Karen Conklin, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley, was our guest speaker on February 13th. Karen is a graduate of Youngstown State University and has worked in the non-profit field for many years.
Karen explained that the local Red Cross is now a merged chapter consisting of the former Trumbull and Mahoning Chapters. The merger was completed in 2010 and is doing well and always in need of volunteers.
She spoke about the chapter’s response to recent house fires, the last three caused by the combination of oxygen usage and smoking.
She also talked about the organization’s Service to the Armed Forces program and expressed her continued amazement at how much the Red Cross does to support the military. Karen told Rotarians that when a military member is deployed, an emergency card is completed and retained at the Red Cross for use when an emergency occurs. More than 600 military messages were sent last year on behalf of local families to their loved ones in the service. The chapter has always served the needs of those at the Vienna Air Base, but now has responsibility as well for the station in Ravenna.
She went on to explain how important it is to assist families to adjust to being together again after being separated for so long due to deployments. The Red Cross offers a reintegration program for local military families to help them make successful adjustments.
The Red Cross’s Therapy Dog program is one of very few in the United States and she explained how Gus (a golden doodle) provides comfort to those who have been affected by disaster. The local chapter continues to respond not only locally when disasters strike but also when they occur nationwide. Karen said that a local team of volunteers was just deployed to the disaster areas in the South.
The chapter has a budget of approximately $500,000 and does not accept government funding to carry out its work. The back office functions of the chapter are carried out by the Greater Cleveland Red Cross enabling the chapter to use more of its own dollars for direct service.
The chapter also does International Tracing for Holocaust victims and their families, provides Health and Safety training, and conducts blood drawings throughout the community. Signing up for a safety class is handled online. Those interested in holding a blood drive at their business, church, or organization can either contact Karen or Christinia Gargas.
She concluded by asking for Rotary’s help in identifying nominees for their Acts of Courage awards which will be given on June 14th at Powers Auditorium.
For those wishing more information on how to volunteer, donate money, sign up for a class, donate blood or nominate someone for the Acts of Courage award, they can log on to the Red Cross website at http://redcross.org/oh/warren or by calling Karen at 330-392-2551.
Karen is married to Gary Offerdahl and they have a blended family of seven children. She also serves as the only female Wrestling Referee in the State of Ohio and has done so for approximately 12 years.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Feb 06, 2013
Because of a scheduling issue, we changed up what we did for speakers this week. Two of our new members filled in by talking about what they do so we could learn more about their businesses.
Reggie Rooks was first to talk about his business, Disaster Recovery Services. He started his business in 1986 out of his own home. Today, he has two buildings with a total of 17,000 square feet of space on McMylar Road. Their focus is fire, water, and disaster clean up. He does a great deal of business with insurance companies and responds when something happens that damages homes or businesses.
His employees are on 24-hour call and were called to respond to the fire in Champion a few days ago and two fires just today. In addition, he also does some mold remediation.
When asked about how he got started, he replied that about 25 years ago he managed apartment buildings and found how poorly some companies did in cleaning up after disasters. He knew he could do a better job and over time proved just how right he was. He slowly purchased equipment and acquired the space to house it. Now, his business is one of the most trusted in our area.
Reggie also believes in giving back to the community and uses his “cooker” to feed participants at community events. We are well acquainted with his skill in this area since he provided the pulled pork sandwiches at last year’s Chocolate Festival---a huge hit, by the way.
Marilyn Pape then talked about her job at Trumbull County Children’s Services (CSB). She said she has worked there for 28 years, initially starting out as a caseworker. She is now a department manager.
She explained that CSB is mandated by law to respond to reports of neglect, abuse or dependency affecting children. She stressed that reports can be made by anyone and they are anonymous. When a report of abuse is received, the child(ren) is interviewed along with family members and others to determine if there is cause for action. The information gathered is reviewed by a team of people and if the decision is made to open the case, it is then referred to the CSB department that will work with the child and the family.
Currently, CSB has 24 children with mild to severe emotional problems and 75 children in foster homes. There are 123 children in temporary custody, 27 in permanent custody, and 15 who need adoptive homes. Homes for teens are especially needed.
When questioned about the requirements to become a foster parent, she responded: Individuals must be at least 18 years of age, complete training for becoming a foster parent, pass a criminal background check, pass a psychological evaluation, and have sufficient income so that they are not dependent on the boarding care funds given by CSB for the foster child.
Marilyn has three children of her own, ages 18, 16, and 9. She and her husband and children live in West Middlesex, PA.
We thank both Reggie and Marilyn for filling in for our speaker this week and for doing such a great job. We enjoyed learning more about both of them.
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