Zimbabwe Eye Project     

Life in Zimbabwe, where more people have HIV than full-time jobs, would hardly be recognizable to many in the towns and suburbs of North Carolina Rotary District 7710.

But the Morrisville Rotary Club is trying to connect the two. A former native of Zimbabwe, Keith Holshausen is spearheading the Morrisville Rotary Club’s push to raise money for a medical project that serves the impoverished country in southern Africa.

“Those people are very marginalized,” Holshausen said. “So if we don’t help them, who will?”

The Morrisville Rotary Club is partnering with the Rotary Club of Victoria Falls, where Holshausen has contacts from his travel business.

The clubs hope to raise funding in time for the Zimbabwe Eye Project trip, in July 2015.

“We’re expecting to see 1,000 to 2,000 patients,” Holshausen said. “It’s quite a substantial project.”

The team of six will include five doctors from the USA. Volunteers will assist as they dispense thousands of pairs of donated glasses and give vitamin A supplements to children.

“There are tremendous vitamin A deficiencies (VAD) there, and the children get corneal scars and go blind,” Holshausen said which is a humanitarian concern with a huge socioeconomic impact too.

The high education rate in Zimbabwe does give him hope, he said, for another goal of the medical project – to train local doctors and nurses so the country’s medical needs aren’t as reliant on Western charity and the project can meet Rotary’s goals of sustainability.

Zimbabwe Eye Project: OBJECTIVES

  • To work towards eradication of diseases, such as preventable blindness, that devastates families
  • To partner with Zimbabwean doctors and nurses in the training of medical personnel to improve the treatment of eye diseases and to provide basic training for the dispensing of eye glasses.

To learn more about the Morrisville Rotary Club go to www.morrisville.rotary-clubs.org or email Rotarian Keith Holshausen at keith@lazylizardtravel.com  (Credit to Cary News for extracts from a recent interview).

Christmas with Crabtree Rotary

The photos are from Holiday Express, Crabtree Rotary’s major annual fundraiser, sponsored jointly with the City of Raleigh’s Parks & Recreation Department at PullenPark.

Event dates this year were Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 7-11. It was a sold-out event from the moment Parks & Rec put an announcement on their web page in July. Held from 4-9 pm on selected dates, the park became a holiday wonderland of lights and entertainment for thousands of young children and their families.  Activities included rides on the train and carrousel, a visit with Santa, arts and crafts, a swift ride down a “snowy” hill and games.

Monies raised from sponsorships and ticket sales go to the Crabtree Rotary Foundation.  This is the third year that the Foundation will make a significant donation to the Ronald McDonald Houses of North Carolina, an amount to be determined when final accounting is completed.

Old Dominion Rotary Golf Tournament raises $18,768 for Boys & Girls Home

A steady rain fell over the course as the participants completed the final holes of the 2016 Old Dominion Rotary Golf Tournament at Mid Pines Inn and Golf Club earlier this month, but it did not dampen the spirits of the fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina (B&GH).

bghome2The annual event led by Old Dominion Freight Line and Rotary clubs from throughout the state raised $18,768 to support B&GH. This event has raised more than $163,000 over 11 years.

Located in Lake Waccamaw, the non-profit agency is committed to providing a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. B&GH offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, as well as residential care on the Lake Waccamaw campus.

“What was done today helps some of the most deserving children we have ever served,” said B&GH President Gary Faircloth. “We are currently serving 230 children through foster care, traditional residential care, and the school located on our campus.”

Since opening in 1954, B&GH has helped nearly 5,000 children break the cycle of neglect and abuse.

“You can never make a better investment than that in the life of a child,” said Old Dominion Freight Line representative Chip Overby during the event’s closing reception. “When I think about this tournament and these children that we are serving I am reminded of the story of Mr. Harris.”

bghome3Overby shared that Mr. Harris worked on a 5000-piece puzzle gifted to him for seven years. As the puzzle work neared the end, the realization hit that one of the pieces was missing so it could not be completed. The puzzle was no longer being produced so the company could not send a replacement piece. The local newspaper learned the story and helped rally the community to pay for the single piece to be produced so the puzzle could be finished.

“That is what you are doing participating in this tournament,” Overby said. “You are completing the puzzle.”

Boys and Girls Homes provides an array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. The campus features a  public charter school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life.

More about the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina

We will continue the traditional events for this Rotary Year:

The Summer Enrichment Program:  This is a summer, four week program allowing four to six girls and boys to visit the Raleigh/Cary area to experience living outside the Boys & Girls Home before they leave.  The girls stay for two weeks, then the boys come for two weeks.  Thanks to the Cary Rotary Clubs for their sponsorship and leadership with this experience for the residents.

The Annual Rotary Day:  This is an annual event held on the campus every year on the second Sunday, which this year is February 12, 2017. This annual event starts with a church service at 11:00 AM, followed with a lunch. After lunch, there will be a short program from the Boys & Girls Home, then each club will have an opportunity to present contributions to the BGH.  After the program, we will visit the Rotary Cottage hosted by the current residents.

12th Annual Old Dominion Rotary Golf Tournament:  This is a state wide tournament sponsored by Old Dominion Trucking Company with all proceeds going to BGHNC.  This year’s date is June 5, 2017 in Pinehurst.  PDG Charlie Hatch will coordinate this event for the district.  More information will follow.

Our goal this year is to increase the District 7710’s contribution by $10,000.  Thanks to 7710 Rotarians for over 50 years of supporting the Rotary Cottage and BGHNC.

Apex Sunrise’s 5th Annual Peak City Pig Fest Raises $60k for Charity

Event Draws 30,000 people, 48 cook teams to Apex

pigfest1The Apex Sunrise Rotary Club is proud to announce that the 2016 Bone Suckin’ Sauce Peak City Pig Fest, held July 17-18 in Historic Downtown Apex, was its most successful ever. The KCBS-Sanctioned BBQ competition drew a crowd of 30,000 and 48 BBQ cook teams from across the United States. As a result, the Apex Sunrise Rotary Club raised more than $60,000 for area charities, as well as Rotary-sponsored causes. District Governor Rusine Sinclair attended the event. This year’s Grand Champion team was McAdoo Heights BBQ from Greensboro, NC.

Because of the success of this year’s event, the Apex Sunrise Rotary Foundation has been able to donate $15,000 to Western Wake Crisis Ministry of Apex. The foundation also supports other area charities including NC Victims Assistance Network ($3,500), the Miracle League of the Triangle ($3,500), US Veterans Corps ($5,000), Apex High School Interact Club and the West Virginia Flood Victims Rotary disaster relief effort.

“In its short six year history, the Apex Sunrise Rotary Club has been able to make a tremendous impact in our community thanks to events such as the Peak City Pig Fest,” said club president Tom Haynie.  “Thanks to the leadership of last year’s president Lisa Higginbotham, our club is set to have another successful year. We are so proud that our club can support so many area charities as a result.”

The Peak City Pig Fest was proclaimed a State Championship by Governor Pat McCrory. That means the Grand Champion qualifies for the American Royal Invitational in Kansas City and has a chance to compete in the Jack Daniels International representing the entire state.  This year it is also a qualifying event for the World Food Championships.

About the Peak City Pig Fest

The Peak City Pig Fest is the Triangle’s only KCBS-sanctioned barbecue competition.  The KCBS is the nation’s largest sanctioning body with more than 400 contests each year. It has been ranked as one of the top 10 barbecue competitions in the country.  Held annually in Historic Downtown Apex, the Peak City Pig Fest features 48 cook teams from around the country competing in four food categories:  chicken, pork ribs, beef brisket and pork barbecue.  The teams compete for their share of prize money totaling more than $13,000.  For more information, visit www.peakcitypigfest.com.

5th Annual Global Run 4 Water

runforwaterSun. Sept 25, 2016 – 4:00 p.m.
WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary

The event includes a 5 km run/walk and a 1 mile water carry challenge. Over $40,000 has been raised over the last five years, which has been used to support clean water projects in Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Lebanon, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda and Flint. Michigan, USA.

Clubs are encouraged to support the event by being a sponsor of at least $100.

To have a presentation on the program contact Scott Rossi at scott@mediscribe.com or by going to the website http://www.rotarydistrict7710rotaryglobalrun4water.com/

North Raleigh Rotary wins with second Casino Night

Flush from the success of its second annual Casino Night fund-raiser, the Rotary Club of North Raleigh bet it would top last year’s attendance and it won that wager handily.

“Judging by increased attendance, the abundance of smiling faces and positive feedback, it’s apparent a great time was had by all,” said Casino Night chairman Scott Tarkenton, who will be the next club president.

“I look forward to becoming president of the Rotary Club of North Raleigh and hosting my club’s 3rd Annual Casino Night in April 2017,” Tarkenton said.

Held on April 9 at the North Carolina State University Club, this year’s event featured 14 gaming tables offering blackjack, craps, Texas hold ‘em and roulette. Elvis impersonator Billy “E” Thomas chatted with guests and sang popular Presley hits. Heavy hors d’oeuvres were served and a silent auction, coupled with a raffle, added to the bottom line.

All proceeds directly support Rotary charities, such as the Food Bank of North Carolina, Interfaith Food Shuttle, Triangle Literacy Council, Operation Coming Home, Stop Hunger Now, Lake Waccamaw Boys and Girls Home, Total Life Center, scholarships for high school seniors, and the club’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2017.

Committee members were Jay Williams, Brian Propst, JJ Jolliff, Mike Wienold, Frank Bouknight and Ed Smallwood. Photographs from the evening by Gene Hirsch.