Our next District Governor is Shafi Parekh

Born in India to a father who was a businessman and Charter member of the Rotary Club, migrated to Pakistan with his family in 1947, schooled in England, came back and joined his family dairy and foods manufacturing company and joined Rotary in 1972. His wife, their son, and he moved West, in 1974 after running two milk plants for the US Navy, one in Cuba and Puerto Rico. They had another son and moved to Michigan working for General Mills making Yoplait Yogurt. Joined a Rotary Club in Michigan. From there to Dallas, Texas and another Rotary Club where he was President in 1990, board member and president of a local theater as well as serving on the boards of University of Texas Center for Translation Studies, and Center for Sower Learners. Here they were very involved in Youth Exchange and Group Study Exchange

He took an early retirement in 2003 and moved back to Pakistan where he and his wife Marjan lived for 5 years. Shafi joined another club in Karachi and served as president, district trainer, and district secretary. During his 5 years, his club was involved in over 20 Matching Grants, mostly as Host Club, digging tube wells, rebuilding a village of 126 homes destroyed by an earthquake, providing solar lamps for village homes, providing oncology diagnostics equipment for pediatric oncology hospital, went to Italy for fundraising for a Global Grant to buy brain surgery equipment for the same hospital.

Shafi and Marjan moved to Raleigh in 2008 after their son, Murtaza, joined a group gastroenterology practice, and their daughter-in-law, Donna Edwards, joined Wake Med as a Hospitalist.

Their younger son is an attorney with a firm in San Diego, California.

His passion is to serve and support the membership and the clubs. His focus during his tenure as District Governor is poverty alleviation through enhancing literacy, mainly female literacy which, he says, will be critical to sustaining the advances in Polio eradication, especially in Pakistan so as to prevent resurgence of Polio. He would like to support RI President Ian Riseley in his 1.2 million tree planting initiative worldwide to offset Carbon Emission as service to our future generations and our planet.

Take-a-Kid to the Ballgame

Get your club members and community kids ready for a fun day at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. For many underprivileged children this event is a real highlight of the summer and leaves a real positive impression of Rotary.

Durham Bulls vs. Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Gates Open at 4:00 p.m. and Game Time is 5:00 p.m.

The $30 per person ticket includes admission to the game, picnic lunch and a Durham Bulls baseball hat.

Ticket requests and checks (made payable to The Durham Bulls) are due to Xavier Wortham, of the Oxford club, by July 28, 2017. If you have any questions about the event, contact Xavier at 919-690-2750 or xavierlw@aol.com.

SASSY Way of Tracking Volunteer Hours for Your Club

Are you looking for an easy way to track volunteer hours that doesn’t involve spreadsheets or other manual methods? I’d like to share how our club has been handling this over the past year.

Your first question may be, why did we start tracking hours? A few years ago we decided that service teams would create opportunities for members to work in smaller groups and build deeper relationships, so we created “SASSY” teams.

S.A.S.S.Y.” stands for Service Above Self Serving Youth. Each member of our club is randomly selected to be on a SASSY team. This past year, we thought we’d add some friendly competition and started tracking our hours using the app called Track It Forward. By using Track it Forward, each Rotarian can easily log hours for each service project. We can run reports by individual or by SASSY team.

On the Track It Forward website, I entered the service projects that were planned for the year and set up the SASSY teams so that the members could easily select these from a drop-down menu and we’d have consistency in reporting. I also entered each member and their email address to help the transition. The website has a companion app that can be downloaded on your phone. Members can quickly log the date, hours, activity and SASSY team.

Anyone can download this app from the App Store or Google Play. Just search for “Track it Forward” or “Volunteer Time Tracking”.

At our quarterly club assemblies, we recognize the member that has the most service hours as well as the SASSY team that had all of its members participate in a service project. We award them with a certificate and Paul Harris points. It’s an easy way to highlight the importance of participating in service projects and recognizing the individuals and teams that do.

As we begin a new Rotary year with a new Presidential Citation that requires the reporting of hours, consider using Track it Forward and make it fun!

East Chapel Hill Rotary: Doing Something Amazing

In the summer of 2014, DG Matthew Kane chose Alzheimer’s Disease as the project for his year in office. When he visited the East Chapel Hill Rotary Club, he began his speech with three words:  “Do something amazing.”   Little could he have imagined that his challenge sparked an initiative that has made Orange County a national leader in the effort to help people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

East Chapel Hill member, Lorenzo Mejia, owner of Acorn Home Care Services, is a Dementia Care Specialist and board member on his county Department on Aging. He saw an opportunity to combine county resources with Rotary’s passion for service and contacts with the business community. Dementia Friendly Orange County, www.DFOC.org, was born.

Conducted in partnership with the Orange County Department on Aging, DFOC is an effort to train local businesses about dementia. Employees go through an awareness training that takes about 90 minutes. They learn what dementia is and how to recognize it in their customers. They learn various ways they can make themselves more accommodating to people with dementia.

Orange County is the first community in North Carolina, and one of the first nationally, to have a Dementia Friendly training program. Funding for the effort has been provided by East Chapel Hill Rotary Club. Additional funding has been generously given by Chapel Hill’s Sunrise Rotary Club.

To date, DFOC has approximately 60 organizations, spanning private and public sectors and for and non-profit.

Habitat for Humanity & Build-A-Block

Rotarians from District 7710 helped support Habitat for Humanity of Wake County as part of Build-A-Block, a collaboration among the Habitat Campus Chapter at NC State University, corporate and community partners, Habitat Wake, and home buyers to build 11 safe, affordable townhomes on Lake Wheeler Road in Raleigh. This project is the largest partnership in the country between a campus chapter and a Habitat affiliate.

The 11 homes are being built in partnership with hardworking, low-income families who have contributed 200 sweat equity hours building their homes, contributed $1,700 to closing costs and will pay an affordable mortgage, which totals no more than 30 percent of their income.

Construction began in September 2016 with the first 5 families moving in to their homes in early 2017. Construction on the final 6 units will be complete in June with their families moving in very soon.

The project benefited from support from Rotarians in several ways including West Raleigh Rotarian, Mike Giancola, serving as the co-chair for the project along with student Sarah Paluskiewicz. The Rotary Club of West Raleigh was a Nickel Hammer sponsor and the North Raleigh Rotary Club helped support lunch for the volunteers on the worksite. Our Youth Exchange students, along with their host families, and members of their host clubs volunteered on the worksite in February.

To learn more about the historic project and make a donation to help push it across the finish line, visit go.ncsu.edu/buildablock

Howard Selected As District Governor For 2019-20

With great pleasure, I announce that the 2016-17 District Nominating Committee has selected Marie Howard from The Rotary Club of Kerr Tar Region to be the District Governor in 2019-20.

After receiving a B.S. in Clinical Dietetics from Michigan State University, Marie served four years in the U.S. Army as an Army Medical Specialist Corps Officer, attaining the rank of Captain.  She also earned a M.S. in Clinical Nutrition from Finch University/Chicago Medical School.  After returning to civilian life, she worked in the medical nutritional, medical equipment, and biotechnology fields developing her skills in field sales, international training, and global market management.  Her impressive skills and business experience with Nestle Clinical Nutrition in Vevey, Switzerland will position her to be very successful in leading our District to meet its goals and strategic objectives.

After completing a very successful corporate career, she joined The Rotary Club of Oxford in 2011.  The same year, she founded a nutritional consulting business as a way to “pay it forward” to the community for her successful career and life.  Since joining Rotary, she has served two terms as President of The Rotary Club of Oxford and is now serving as the President of the recently formed Rotary Club of The Kerr Tar Region.  Marie has served as Assistant Governor for Area 1 since 2015.  Currently, she serves at the District level as Club Extension Chair and is a graduate of and facilitator for The Rotary Leadership Institute.  She and her husband, David, have hosted two Rotary Fellows and their families.  They are active supporters of The Rotary Foundation as Level 2 Major Donors and Level 6 Bequest Society Members.

Marie will be a great asset to the District Leadership Team in continuing the strategic advancement of our District.  Please extend your congratulations to Marie.

I offer my thanks to the District Nominating Committee, led by Chairman, IPDG Newman Aguiar, for their service in selecting a talented leader who will continue a tradition of dedicated service to the Rotarians of District 7710.
Yours in Rotary Service,

Rusine Mitchell Sinclair
District Governor

Take a Kid to the Ballgame

At the Take-A-Kid to the Ballgame at the Durham Bulls Park, the Bulls played the Gwinnett Braves and, unfortunately, lost 5-2. While the Bulls lost, the winners were the many children who were treated to an evening of food, fun, and friendship by a large number of Rotarians around our district.

kids2 kids3

District 7710 Best Club

One of the most prestigious awards in the District is being awarded the Best Club in the District. This year the honor went to the Research Triangle Park club.

Over the past year, under the leadership of President Andrew Kerr the club has been transformed. Last year, there was consideration of folding the club, but since then the club has seen a 100% increase in enrollment, become very involved in service projects and has become a lot more visible in the community.

CONGRATULATIONS to the Research Triangle Park Club.

12 Things that Transformed the RTP Club

Andrew Kerr shared with those at the Convention the 12 things he attributes to the club’s transformation.

  • Leadership
  • Think Differently
  • Reframed to “Reboot”
  • The Why or The Compelling Vision of the Future
  • Strategic Plan
  • Constant Course Correction
  • Get Great Speakers
  • Membership Process – Attract & Recruit
  • Membership Tiers
  • Change the Meeting
  • Be Seen
  • Be Easy to Find

Young Professionals Summit

On June 10-11, we will be having a summit for young Rotarians and Rotaractors. This Zone 33/34 Young Professionals Summit, first of its kind on the East coast, will be held on the campus of Georgia Tech. Our hope is to have each of our twenty nine districts represented by up to three young professionals and a senior district leader.  Encourage the (YPs) in your districts to apply online, and please hurry as time is running out for registration. A video is to accompany the online registration, and that video will be used to select the three YP representatives from any given district, in the event there are more than three submissions.   For details, visit: www.southlandyps.org

Each district will also be represented by a District Leader. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Clements, Chair of the Summit, at ryan.clements@acicms.com