District News

New Leadership for Rotary Clubs in Greater Triangle Area

Rusine Sinclair of Raleigh will be next Rotary District Governor

Rusine Mitchell Sinclair, of Raleigh, will be appointed to the volunteer post of Rotary International district governor for 2016-17. Her installation ceremony and dinner will be held on Wednesday, June 22, 6 p.m. at North Ridge Country Club in Raleigh.

As district governor, Sinclair will coordinate community and international service projects for the 45 Rotary clubs located throughout the greater Triangle area. Her responsibilities will include strengthening existing Rotary clubs through membership growth, member engagement and organizing new clubs. She will also encourage support for The Rotary Foundation as it celebrates its 100 th Anniversary of Doing Good in the World and its final push to eradicate polio.

The outgoing governor for the 2015-16 term is Newman Aguiar, founder and managing partner of an information technology consultancy in Durham and past president of the Durham Rotary Club.

“It’s an honor to serve as district governor during The Rotary Foundation’s 100th anniversary. I’m inspired and hopeful that this will be the year polio is eradicated from the world forever,” Sinclair said. “Rotarians serve humanity in their communities and around the world through projects that demonstrate Service Above Self. I have a wonderful opportunity to increase awareness of Rotary’s contributions during this historical year.”

Sinclair worked 25 years as an executive with the IBM Corporation and made IBM company history in 2005 when she became the first female North Carolina senior state executive, a position through which she represented the company to elected officials, business leaders and the community. After her retirement in August 2007, she served as the chief executive officer of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.

Sinclair was the 2013-2014 president of the Rotary Club of Raleigh on the eve of its 100 th anniversary that was celebrated by a large gift to establish the Rotary Club of Raleigh Dental Clinic, operated by Wake Smiles in the Judy D. Zelnak Center of Hope Salvation Army of Wake County.

Her other community leadership service includes chair of the Wake Education Partnership Board of Trustees, a member of the WakeMed Foundation Board of Trustees and on the executive committee for North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry. She has also served on the Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Council Board of Directors, North Carolina School of Math and Science Foundation Board, Meredith College Business Advisory Board, and University of North Carolina Student Affairs Advisory Board. She is the past chair of the Regional Transportation Alliance and the North Carolina Technology Association. For her service, she received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the State of North Carolina.

District Conference

DC2The Joint 7710 and 7730 District Conference, Wilmington was an excellent event that highlighted the many achievements of Rotary International and especially the numerous activities in our District.

While a lot of people are involved in making the Conference a success, much of the credit goes to the Organizing Committee of Arthur Rogers (Durham), Bill McLaurin (Raleigh) and Joyce McKinney (Southwest Durham).

Ed Shearin (Morrisville) and Rachelle Malit (E-Club) did an excellent job in capturing photos of the various different activities. You can go to the following Flickr link to view the different albums.


Many awards were presented during the three days of the conference, including Presidential Citations, Public Image Citations and the Governor’s Club Awards.

District Governor Newman Aguiar highlighted the nominees and winners for the top awards in a series of videos.

Community Betterment Project

Johnston County Music and Memory
East Chapel Hill Teacher’s Supply Store
Emergency Food Boxes
Durham 100 Acts of Service

MLK Day of Service Meal Packaging Event

Community Betterment Facebook Video

International Project

Dominican Republic Project
Hope Academy Fence Enclosure
Water System Upgrade for Girl’s School
Computers for Kids in Costa Rica

Zimbabwe Eye Project

International Project Facebook Video

Unique Fundraiser

Fostering Bright Futures Golf Tournament
Triangle Oktoberfest
Clayton Shindig
Wake Forest Comedy Night

Angier Festival of Trees
Garner Bling Gala

Unique Fundraiser Facebook Video

District Governor Newman Aguiar did an excellent job creating a video that captured the activities in the District, however more importantly, he indicated the impact locally and internationally.

District 7710 – Doing Good in the World Facebook Video

Other highlights of the conference were:

  • the humorous speeches by Rotary Peace Fellow graduate, Derran Moss and Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Jean Irwin, who left us with a strong impression of the important work that Rotary sponsors
  • the inspirational messages from Rotary International President’s Representative, Elias Thomas
  • in a spirited live auction Marie and David Howard, Oxford, paying $5,200 to The Rotary Foundation for a rare signed End Polio Now banner which included a used polio vaccine vial
  • having the appearance of Sir Walter Raleigh to encourage District 7710 Rotarians to attend the 2017 District Conference in Raleigh on April 7 and 8, 2017
  • hearing young professionals from our District participate in a panel to provide ideas on how to encourage young people to get involved as Rotarians
  • being involved in the service project to clean up and restock the shelves of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, a Wilmington non-profit that feeds the hungry
  • having Barry and Diana Phillips (Hillsborough) recognized for contributing over $1.5 Million to The Rotary Foundation, which is equivalent to 10 million doses of Polio vaccine
  • getting the opportunity to learn from Rotarians in another district on their successful ventures, and

the social times to enjoy the company of fellow Rotarians and their families in beautiful Wilmington

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

District 7710 comes to the aid of Fort McMurray

Wildfires in the Canadian province of Alberta continue to grow furiously leaving in their wake thousands of burned homes, cars and communities. Over 1,000 firefighters are working to bring the blaze under control with the help of helicopters and air tankers. Rotarian Richard McCleery with the Hillsborough Club has extended family living in Canada who are professional fire fighters working to extinguish the blaze.

Rotarians in District 5370 have established a fund to assist in the rebuilding of the city of Fort McMurray after the blaze has been controlled. Our District is collecting contributions from concerned Rotarians and will send a single check on behalf of our District.

Thanks to iPDG Matthew Kane and PDG Rick Carnagua for coordinating this effort.


This year the Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART) awarded five grants totaling $600,000 to researchers.

This is the largest amount of grants that the Fund has awarded.

Rick Carnagua, District CART Chair, went with Rusine Mitchell Sinclair, DG Elect and Shafi Parekh, DG Nominee to the grant ceremony.

At the District Conference, Rick Carnagua awarded the top CART Donating Clubs.

Per Capita Donations
Cary Central      $ 135.99
Lillington           $ 118.30
Cary-Kildaire     $   98.98

Total Giving by Club
Cary-Kildaire     $ 4,850.00
Cary Central      $ 3,807.62
Durham            $ 3,104.08

Child’s Cup Full

A children’s toy brand: creating jobs for talented refugee women artisans in the West Bank

Cayley Pater was RYLA participant at Chapel Hill High School in 2003 and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship finalist through the NC Oxford Rotary Club in 2010. After finishing her Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender Studies at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, she is now the Assistant Director of Child’s Cup Full, a non-profit social enterprise serving refugee and low-income communities in the West Bank.

In the West Bank, limited access to the global marketplace prevents many talented Palestinian refugee women from building careers with their craft and design skills. Dr. Janette Habashi, Associate Professor in educational psychology at the University of Oklahoma, and I are determined to create business opportunities for these women right here in the US. Our objective is to train and employ women to make high quality, handmade children’s toys and accessories that are marketable in the US and to sell our products online and through retail stores across the country. We believe that instead of creating a charity model of support for these women, we can establish a self-sustaining business that will generate more opportunities for years to come.

childsCupFull2Many families lack a stable income in the West Bank because of precarious employment opportunities. We have several women who are the primary breadwinners of their families for long periods, which contributes to their social standing in the community. Nowadays, we’ve seen increasingly more organizations and US government agencies talking about the power of the artisan sector: “Behind agriculture, artisan activity is the second largest employer in the developing world,” Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, partner of the US State Department for the Global Campaign for Artisans. We are so excited to be part of this global movement to empower the artisan sector in the West Bank, where access to global business opportunity is severely limited.

We have had several artisans tell us that with a full-time job, their husbands and their family members give them more respect, including Abeer, who has been making children’s toys at the Child’s Cup Full artisan center since 2012:

“Women need to work; not stay home… They need to go out and obtain their own salary and help their families. We now have so many expenses to educate our children, pay for rent, transportation, and food…I came to Child’s Cup Full almost two years ago not knowing how to do anything tatreez (embroidery) and now I am able to make toys for kids.”

childsCupFull3As a non-profit social enterprise, Child’s Cup Full uses the funds generated from product sales to support its training and employment programs in hard-to-reach communities in the West Bank.  CCF aims to grow its own artisan center, and to train and employ women in artisan collectives across the region, including Ramallah, Hebron and Beit Jala, to manufacture products for the Child’s Cup Full brand.

Right now, we are trying to raise funds to expand our reach across the West Bank region. In order to create positive, lasting change in the West Bank in 2016, and in years to come, I invite the Rotarian community to help us grow our artisan center so that we can create more training and employment opportunities in the Zababdeh community, in and vulnerable communities across the West Bank. On our Indiegogo campaign, you can learn more about our initiative, our goals for 2016, and the funds we are trying to raise to increase our impact:


For each donation, you’ll receive a handmade gift from our artisan center in Zababdeh! Thank you for your support!

DUKE- UNC Peace Fellow Promotes WaSH

Hai-Ryung Sung comes from Jecheon City, South Korea. Jecheon is called the “healing city,” a fitting hometown for Sung, who, despite earning an undergraduate degree in computer science, has devoted her career to advancing public health.

Sung’s interest in health affairs began earlier, during her first year of college, when she joined Rotaract and provided care to children with mental and physical disabilities.

Her relationship with Rotary International would eventually bring her to Chapel Hill, where she earned her master’s degree at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center. Today, Sung is a doctoral student at the Water Institute of UNC in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Sung’s current project, improving maternal and child health through better WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in health care facilities in Siem Reap, Cambodia, addresses the impact water and sanitation deficiencies have on child and maternal health in rural Cambodia.

“Through this project,” Sung explained, “we can reduce morbidity and mortality associated with poor drinking water in an especially vulnerable population—children under age five.”

While at UNC, Sung presented to Rotary clubs in Research Triangle Park, Durham, Chapel Hill and Roxboro, North Carolina.

This summer, after the better health through WaSH initiative is formally launched in Seoul, Sung will travel back to Siem Reap. Her first step will be to identify a local non-governmental organization (NGO) to partner with. Building a project that’s sustainable in the long-term will depend a lot on this decision. Of course, Sung already knows how important relationships are to the success of her work.

Ageless Hero Nominated

Cary Page past President Brian Blum has been nominated for the Ageless Hero award, given by SearStone retirement community, for his work to organize a monthly dinner-and-entertainment event for Cary seniors with dementia and their caregivers.

Blum marshalled the resources of Cary’s five Rotary clubs three years ago to buy food and organize volunteers to staff a Memory Café once a month at the town’s Senior Center. The event has grown to accommodate more than 50 participant families and volunteers, breaking bread together.

Volunteers from the five clubs serve in a variety of roles, including seating guests, serving meals, engaging folks in conversation and helping with cleanup. Rotarians also have been known to mention join in on the entertainment when it involves music and dancing.

Memory Café is just one of Blum’s regular volunteer activities, which include serving breakfast at the Chapel Hill Ronald McDonald house and tutoring disadvantaged youngsters at Read-and-Feed. He also raised money for cancer research by running the 26-mile Boston Marathon this year.

Also nominated for this year’s award are:

  • Thirteen-year-old Unika Boyce-Cooley, for volunteer work at Preston Pointe senior living community.
  • Jeanette Lee, for providing a visiting hairstyling service for seniors.
  • William Dunlap, a retired oncology/ internal medicine specialist who founded Hospice of Wake County.
  • Silver Connections, started by Laura Kay House nine years ago, for its work in bringing together isolated seniors for opportunities to socialize.

SearStone, a continuing care community located at High House Road and Davis Drive in Cary, will celebrate winners of the Ageless Hero awards at a May 17 banquet.