District News

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.

Rotary Leadership Institute

The RLI district committee is excited to announce the Rotary Leadership Institute Parts I, II, and III event on Saturday, January 14th, 2017 at Wake Tech Community College located on 3434 Kildaire Farm Road in Cary.  Registration begins at 8:30 AM, sessions start at 9:00 AM and conclude at 4:30 PM.

The course fee is $95 for each part, which includes lunch and breaks.  Only one part can be taken at a time.

Part I will focus on what being a “Rotarian” really means. The session includes insights into Leadership, My Rotary, Engaging Members, Our Foundation, Ethics–Vocational Service, and Service Projects.

Part II will focus on your role in your Rotary club.

Part III builds on what you have learned and focuses on programs, techniques, and collaboration essential to continue your “Rotary Journey”.

As a participant, you will develop closer relationships with other Rotarians in the area and have an opportunity to discuss ideas and challenges facing your club. Come join us so that you can be energized and ready to put your RLI experience to work!  

RLI-logoWho should attend?

  • Club Leaders- President, President-Elect, President-Nominee, Secretary, Treasurer, Foundation Chair, Committee Chairs, etc.
  • New Rotarians, to become fully engaged in Rotary right from the start.
  • Seasoned Rotarians that could use an infusion of Rotary spirit!
  • Young professionals that wish to improve their leadership skills
  • ALL Rotarians!

Register HereRegistration will end on January 6th.Please visit the Rotary Leadership Institute site for more information: www.rli33.org.

Paul Harris Society

The Paul Harris Society is a commitment by Rotarians to give $1000 per year to The Rotary Foundation. On November 17th, PDG Matthew Kane presented two Rotarians, husband and wife Andy Wright and Sherry Nelson of the Cary-Kildaire Club recognition of their individual pledges of $1000 to The Rotary Foundation.

Wright explained why each had decided to make this commitment, “There is so much need in the world. We are bombarded by requests almost daily, especially this time of year. With our donations to Rotary, we know the effectiveness of the organization allows for the maximum amount of our donations to go to work and we can see the real difference it makes to the world whether through clean water, sanitation, education or the elimination of Polio. Add to that, the benefit that we will see part of that donation come back to the District for use in District Grants, Global Grants and the Rotary Peace Center make it all the more rewarding.”

Andy Wright is currently President Elect and Sherry Nelson Club Service Chair of the Cary-Kildaire Club.

Bigger, Better, Bolder – Together

Thirty-one Rotarians, nearly 100 community volunteers, more than 25,700 meals packed in a little more than two hours.  That was the scene recently in Oxford as the Oxford, Henderson, Roxboro and Kerr Tar Rotary clubs came together for an Emergency Food Box packing event.  And they plan to do it again in January!

This kind of collaborative effort isn’t a surprise to the Rotarians of Area 1 clubs.  For more than a year the presidents and presidents-elect have been meeting regularly with their assistant governor, Marie Howard, to brainstorm and discuss how the clubs can join together to have an even bigger impact in the rural north end of District 7710.

In addition to the food packing events, the six Area 1 clubs have nearly completed planning for a joint Foundation Centennial dinner in February 2017.  With a former Peace Fellow as keynote speaker, the evening will feature AG Marie and the club presidents talking about the history of the Foundation and the impact it has had in the local area, and the world.  In addition to Area 1 Rotarians, local dignitaries and potential Rotarians will be invited to join us for an informative and fun evening.

The newest and boldest collaborative project is still in the very early stages of development.  Several years ago Rotarians in District 6400 launched a micro-lending program in Detroit called Launch Detroit (http://launchdetroit.org/). More recently, the North Raleigh Club has initiated a similar program in Raleigh (http://launchraleigh.org/). For several months the six Area 1 clubs have been considering a similar program for the four counties in Area 1.  We have interest from local government, have an excellent community college that can provide support, and through Rotary we can provide the necessary mentoring and networking support.

In addition to large projects, the relationships developed through Area-wide leadership meetings have led to smaller collaborations.  The South Granville and Oxford Rotary Clubs recently joined forces to provide apparel to orphaned and needy children in Granville County.  The two clubs worked with the local social services department to identify children in need and shared the cost of providing the apparel.  In the planning stages, is an Emergency Food Box packing event including the J.F. Webb Interact Club, the Oxford Preparatory Interact Club (not yet chartered) and the Oxford and Kerr Tar Rotary Clubs.

Developing relationships among the leadership teams of Area 1 clubs has allowed the clubs to more effectively serve their communities.  Now, projects are Bigger, Better, Bolder – Together

E-Club and Interact Team up for Service Project

Monday, November 7, 2016. The Rotary E-Club of District 7710 and their sponsored Interact Club from the School for Creative Studies in Durham had a great time volunteering at the Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) in Durham.  During their service project the Clubs helped assemble over 200 school kits. GCF, a Durham based tax-exempt organization focuses on creating opportunities for a better life, by partnering with tier one elementary schools and youth programs to provide school kits to children. Each school supply kit distributed by GCF is valued at approximately $5.00. GCF has provided approximately 34,000 such kits since beginning the project in 2001. GCF and Rotary understand the importance of providing opportunities that encourage and enable students to complete each school year successfully. Such volunteer opportunities strengthen Rotary’s engagement in communities where Rotarians live, work and provide service to others.

Welcome our 47th Rotary Club

Sean and Jessica are married. Sean is a former Exchange Student. He and his wife joined the Raleigh Parkside Club because of the amazing experience he had as an exchange student.

Sean and Jessica are married. Sean is a former Exchange Student. He and his wife joined the Raleigh Parkside Club because of the amazing experience he had as an exchange student.

Our 47th Rotary Club Raleigh Parkside was chartered November 2, 2016. The charter celebration was held at Spring Roles Restaurant (5433 Wade Park Blvd.) located in the Parkside Community where the new Rotarians live.

DGE Shafi Parekh collected an energetic group of 20 awesome professionals, wanting to give back to their community. Even before they were Rotarians, they launched “Snacks@School” fundraisers to provide healthy snacks to students on free and reduced lunch programs at 3 nearby schools. The project, suggested by a student who noticed that some of her classmates did not have a snack, told her Rotarian mother.


Raleigh Parkside Club Officers Sylvester Carolen (left) Treasurer Tayzoon Rasani , President, Ashley Brackett, Secretary and Allison Walton – President-Elect

During the celebration, Shafi was there via “Facetime” from his Physical Therapy hospital bed. He is recovering from an accident, but that did not prevent him from wanting to voice congratulations to each of the new Rotarians, their families and friends. PDG Leigh and Pug Hudson visited Shafi after the celebration to encourage him to get well soon.

DG Rusine did an awesome job welcoming the new Rotarians and presented their Rotary packet, certificate, pin and installed their officers. Please see her photographic talent.

Also attending the celebration were: PDG Rick Carnagua; ADG David Hayden; RC West Raleigh Sponsor Rotarians: P Moe and Salma Hassan, PP Mike Giancola and Sponsor liaison Trino Ascencio; District Extension Chair and DGND Marie and P David Howard.

Rotary Youth Exchange

Clockwise, from lower center: Oceane Rousseaux (Belgium), hosted by Apex Sunrise; Soph Silva Dragao (Brazil), hosted by North Raleigh; Mirei Isozaki (Japan), hosted by Clayton; and friends.

Clockwise, from lower center: Oceane Rousseaux (Belgium), hosted by Apex Sunrise; Soph Silva Dragao (Brazil), hosted by North Raleigh; Mirei Isozaki (Japan), hosted by Clayton; and friends.

The District 7710 Youth Exchange Committee has adopted some new policies that will make sponsoring Outbound Long Term Exchange students even easier for local clubs and will help move the Youth Exchange program toward self-sustainability, which will be easier on the District’s budget.

Our membership in Rotary’s Eastern States Youth Exchange (ESSEX) consortium requires that each district hosting or sponsoring Youth Exchange students submit administrative fees of $250 per student, both inbound and outbound. This year, with five Inbounds and three outbounds, District 7710’s bill to ESSEX was $2,250, including a $250 charge for an outbound student who was placed by ESSEX, but did not participate in the exchange.

To help cover these expenses as well as provide our local students with tools to professionally be a Rotary District 7710 ambassador abroad, a total of $775 will be charged to each outbound student, beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year. This fee will cover ESSEX dues and will also include purchasing a student blazer, District 7710 name badge, patches and lapel pins for exchanging with other students, and business cards.

In addition, Jim Harrington, Outbound Coordinator, has developed instructions for students and for sponsoring clubs which will facilitate the application process.

Outbound applications are currently being received. Students must be age 15-18 by departure date in 2017. (NOTE: Some countries have different maximum ages they will accept). If you are interested in an exchange student contact Harrington at rotary7710jh@gmail.com or Helen Holt at hwholt09@gmail.com, as soon as possible. The sooner an application is received, the more quickly it can be processed, including interviews at the club and district levels, and the more likely a student will be assigned to their top country choices.

Finally, please remember that clubs which sponsor an outbound student are also expected to host an inbound student during the same year. Johnny Whitfield serves as inbound coordinator and can be reached at jwhitfield@newsandobserver.com.

We look forward to working with even more district rotary clubs as this excellent international youth exchange program continues to grow in the Heart of Carolina!

Lighting up Uganda

unlit2A little light for your day – Amity Senior has Solar

With the assistance of a District Grant the installation of lights for the first school in Uganda as part of this project is complete (three more to go). Thanks to the support of: Raleigh Midtown, North Raleigh, Raleigh, Cary Kildaire, Research Triangle Park, West Raleigh, Wake Forest and Durham Rotaries and Past District Governor Matthew Kane.

Our team of electricians installed 88 LED lights throughout Amity Senior Secondary school campus.

The following video highlights the project;


Pictures from the Amity Installation: Link

Thank you from Amity’s Headmaster: Link

Video proof of the difference between lit and unlit schools: Link