District News

Starting with Why – Foundation Update

We had an engaging and inspiring Rotary Foundation Workshop yesterday.  Thank you to all the presenters for doing a great job.  I appreciate all the time and effort each of you put into your presentations.  Thank you PDG Carol Allen, for your attention to detail and your dedication to ensuring that we all had a terrific learning experience.  Most of all, thank you to all who attended and helped us rethink how we look at growing our foundation.

If you were unable to attend the session, you missed an outstanding presentation by Cleve Folger from the Cary Rotary Club.  Click here to watch his video about the Secret Sauce to growing the Rotary Foundation. (77 views) Consider taking the time to watch the video and reflect on WHY you support The Rotary Foundation.

PDG Matthew Kane in his conversation with Paul Harris (played by ADG David Hayden), presented a challenge to our clubs:  Which club among us will be the first to be a 100% Paul Harris Society Club?

As we begin the second century of our foundation, the District 7710 Rotary Peace Fellow Endowment Fund was unveiled.  This endowment when fully achieved will fund the studies of one Rotary Peace Scholar at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center each year, in perpetuity.

PDG Leigh Hudson encouraged us to join him on the Countdown to Zero.  Your help is essential as we erase this crippling disease from our planet.

We received an update from District Governor, Shafi Parekh.  We learned WHY we are involved in District and Global Grants, WHY we give to the Rotary Endowment, and WHY we support Global Scholarships and the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center.  We even heard from Rotary Peace Fellow Techa Beaumont, from Australia.

As part of our breakout session, we discussed our collective core beliefs for supporting The Rotary Foundation.  Following are the results that were reported by each group:

We support the Annual Fund, because:

  1. We believe in improving the education of our children.
  2. We believe our contributions reach beyond our small community.
  3. We believe giving annually is our way of saying thank you.

Click to watch Thank you for being Champions.

We support the Rotary Endowment, because:

  1. We believe we can make a difference by providing education to individuals around the world.
  2. We believe that we can alleviate and eliminate conflict by supporting the Rotary Peace Centers.
  3. We believe that we can and will eradicate Polio by joining with other partners who trust us.

Click here to watch Do Good With Us.

We support Global Scholarships, because:

  1. We believe that international collaboration and breaking of barriers between different cultures will provide better understanding between individuals.
  2. We believe in developing leaders who understand and develop skills to lead locally and internationally, making a difference.
  3. We believe in providing opportunities for individuals to have an education and experiences to achieve their goals, which they would not have otherwise.

Click here to watch Global Scholar, Briana Acosta, present to the Cary MacGregor Rotary Club (26 views)

We support the Rotary Peace Centers, because:

  1. When you know someone from another location, it broadens your perspective. We believe that with exposure to different cultures at the Peace Centers our scholars will learn ways to reach people from diverse backgrounds.
  2. We are uniquely positioned in having a peace center right in our area. The support of our peace scholars has a multiplier effect reaching thousands in a ripple effect.
  3. There is so much polarization within our nation and our world. The need to learn tools to resolve conflict to make our world less violent.

Click here to watch a Thank You message from the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Fellows.

We are involved in District and Global Grants, because:

  1. We believe in enabling future leaders.
  2. We believe in creating access to basic human rights all over the world.
  3. We believe in collectively investing in sustainability.

Click here to watch a video on how you are Doing Good. (207 views)

We support Polio Plus, because:

  1. We believe that no mother should see her child suffer from this crippling disease.
  2. We believe in investing in peace and infrastructure as a way to cure and prevent disease.
  3. We believe that giving empowers other to give and be great stewards.

Click here to watch a video on Why Zero Matters.

Click here to watch a video on how we are keeping our promise by Dropping to Zero.

Thank you for your annual gifts to The Rotary Foundation that enable us to do good in the world – good that transforms lives in our local communities and around the world.  You are making a difference.

Fighting Hunger

The numbers are alarming. Almost 630,000 North Carolina households don’t have enough to eat. North Carolina has the 8th highest rate of food insecurity in the nation. Almost 1 in 4 CHILDREN (24.6%) faces hunger on a regular basis.

Food insecurity refers to the USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Across North Carolina, children, families and seniors face food insecurity each day.

In August, the members of the Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club launched a monthly service opportunity that will run the entire Rotary year called Spaghetti Sisters and Brothers. The idea is a simple one, each member is encouraged to bring in cans of spaghetti sauce and pasta to club meetings. For those members that may not like to shop, cash donations are also accepted and other club members will do the food shopping. The donations are then delivered to The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

In the first month, Cary-Kildaire collected a total of 275 pounds of food. This is approximately 229 meals that were provided that otherwise would not be available. We would like to encourage other clubs in the District to consider this as a potential service project for their club. Imagine the power Rotary can bring to helping end hunger in our own area.

Ethics in Rotary

Leadership Triangle is thrilled to partner with the Rotary District 7710 Hodges’s Ethics Initiative for the 2017 THRiVE Leadership Summit in Raleigh, NC, on December 5, 2018.

THRiVE is gearing up to be North Carolina’s most powerful and relevant leadership summit of the year. Notable speakers will challenge thinking, push attendees to the “growing edge” and inspire each one to be his/her BEST self!

Demonstrating our mutual commitment to Ethics and Ethics Training, Leadership Triangle and Rotary will lead by example by offering, four workshops on ethics and value-centered leadership designed by Col. Joe LeBoeuf, Duke MBA Professor and Former Professor at West Point.

Rotary & Leadership Triangle, will co-present this track to attendees from across the Region – appealing to Corporate Executives, Executive Directors, Innovators, Founders, and Emerging Leaders.

As a partner, Leadership Triangle is extending a Special Rate of $109 for Rotarians (Regular Price $189). Registration will open soon. If you have questions contact James Amato  919-595-5165 and email: jamato@fox50.com

We’ll see you at THRiVE!

Rebuilding After Harvey

Rex Everhart, from the Clayton Club, and a few of his church friends travelled to Texas next Wednesday to provide relief to a “typically neglected rural community near the Louisiana border”. This offers the members and clubs in our district a special opportunity to “benefit all concerned” by throwing our support behind the extraordinary experience and leadership that Rex brings to disaster relief projects. Rex has done a lot with NC Baptist Men but has been really impressed with the partnerships and potential of Rotary.

For those who don’t know Rex, he sold his business about 10 years ago to do nothing but help less fortunate people. He has been one of our hardest working latrine and playground builders in the Dominican Republic for the last 5 years. When Leigh Hudson went to recruit him for Rotary in 2008, his wife, Carol, informed me that he was in “Belarus building a church for Ukrainian gypsies that lived on a trash pile”.

Rex is a modest Rotarian who is a real “Difference Maker” and continuously demonstrates “Rotarians – Doing Good in the World.”

How You Can Help suffering from these Devastating Hurricane

The District wants to provide an opportunity for individuals to donate to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma. This can be done through our Disaster Relief Fund, which qualifies for tax deductions, since it is a 501(c)(3) charity.

Make checks payable to: DISTRICT 7710 CHARITABLE FOUNDATION and write “Texas”, “Florida” or “Caribbean” in the memo line of your check, and mail to:  


517 Grist Valley Lane

Cary, North Carolina 27518

Past District Governor, Rusine MItchell Sinclair with Rotary Districts in the impacted areas to determine the best way to allocate the funds collected.

Your generosity will make a difference for those who have lost so much as a result of these terrible natural disasters.

Helping Victims of Hurricane Harvey

The Apex Sunrise Rotary Club did not waste any time springing into action to provide assistance to storm victims in Texas following the flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Two club members, Jon Hansel and Chuck Piercy, began work immediately to reach out to Operation BBQ Relief, a group that provides meals after disasters, to see what they could do.

Two days later, Jon and Chuck were on their way to Texas, to work alongside hundreds of other volunteers with Operation BBQ Relief to crank out as many as 65,000 meals a day. Both Jon and Chuck have competition BBQ cook teams, so to them this was a natural.

“We have worked with Operation BBQ Relief in the past, most recently here in North Carolina after Hurricane Matthew,” said Chuck. “It is a well-that operation that can move in very quickly and respond.”

Chuck and Jon approached the club for its financial support, and the Apex Sunrise Rotary Club didn’t hesitate.

“This is what Rotary, and what our club is all about,” said Tom Gebbia, president of Apex Sunrise Rotary. “Every member was ready to support this effort.”

“It is always overwhelming with the way Rotary responds to causes,” Jon said. “Once we had the club’s support, we had what we needed to help out.”

While Operation BBQ Relief was working from its base in Houston, the meals were sent across all affected areas of Texas to other victims. The National Guard airlifted meals from Operation BBQ Relief by helicopter to other hard hit areas. They estimate they served more than 370,000 meals in nine days. The relief effort was also the subject of news coverage throughout the operation, including an hour-long national broadcast originating from the site on Fox News Channel.

Chuck and Jon also were able to meet with Rotary District 5890 Governor Bill Palko at the Operation BBQ Relief site. In addition to giving him a first-hand look at their efforts, they exchanged Rotary banners to commemorate the moment.

To help with expenses, the Cary MacGregor club donated $1000 and the Apex Sunrise club donated $1500 to Chuck and John for the Houston relief.

They are now heading back to NC to re-group in case they are needed in Florida.

Youth Exchange Student Heads to Peru

Southwest Durham Rotary Club sent their first Rotary Youth Exchange Student to Arequipa Peru recently. Grace Abels will spend a year in Peru and is already doing fabulously. Grace is a Rotary Youth Exchange legacy as her father Jon Abels was an exchange student to Sweden “some years ago”. (Jon is now involved with the Rotary Peace Fellow program at Duke.)

Grace graduated from Durham School of the Arts prior to leaving and has been accepted to Duke upon her return.

We are also expecting our first inbound exchange student from Brazil in a few days who will be attending Jordan High School.

If your club is yet to get involved with Rotary Youth Exchange, I highly suggest you do. It is a tremendously rewarding experience for the students, host families and host clubs. This is how Peace breaks out one person at a time.

Southern Wake Club Sponsors Local “Take a Kid to a Ballgame” Event

On Thursday, July 27th, the Downtown Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club sponsored their own version of “Take a Kid to a Ballgame” and took 25 kids and 20 adults to a Salamanders game at Ting Park in Holly Springs. With Durham a bit out of reach of most southern Wake Rotarians, club member Mark Shear spearheaded the event through the Coastal Plains baseball league to offer Rotarians a more local option for introducing children to the great American pastime of baseball, and it was enthusiastically received by both the children and the Rotarians and friends who participated! The tickets included “all-you-can-eat” cheeseburgers and hotdogs, popcorn and soda and the children were selected from the brand-new Summer Lunch Program at Pine Acres Community Center on McLean Street in Fuquay-Varina.

A great time was had by all, and many of the kids were treated to ice cream and icees by their sponsors on top of the endless supply of food! Some even received Salamanders t-shirts! The event was such a success that the club is planning to sponsor it again next summer and hopes that other SW Wake clubs will join in the fun! For more information about this event and plans for next year, contact club president Lynanne Fowle at lynanne.fowle@gmail.com.

Southwest Durham Rotarians Provide Dental Care

Southwest Durham Rotary Club Dentists Provide $17,000 in Free Dental Care to Urban Ministries Durham

Friday, July, 28th Southwest Durham Rotary Club members, Dr. James Hoke, Dr. Linda Levin, Dr. Brent Blaylock, Dr. Geoff Cunningham and Dr. Mike Richter staffed the Baptists on Mission Dental van for a day of free Dental Care at Urban Ministries Durham. These Dentists along with their staffs and volunteer Rotarians worked to serve the needs of the people who needed care and could not afford it.

The day of free care was to honor former SWDR member Col. G. Evers Airall, DDS, who served in the US Army Medical Corps for 20 years, practiced dentistry in New Jersey for 33 years. Evers also taught, was a care giver, humanitarian, proud Rotarian and a good friend. He is missed and this was a great opportunity to honor his memory with service.

During the day, a little over $28,000 in services were performed at no cost to 32 patients. There were 9 gross scale/debridements (cleaning); 29 extractions, and 7 teeth restored. Dr. Levin and Dr. Cunningham even performed an additional free root canal and crown in their offices since the dental can was not equipped to do so. The Dentist’s volunteered their time as well as that of their staffs to make this the best event ever, according to Baptists on Mission.

Nothing beats Rotarians providing Service Above Self. There is a synergy between Rotarians that others are unable to produce with such great effect.

Our Rotarian Dentists felt so positive about the day, we are scheduling round 2 at Urban Ministries in November.

Rotarians are People of Action.