District News

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


Rotary Clubs Expand Their Battle Against Alzheimer’s        

The Holly Springs Rotary Club and the Apex Sunrise Rotary Club have been working together to provide help to local assisted living facilities through a Music and Memory Program. Alive again through music!  This ground breaking therapy uses IPods and headsets to reconnect those suffering with Alzheimer to the present day by using music they grew up with to reach them. It dramatically awakens these individuals and self-initiates conversation and interaction.

The group met to discuss expanding the Music and Memory Program to other local facilities, this year they launched the program in the Carillon Facility in Fuquay-Varina and Spring Arbor in Apex. The group would like to add four other facilities like Waltonwood and Sunrise located in Cary, Windsor Point Retirement community in Fuquay Varina and Val’s Place family owned facility located in Raleigh NC.

The Rotary Clubs are working on their Fundraising plans in order to reach their goals to raise $2K per club. The Holly Springs Rotary Club is working with the Holly Springs Chamber of Commerce by holding a Business After Hour’s event asking for iTunes gift cards to help with the downloading music selections as well as asking the business community to consider making donations to help offset the expenses an enable the Clubs to grow this important program.

Learn more, watch Alive Inside  – Alzheimer’s Documentary. Considering making a donation

The following is a link to video that is a fantastic example of the major and emotional impact the Music & Memory program has on its participants. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hd7dOIYIzYE

Doing Service for a Service Dog

The Rotary Club of Morrisville recently collected over 100 pairs of shoes that they donated to Robert Hinton of Raleigh, a young boy in need of a service dog to help with his autism.

With many other people from NC, SC, Florida and Virginia, he was able to gather almost 10,000 pairs of shoes to go to needy individuals and families all over the world who are without decent shoes.

The donated shoes are weighed and Robert’s family will receive a dollar amount which will be used to cover most of the costs of getting his service dog.

For more information or to make a cash donation you can do  so at https://www.gofundme.com/robertsheroes.

Rotary Foundation Approves Global Scholar

Micaela Arneson has been named Rotary District 7710 first Global Scholar and will begin her studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in September. Micaela was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chapel Hill.

Micaela received a BA from the University of North Carolina in December, 2015 with a double major in Political Studies and Global Studies. As a student at UNC she completed a semester of the University of Heidelberg majoring in global studies. Her goal at the University of Edinburgh is a Masters of Science Degree in International Development. She has over three years of internship experience with domestic and international non-profit organizations working in community development and poverty alleviation.

Her ultimate goal is to work with non-profit organizations in impoverished regions to help identify and strengthen programs and strategies that best enable economic and community development.

While in Scotland she will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Tranent, Scotland.

Micaela Arneson provides a Report from Scotland

Things are going really well here!  My courses are challenging but very interesting, and the professors are incredible lecturers. The cohort for my program is quite large (we’re about 70), and from extremely diverse backgrounds. It’s a fun, collaborative, supportive environment here.

Aside from my courses, I’m involved in the university chorus and have joined the rowing team. The other Rotary scholars and I have met up a few times, and we got together with Ian Geddes (PDG) and his wife, Olive (DG). They’re lovely!  Although we have not been to a club meeting, the support and assistance from our sponsors and other club members has been fantastic.

Last month, I went to Rotary’s annual Link Weekend, for scholars studying across Great Britain and Ireland. About 50 of us met at the headquarters in Alcester, and were treated to some really helpful sessions on the history of Rotary, important cultural differences between the UK and our countries of origin, and leadership and presentation skills. We were also given the opportunity to network with one another, and some of us stayed the weekend with Rotary members and their families. It was a great opportunity to learn more about the organization and people’s individual experiences as members.

In other Rotary news: this Wednesday, I will be attending an International Night hosted by the Edinburgh Club for the 2016/17 Global Scholars. And this weekend, the other scholars and I will be going to the district conference in Harrogate!  I’m looking forward to meeting more club members and participating in the weekend’s events. I will be sure to send details of both events in my next update.

District Project to Dominican Republic

The District is going to the Dominican Republic on Feb 4 – 11, 2017, to team with The Santiago Monumental Rotary Club to build latrines, a playground, and repair homes in the Village of Los Cocos.

We have received a District Grant that totals $20,000. Five District Clubs (Wake Forest, Cary, Central Johnston, Clayton, and Cary Page) have joined in on this Grant. We need to raise an additional $8,000 to complete the projects and to provide supplies and drinking filters for the community. We hope you and your Club will consider donating to this project.

If you are interested in becoming part of the District 7710 Team, please email PDG Rick Carnagua, at: rcarnagua@aol.com.

There will be an informational meeting about the trip on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at The Cary Chamber of Commerce building located at 307 North Academy Street, Cary, North Carolina 27513. This will be a great opportunity for you to learn more about this great project.  Please let Rick know if you will be attending the meeting.