January 16, 2017

Job Corps is the successor to the old Civilian Conservation Corps so it’s been around for a long time. While their mission is very relevant today, it is not widely known.

     Thanks to Connie Petosky and Dorothy Sidberry for telling us about the extensive training they offer to underprivileged youth between 16 & 24. Many of us have driven by the center on US 1 in Kittrell without understanding the work going on there. 

     Giving these young people a trade is an important mission


December 19, 2016

Fay Brown spoke to the club about Polio Plus. She reminded us of the terrible effects of Polio when we had an epidemic in the US in the 1950s. From one program in the Philippines Rotary has developed a worldwide effort to eliminate Polio in concert with other organizations and the Gates Foundation. We are down to just 30 or so cases this year.

     One of the interesting side benefits is that our effort has resulted in a worldwide infrastructure that has been a help in combating other outbreaks, like the recent Ebola outbreak.

     DG Rusine has challenged all of us to give at least $30.00 this year to fight Polio. The new Polio Plus Society Pin is yours for a gift of just $100.00 per year.   


November 21, 2016

The NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail is North Carolina’s premier hiking trail. The North Carolina state trail stretches 1150 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks, stopping at many of our state’s most beautiful places along the way. 

Betsy Brown spoke to the club about the MST. She is with the Friends of the Trail and told us about the many volunteer opportunities.


November 7, 2016 - The Rotary Foundation


    PDG Barry Phillips spoke to the club about The Rotary Foundation. He congratulated the club for past giving of more than $200,000. Our District 7710 gave $400,00 last year. This money stays in the Foundation for three years and then is used for Rotary projects. Through the Foundation and the District this money is used to support our local projects and our international projects. 

     All of us are Sustaining Members of Rotary as we give  $100.00 per year  through the club. There are many other ways to give and Barry covered a few of them. Some of our members belong to the Paul Harris Society, they give $1,000 per year. Many have Rotary charge their credit card monthly.

    We are celebrating TRF’s 100th anniversary. The good that we have done through our Foundation is hard to measure. If you have any questions about ways to give, Barry will be happy to help you.       



October 24, 2016 - Camp Ray of Hope

October 17, 2016 - Perfectly Afflicted

Jeff Lawson and his daughter Nichole spoke to the club about teen suicide. Their efforts at Perfectly Afflicted is to build self esteem by helping teens understand that we all have things that make us different. Celebrating these differences makes us able to accomplish great things.

     They showed a video from the Gov. Morehead school for the Blind that illustrated some of their work. Thanks to Jeff for this program.


October 10, 2016 - International Pot Luck

October 3, 2016 - Launch Raleigh

PDG Matthew Kane will  present the North Raleigh Rotary Club’s new micro loan program, Launch Raleigh. Our club is participating in this program


Short Term Exchanges

We had two short term exchanges this year. On the left is Ella McCamy and Claudia Campenella.  Claudia visited Wake Forest first and then they spent the second part of their exchange in Italy at Claudia's home. 

Sheridan Northcutt and Isabelle Soronda (right) told the club about their short term exchange this summer. They had a fun visit to Isabelle’s home in Santander, Spain and are now enjoying North Carolina. Isabelle brought us a banner for her sponsoring Rotary club.

   College Food & Housing Insecurity

Dale Strayhorn had as her program Melissa Green and Melody Henderson to discuss the effect of food and housing insecurity on college performance. Melissa with NUSU and Melody with Wake Tech told us about the efforts of both colleges to make sure that their students have enough food. Both schools have food pantries and work with students to connect them with the proper agency for support.

     They pointed out that going to college doesn’t erase the problems that students bring with them. Their call to action for us was to Advocate, Vote, Support Local Food Agencies and Volunteer. Thanks to them for a good program.


Lunch with Wake Forest Police

On Friday, July 29th, the Wake Forest Rotary Club and The Forks provided lunch for the Wake Forest Police Department. Chief Jeff Leonard and 22 of his officers came.

    The club wanted to show support for the good job that the police force does here in Wake Forest.


Dick Richards - Printing Today

Dick Richards talked with the club about his work in the printing business. Dick handles the graphic design work, while his partner does the printing.

    The printing end of the business has changed in recent years, but mostly in the short run printing jobs. They are now done on a digital press, essentially a large laser printer. For the long runs it’s still more economical to use a traditional printing press.

     The big change has come on the front end layout work. With software like InDesign the Graphic design is quicker and more flexible. What used to take days of cut and paste can now be done on the computer screen in hours. Of course the design is still critical to get a good finished product.

     Thanks Dick for a look at your work. Now we know where to go for our next brochure.


District Governor's Visit

District Governor Rusine Sinclair made Wake Forest her first stop on her club visits this year. She brought us a number of challenges for our new Rotary year.

    Keying off RI President John Germ’s goals for Rotary, Rusine is offering two district awards. The member award is an All Star Pin and the club award involves all members in meeting the challenges of the year. All the details will be coming up in future newsletters and on the club website. The emphasis is on building membership, Polio Plus and service.

    The upcoming year will be highlighted by the District Conference in Raleigh, the International Convention in Atlanta and a districtwide project that Rusine has named Walking to Atlanta. This year is the 100th anniversary of The Rotary Foundation. Let’s all go to Atlanta.



Education in North Carolina

     A large crowd turned out for Dr. June Atkinson’s visit to the club. Dr. Atkinson oversees the public schools in North Carolina with a student population of over 1.5 million students. She urged us to support these students. They are our future and they face an increasingly complex world. The picture on the right of Lauren Holding is from her Twitter feed. She is up with the technology!

     In her presentation she asked and answered the question, “What’s Next”. The programs North Carolina is pursing to are helping as seen in better graduation rates, better reading scores and more college ready students. For the work to continue we must support not only the students, but the teachers and principals. They are at the front of the new efforts to make our students ready for the world they will face.

     Thanks to Dr. Atkinson for a fun and thoughtful program.

Hope House

     Enoch and Marion shared the story of their Hope House project with the club. Starting from a rental house they created a safe haven for the children in the North Taylor Street neighborhood. From small beginnings the now have volunteers that make an in-depth program possible.

     For those who want to volunteer for any of their programs, go to their website http://www.hopehousewf.org. Their main effort is with children  K-5 and their food pantry. Donations and volunteers are welcome

Spring Interact Picnic

7710 District Conference 2016

Fun weekend at Joint 7710-7730 District Conference in Wilmington, NC. 

Sara Imhof - Concord Coalition

    Sara Imhof, Outreach Director for the Concord Coalition spoke to the club about the Federal Budget. Sara, a member of the Research Triangle Rotary Club, moved to our area one year ago and travels widely for Concord.

     The US national debt is slated to grow dramatically in the coming years due primarily to three factors, Aging population, raising healthcare cost and raising interest cost on our debt. The Concord Coalition is a non-partisan group working to get citizens to become part of the solution. Sara pointed out that the solution will require all of us to find common solutions that benefit the country.


To Any Soldier

Wake Forest resident Kathryn Quigg will tell the club about her new book, To Any Soldier. She and former Wake Forest resident Pete Hendricks wrote the book which is a series of letters from a college freshman to a Marine fighter pilot. The time period is 1968 and the pilot is in Vietnam. This is an interesting look at this important time period through the eyes of two people involved. 

Living Arts College

The sign over the main entrance says it all. From the innovative buildings to the work on the walls, this is “America’s Creative College.” Debra Hooper gave us a look at the Living Arts College from inception, to building the domes, to  today’s high tech campus.

     Afterwards we got to see all of the facilities that the students have to work with. It’s no wonder that the students are now found in jobs throughout the media world. A top flight staff teaches the students in seven areas, Filmmaking, Animation & Game Design, Interactive Media Design, Audio Design, Photography, Interior Design, and Internet Design & Development. With their instruction and fine equipment, the students produce award winning work.

     This was an exciting evening and we thank the Living Arts folks for it.


Jasmine Hogan Final Recital at Peabody

Jasmine has invited us to her final recital for the Artist Diploma program at Peabody Conservatory on Monday, April 18th at 5pm in Goodwin Hall.  Ensemble Encanto (myself, Eric Maul, flute, Melissa Wimbish, voice, and Andrew Kwon, viola) will be performing our newly commissioned work, Voces de Lorca, made possible through a Presser Foundation grant.  We will also be performing the work that inspired this new piece - George Crumb's Federico's Little Songs for Children.  


Club Members do Service Project in Guyana

Part of the project life Victory International team distributes items to Primary School Students. The principals of Victory International ar Wake Forest Rotarians Mark Vasconcellos and Joel Beckham.

Project Life and Victory Int’l partner on providing eye, dental care to citizens


Guyanese have benefited from yet another annual visit from Victory International, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Raleigh, North Carolina.Victory International is always received by Project Life, a local non-profit organization dedicated to helping the needy and serving humanity.
Project Life has as its Chair, Mr. Vibert Parvatan, and as its Vice Chair, Ambassador Rudolph Collins. US based-Guyanese Dr. Mark S. Vasconcellos has brought teams to Guyana for the past few years to provide theological training and humanitarian aid.
This year’s team consisted of Pastor Joel Beckham, Pastor Shannon Scott, Teresa Long, Anna Elliot, and Carrie Ruppert.  Mr. Beckham and Ms. Long are returning for the second time due their love of Guyana and affection for the people.
Dr. Vasconcellos has traveled to many countries to share God’s Word and to help different people groups; however, in recent years he has dedicated his efforts in serving his country of birth, Guyana.
Mr. Parvatan and Ambassador Collins hosted a ceremony at the Georgetown Club to welcome the team to Guyana and coordinated the humanitarian efforts throughout the week.
During this past week the team provided theological training to pastors on Christian doctrine and worked with many local groups in providing eye-care and dental needs.
During their visit the group distributed toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a number of personal hygiene supplies.  The group was also invited the team to appear on Good Morning Guyana to share its mission nationally via media broadcast.
For the past few years, dozens of Guyanese groups have benefited from the efforts of Victory International and Project Life to include: homes for the elderly, schools, prisoners, orphanages, sports clubs, needy people, and the local church.
All donations and services provided by Victory International and Project Life are provided to the people of Guyana free of charge.


Polio Plus Progress Report

Dr. Joe Reardon, District 7710 Polio Plus Chairman, gave the club a look at the history and present status of the fight against Polio. Rotary’s involvement began with the 1985 effort to eliminate Polio from the Western Hemisphere This effort evolved into today’s worldwide program. We are now down to two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan. With a major effort we should eliminate the disease in 2016, but it will take money.

     We are now short about $3,000,000 in the funds needed to finish the job. Joe handed out a brochure that showed how every $25.00 given by Rotarians is matched by the Gates Foundation to become $75.00. His appeal to the club was to go online and give to The Rotary Foundation and earmark it for Polio Plus.

     For more information go to YouTube and see the video Every Last Child. When you search for this you will find several videos that give you better understanding of the problem.


Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital

Cory Miller and Cynthia Binanay spoke to the club about their work in cardiac care and training in Western Kenya. Working from the Duke Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health they have spent time working with the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to train doctors and nurses to better treat  cardiac problems.

     The problems they have confronted are legion. Heart disease is the second leading killer in Kenya. There is an almost nonexistent supply of trained personnel and the facilities are inadequate. Their story is one of training, organizing , finding supplies and helping the Kenyans set up sustainable systems.

    Their work is a combination of success, frustration and hope. It was exciting to see the commitment both Cory and Cynthia have to helping Moi build a sustainable program that will bring better care to the Kenyans served by this small hospital. For more see below>

Paper on MTRH

Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health

Making a Difference in Western Kenya



Music & Memory

Joe Paulonis, drawing on his experience volunteering with hospice, talked with us about the effect of music on memory. We saw a YouTube video entitled The Story of Henry. The story shows the value of a simple IPod with music installed and a set of headphones. This small investment can change some Alzheimers patients’ lives.


Comedy Night Success

Comedy night was a success again this year. The night raised over $17,000.00 for the Rotary Club and the Wake Forest High School Band Boosters. The clipping above from the Wake Weekly gives a feel of the fun had by all. 

Thanks to all who contributed to this success. 

Dry Needle Therapy Explained

Kristi Whitcomb, PT of Innovative Pain Solutions demonstrates dry needle therapy to the club. She explained the method of pain management that focuses on relaxing the trigger points that lead to muscle pain. Thanks to Kristi for an interesting program.

Rotary Sponsors State of Town Address

    Wake Forest Rotary Club president Rachel Prather (r) lead off the evening with a brief look at the club and the reasons we sponsor this event. She was followed by Mayor Vivian Jones who reviewed key town events of 2015 and the major town goals for 2016. 

     The address was recorded and can be seen on Wake Forest TV10 throughout March and can be streamed from the town website. www.wakeforestnc.gov

JROTC Speaks to Rotary

    JROTC members spoke to the club about their program at Wake Forest High School. They were accompanied by Col. Belmont, their advisor. They have a very active program at the school and in the community. Their color guard is very popular at public occasions. 


Victory International

    Joel Beckham spoke to the club about the work being done in Guyana by Victory International. Founded by Mark Vasconcellos, Ken Steigler and Joel are both active in this work.

They are involved in a number of projects in Guyana to improve the lives of the people of Guyana. These projects are made sustainable through local partnerships with organizations and leaders.



 Global Grant Proposal

     Subir Mukherjee will gave the club an update on a Global Grant request he is working on for next year. The grant is to equip the new premises of the MENTAID classroom building. MENTAID is a nonprofit in Kolkata, India that work with special needs children. 

     The Global Grant process takes about one year to complete and would need the cooperation of other clubs in our district. In the past we have participated in projects with other clubs and next year we will try to be the lead on a project.


Merry Christmas from Rachel 


     I wanted to take up just a little space in this week's newsletter to say thank you.  Thank you for allowing me to be your president and working with me these past 6 months.  I have truly enjoyed the first half of my presidential year, and I know that it's all because of you. 

     I love visiting other Rotary Clubs, and meeting Rotarians from around the district and beyond, but there really is no club like your home club.  While I liked coming to meetings before becoming president, I am now able to better appreciate what you all bring to the table: fun, fellowship, giving, and love.  Each one of you brings your own energy and personality to the club and when you add it all up, you get what is quickly being known as The Fun Club of 7710 (known by whom, you may ask?  Don't ask me to cite my sources, just trust me!). 

      I want you all to enjoy this holiday season, whether it be with your family or friends, but please also take this time to reflect: think about what you've done so far in this Rotary year, and what more you can do in the next 6 months.  Have you invited a guest yet?  Have you given out your card to a coworker?  Have you told your children and grandchildren what Rotary is, and why you like spending one night a week at The Forks?  Take pride in what we've accomplished, as a club and an international organization, and spread the word.  Thank you for being there for me, and for Rotary, and I'll see you all on January 4th!

Love, Rachel


 Annual Christmas Party


 Nathan Thomas Speakes to Club

Nathan Thomas, founder of  All We Are, spoke to the club last night about the non-profit’s origins and current mission. Nathan is an impressive young man who started All We Are while still in high school. He has had support from a number of Rotary clubs.

     The current thrust of their efforts is to find engineering solutions to the problems of the poor in under developed countries. They are working on solar lighting in schools in Kenya. The Raleigh Mid-Town Rotary Club has just submitted a Global Grant application for 2016 work in Kenya. It is exciting to see Rotary tackling problems in partnership with innovative work by non-profits like All We Are.



Don McNeill Brings Mark Twain’s Humor To Life

    It’s not often Rachel gets to mug Mark Twain. Last night we were treated to Mark Twain stories by Don McNeill . Don has been portraying Mark Twain for several years and is widely recognized for his work.

     Don has had a lifelong interest in Twain’s works and says he had read all his books by age eleven. On retirement, he began doing public speaking and that, combined with his interest in Twain, led to his Mark Twain presentations.

     Thanks to Don for his great program last night. If you would like to know more about Don and see videos go to You Tube or his website:                     http://marktwainspeaks.com/author/don-mcneill/



     John Wooten introduced Gene Cross and Brian Van Voorhis, the directors of the Wake Forest Baptist Church Community Connections Garden. Using a lot owned by the church and volunteers from the church and the community at large, the garden is producing over 5,000 pounds of produce per year that is being distributed to people in need.

     Partnering with the Bunn Soup Kitchen, the Interfaith Food Shuttle, and others, the fresh produce is distributed each week to folks in the community that are in need. For more about the garden and volunteer opportunities see their website at http://wfbccommunitygarden.com/ or see them on Facebook.



 CART Week

Jackie Barnes followed up on her recent program with a look at CART. She will gave us a look at the way the trust works and some of it's goals and accomplishments.


World Polio Week


N C Beautiful

      Steve Vacendak is remembered by many ACC fans for his storied basketball career at Duke, but his most lasting contribution to North Carolina may be his work with N C Beautiful. This 49 year old organization started out planting wildflowers along NC roadways and running the adopt-a-highway program. These programs are now run by NCDOT, but the mission to make NC beautiful continues.

     N C Beautiful realized that as a volunteer organization its mission must be aimed at the future. They now work with schools by granting Windows of Opportunity Grants. Wake Forest Elementary has received grants for the last two years. These grants help teachers and students do environmental projects each year.

     They also work with WRAL to distribute 5,000 azalea plants annually. The azaleas are given to non-profits across the state to enhance the NC landscape.

     Thanks to Steve and Louise Carey for bringing us this program. For more information about the programs go to www.ncbeautiful.org.


Interact Fall Picnic

     We had a good group of Interact students, parents and teachers from both Wake Forest and Rolesville High Schools at the picnic Monday night. Page Roseman (Rolesville) and Rita Coby (Wake Forest) , the faculty advisors for the two Interact Clubs were introduced by Rachel. It was a good chance for many of us to visit with them. Their work makes the success of the clubs possible.

     Wake Forest Principal Patti Hamler spoke. She gave us an overview of the accomplishments of the school, both academic and athletic. We certainly have a lot to be proud of. She pointed out that it is a community school and it takes effort by the whole community to make it work best. Thanks to Principal Hamler for her work.. 


Welcome to Exchange Student from Thailand

Visa (Sireerat Luesiripapon) will be at Wake Forest High School this school year. She not only presented the club with a banner from District 3350 in Thailand, she preformed a traditional Thai dance in costume. The club looks forward to knowing Visa this year. 

Rolesville High School Principal 

 Ericka Lucas, Rolesville High School Principal, spoke to the club about the progress being made at the new school. The Interact advisers from both high schools also joined them, along with a number of Interact members. 


Meeting at American Central Supply 

     Chris Farnham invited the club to come to his business for a look at what goes into the HVAC system in your home. Jimmy Freeman from Wake Tech Community College was the speaker. There was a tour of the facilities and Mike Berman demonstrated sheet metal fabrication in the shop.


Robert Ferguson on Differentiating Values


     Pete Birkner's program was Robert Ferguson. Robert is a consultant and speaker who works with organizations and individuals in establishing values. He spoke about the importance of establishing “Differentiating Values” .

     Every organization needs  a Mission, a Vision and Values. To be set apart from others the values need meet the values test; are they Unique, Relevant and Sustainable? Robert talked about a number of organizations and companies who have either struggled with, or been successful, in establishing values that differentiate them from others.

     Robert suggests that these values be limited to three and they be the test for all that is done by the organization. The path to greatness is in shared belief in the common values. 



District 7710 Rotary Foundation Workshop


Members (l-r) Mark Vasconcellos, Bob McCamy, Jackie Barnes and Sissy Lee attended the Foundation Workshop in Cary on Saturday, September 12th. The workshop helped those attending better understand the work of the foundation and how our club can participate in the grants process.

Click for more Details.



    Victor Santana presented pictures from his three weeks in Italy during his “Short Term Exchange”. He Introduced the club to Pio, his exchange brother. It was an exciting trip and they are enjoying North Carolina and Virginia during the return visit.

    The banner that Pio brought us from Victor’s host club in Italy will be a good addition to our collection. He took one of our banners to them. 


Jim Robertson presented Subir the Rotarian of the Year plaque from last year. Subir was recognized at the District Conference and at the President’s Dinner, but the plaque just got here. Congratulations to Subir.



White Street Brewing Co. hosted the club last night for a tour of their White Street Brew-Pub. Will Haddock gave us a great overview of the brewing process.

    The Brew-Pub, which began in 2012, grew too large for the downtown facility and now has a production brewery in Youngsville. They have won redevelopment recognition for their conversion  of the 1930’s “Chevrolet Building” into a beautiful new use.

     Thanks to Jessica for setting this up and providing the pizza. This tour gives new meaning to supporting your local businesses. Thanks to Will for the tour.





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