President: Mary Kane
President-Elect: "Les Six"
Vice President: Angela Sullivan
Treasurer: Kati Flynn
Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-11-09
November 9, 2022
Reporter:  Kelly Buck

Wednesday’s meeting:
Rotarian Gertrude Noden, facilitator
“Words into Deeds”
St. Catherine of Siena and on Zoom
Join the Zoom meeting


NOTE: you can watch previous meetings by going to our YouTube channel!
Our first-ever Rotary Visitors Day—about FORTY guests joined us!
President Mary Kane called us to order and welcomed our many guests.  She gave an overview of Rotary’s mission as “Service Above Self” and stated that we collectively need to “change what is to what is possible.”  She led us in the Four-Way Test.
Angela Sullivan; photo Mike Brown
President Mary then recognized visiting Rotarians, and asked all guests to stand for a round of applause.  She thanked the committee that planned for this first Visitors Day, specifically Sherrie Negrea, Gary Stewart, Ron Provus, and Frank Towner—and many others.
Vice President Angela Sullivan shared her story, explaining that her first introduction to Rotary was back in 1981 when she was selected to be an American Field Service exchange student to Costa Rica.  The cost was prohibitive for her parents, and someone suggested trying the local Rotary Club near Buffalo.  The club sponsored Angela’s experience, which she says changed the trajectory of her life.  She intended to join the Foreign Service, but life had other plans.  She came to Ithaca in 2011 as the Executive Director of the Alcohol & Drug Council and joined Rotary.  She has found her time with Rotary to be “durable, worthwhile and valuable,” a real give and get relationship.

Bob Gravani; photo Mike BrownTHOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Bob Gravani gave us a thought that furthered Service Above Self through a quote from Winnie the Pooh author A. A. Milne:
“In the quiet hours when we are alone and there is nobody to tell us what fine individuals [fellows] we are, we come sometimes upon a moment in which we wonder, not how much money we are earning, nor how famous we have become, but what good we are doing.”


Sherrie Negrea; photo Mike BrownSherrie Negrea then took the microphone to tell how our guest speaker came to us.  Our club wanted to partner with another club to support Ukraine during the war.  Member Linda Brisson has a connection to the Owego Club who knew a young woman living in Lviv, Ukraine.  Long story short, through Wendy Deis of the Owego Club (and our District Governer Elect), we were able to invite Yuliya Bitner to Zoom with us from Ukraine.
The Owego Club has so far raised $19,000 for Yuliya and her Rotaract Club in Ukraine to be used for medical supplies.  A classical music concert is phase two where more money will be raised to keep the momentum going.  Sponsored by our Rotary District 7170, Emmanuel Sikora, a music composer and pianist who grew up in the Cortland area, will be performing a fundraising concert for Ukraine on November 19th at the Phelps Mansion in Binghamton at 4 PM.  Tickets are $21, and all proceeds will benefit the people of Ukraine.  Contact the Phelps Mansion at (607) 722-4873 or visit for tickets.
Yuliya Bitner; photo Mike BrownGary Stewart then introduced Yuliya Bitner on Zoom.  A 23-year-old graduate student in Lviv, she is earning her international law degree.  Yuliya showed a video of Russian rockets and air raid sirens.  Ukrainians see the war as going on for eight years now, since the “annexation” of Crimea.  Her father is a doctor who has served on the eastern front.  Lots of humanitarian help has been coming in from around the world, and Ukrainians believe they will win the war.  They are getting used to having no power and will keep going strong until the end of the war; then they will stay and rebuild their country.  They work hard to maintain a good mood, stay positive, and keep working.  Even children are out on the streets asking for money from passersby to support the army and the war effort.Ukrainian children; photo Mike Brown
Following a standing ovation for Yuliya, Gertrude Noden told the group that our club has submitted an international Rotary grant request for $25,000 to help refurbish a local Lviv school’s air raid shelter.  One thousand students at the Lyceum #2 School are down in the dark, dank cellar for 3-4 hours every day while shelling goes on above.  There are no toilets, just hard cold wooden benches and desks.  Between the grant and money raised through Happy Dollars today and next week, our club will help to add electric heaters, build an equipped medical room, install toilets and lights, and more.  Donations are happily accepted and were through an extended Happy Dollars session!
We ended with a sincere thanks to all our visiting guests today and to Yuliya, who shines bright in Ukraine.
Visitor; photo Mike BrownLinda Brisson; photo Mike BrownSarah Segal; photo Mike BrownKelly Buck; photo Mike BrownRon Provus; photo Mike Brown


Newsletter Reporter:  Kelly Buck
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Greeter:  Jeff True
Newsletter Editor:  Loralyn Light
Set-up/Tear-down:  Harlin McEwen, Ron Provus, Gary Reinbolt, Dave Martin, and MANY MORE!
Set-up Zoom:  Bez Thomas
Recording Archive:  Paul Martin; click here
Club Service Facilitator:  June Losurdo