President: Catrina VanAtta
President-Elect: Mary Kane
Vice President:  "Six Pack"
Treasurer: Kati Flynn
Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-06-01
June 1, 2022
Reporter:  Margaret Frank

Wednesday’s meeting:
Michael Thorne, PE, City of Ithaca Superintendent of Public Works
“Current Opportunities and Challenges in Public Infrastructure”
Meeting on Zoom only


President Catrina led everyone in reciting the Four-Way Test.  There were no visiting Rotarians or guests (except for our speaker).

  • Dale Flinn; photo Mike BrownDale Flinn, Chair of the Rotary Foundation Committee, gave an update on the Rotary Foundation.  He said the Foundation is in the final stretch of the Rotary fiscal year, that ends June 30th.  Donations for this year need to be in before the end of the month.  An anonymous donor is trying to get rid of recognition points and can use them to recognize others; that is, help others become Paul Harris Fellows.  Any Rotarian who donates during June will receive a matching gift of recognition points up to 500 points (up to $500 matched with 500 points) if donating to the Annual Fund or the Polio Eradication Fund.  Let Dale know if you make a gift, and he will make sure the matching points are credited to you.  Automatic deductions would count—just let Dale know what the monthly deduction amount is.  If you want to know at what level of giving you are at, you can log into your account and look it up, or you can ask Dale for your current level of giving.  Joanne can give you your member number if you need it to check your status at My Rotary.  Dale reported that we exceeded our goal for the year and updated us on totals:  YTD Foundation giving to the Annual Fund:  $24,937.00.  YTD total giving: $30,477.00.  Great job, but it’s about $25K less than our total giving from last year.
  • Gary Stewart entered this in the Chat:  “Shared this with club leadership; on Tuesday on our weekly radio show (, I interviewed the president of the Uvalde Rotary Club and mentioned our club in the mix, too.”
  • Kelly Buck:  Save the date, Sunday, July 24th, for the 9th annual Rotary Road Race.  It is usually held in August, but we are changing it to July; the race will run from 1 PM to 6 PM.  Look forward to driving the back roads of Tompkins County!

President Catrina read June birthdays, along with anniversaries.
Happy birthday and happy Rotary anniversary!

Jessica Verfuss; photo Mike BrownJessica Verfuss told us that she is grateful to have served her country and wants to recognize and thank all the veterans, since Memorial Day just passed.  She read a quote from John F. Kennedy Jr.:
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

George Gull introduced J. Paul Jennette, MS, PE, who the CBSP Director of Biocontainment Operations at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine.  Paul gave a presentation titled:
“From Bronx Tigers to Cornell Students:  A Personal Perspective on Cornell’s COVID-19 Testing Program”
J. Paul Jennette; photo Mike BrownPaul gave us his personal perspective on Cornell’s COVID-19 testing program and asked us to think about where we were the week before everything shut down for COVID and how things have changed.  He was at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (off Long Island) and quarantined for two weeks in a local hotel after coming back because he became sick and didn’t want to potentially spread anything to anyone in Ithaca.
Research was already being done at the Vet School on MERS that is also a Coronavirus; from there the team moved to researching SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).  They received the first sample from a tiger at the Bronx Zoo who turned out to be infected with COVID-19.  Working with Tompkins County and the Cayuga Medical Center, the decision was made that the Vet School would host testing since they had the capabilities to test larger numbers than the other agencies.  They had to figure out how to become approved to do testing for humans, since requirements are different for humans vs. animals.  They also had to find space, hire hundreds of people, buy equipment, and iron out the logistics of testing thousands of samples a day, along with reporting and privacy concerns—and they created this new lab in 45 days!  Paul was instrumental in setting up Cornell's COVID testing operations; this in-house testing made a significant difference in how our greater community was affected by COVID-19.

Newsletter Reporter:  Margaret Frank
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Newsletter Editor:  Loralyn Light
Set-up Zoom:  Brett Bossard
Recording Archive:  Paul Martin; click here
Club Service Facilitator:  June Losurdo