President: Catrina VanAtta
President-Elect: Mary Kane
Vice President: Joe Giordano
Treasurer: Kati Flynn • Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-03-02
March 2, 2022
Reporter:  Kelly Buck
Wednesday’s meeting:
Cal Walker, “The Tuskegee Effect, and Why It Still Matters”
Hybrid Meeting at Coltivare and on Zoom
Join the Zoom Meeting


President Catrina opened the hybrid meeting with the Four-Way Test read in unison by all.

Visiting Rotarians:  Ted Silver and his wife from District 7410 in Pennsylvania.

Catrina read March birthdays and anniversaries.


President Catrina asked for more weekly notetakers.  Everyone seems to enjoy the weekly e-newsletter; we just need a couple more people to help take notes just once a month. It’s easy—and appreciated.
Linda Brisson gave an update on the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which has changed significantly since the onset of Covid.  In 2019-20, Anna from Lansing High School was in Denmark and had to return early.  In 2020-21, we had four approved and in 2021-22, seven students were ready to travel.  All were canceled due to Covid.  The committee is cautiously optimistic that we will have three outbounds and three inbounds this coming fall.  We will need volunteers to be host families.  The committee is seeking new people to train for the committee, and someone to act as liaison to Ithaca High School.  Please speak to Linda if interested in any of these opportunities.
Heidi Goldstein made two announcements:
  1. on Wed, April 6, all are invited to join in a Zoom webinar with famous DEI advocate Dr. Todd Jenkins.  See Heidi to sign up.
  2. Our District 7170 conference will take place April 29–May 1 at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa in Fairport.  All club members are urged to attend.
Bob Gravani issued an invitation to join in the next Highway Clean-Up Day on Saturday April 23, in conjunction with Earth Day.  Meet at 9:00 am at the Tops on Triphammer.  Let Bob know if you’re planning on participating.
Visiting Rotarian Ted Silver announced that his District 7410 conference will be held here in Ithaca, right across the street from Coltivare at the Hotel Ithaca.  The gathering kicks off on Thursday, May 5 with a Cinco de Mayo party, followed by a weekend full of fun, learning, a service project, and fellowship.  Our members are welcome to join in.


Brian Wilbur shared a quote from Elie Wiesel:  “We must always take sides.  Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.  Sometimes we must interfere.  When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.  Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”


Cal Walker gave an amazing slide presentation that thoroughly introduced the club to his incredible life of advocacy.  Cal is a 20-year Rotarian, is the March program chair, and sits on our club’s DEI committee.  Born in Montgomery, Alabama, he attended Livingstone College in North Carolina, then became part of a mass Black migration north when he moved to Ithaca in 1976.  Cal worked for P&G for 15 years, and then Cornell for 25 years before retiring in 2018.  He and his wife of 43 years have fostered 57 children over two decades.  His passion is affirmative action; Cal is a well-known and beloved community advocate, involved in many, many non-profits and other organizations, including the NAACP.  Seven years ago, he had a major cancer diagnosis.  After years of treatment and healing visualization, he is in full remission and continues his work.  Cal is a big Motown lover, and plans to write a book now.


Geoff Dunn introduced today’s speaker, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature Shawna Black.  Shawna was elected to the legislature in 2017, bringing diverse experience as an executive director in senior living, a recruiter for TCAT and Japan Air, and as the HIPAA privacy officer and corporate compliance officer at Southern Tier AIDS Project.
Shawna was encouraged to run for office with backing and support from Peter Stein.  In her first year as a legislator, she was appointed chair of the Health & Human Services Committee.  She is also actively involved on the Human Rights Commission, Public Safety Committee, and the Housing & Economic Development Committee.
Shawna is one of the original organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, DC in 2016, and started Rise Up on Facebook.  She is the quintessential “hockey mom” and loves youth and Cornell ice hockey.
Just this week the county suspended mask requirements, but Shawna urged all to remain open minded and sensitive to others.  There have been 59 deaths in Tompkins County due to Covid.  Masks have saved lives, and we must maintain respect for each other’s choices and remove stigma.  Everyone should continue to do his or her best in these tough times.  The county has a large supply of free KN-95 masks; speak to Geoff if you need some.
Shawna closed her remarks by reading a statement recently issued by the legislature denouncing Russia’s attack on Ukraine.


Support for Ukraine
Many Rotarians want to know what Rotary is doing regarding the Ukraine situation.  The simplest and most direct action we can take is financial.  Our District Finance and Foundation committees are meeting in the next few weeks and will decide on our District’s response.
Here are three suggestions for individual Rotarians and clubs to consider:
  1. Rotary Disaster Relief Fund:  Contributions must be made by April 30, 2022 to qualify.
  2. ShelterBox:  A Rotary partner is there now helping provide shelter that is key in situations like this.
  3. United Nations – High Commission on Refugees:  The UNHCR works for over 80 million refugees around our world.  Ukraine was declared a Level III emergency (the highest) for immediate support.
Redistricting Club Votes
Our December newsletter had an article providing the general background.  An update was sent to Club Presidents (38), President Elects (18), and Secretaries (31) on Feb.  28.  At least one person in your club received this update regarding a 3:1 merger with the Syracuse and Albany areas.  Hopefully, in the next few weeks, they will have shared this information, had questions answered, given your club an opportunity to discuss it, and taken a vote.  Your club’s vote must be reported to DG Evan ( no later than March 30.
District Conference
Our first in person District Conference since 2019 is less the 8 weeks away!  It will be a traditional conference with several keynote speakers, a dozen breakout sessions, lots of good food, and Rotary camaraderie.  I hope to see many of you there!  For Conference details and registration, go to


Newsletter Reporter:  Kelly Buck
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Newsletter Facilitator:  Loralyn Light
Zoom Team:  Brett Bossard and Rich Sholtys
Set-Up Crew:  Joe Giordano, Harlin McEwen, Steve Johnson, Dave Martin
Club Service Facilitators:  Beverly Baker and June Losurdo