August 31, 2022
Reporter:  Loralyn Light


Wednesday’s meeting:
Jessica Verfuss, Deputy Director
Tompkins County Emergency Response
“National Preparedness Month”
 
St. Catherine’s Community Center and on Zoom
Join the Zoom meeting


WELCOME & TRADITIONS

President Mary Kane welcomed us to the meeting, including those on Zoom!  She’s been thinking about how we have been working to make a smooth transition to the fall and invited us to consider the Four-Way Test in relation to our interactions.  We then recited the Four-Way Test.
 
Mary introduced our guests, including Gail Belokur (Interim CEO, United Way) who is on the path to membership.
Bernardo, our exchange student from Brazil (Lansing High School) was with us for the first time, as a guest of Paul Martin.
Megan Barber, who used to work for Mary at Concept Systems, is our guest speaker.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

In light of many discoveries of late, including the new telescope and a possible human trip to the moon, Brett Bossard shared a visual and the words of Carl Sagen:
 
“Look again at that dot.
That’s here.  That’s home.  That’s us.
 
“On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.
 
“The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—
 
on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”


ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mary first talked about using Happy Dollars to raise money for our Community Grants.  Through September 15th, we will collect for it.  How else can we make this happen this year?  The Little Apple Fall Follies show is not happening.  I will be sending a note out to the entire club about this.
 
We are meeting here at St. Catherine next week (September 7th).  Our alternate space is Coltivare on Sept 14th and 21st and back to St. Catherine on September 28th.  And our holiday party will be at Coltivare, too.
 
From Bob Gravani and Mary-Lynn Cummngs:  the Highway Cleanup Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct 8th (rain date is Oct 15th).  Meet at 9:00 AM at the Tops on Triphammer parking lot.  Safety equipment will be provided; wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle.  For registration and questions, contact Mary-Lynn Cummings: mlcummings101@gmail.com, 607/227-5790.  Or you can go to the website and sign up to help there!  We will be using this technology for every event to allow those who are not attending meetings to be involved.
 
Vice President Angela Sullivan wanted to inform us of how our programming works, after receiving many emails from club members with ideas for speakers.  She has a chair for each month of the year; if you email your ideas to her, she will forward them to the appropriate monthly chair.  And she will keep the calendar of speakers up to date on the website.
 
And we have a great team to coordinate publicity—the Voice of Rotary, led by Sherrie Negrea and Gary Stewart.  Every single Rotary activity deserves promotion:  What we do.  How we talk about what we do.  And what are the means by which we talk about what we do.  Speak to Sherrie and Gary to coordinate your projects/events.
 
Feed My Starving Children, which is an Area Congregations Together (ACT) project, will take place September 30th–October 2nd.  Rotary members will help package food, and you’ll hear more about this in coming weeks!
 
Emily Parker placed flyers on all of the tables about a benefit for the Alcohol & Drug Council on Thursday, September 8th.  Recovery ROCKS! will take place at the large pavilion at Stewart Park from 5 PM to 7 PM and features performances by Kitestring as well as Maddy Walsh & Miami Whizzdom.  It is FREE, but suggests a donation of $5.
 
Today’s issue of Tompkins Weekly featured a story about Gertrude Noden’s Rotary grant funded through the Dozen Dinner Draw and her trip to Uganda this past April (see story at the end of today’s newsletter).
 
Next week’s speaker is Rotarian Jessica Verfuss, who is Deputy Director of the Tompkins County Emergency Response.  She will speak about individual efforts for disaster preparedness.


THIS WEEK’S PRESENTATON

Megan Barber worked for our President Mary, but her real love is the violin!  And now she is Executive Director of the Community Arts Partnership (CAP).  Megan will give us a snapshot of where the arts are now, as COVID is waning.
 
“Local Arts Update”
For 30 years, our grants, programs, and services have been a driving force behind the vibrant arts community of Ithaca and Tompkins County.  CAP’s mission is to strengthen the arts in Tompkins County by providing services and resources for artists and arts groups, and leads collaboration among the arts, government, education, business, and the community at large.
We offer grants to artists and to arts organizations, both large and small.  During COVID, we had an Emergency Relief Fund.  A year later, in cooperation with the Community Foundation, it became the Creative Recovery Fund to address the quadruple pandemics of COVID-19, economic recession, racism, and climate change.
 
Programs
  • Ithaca Artists Market (at the Ithaca Farmers Market): held each August with the recent one on August 12th being one of the best yet!
  • Greater Ithaca Art Trail: features 50 local artists with open studios on monthly First Saturdays, the special-event weekends in October, and by appointment.
  • Spring Writes! Literary Festival: 90 or so local artists, playwrights, and poets presenting readings, panels, performances, and workshops (May-June).
  • CAP ArtSpace: Friday nights are gallery nights.
  • Public art & fiscal sponsorship: we’re working on a bike sculpture currently.  And we act as a fiscal sponsor for groups that aren’t nonprofits.
How are the artists?
COVID has actually helped individual artists connect to people and in a larger geographic area.  They are able to use their creativity to help with social change and social causes.
Attendance is unpredictable!  Don’t know what to expect!  Need help with marketing and social media.
 
How are arts organizations?
Not as rosy a picture as with individual artists.  They are very pleased with the quality and diversity of their arts and showcasing artists and works of minority groups.
Organizations want to strengthen community connections—e.g., the Kitchen Theatre with the Village at Ithaca.  For the most part, the arts organizations are live and in person!  A live audience is exciting—but attendance is only 40-60% of pre-pandemic levels, which makes it quite difficult when you are relying on ticket sales.
Lots of money has been injected into the arts organizations, but that’s over.  Now what?  The State Theatre is riding high on its Save Your Seat campaign currently.
 
Ways to help support the arts
Go to the theater, cinema, orchestra, etc.
Spend your money on art!
Give to arts organizations and promote it!
And really thank them for all they do.
 
Questions
Frank Towner: is that bicycle sculpture up currently?  No, but that same artist will build a bike sculpture for us this fall.
Steve Johnson: where does your funding come from?  NYSCA—CAP is a re-grant center for every part of the county, TC Strategic Tourism, corporate sponsors, and individual donors.
Jeff True: will arts organizations be merging?  Possibly; Megan is working with the Saltonstall Foundation on a September retreat, and she’ll know more about it then.
Mary: where do you see gaps in artist funding/your services?  Seems heavy on individual artists.  Megan:  that may be true.
Mary: have you seen a greater use of technology in art?  How to convey a performance on line?  Several groups have done such a thing during COVID, including Opera Ithaca’s Hansel and Gretel.


HAPPY DOLLARS

  • Fred:  $40 to keep it going
  • Mary Kane:  $25 in honor of my friend Megan Barber and CAP
  • Emily Parker:  $10 for Recovery ROCKS
  • Linda Brisson:  $50 because exchange student Bernardo is at our meeting today, and Emma from Italy has arrived safely, too.
  • Gail Lyman:  $20 for the arts
  • John Barradas:  $10 for whatever
  • Angela Sullivan:  $40 because I gave you the wrong number for the Pet Poison hotline!  The correct number is 855-764-7661.
  • Brett Bossard:  $5 for the first full-capacity, sold-out screening this weekend since COVID (at Cinemapolis)—The Territory, by two Ithaca High School alums.
  • Jean McPheeters:  I’m oddly happy because my niece had a brain aneurism—and came through the surgery wonderfully, with the surgeons packing the aneurism with platinum!
  • Loralyn Light:  $5 for her first rehearsal for Verdi’s Nabucco, an Opera Ithaca production that is going up November 4th.
  • Sherrie Negrea:  $10 as they are paying their final year of tuition at Cornell University!
  • Gary Stewart:  happy that we’re talking about equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Joanne Lamoureux:  $20 for a photo of everyone dressed in coral/salmon!
  • Bob Sprole:  $5, over the weekend went to the Spotted Duck, ice cream made with duck eggs; on our way home, a deer leaped out of the woods!  Neither seriously injured.
  • Gail Belokur:  $25 for Jean McPheeters for sponsoring her for Rotary and for 25 Community Grant applications.
  • John Vineyard:  happy for his grandson’s 5th birthday
  • Mary Berens:  we need someone to help us with Happy Dollars!  I’ll give $25 when that person comes forward!
We’re wrapping up!  Do one good thing each day!


NEW MEMBER APPLICATION

Name:  Gail Belokur
Business:  United Way of Tompkins County
Position:  Interim CEO
Sponsor:  Jean McPheeters
Classification:  To be determined


THANK YOU ROTARIANS

Newsletter Reporter:  Loralyn Light
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Greeter:   Emily Parker
Newsletter Editor:  Loralyn Light
 
Set-up/Tear-down:  Brad Carruth, Harlin McEwen, Steve Johnson, Heidi Goldstein, Richard Kops, Dave Martin
Set-up Zoom:  Bret Bossard
Recording Archive:  Paul Martin; click here
Club Service Facilitator:  June Losurdo

ITHACA ROTARY CLUB FUNDS PROJECTS IN UGANDA

A grant from the Ithaca Rotary Club has funded a project in Uganda to produce reusable feminine hygiene kits, allowing dozens of girls to attend school during their menstrual periods.  The first set of kits created by a cohort of girls in Gulu, Uganda, was delivered to local schools this summer.  The girls began six months of training as seamstresses in May at a women’s cooperative in Gulu.
The project was supported by the Ithaca Rotary Club’s Dozen Dinner Draw raffle, which this year raised $15,000 for two nonprofits that support the menstrual hygiene of girls in Uganda, South Sudan and Guatemala.  An additional $10,000 challenge grant, offered by Backyard Brands, Inc., was provided to the project in Uganda.
The project in Uganda has been championed by Rotarian Gertrude Noden, an Ithaca education consultant who founded Words into Deeds, a nonprofit that promotes youth awareness and engagement in local and global human rights issues.
“We are particularly grateful to the community members who supported the Ithaca Rotary Club’s annual Dozen Dinner Draw fundraiser,” Noden said.  “Your ongoing efforts and contributions have had a direct impact on the successful implementation of our organization’s youth empowerment projects.”
Noden noted that the project to create a sustainable model to produce basic hygienic supplies is student led and includes youth from the UNIFAT Primary School in Uganda and the Abukloi Secondary School in South Sudan, who are helping with both the liquid soap and kit projects.  The hygiene kits contain pads, underwear, soap and washcloths and are distributed to school-age girls.
Noden visited Uganda last April to lead several sessions of a two-day workshop, “Youth Empowerment for the 21st Century,” that was offered to primary school students and teachers, vocational students, and teacher candidates at Gulu University.