2010-11-24, Rahul Tangirila, NMSU Rotaract

President Richelle Ponder began the meeting announcing that John McDowell had been hospitalized at Memorial that morning.  After Barbara Rose Farber’s invocation invoking Thanksgiving and President Richelle led the Pledge of Allegiance, John Pickett led us in singing the traditional Thanksgiving “Hymn”, Albuquerque Turkey.  We then had the opportunity to visit with mystery greeter John Pickett, and everyone else we could. 

Richelle PonderPresident Richelle introduced guests of Rotarians, our student from LCHS who came on the holiday.  The “cuss can” from Richelle’s business (Aamco) was emptied into the can, benefitting our year-end project for the Gospel Rescue Mission.  There were plenty of happy dollars.  Barbara Rose Farber announced she had taken a concealed weapon course at NMSU, and that she was “packing.”  Bobby Rankin was happy to announce that Gerald Thomas’s new book, A Winding Road Through the Land of Enchantment,” was now available, and that a few copies were brought to the meeting.  Paulina Salopek was happy to be visited by her oldest granddaughter.  Ana Mangino invited all to the grand opening of Century Bank on December 7 from 4 to 6 pm.  Billy Bullock, in his orange shirt, was happy about the Miners’ victory in El Paso the previous night, as was Jim Scott.  Bill Harty was thankful for the opportunity to be a Rotarian for 11 years. 

The Program

Rotaract logoNovember Program Chair Andy Taylor introduced Rahul and Sarathi from the NMSU Rotaract Club.  They spoke about their club’s international service project for this academic year.  It is called the SAHARA Polio Project.  The name was chosen as “sahara,” which in Hindi translates to “support.”  The objective of the project is to raise funds to contribute, through the Mesilla Valley Club and District 5520, to a Matching Grant project in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Begusarai, India.  The project is to provide corrective surgery and post-operative care for 500 polio afflicted children in the state of Bihar, India. 

As we have heard over the past several weeks, the work of Rotary International over the past 20 years has reduced the number of polio cases in the world by over 99 percent.  Only four nations still have wild polio outbreaks. Of the 1049 polio diagnoses in the world in 2009, 741 were in India.  Bihar, in northeastern India, is one of the poorest regions of the country; over 40% of the population is in poverty and 13% live on $0.25 per day.  This project aims to help those children crippled by polio, providing surgeries to repair crippled limbs, particularly legs and feet, to allow the victims to live more normal lives. 

The Indian club partnering in this effort has already funded (partly through the surgical skills of Rotarian physicians) 433 surgeries this year.  The NMSU Rotaract Club is trying to raise $25,000 through events and product sales (clothing from an Indian cooperative), and matching from District 5520 and the Rotary Foundation.  This would provide the supplies for 500 surgeries; essentially all other costs are to be donated, including surgical talent.  The Rotaract Club is working with a large number of local partners (at UTEP; UNM; NMSU; the Technical Institute in Monterrey, Mexico; and Interact Clubs from several high schools) to achieve this goal. 

Answering questions, the students noted that the cost of each surgery is about $50 for supplies, that funds are being handled within Rotary, rather than by local officials, to be sure that all the funds were used for the project, and that more information would be available at the Interact web site, http://nmsurotaract.org/

After the Program

Andy Taylor distributed glass holiday ornaments to each Rotarian present, asking each person to inscribe an ornament and present it as a Thank You to someone important in their lives and communities.  Barbara Rose Farber won the 50/50 drawing, and donated the proceeds to the Rotaract project.   Paulina Salopek reported that $854 was raised this month for the Gospel Rescue Mission, and President Richelle presented Bill Wheeler with the check.  After Jim Bullock again reminded everyone to wear pink for the Paul Harris Fellow presentation next week, President Richelle led the Four Way Test and adjourned the meeting, wishing all a happy Thanksgiving. 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest    Host
David Thomas Gerald Thomas
Barbara Andrew Mary Ellen McKay
Judith Ames Lyn Ames
June Briggs Dinus Briggs
Rahul Tangirila (NMSU Rotaract) Club
Sarathi Munuswamy (NMSU Rotaract) Club

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club

Student Guests

Student School
Devin Blackwell Las Cruces


Rotarian Date Club

December Birthdays of Rotarians

George Miller December 5
Ivan Stubbs December 6
Rich Gregory December 12
Robert Seaton December 17
David McCollum December 20
Jill Grammer December 21
Henry Broekhoff December 22
Jim Bullock December 29
Ron Salak December 30
Janet Green December 30
Bill Wheeler December 31
Kim Hakes December 31

December Wedding Anniversaries

Harry & Kathy Hansen December 20 35 years
Charles & Linda Tharp December 21 52 years
John & Susan Pickett December 23 44 years

December Club Anniversaries

Earl Phillips December 7 22 years
Craig Tharp December 12 9 years
Keith Houser December 13 4 years
Wanda Mattiace December 27 20 years

Submitted by Bill Harty Bill Harty