2017-10-25, Tamanda Chabvuta, NMSU student from Malawi

President Lya rang the bell about 10 minutes past noon.  She invited Steve Loman to give the invocation.  This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.  Fran distributed: “Ghost Riders in the Sky.”  She and Charlotte led us in singing it.  President Lya introduced the visiting Rotarians and asked Rotarians with guests to introduce them.  President Lya introduced her special guest, Diana Davidson who through her family’s foundation made the generous gift of $12,500 for our visiting high school student scholarships.  President Lya then introduced our high school student guest.  Because of the busy agenda, there was no “meet and greet.”

It is suspected that the water and iced tea were infused with a high level of “happy juice” as the Happy Dollars really flowed, starting with Elaine who was “mighty glad to be here!”  Steve’s youngest son promised his son (Steve’s grandson) that he would take him to a World Series game if the Astros made it.  They did!!  Earl – happy to be out of the hospital; Ana – a green chile “care package” was successfully delivered to her son J. B. in Australia; President Lya: $100 for the Club Project from her friends who attended the “Dress a Child” dinner and $20 for her guest and friend Diana; Mel - wife is doing much better; Bill Harty – Explained the change in the Spokes & Cogs masthead.  Prior to October 22, 1947 our Club newsletter was known as El Ro-Toro.  In recognition of the 70th anniversary of the Spokes & Cogs, the El Ro-Toro masthead has been displayed for the month of October.  The image is on our webpage.  Please visit.  Don Niewold – Proud to know one of the charter members of the Club; Mary Ellen – Daughter Mona, husband and relatively new grandchild are visiting; Rynni – Took her mom to Mexico for her birthday – all had a blast!  Jim Scott – wife is home and doing well; Elaine – for her dad and two great friends in the Club: John Hernandez and Naren Gunaji; John Pickett – We are getting close to our Club’s Clothe a Child project’s goal of $5,000.  He also took his grandchildren to DC.  They got to sit in the Supreme Court Judges chairs.  His younger daughter had a cancer scare – fortunately, after a lot of tests, it proved to be a false alarm;  Barry – sad dollar has tickets to game five of World Series at Yankee Stadium.

President Lya presented Charlotte and Gary their well-earned BLUE badges.  Oñate High School student Ben Curnutt gave a dynamic talk.  As he was the only one this month, there were a number of questions.

The Program

This month’s program coordinator Les Smith introduced our speaker Tamanda Chabvuta.  Ms. Chabvuta is an international NMSU student from Malawi.  She is pursuing a master’s degree in Communications Studies.  She had a fascinating slide show and presentation about her growing up in the South African nation of Malawi.  She is from an agricultural family as are most Malawians.  The land locked nation has a population of about 17 million with over 80% of the people involved in agriculture with tobacco as the major cash crop.  Most families are subsistent farmers.  The typical extended family consists of about seven people who tend a farm of less than an acre.  They barely make enough to feed and shelter everyone.  Over 70% of the population is considered below poverty level. 

Her family was somewhat better off than most and she and her sister were able to acquire good educations.  She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Humanities from the University of Malawi.  She worked a while as a teacher and later specialized developing and communicating information to the farm families to help improve the performance of their farms and their quality of life.  Her work in this area gained her significant recognition.  She was inspired by Kofi Annan former Secretary General of the United Nations: “To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there.”  She, her sister and their extended family are dedicated to helping others and promoting education in Malawi.  Fortunately for us, she chose to attend NMSU’s Communications Program.  After her presentation, Blaine (former Head of Communications Studies at NMSU) stated how proud he is of the department for attracting such talented students.

After the Program

Patty announced that up to six Rotarians are invited to the NMSU Engineering Scholarship breakfast to celebrate the greatly expanded Alec Hood scholarship.  Our club transferred the Alec Hood endowment of over $120,000 to the NMSU Foundation where it was matched, creating a significant endowed scholarship for engineering students.  Patty reported generous contributions of $226 to the can for our Club’s “Clothe a CHILD” project.  Sue had the ticket and drew something less than a face card.  Patty and President Lya drew another ticket to give away an expiring (hopefully not expired) candy bar.  The current pot stays at $500 and the next one is still growing.  President Lya led us in the 4-Way Test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Diana Davidson

Lya Jordan

Joe Burrow

Cornell Menking

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Dan Jones

Marietta, Ohio

Student Guests



Ben Curnutt












Patty Groth

November 9

Charles R. Tharp

November 12

Mary Ellen McKay

November 20

Barbara Nelson

November 20

Ted E. Shelton Jr.

November 20

Gus Gandara

November 21

Wedding Anniversaries-November



Wedding Anniversary


Daniel Payne


November 10

21 years

Andrew Taylor


November 11

22 years

John W. Hernandez


November 26

13 years

Club Anniversaries-November


Club Anniversary


Rynni Henderson

November 2

1 years

Gregory R. Fant

November 6

4 years

Robert Seaton

November 8

7 years

Charles R. Tharp

November 10

46 years

Caroline Zamora

November 13

4 years

Lynford Ames

November 24

39 years

William P. Harty Jr.

November 24

18 years


Submitted by Jay JordanJay Jordan