Posted By Jake Fowler
Sandie Krutz provided an inspirational quote from Sofia Loren —
“Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got, and 50% what people think you’ve got.”
Bev Graham led us in a fun singing of “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”
Visiting Rotarians —
Kerry Rego and Don Johnson, past president of our club, now of Santa Rosa West
Joe Deacon, Vincent Larcin, Don Johnson’s guest Ken Molinaro and Speaker, Anthony Galloway
Club Business and Announcements
President Marc reminded the Club of the service Wally and Sandie Krutz continue to provide at the District level which is just another reason why the dynamic duo of Wally & Sandie were selected as our December “Rotarians of the Month.”
Sandie Krutz reported that the gifts collected at the Annual Club Holiday Party on December 5th were overwhelming and that several silent auction baskets could easily be created for the Middletown Rotary Club’s January 23rd Valley Fire support fundraiser.
John Hackenburg described a wonderful time during Thanksgiving in Sonoma — hiking, eating, and drinking. He also shared about his visit to Sedona, Arizona including a visit to the local Rotary Club where he was able to exchange banners.
What is our big event this year? It’s the Lobster Feed F.O.R. Windsor! (Friends Of Rotary) on Saturday, May 14. We’re actively promoting the multiple-meaning of “F.O.R. Windsor” which includes a focus on supporting our community needs and being a Friend of Rotary. Tom Hassur is our ‘ringmaster’ chairperson for Loster Feed 2016. To get people excited and involved for a fundraising event, you need a compelling story related to why funds are needed. We plan on reminding the community of the many community projects the Windsor Rotary has made happen over the years as well as new community needs we are discovering through our active partnerships with local agencies and groups.
Marie Coakley can come to the meetings because Floyd, who is undergoing treatments for cancer, knew that she was missing our meetings and wanting to be with us. So, he came up with the solution: he would stay in bed while she is at Rotary. “It’s the early bird that gets the worm, but the second mouse that gets the cheese! Remember that someone came before you and made sacrifices so that you could thrive.”
Dennis Wilkinson spent an evening at Emeril LaGasse’s restaurant in New Orleans, ordering as he pleased and paying for it in recognition.
Slingshot Raffle — Dennis Wilkinson was the owner of the lucky raffle ticket — his two shots were impressively forceful but not quite on the mark and so the pot grows!
Program Presentation — LEAP Science & Math Schools in South Africa.
Don Johnson introduced native South African Anthony GallowaIy, with the The LEAP Science and Maths School, which is affiliated with Global Teachers Institute and Teach for Africa, among other organizations.
Anthony Galloway, MBA, has extensive experience in business and educational development. A South African native, he was educated in Namibia and the U.K. A former business executive, he is also an avid outdoorsman, having led an expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro, run marathons, rafted whitewater in Zambezi, and has jumped with both parachute and bungee.
South Africa remains a somewhat divided society, arising from the long official and unofficial system of Apartheid, run by a minority white government though with a majority black population. In touring the U.S., he’s been told by American leaders that we have similar problems here, yet it is far less than the 75-85% poverty rates in South Africa. When Nelson Mandela assumed the presidency in 1994, it was the first time that a majority representative was in the lead. There was much hope for education.
When Anthony got on a train to go to a whites-only school as a boy, it was a “whites only” cabin. His son often askes him if he had noticed that this was not quite right, but at 12, this seemed normal to Anthony, especially to one on the more advantaged side. No TV in South Africa ‘til 1975 – only radio, and the government kept a steady message of threats that might materialize if the system were changed. Education was deliberately ‘dumbed down’ for black students. As victims of a second-rate education consigning them to lower-level aspirations and careers.
Anthony started as a teacher and has worked 30 years in educational development. When a friend, John Gilbert, brought up the subject of the quality of black education, he responded with typical South African expression: “Shocking! A shame!” But he did not know the reality of the details. He learned that there were 3 high schools, 650 pupils – those who qualified for college level? Only 6. Of those, how many had math and science? None.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Anthony replied. This, he realized, was a guaranteed method to perpetuate Apartheid, sustaining the cycle of lack of education, poverty and violence that kept society as it was.
President Jacob Zuma has been a disaster, and other headaches continue, but public higher education is now more integrated. Anthony wondered to his friend John: is the problem too big? John was going to pursue his dream in any case. “All right, you bastard, you’ve got me. What can I do to help?” They set up as a proper non-profit and Anthony became Chairman of the Board.
In the Langa Township, it is common for many to live together in shacks with no running water or flooring. Hope is in short supply due to the roughness of life and lack of opportunity. Anthony recounted the story of a man who rescues starfish from the beach, one by one. Asked what difference this can possibly make among the thousands stranded, he throws another lobster in the water and responds, “It makes a difference to that one.”
Students come to LEAP with up to 2-year deficits in standard learning. LEAP is able to use regular campuses after hours. More than 50 University graduates have been produced from the system including one who is on track to be South Africa’s first black female Ph.D. in Finance. One next step is to help influence the government school system to become more progressive in approach and to make LEAP’s system more widely available. For more: http://leapschool.org.za/
Our closing thought for the meeting — Be present, give the gift of yourself to somebody, surprise them, and the reward will be yours.