Monday, January 30, 2023

Rotary International asks us to Serve to Change Lives through its Focus Areas

January is Vocational Service Month

This month Rotary International asks us to Serve to Change Lives by helping everyone learn skills that will allow them to become economically self sufficientExplore the possibilities with us at our meeting Wednesday at noon at Wick Park or virtually via Zoom.

The  Zoom ID is: 3567145262

This Week's Meeting

Happy anniversary, Rotarians! We will meet Wednesday at Wick Park on the Rotary Club of Youngstown’s 108th anniversary. Our resident historian, Bill Lawson, will share some RCY facts and stories. District 6650 Governor Michelle Charles will make a special presentation. Let’s celebrate!
RCY also has a full day of activities planned on Saturday. The fifth annual Groundhog Craft Beer Festival will be at Stambaugh Auditorium, and the annual Youth Exchange Sleepover will have inbound and outbound exchange students bouncing between the Covelli Center and the downtown YMCA. We need all hands on deck! If you haven’t already volunteered, then there is still time, as more help will be needed at both events. Mike Latessa is coordinating the Beerfest volunteer roster, and Don Foley is working with John Fahnert on the Youth Exchange Sleepover schedule.
Here is one easy way to support Beerfest. Stay after the meeting Wednesday to help wash tasting mugs. We’ll use the Wick Park Pavilion kitchen to wash and dry the small plastic mugs. Many hands will make light work. 

Last Week's Meeting

Gerri Jenkins and Ra’Cole Taltoan told each other’s stories in the final installment of Vocational Service Month Member Exchanges.

Gerri described Ra’Cole as an accountant and owner of Rockbrook Accounting Services. Ra'Cole has a second business that sells essential oils and also started Rise Youngstown, a nonprofit with a mission to help families achieve self-sufficiency through financial literacy, repairing personal credit and using banks to make financial transactions. Ra’Cole is proficient in math and deeply interested in nurturing entrepreneurial skills in people. She was encouraged by Samantha Turner, Dionne Dowdy and others to join RCY, but she doubted that she could commit the time. Once she began to attend weekly meetings, she embraced the Rotary motto of Service Above Self and made time for Rotary activities.

Gerri also announced that Ra’Cole is a candidate for Youngstown City Council, as the 2nd Ward representative.

Gerri thinks of herself as an educator, Ra’Cole said. She was giving career path direction to students in higher education in Cleveland before returning to Youngstown several years ago. That was when she realized that high school students needed the same guidance that she had provided at the collegiate level. Today, Gerri is executive director of MyPath, a non-profit organization that provides services to high school students exploring college education, career or technical training, workforce opportunities and military service.

Gerri’s boyfriend, a former president of the Rotary Club of Cuyahoga Falls, encouraged her to join her local Rotary club. Now that she is involved, there is “no looking back,” RaCole said of Gerri. 

Members also heard from Samantha Turner, Becky Keck and Sarah Gabrick, assistant director of Students Motivated by the Arts, about the second annual Spring Arts Festival for Youngstown City School District students in grades K-12. The festival is an activity of RCY’s Put Kids First Initiative and incorporates the goals of RCY’s Operation Pollination program. Students will learn about the importance of pollinators and convey their knowledge by creating art in various disciplines, Keck said.

SMARTS provides a curriculum for city schools’ English language teachers that meets state standards. Teachers will use the curriculum from early February through early April. Participating students will make field trips to SMARTS in mid-April to create their arts festival submissions. The exhibits will be open to the public in late April. 

Rotarians may volunteer to judge exhibits, assist on field trip days and more. Look for more details in the Clatter and announcements at weekly meetings.

Cavs Game with Manu

Manuela, AKA Manu, our Exchange Student from Italy, wants to attend a professional basketball game. Dave and Joanna Stillwagon, her current hosts, are planning to take her to the New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers game on Friday, March 31. Game time will be 7:30 p.m., preceded by dinner at a Cleveland restaurant. Rotarians are invited to join in the fun.

Josh Prest is working to secure a block of tickets and needs to hear from interested parties no later than Feb. 17. Ticket prices will be communicated later, depending on seat availability.

This is intended to be a surprise for Manu, so don’t spill the beans!

Pollinators and Equity

Most of us don’t think about equity when we see bees or butterflies, but it turns out the pollinators are intrinsic to creating an equitable society.
Pollinators contribute to the lifecycle of 22.9% of fruits, 16.3% of vegetables, and 21.1% of nuts and seeds. If we were to lose pollinators, 71 million people could be at risk for vitamin A deficiency, 173 million people could experience folate deficiency, and global mortality could increase by 1.41 million deaths per year.
Further, 80% of the world relies on herbal medicine and 28,000 of these medicines (8.4%) are pollinator-dependent*. The people most likely to be impacted by pollinator loss are those with the fewest resources available for alternatives to pollinated foods and medicines, making pollinator health a human equity issue.
Taking action to support pollinators is also taking action to support equity in human society.
Rotary Fact: Prior to the creation of a distinct area of focus to support the environment, more than $18 million in global grant funding had been allocated to environment-related projects in the other areas of focus within a 5-year span.
The work Rotarians do every day in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict prevention; disease prevention and treatment; clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; maternal and child health; basic education and literacy; and community economic development are all supported by the work we do to protect our environment. 
*Garibaldi et al. Garibaldi LA, Gomez Carella DS, Nabaes Jodar DN,Smith MR, Timberlake TP y Myers SS. 2022. Exploring connections between pollinator health and human health. Philosophical Transactions B.377(1853), 20210158.

Paul Harris Fellow Nomination Form

It is that time of year again to submit nominations for 2023 Paul Harris Fellows to be awarded at our 108th Anniversary Dinner tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 8th. In keeping with tradition, the club will award a Paul Harris Fellow to an existing club member and one community member. Please use the attached form to nominate a club member, community member or both.
Please submit your nomination to Becky Mottram at the Rotary Club office or to President Sharon Letson via email at or an upcoming meeting. Also, please have your nomination(s) submitted by the February 1st deadline in order to approve our selected awardees and process their award with Rotary International. 
Thank you, 
Rebecca Davis
Rotary International Foundation Chair

A Big Shot of Support

The Youngstown Whisk(e)y Club January Tasting Event, held Jan. 26 at V2 on West Federal Street, was a good time by many accounts. Attendees sampled bourbons and appetizers as they socialized. Our fellow Rotarian Kevin Chiu won the raffle, a Buffalo Trace basket that included a bottle of the aforementioned bourbon, along with other spirits and goodies. 

RCY was the big winner of the evening. Whiskey Club members wanted to support RCY in its charitable work. They donated raffle proceeds – an impressive $640 – to Operation Warm! (That should buy about 30 winter coats for students next fall.)

RCY warmly thanks Jim Johnston and the Whiskey Club membership for their generosity. 

RYLA Goody Bags 2023

As we reboot the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) Conference for 2023, we invite all Rotarians in District 6650 to contribute to the "Goody Bags" the students attending the conference will receive.  Our Goody Bags are not unlike the "swag bags" you may have received when attending a conference or event.  Our Goody Bags, though, are made up of items from Rotarians and their businesses.
What are we looking for?  Promotional items from your business, something from your club itself for each participant - like snacks, or money to buy items for the bags.
  • These bags are for 16-17 year olds.  They like pens and mechanical pencils, highlighters, post-it notes, key chains, small toys,  playing cards, Frisbees, fast food coupons, gum, candy bars, etc.
  • Please NO political giveaways.  We will not use them.
  • Please NO CAFFEINE snacks or drinks.  We cannot distribute them for safety reasons.
  • You will need 100 of any one item so every bag gets the same items.
  • Since we assemble the bags before the students arrive, items must arrive before Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
  • Items should be delivered or mailed to:
ATTENTION:  Lori Jewell
Salem Area Chamber of Commerce
Lori’s business phone is 330.337.3473
Please make sure “RYLA” is on all correspondence and mailings!
Thank you!
Barbara Loudon, Gina Dermotta - RYLA Conference Coordinators


February 1, 1915: the Rotary Club of Youngstown was admitted to Rotary International as Club Number 137. Arch C. Klumph, co-founder of the Rotary Club of Cleveland (1910), future President of Rotary International (1916), and founder of the Rotary Foundation (1917), was the keynote speaker at the Charter Presentation ceremony.
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Welcome to Youngstown Rotary

Service Above Self

Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Wick Park Pavilion
260 Park Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44504
United States of America
(330) 743-8630
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