Rotary Rays – October 21, 2013

Presiding: President Ron Fraser

Writer: Dave Harris

Your Hosts: The Rotary meeting today was hosted by the Great October/April POD.

Guests: Liam McCreery brought along his lovey daughter Kathleen for lunch.

Birthday’s and Anniversaries – Joe Odumodu on Oct 23rd

50/50 Draw – Richard Holmes drew the Ace of Clubs for a 15% share of the pot. Total $ to be disclosed later.

Sergeant at Arms: Robin Ferro handled the duties very well but your writer failed to take an accurate record of such fines and happy bucks. Suffice to say that there was significant happiness in the club today.

Club News: Francis read an update from our Outbound student Nathan on his experience in Thailand so far. Hazel reported that we raised $24.70 for Polio last meeting.

Meals on Wheels: Fred Fenton is looking for drivers at lunch, the  week of November 11-15th.  

There is a container packing bee at Norwich public school on November 9th need as many people as we can in 2 shifts 9-12 and 12-3 - signup online. 

Speaker: Cheryl Ewing, Chair of the District 7080 Mexico Shoebox and More program.

Cheryl gave an enlightening account of her experiences in delivering this wonderful aid to Nogales Mexico over the past 10 years. Her goal was to give our club and understanding of what to expect on a trip and how much it might cost to be involved. Below are some key points from her talk

Their goal is to have a team of 12-14 Rotarians from Canada and the US travel to Nogales each January. They bring a combination of cash and goods across. What she has found is that once a club sends a member that the club has a much better understanding of the needs of the people and this allows clubs to better target specific items for delivery. 


Local Rotarians assess each family in need and help is directed mostly to those who need just a hand up to become productive members of society rather than just giving handouts to those who will always need a handout.  On the Saturday you can expect to go into the Colonias where you will meet the recipients in person with local Rotarians and hand out tickets that they will use to redeem for food or goods on Sunday. This is a very emotional day as most of us would never have experienced the poverty that they live in. On Sunday you hand out food and clothing from the Rotary Clubhouse where people will have lined up starting at 3am. There are always those that don’t get something and it can be tough to have to say no to them.


Is it safe? In 10 years Cheryl has only felt a little unsafe once and that was while being driven by Rotarians to a remote gathering spot at night. Her fears were unfounded as the local police captain was in attendance.. 


On Sunday morning the Americans arrive and they go to the Clubhouse to hand out items. Help from lots of people Rotaract but the lineups start at 3:00am.


Cheryl feels that this is one of the best ways to see our international work in action. This program involves multiple Rotary Clubs, Rotaract Clubs and other local aid organizations. In addition you can see how grant money can multiply our fundraising efforts and see the difference that a sustained support program like this can have on one area.


Overall cost would be about $1,500 per person for the week long trip.  For more information please contact Cheryl Ewing at  or go to the district site:

Rotarians from Canada fly to either Phoenix or Tucson Arizona and meet up with the Rotary Club in Tucson. After an overnight stay they go to the Nogales Border and walk across with their luggage and cash. From the border it is a 2 block walk to the hotel in Nogales. Rotarians stay here as home hosting is not practical for the Rotarians. Rooms are $80/night. Lunch and dinner is mostly hosted by local Rotarians. To best appreciate the trip you need to adjust your expectations and realize that things in Mexico do not progress as they might in Canada. Patience is a virtue that will serve you well. Mexicans are very warm and hospitable however. While our project focuses on providing clothing, food and necessities for people with little or nothing, the consistency of our support has helped the local clubs focus on other items such as clean water for their community.