Author Archives: gThankYou!

Rotary Madison — Notable Books Fellowship

So, what goes on at a monthly meeting of the Rotary Notable Books Group you ask?

A lot of discussion about interesting books! For example, on September 22, the Rotary Notable Book Group met at the Takara Japanese restaurant to discuss the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The book has been on the New York Times best seller list for many months.

Notable Books Fellowship Group (L-R): Ruth Ann Schoer, Darrell Behnke, Rich Leffler, Joan Leffler, Frank Stein and Roberta Sladky.

Frank Stein, a member of the group, gives us the following summary of their meeting:

Essentially the author describes the case of Henrietta Lacks, a mother of five who died in 1951 from cervical cancer. While in treatment at the noted Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, a slice of cancerous tissue was taken from the cervix and given to a laboratory scientist for analysis. The cancer cells in the tissue proved to be very much alive and continued to reproduce at a tremendous pace. This was a great scientific breakthrough since previous tissue cultures used in laboratory research containing cancer cells usually died within days.

The most fascinating part of the book was the depiction of the Lack’s family.  They were descendants of black slaves from Virginia who lived on the edges of society in poverty with poor education and lack of opportunities to better their lives. Another aspect of the story was the question of informed consent in research studies and who benefits from research that uses tissues from someone’s body? We had a lively discussion of the abuse of research in the lack of informed consent to patients in the past, such as with syphilis
patients and prisoners who were given live cancer cells.  In this book Skloot examines specifically how the exploitation of poor, uneducated people who are unaware of the research taking place can lead to legal dilemmas especially when huge profits are made on the basis of the findings. Should patients have any financial gains from tissues taken from their bodies?  This question has not been completely settled and the courts have been split in their verdicts.

In summary this was an excellent book that raised many scientific issues and described a culture of poverty that still exists in this country.

The Rotary Club of Madison has 500 members from business, academia, healthcare and public and community service.  It is one of the ten largest Rotary International clubs in the world and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.  Rotary International is a service club with local and global reach.  It’s 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries have 1.2 million members who meet weekly to develop friendships, learn, and work together to address important humanitarian needs. 
 

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Rotary Madison – Madison Club New Member Event

Today, a New Member Coffee Event was held at The Madison Club with 40 Rotarians, including 28 new members, in attendance.   This was an opportunity for newer members to enjoy fellowship with one another and meet some of our longer tenured Rotarians.

While introducing themselves, each was asked to share his/her favorite Rotary moments.  The event also had three presenters:

Our thanks to Jason Beren of the Member Development Committee for organizing this event for new members.

The Rotary Club of Madison has 500 members from business, academia, healthcare and public and community service.  It is one of the ten largest Rotary International clubs in the world and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.  Rotary International is a service club with local and global reach.  It’s 34,000 clubs in over 200 countries have 1.2 million members who meet weekly to develop friendships, learn, and work together to address important humanitarian needs. 
 

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Madison Rotary – Speed Dating Rotary Style

Typical Rotary lunch:  “Hi, may I join you?  How’s your day going?”

Speed Rotary:  “Please take a minute to tell me what you really want out of life.”

Scary?  Maybe, but today’s speed Rotary session was so successful; a loud whistle was needed to bring the group back to order as the session ended.  It’s not that we can’t ask personal questions during normal Rotary meetings, but it may seem a bit unnatural when it is not moderated.

Today’s speed Rotary session highlighted members in short, focused conversations with people that they probably didn’t know well.  When the 5-minute time was up, it was off to the next person and the next conversation.  Judging by the buzz in the room and the reluctance of people to stop sharing, many Rotarians felt special, unique and cared about.

If you missed today’s speed Rotary, you missed a special day.   Try to make the next one; you’ll be glad that you did!  Check out this video of the action.

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According to About.com, “Rabbi Yaacov Deyo of Aish HaTorah is the first to be credited with the idea for speed dating, a concept he introduced to Jewish singles with the intent of meeting and eventually marrying.”  While I’m confident that my conversations with Bruce Petersen, Paul Riehemann, Paul Ranola or Tracy Perkins won’t lead to marriage, I know them more meaningfully because of the five minutes I spent with them today than I ever have.  I even got to know John Faust better because I kept hustling him out of his seat to greet my next person!
One theory on the subject of speed dating asserts that the need to feel special, unique or cared about heightens our attraction to people that make us feel this way.  Human beings have an innate capacity to judge this level of attraction in other human beings very quickly.

(Click on photos to expand them.)

Thanks to the following Rotarians who served on the Speed Rotary Ad-Hoc Committee: Deb Raupp (Chair), Richard Bliss, Lew Harned, Heather Hopke, Donna Hurd, Craig Klaas, Paul Riehemann, Susan Schmitz, Jim Taylor and Bob Winding.

Our thanks: to Peter Cavi for this review article; to John Bonsett-Veal for coordinating photography and video for the first-ever Madison Rotary video blog post; Uriah Carpenter, a member of Oregon Rotary, for capturing video and photo highlights of our Speed Rotary session.

The Rotary Club of Madison has 500 members from business, academia, healthcare and public and community service.  It is one of the ten largest Rotary International chapters in the world and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.  Rotary International is a service club with local and global reach.  It’s 34,000 chapters in over 200 countries have 1.2 million members who meet weekly to develop friendships, learn, and work together to address important humanitarian needs. 
 

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Madison Rotary Beer Fellowship – Habitat for Humanity Build Event

Saturday, August 27 was a beautiful day for volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity project. Rotarian Steve Landry invited the Beer Fellowship group to join him at the project in Mount Horeb. He promised a trip to the Grumpy Troll Brewpub afterward. Keith and Juli Baumgartner, and Neil Fauerbach joined Steve bright and early at the site. Fellow Rotarian and Habitat CEO Perry Ecton joined us for the afternoon.

Steve volunteers for Habitat and assists with fundraising. It was a first experience for Keith, Juli, and Neil. The project we helped with is a duplex on a beautiful lot on the outskirts of the city. The future owners, Karen and Jean were with us all day, coordinating our paperwork and pounding a few nails. They spend a great deal of their time working on their new homes.

Since 1987, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has helped 190 families own their own home. Their process for educating the new owners on the economics and responsibility of home ownership has shown astonishing success. Of those 190 homes, they have only had to take back one.  Part of that success is due to the required involvement of the owners in the planning and building process.  Just being selected as an owner is a competitive process requiring a good deal of education and research.  New owner, Jean, explained the joy she and her family felt when they were selected to be the next HFH family.

Here's the new homeowner, Jean.

On Saturday, we pounded nails, mudded drywall, swept floors, installed siding and made some new friends. It was a beautiful day for “service above self.”

The Rotary Club of Madison has 500 members from business, academia, healthcare and public and community service.  It is one of the ten largest Rotary International chapters in the world and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.  Rotary International is a service club with local and global reach.  It’s 34,000 chapters in over 200 countries have 1.2 million members who meet weekly to develop friendships, learn, and work together to address important humanitarian needs. 
 
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Rotary Club of Madison Honors Jim Ruhly

Jim Ruhly was honored Wednesday August 24 by President Paul Riehemann for his outstanding service to our Club as Program Committee Chair.

President Paul presented Jim with a Rotary baseball cap signed by the Club’s Board of Directors.

Jim Ruhly receives congratulations from President Paul Riehemann

Madison Rotary – Scotch Whisky Lew Harned Society Fellowship

Tthe Scotch Whisky, Lew Harned Society Fellowship Group was hosted by Lew Harned at his home on Lake Mendota on Monday, August 22.  It was a beautiful evening with 35 people in attendance!

Ellis Waller and friends entertained the group with music from Scotland

Rotarians and guests enjoying the Sounds of Scotland.