Score a mentor
The two articles “The postmodern mentor” and “The ABCs of mentoring” [September] were both outstanding and should be a basis for anyone interested in mentoring. My first thought upon reading these articles was my experience as a member of SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business.
SCORE is an organization of more than 10,500 working and retired business professionals who volunteer to help a new generation of small business owners start and grow their businesses. Local chapters across the country serve more than 350,000 people each year – more than 7.2 million small business owners since 1964. The organization provides on-line training for new counselors. Each counselor has areas of expertise, and assignments for counseling are based on the abilities of the individual counselors. Cybercounseling is also available.
SCORE is a perfect opportunity for Rotarians, active and retired, to use their experiences in business to mentor start-up and expanding small businesses. To contact your nearest SCORE chapter, go to www.score.org.
Ronald J. Brickey
Ottumwa, Iowa, USA
Rotary for two
I enjoyed your recent article [“The postmodern mentor”] featuring ways that older members can connect with younger members and prospects. Indeed, young people often choose not to join Rotary because they don't see anyone their own age at the meeting. This problem is easily solved by always inviting young people to attend the meeting and bring a friend. Whoever said joining Rotary has to be a solitary activity?
Michael Angelo Caruso
Troy, Mich., USA
New York revisited
I read with interest “New York rising” [September] with Rotarian David Del Monte from the Rotary Club of New York.
I began my Rotary career at the New York club in 1957. I would never have been eligible for membership, since I was 32. But Rotary had a wonderful classification called “additional active,” which stated that a Rotarian in good standing could automatically bring in a member of his profession or firm. This classification brought in many younger men who would not have been able to join until they were older. A.Y. Wilson was vice president of my company, The Burroughs Corporation, was a president of the Rotary Club of New York, and gave me the opportunity to be a Rotarian. Why the Council on Legislation canceled this additional classification has always mystified me.
The New York Rotary club was a vibrant and exciting club. We had several hundred members and many international and domestic Rotary visitors.
I look back at my 51 years in Rotary, and it was being a part of the Rotary Club of New York that changed my life. I became a citizen of the City of New York, met so many interesting people, and participated in our club projects.
Many thanks to David Del Monte for helping me relive those wonderful days in the Rotary Club of New York.
Samuel L. Greene
Westlake Village, Calif., USA
Thanks for your article “L.A. stories” [September]. It’s difficult to sum up an RI Convention on three pages. The part that remains most vivid in my memory, after all the glitz and inspirational talks have faded, is the evening with the local Malibu club, planned by the Host Organization Committee. This was the same for me in Chicago 2005. All local Rotarians deserve to be recognized for their genuine welcome to all of us at these conventions!
Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Without education, clean water is a mirage
I was buoyed by the compassion of two Rotary clubs in Florida that teamed up to provide water for two villages in Guyana. Their project should be a catalyst for almost all African clubs, including those in my district, 9130 (Nigeria). Despite years of water projects undertaken by many organizations, clean drinking water is still a mirage to many.
As a health news worker who has reported on guinea worm disease (Dracunculus medinensis) in southwest Nigeria since the late 1980s, I think the problem persists because the way drinking water projects are implemented often neglects community health education. Rotary clubs should involve public health professionals, especially health educators, in addition to civil engineers who provide pumped water from boreholes. This will ensure sustained usage and successful intervention.
Gbemi Tijani Mst
I need somebody
Every time a hurricane evacuation command is given, there is an almost impossible task for some Rotarians to find housing until the curfew is lifted. If a Rotarian could post on the Rotary Web site his or her request for housing with another Rotarian in an unaffected area, it would build “goodwill and better friendship.” The evacuating Rotarian would list the size of his family, the anticipated time of their stay, and some personal information that might be useful for a Rotarian who might want to house the family. This list could be online and handed out at other Rotary meetings.
A.F. "Bob" Blair Jr.
Thibodaux, La., USA
And the winner is...
Editor’s note: We received more than a dozen responses to a letter that ran in September about Rich Vonnegut, the oldest Rotarian in the Rotary Club of Indianapolis [“Challenge time”], including a note to make us aware of Raphael Rouane – 104 years old, with 77 years of Rotary membership as a founding member of the Rotary Club of Sète, France – as the eldest Rotarian. Thanks to everybody who wrote in to pay tribute to the oldest Rotarians in their clubs. Read more and finish the friendly competition.
After the letter about him inspired such a spirited response, we were saddened to hear of the death of Mr. Vonnegut on 20 August at the age of 95.
The Rotary Club of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA, is honored to meet the challenge of having the oldest member in A.K. “Ace” Walden, who was born on 17 May 1907 and is 101 years of age. The name “Ace” comes from his achieving something not many of us has: a hole in one on the golf course. Ace became a member on 12 January 1958 and continues to regularly attend our weekly Rotary meetings. He is a former president of our club, a retired banker, philanthropist, and community historian par-excellence.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA
The Rotary Club of Three Rivers, Mich., USA, is proud to provide a candidate for oldest active Rotarian. John Shuman was born 26 February 1912 and still comes to meetings on a regular basis. He holds the distinction of having attended our club’s annual Children’s Christmas Party – where we feed and provide gifts to dozens of elementary youngsters who could use some extra encouragement – for an amazing 67 years, this past year festively dressed in a hat shaped like a decorated Christmas tree.
Three Rivers, Mich., USA
I would like to introduce a member of the Rotary Club of Geneva, Neb., USA, who is not much younger than Rotary itself. Ben Fussell was born on 28 September 1910, was a charter member when our club was formed in 1958, and still regularly attends our weekly meetings (usually by driving himself). He is a dedicated Rotary member, having served as president, as bulletin editor, and on many committees over the years. Ben is a Paul Harris Fellow and has 37 years of perfect attendance.
Geneva, Neb., USA