Author: Lawrence Schofer

September 18, 2019 – Laurie Curtin, holistic medicine

Laurie Curtin is Co-founder of Eleven, a platform for connecting patients to holistic medical practitioners, and Eleven Gives, its non profit arm.

The purpose of the company is to create a database of information about alternative health approaches and to assemble an on-line directory of holistic health practitioners. The company will not charge for listings, but will receive a commission on each patient encounter engendered by the website.

100% of the profits will be donated to Eleven Gives.

August 21, 2019 – Mt. Airy Arts Garage

Speakers: Kathy Robinson and Arleen Olshan (Director) of Mt. Airy Art Garage.


Mt. Airy Art Garage is 10 yrs old. It was first housed at the Weavers Way garage. It began with a holiday art market and received strong community support – 100s of people came to first meetings. They moved into11 West Mt. Airy Ave. where they renovated the building and remained for 6 years, and is now located in a small storefront on Germantown Ave. They have worked with both schools and businesses – rain barrel project.


Mt. Airy Art Garage has been delivering art programming to local schools for 8 yrs. Many schools do not have art programs. They want to teach teachers how to do this and bring it back to their schools. This year they will create their 4th mural with Emlen. They work with 10-15 4th and 5th graders on Friday’s from12:30-3. Students learn art terms and techniques. The Art Garage partners with Lovett Library for exhibitions. The students are first instructed in watercolors, and then acrylics. The classroom teachers select which children will take the class – based on talents or other needs. There is also a poetry component to the program where students create art around poetry. There is no art teacher at Emlen. The budget at Emlen is $3,000, but there are supplies that are still usable from past years.


Mt. Airy Art Garage raises money through fundraisers. They have an annual budget of $50,000.

July 31, 2019 Coded by kids

Sylvester Mobley, CEO of Coded by Kids


Mr. Mobley served in three branches of the military. He deployed to Iraq but also received a broad spectrum of technology training and he found his calling. He noticed a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in tech. It’s an industry of great economic growth, but large swaths of people are being left out. More people from underrepresented groups are moving from middle class to poverty than the other way around. Tech allows people in poverty to move forward economically, and stay there.


He started Coded by Kids. A systemic approach to make sure that EVERY kid has access to tech education. Without that, we cannot build an equitable society.

Wants all young people to get a higher ed degree in tech. Data says that’s what’s needed.

The teens work on real projects. Learn to work together as a team and to discover what it takes to work on a tech start-up. Teens compete in pitch competitions.

Regular classroom teachers are not up to the task. Tech centers often have more resources than they need. They don’t know what to do with tech.

Coded by Kids offers workshops for teachers. It’s hard because tech is always moving forward.

He works a lot with elected officials and policy makers.

Coded by Kids is structured like a youth spirts organization. Kids stay with it, form relationships, and gain mentors.

Funding sources: corporate sponsors – vested interest. Foundations. Earned revenue stream from contracts.

Competitive coding competition. Work in teams on projects. Team wins $5,000.

July 24, 2019 Cancer Who?

Marjani Harris

With her husband, Al Harris, Marjani founded the organization “Cancer Who?” in 2013.  They had several family members who suffered through cancer diagnosis and treatment, and they noticed that there were varying levels of support and needs that weren’t met.  They decided to create an extended family support system.  It started as “Team Overtime,” and is now known as “Cancer Who?”  They sold apparel for fundraising, and helped 200 families. Services include  helping patients through chemo., and trying to keep their minds off cancer.  Patients don’t want to burden their families, so Cancer Who? ambassadors can help.  In February they opened a Cancer Who? center where people can come and enjoy food, games, and programs such as a  biweekly Survival Circle, which is a group for breast cancer sufferers. 

The organization serves Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey.  Funds are raised during the annual Cancer Who? weekend fundraiser which includes a Friday event, Cancer Who? Day with St. Christopher Hospital, a bike ride, a kickball tournament, and a comedy show on Sunday.  Demand is rising, but they haven’t  turned anyone away.  They offer a webinar once a week so survivors can talk to each other around the country. Funding is received from a few small grants.

July 17, 2019 Auctions 101

Tim Ziegler, Rotary member and Director of Business Development for Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia:

Downsizing has grown to one of the largest sources of property for auction.  Estates liquidation is about the same.  What makes something an antique? Age of 100 years or more.

Auctions date back to 500bc Babylon where wedding auctions were first recorded. Began in the 1600s in the US – slaves, crops, etc..  Auctions turn assets into cash. Often held in taverns and coffee houses, for art, etc. Civil War colonels developed the art of auctioneering – sold the spoils of war.  Depression years were not good for the auction business, but great strides were made in auctioneering after WWII. In the 1990s photographs introduced. eBay revolutionized the business and introduced it to a new generation. “Buy now” became expected. Online bidding is now part of most large auctions. 1000s of people following online. Fewer people in the room. In 1977 Antiques Roadshow started in England.

Large brown furniture, pianos, armoires are very tough to sell. Changing lifestyles. Formal dining elements are also tough.

Mid century modern items are very strong, and Nakashima is furniture very hot. Mad Men may have contributed to popularity of the period.

Most estates have one or two items that are worth as much as the rest of the other items combined. The one or two finest items should be exposed to as many buyers as possible (online), not the few who come to an estate sale.

May 15, 2019 – ShelterBox

ShelterBox is an independent charitable organization with close affiliations to Rotary International. The organization responds to disasters by supplying whole family kits or by supplying specific items needed for rebuilding after catastrophe, such as earthquakes, typhoons, and civil wars.


Club member Tom Lloyd acts as a volunteer spokesman for ShelterBox, which our club has supported for the past 10 years. He pointed out that the organization has helped very large numbers of families, such as 11,000 families in West Africa, 35,000 families in East Africa, and over 50,000 in disaster areas in such countries as Syria, Iraq, and Indonesia.


From 2011 to 2018, there were 158 deployments in over 100 countries.


Tom noted that volunteers for ShelterBox field response teams undergo intensive training in order to prepare them to distribute supplies on the ground and not to use possibly corrupt local political organizations.


The organization is establishing a new category of ShelterBox hero, meaning groups that pledge to support ShelterBox at a meaningful level for at least three years. There is no question that our club would qualify, given its activity in the past, and we have every intention of continuing.

May 1, 2019 – Rotaplast

Carol Lerner, Rotary District 7450 volunteer coordinator for Rotaplast, discussed the 2019 district mission to Monrovia, Liberia.

Rotaplast is a separate organization, a spinoff of activity of Rotary members, but one that is actively supported by Rotary clubs. Missions take place only to areas where local Rotary clubs can provide support.

A team of 21 people in this mission consisted of nine Rotarians and 12 health professionals (doctors and nurses). The official task is to provide surgery for cleft palate and cleft lip, conditions that  are routinely corrected in the United States but that can be physically and socially crippling in other countries. Ordinarily about 100 surgeries are performed in a 10 day mission, but because of logistical and financial reasons affecting the local population, only about 60 such surgeries were performed in this mission. The surgeons were able to expand their reach to include a number of surgeries for keloid scars.

Keloids are common among certain African populations. If untreated, these scars can become raised and become so large as to be disfiguring.

Each of the accompanying Rotarians was assigned a support job on this mission, such as being in charge of sterile materials, preoperational contact with the children, transportation within the hospital, and other assorted tasks. Carol spoke of the tremendous esprit de corps that developed among all the members of the mission as they were engaged in a significant humanitarian activity.

Missions are generally planned 6 to 8 months in advance. The mission for 2020 sponsored by our Rotary district has not yet been scheduled.

April 17, 2019 – Prevention Point

Clayton Ruley of Prevention Point explained the organization’s approach to dealing with the problems of drug abuse. Harm Reduction is a set of public health strategies designed to reduce the negative consequences of drug use and to promote healthy individuals and communities without necessarily reducing drug use.


The strategy of this program is improved health through access to sterile syringes, safer injection supplies, medical supports, legal supports, and social service supports. The idea is to use a non-judgmental approach in working with drug addicts and sex workers. There are currently 11 weekly exchanges and access sites, both site-based and mobile. Services are not “forced” onto clients. The cost of supplying the supplies is infinitely less than the cost of treating HIV-positive individuals and those with hepatitis C.


Statistics indicate a significant decrease in cases of HIV among drug users in Philadelphia, suggesting positive results for the program.