Today’s meeting was held at Face-To-Face Germantown, a charitable organization that was described to us several weeks ago at a club meeting. The club made a donation to the organization today.
Presentation by Glen Abrams, Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS)
The single biggest project of PHS is the annual flower show, which has been running since 1829. The 2019 show is scheduled for March 2-10, and is entitled “Flower Power ”.
Glen reviewed a number of the programs that PHS is involved in outside of the flower show:
The greenhouse in Meadowbrook
City Harvest – working with prisoners to provide jobs for returning citizens
Neighborhood Gardens Trust – local gardens
Tree Tenders – training for the care of trees. 2000 trees planted annually
Treevitalize watersheds – work with local districts to reforest along streams
Philadelphia land care – clean and maintain 12,000 vacant lots – work with local residents and businesses Neighborhood parks – improve local sites
Maintain public landscapes – for example, around Rodin Museum, Navy Yard
Horticultural education schools
Rain check – residential stormwater management
PHS, founded in 1827, has 21,000 member households and 5000 volunteers. It has a budget of $27.5 million.
November 7, 2018 – Rotary Foundation, Ugandan Learning Center, Andra Watkins, novelist
Through a scheduling mix-up, we had three speakers this past week, but those in attendance were invigorated and charmed by all three of the speakers.
- Bonnie Korengel, representing District 7454 Rotary international and assistant regional Rotary foundation coordinator
The Rotary foundation was founded over 100 years ago. All the projects supported by the foundation have now been fit under six major areas: promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education, and growing local economies.
Statistics to illustrate these issues: 400 million children immunized against polio every year, one in three people worldwide lack access to a toilet, 1 in 10 people lack access to clean water, 59 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school, 750 million adults are illiterate, 2/3 of them are women.
To these ends, the foundation has a fund drive every year with the slogan EREY: Every Rotarian Every Year. Our local chairman is Lou Richman.
The money raised by the foundation is kept for three years, and the earnings on this support the administration of the fund. After that time, the money is returned, to be used for district grants (in 2018-19, $86,563 came back to District 7450) and half is used for global grants.
- Barbara Wybar, administrator of Wybar Learning Center in Bududa, Uganda
Barbara is a Quaker called to go to Uganda, where she has helped to run the Learning Center. The biggest project currently is a vocational Academy, where seven categories of skills are taught to locals.
Our club as a tradition of donating money for support of this center.
- Andra Watkins (andrawatkinslcom) is a novelist interested in historical phenomena. She wrote a novel about the supposed suicide of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and Clark), and then decided to publicize this novel by walking the 444 mile Natchez Trace.
Andra gave a very stimulating description of getting started on this walk, and how she eventually bonded with her father. She wrote a memoir that is very touching in its description of the changing relationship that she has had with her father because of this trip – Not Without My Father. She has written three novels based on historical circumstances, all available both in print and as e-books.
October 31, 2018 – Just Vote – It Matters
Dennis Lee, who has worked in the office of the City Commissioner (voting supervision), founder of the organization Just Vote, emphasizes that this is a movement to promote, create awareness, and energize voters on the importance of why every vote matters
This is a nonpartisan organization, working to bring out voters, regardless of whom they vote for in any given election, only 12 to 20% of the voters vote. In the November 2018 election, it is projected that 25% of the over 1 million eligible voters in Philadelphia will vote.
Philadelphia County has about 800,000 Democrats registered, and about 125,000 Republicans. The second largest concentration of voters in the state, Allegheny County, has about 560,000 Democrats and 240,000 Republicans.
In 2017, in Philadelphia only the ninth Ward, including Chestnut Hill, had a turnout exceeding 50%. In some divisions, no one voted at all.
Dennis emphasized the importance of voting for the maintenance of a democracy. He stressed the message that one should make voting a part of one’s strategic plan. “Just Vote – It Matters”.