Author: Lawrence Schofer

May 16, 2017 – Play therapy

Play therapist Tammi van Hollander (daughter of member Elliot Schwartz) presented ideas about “the nurtured heart approach” to dealing with children (created by Howard Glasser).

This approach is about energizing children in a positive way. Adults often give kids energy through negativity. The idea of this approach is to give positive recognition to specific activities. The approach is multi-sensory, utilizing a connection to children through play.

Tammi has developed “kinesthetic storytelling”, as seen in her recently published book Casey’s Greatness Wings. The book includes exercises on getting children to recognize greatness in themselves.

April 25, 2018 – Chestnut Hill Community Association

The meeting was addressed by Anne McNiff, recently appointed executive director of the Chestnut Hill Community Association. Anne is a long time Mount Airy resident with a number of years of experience working with the non-profit world.

 Aunt pointed out that the community is changing, now incorporating many “renters by choice”, in contrast to the long-time homeowners’ outlook prevalent in the community. She sees a need to integrate these renters into the community.

 2018 is also the time for collaborative work for a green initiative. Chestnut Hill is the “garden district” of Philadelphia, but it is necessary to work with other neighborhoods as well in such things as an aging tree canopy, water sources, carbon exhaust, etc.

 She sees possible partnerships with local schools and with other groups in ongoing service projects.

 On May 20 the Association will partner with the Chestnut Hill Conservancy for a great houses tour.

April 18, 2018 – The Luckiest Guy in the World

Ray Loewe bills himself as “the luckiest guy in the world”. After several anecdotes about interesting events in his life, mainly related to his travels to five continents, he talked about the need that each individual think seriously about planning his or her life activities. He does not like the notion of “retirement”; instead, he talks of “transition”.

 Very often individuals focus on their weaknesses and try to improve them, a task that is often difficult to perform. Instead, Ray feels that individuals should focus on their strengths and build on them. He has become a spokesman for this approach to life – “Change your story… Discover your dream”. Information on the courses that he runs and other activities can be found his website at www.theluckiestguyintheworld.com

April 11, 2018 – Medical mission in Guyana

Rebecca Anwar recently returned from Guyana. She gave a report on a medical mission sponsored by the Demerera Rotary Club in Georgetown, Guyana. The group traveled in three vans some 400 miles to the southern part of the country, where they conducted medical screenings for the local Amerindian population. This population is subject to a large number of diseases, to which they have low resistance because of the high cholesterol, low variety diet that they have.

 Rebecca also reported on some improvements at the orphanage that have received financial support from our club. The most recent improvement was phase 1 of solar panels, which provide light at times of blackouts. This has proved very helpful for the children. Plans for subsequent phases of the solar panels include full electrification through these panels, but this will require more fundraising.

Rebecca has also been able to work with local vendors to supply “go slow” signs in front of the orphanage and for various other projects supporting the children. These contributions by local merchants suggests that they have begun to recognize the high quality of the care given at the Hope Children’s home.

April 4, 2018 – visit by Rotary district governor Dawn deFuria

The meeting was addressed by District Gov. Dawn deFuria.

One of her principal aims during her time in office has been to bring fun back into Rotary, and as such she has run a campaign called “Get on board with Rotary”.

 

The district will celebrate the current year with a “whistle stop tour” on the weekend of April 20 to 22. There will be an annual awards banquet on the evening of Friday, April 20, at the Springfield country club. A conference will be held Saturday, April 21, at the Doubletree Hotel in Valley Forge (7:45 AM-5 PM. Finally, the district will celebrate Earth Day on April 22, 2018, by planting at least 80 trees in Heuser Park in King of Prussia. Registration is open at www.distconf.rotarydistrict7450.org

 

Dawn noted that the president of Rotary international, Ian Riseley, has made it one of the goals of his year in office to plant one tree for every member of Rotary around the world. Our club, Chestnut Hill Rotary, has reached that goal of planting one tree for each member.

Club meeting, March 14, 2018 – Rotary peace fellow

A presentation was made by Mohsin El Hallouati, a candidate whom our club is supporting for a Rotary peace fellowship.

From the Rotary International website: “Through academic training, practice, and global networking opportunities, the Rotary Peace Centers program develops leaders who become catalysts for peace and conflict prevention and resolution. These fellowships cover tuition and fees, room and board, round-trip transportation, and all internship and field-study expenses.”

 

Mohsin is from Morocco. He was trained as a mechanical engineer. His father is a soldier, and frequently was away from home for extended periods with the troops enforcing Morocco’s claim to the western Sahara. This absence of a parent in the army encouraged Mohsin to think of peaceful alternatives to conflict.

 

In Morocco he worked as a Peace Corps trainer (he speaks 6 languages), and he came to the US on a Smith Kline Glaxo fellowship for non-profit work. His contacts here with refugees from all over Africa have made him aware of the urgent need to peaceful solutions to conflicts. He would like to develop his extensive media experience in his conflict resolution path.

 

PAUL HARRIS FELLOWS

Three members received pins as Paul Harris fellows ($1,000 contributions over time to Rotary International): Maxine Dornemann, Herb Henze, Jack Soeffing.

Club meeting February 28, 2018 – Modern science, part 2

Jerry Goldberg continued his presentation of his book, who we are, where we are, where we came from, and where we are going.

 

He reviewed his prior presentation, which showed the minuscule size of the earth compared to the sun, and the tiny place of the Milky Way in the galaxies of the universe. Formed about 13.5 billion years ago, the universe is constantly expanding, something that was shown only in 1927 by Edwin Hubble. An analogy to an expanding balloon, with stars and planets on the surface moving further away from each other, is useful but inexact.

 

The “life-line” from atom to molecule through evolution to modern humans shows how people started chemically, and then Jerry called on the summary in the recent book by Nicholas Wade (A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History) to remind us that all modern humankind descends from a group of about 1500 to 5000 people who came out of Africa about 50,000 years ago and the expanded throughout the world.

 

Finally, he discussed CRISPER technology, which allows for human change in genes. This may lead to eliminating some diseases, but the broader implications of this “designer gene” approach are still not fully understood.

Club meeting, February 21, 2018 – Pathways PA

Brenda Dawson is CEO of Pathways PA Center for families, organization that our club has provided support for a number of years the general goal of the organization is to break the cycle of poverty through education.

There are currently approximately 50 families living at the center (located in Wawa, near Media), all referred by the city of Philadelphia human services program. These families consist of mothers with children.
Brenda Dawson is CEO of Pathways PA Center for families, an rganization that our club has supported for a number of years. The general goal of the organization is to break the cycle of poverty through education.

There are currently approximately 50 families living at the center (located in Wawa, near Media), all referred by the city of Philadelphia human services program. These families consist of mothers with children.

A number of services are provided for the people staying there, including clothing, food, education, lessons in personal care for mothers, financial education, income tax preparation, career counseling, payments to school districts for such things as school trips, summer camp at the local Y, and others. Length of stay depends on the availability of housing for the families, and sometimes can stretch into months

Pathways has two other smaller shelters, one for homeless young women aged 18-22 and one for runaway teenage women.

Our Club has provided support for mothers taking the GED examination, and we have attempted to provide Christmas presents for a number of families each year.

February 14, 2018 – Hosts for hospitals

Cathy Davis of Hosts for Hospitals explained the purpose and functioning of this local organization. It was started in 2000 as a collective community effort to provide temporary affordable housing for patients and their families coming to use the extensive medical facilities of the Philadelphia area.

 

People find out about this program through their medical provider, through the website, or by word-of-mouth. Hosts are not expected to entertain their guests or to provide meals or transportation. Any kind of house iss eligible, though the program coordinator will establish a profile of such things of how many people can be expected, are stairs necessary, how long will the people stay, can they deal with pets? etc.

 

The current fee is now $20 per night for the first two weeks, then dropping to $10. This is not a national program, just a local one. The only similar one that Cathy knows about is a program in Boston.