August 21, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – Marshall Legacy Institute
The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) is a Virginia-based 501(c)3 nonprofit that was formed in 1997 to extend the vision of Nobel Peace Laureate George C. Marshall by alleviating suffering and promoting hope, growth, and stability in war-torn countries. For many nations, a primary obstacle to achieving sustainable progress is the deadly legacy of landmines, the relics of armed conflicts that often ended long ago. Landmines halt agricultural production, impede economic growth, slow the return of refugees, instill fear, and kill and maim innocent citizens on a daily basis, injuring or killing at least one person every 40 minutes.
Thus, MLI’s primary mission is to establish practical, affordable, and sustainable indigenous programs to help severely mine-affected countries rid their land of the horrific scourge of landmines. This includes the development, expansion, and sustainment of the Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP), which provides Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to accelerate the pace of landmine clearance operations; the Survivors’ Assistance program, which helps those who have been injured by landmines; and the Children Against Mines Program (CHAMPS), which promotes global citizenship and involves American youth in meaningful service-learning projects to help children living in war-torn countries who have been injured by landmines. These three programs: 1) provide valuable resources, especially mine detection dogs (MDDs), for landmine clearance; 2) educate citizens about the dangers of mines; 3) train national leaders charged with mine action responsibilities; and 4) assist landmine survivors with physical and psychological needs. MLI provides resources and training to help countries build their own affordable, practical and sustainable humanitarian demining programs.
MLI launched the Mine Detection Dog Partnership Program (MDDPP) in 1999. The program utilizes government and private donations to purchase, train and deliver Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) to landmine removal organizations within a mine-affected country. There are currently more than 900 MDDs working in 24 countries; MLI has donated 195 of those dogs. In just the past two years, MLI’s life-saving dogs have searched more than 14 million square meters of mine-contaminated land, saving countless lives!
Perry Baltimore of The Marshall Legacy Institute will be our speaker. Perry grew up deep in the mountains of WV, and after graduating from West Point, he served in the US Army for 27 years in a variety of command & staff positions throughout the US and five overseas posts before retiring in 1997, when he co-founded MLI with a former Chief of Staff of the US Army.
August is Membership Month, so it was a rare privilege to have the District Chair of the Membership Committee, Mike Hicks, speak to us. Mike also chaired the Shelter Box committee and spoke to us briefly about the need for more as natural disasters never cease. Membership in Rotary as well as other service organizations has been dropping steadily in our present “Me” society. Rotary lost 100,000 members in the North America alone. We now have fewer members than the Lions Club. It’s up to us to reverse this trend.
Some venues that are being explored are associate memberships for members’ spouses, corporate memberships, and a community Rotary Day. In the associate membership for spouses, the spouse pays dues, but only pays for meals actually consumed. Any other ideas are welcomed by the membership committee chaired by Robin Zanotti.
Answer to last week’s question:
A person who is distinguished by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals may be elected to honorary membership in the club. Honorary members are exempt from payment of admissions fees and dues, have not vote, and are not considered eligible to hold any office in the club. They are, however, entitled to attend all meetings and enjoy all other privileges of the club.
This week’s question:
What are the public relations objectives of a Rotary club?
Tim Merceruio, an entrepreneur at Rovia Travel, returned as a guest of Mike Hornby. Mike also brought Christopher Barbuxanes, team leader for Transamerica Insurance. Yet another guest of Mike was Lisa Catalano, owner of MasterDry, a company that specializes in water, sewer, tire, smoke, mold, meth lab, and trauma and crime cleanup. Dawn Brown, senior agent with Transamerica, returned as a guest of, who else. Mike Hornby. And our only guest who was not with Mike was Mike Whalton, executive director of the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, who returned as a guest of Doug Roach.
We welcomed new members Brian Nichols, Isabella Andrawos, and Jorgina Andrawos to our club. Be sure to give them a big Rotary welcome when you see them.
We are collecting canned goods and boxed food items for the United Way Mega Food Drive until the end of this month. Please bring some items to the meeting.
We need sponsors and golfers for the golf tournament on September 15th. Sign up now so Mike Hite can rest easy.
Labor Day breakfast tickets are now available for sale. Tickets are $25 in advance. Several Rotarians will have them for sale. Contact Buzz Poland if you want to buy tickets or sell them.
The Taste of the Panhandle committee will meet this week at 11am before the meeting. All existing members, and anyone who is interested in becoming a member of this committee, should attend. It is our biggest fundraiser of the year.
Maria Lorensen won 50/50, but could not find the Queen of Hearts. You can try your luck by buying tickets from Maria this week.