Wednesday, December 10, 2008

MV Rotarians Learn That Food Banks Needs All The Help They Can Get

Amy Pessia, Executive Director of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, told the Merrimack Valley Rotarians that there is a critical need for food right now. But, she did mention to the members that there is a need throughout the year. So that it is important to remember the Food Bank now, but also during June, July and August.

The Food Bank is a community-supported non-profit organization that provides nutritious food and personal care items to emergency feeding programs serving the low-income, homeless and hungry. They are one of four food banks in Massachusetts.

Their mission statement says that "the focus of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank is to help meet a person's most profound need - adequate nutrition and freedom from hunger.Because of the current economic conditions, human service agencies are finding it difficult to find food for their clients. Only through cooperative efforts can society initiate change develop strategies to alleviate hunger and work toward the well being of all people.It is a basic human need to have adequate access to an environment conducive to well- being, which includes food, shelter and clothing. "
In October 1993, they formed their own non-profit organization after separating from the Middlesex Shelter (now the Lowell Transitional Living Center). They started with little funding, a donated U-Haul truck, free space in an old mill building, a twenty- year old refrigerator/freezer, four food companies and six agencies in Lowell. They have grown tremendously since then, thanks to their many friends and partners.
They Have Grown
They now occupy two levels of a historic mill building in Lowell, and have 2 refrigerated trucks. Their facility has a large refrigerated storage area as well as two large walk-in freezers. They have expanded their service areas to include the Merrimack Valley and North Shore. They now operate 7 programs and have increased their agency base to over 110. Most recently merged with M/A-COM Food Share's Mobile Pantry and Summer Lunch programs in 2004, and to continue these important feeding projects.
For More Information
If you want more information on the Food Bank visit their web site at:

Monday, December 8, 2008

District 7910 Communications Network

Here's our new vision on a virtual social network. We plan to roll this out before year end. Send us your comments, we'd appreciate the input.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

MV Rotarians Ring Bell For Salvation Army

For more than 20 years, the Merrimack Valley Rotary has been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army at the Walmart in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. Show are some of the crew that keep that bell ringing all day on Saturday, December 6th. Most ringers reported that the donations were brisk regardless of the economy.
Thanks to MV Rotary member James Fitton for organizing this successful event!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuba Christmas Has Become A MV Rotary Tradition

Merrimack Valley Rotary members took in the sights and the sounds of 150 tubas playing Christmas songs at the Tuba Christmas at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, December 1, 2008. The event featured Elliot Farnsworth, husband of Club member Debi Farnsworth. The event lasted an hour and included a full array of Christmas songs as well as tuba version of the Hallelujah Chorus.

After the event, the members took in a tour of the Custom House, thanks to our tour guide, Patrick Crowley, and then a visit to Mr Dooley's Pub. We all look forward to a return to the event again next year!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MV Rotary Serves Up A Meal For Those In Need

The Merrimack Valley Rotary served a meal on Friday November 21 at the Transitional Living Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. The mission of the Center is a community supported, non-profit organization, provides a safe, temporary shelter for homeless men and women of Greater Lowell. In a multi-services focused environment, volunteers and staff provide opportunities for individuals to end their homelessness.
During these difficult economic times the needs in centers such as this one are on the rise, and it was reward and an honor for the members of the Club to be there to help the Center and its clients.
On the Center's web site is the following statement: "We believe that a consistent, focused, client driven approach towards addressing the tragedy of homelessness is the best and most effective method towards ending these crises. There is hope. There is help. Here, at the Lowell Transitional Living Center, we focus all our efforts in facilitating a positive change in people’s lives. At LTLC we end homelessness. . . .one person at a time."

MV Rotary Hosts Its 4th And Largest Antiques Appraisal Fundraiser!

The MV Rotary held its fourth successful Antique Appraisal Night on Wednesday, November 19 at the First Parish Church in Westford. The event was again hosted by Skinners Stuart Whitehurst of the famed Antiques Roadshow on PBS. Funds raised by the event will be given to the Rotary Foundation as part matching grant challenge presented by the Bill Gates Foundation.
One of the highlights of the night was a document signed by John Hancock, which Stuart said was worth $3000-$5000. Other items were painting, swords, rifles, books, clocks, and an array of other items. This event proven to attract the largest audience yet to any of shows in this series. The Club plans another event in the spring 09. For more information on this and future such events, write to

MV Rotary's Second Annual Apple Pie Contest Has A Winner!

Merrimack Valley Rotarian Debi Farnsworth was the winner of this year's Apple Pie Contest. Debi baked an apple pie which had a secret ingredient......caramel! Everyone wants to go over to Debi's house for the holidays and taste the rest of her cooking! Congratulations Debi!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

MV Rotary Learns About Interact From The Voice Of Experience

Dracut Rotary Club member Frank Atifonario spoke to the Merrimack Valley Rotary on his experiences with Interact. Frank, who has started and managed a number of Interact groups in his area, told the group that if you want to start a group you need to go right to the principal of the school and get his or her support. Then, you need to decided where the meetings are going to be held and how often.

Elect A Chair That Can Relate
The Club should elect a Chairperson for the project, Frank said. That person should be the individual who can best relate to the youth. This individual will be there to supervise but not dictate.

He explained that some of the challenges of starting such a group are: students have very many things going on; every four years the member rotates and the members need to be kept active with projects and activities.

Some of the accomplishments of the Dracut Interact group were fundraisers (yard sales, raffles, car washes; nursing home visits; help building a bridge in Honduras, sending books oversees; attending district conferences; selling meatball subs at the Rotary Trade Show; and creating a Memorial Day Float. Other events included raking leaves at people's home, tutoring in grammar school, candy bar sales, working on the Habitat for Humanity, Carolling for Project Santa, Carnation sales on St Pats Day and Rose sales on Valentine's Day.

Learn More!
Frank said that if you wanted to learn more, that you should get in touch with the District Chair: Douglas Lard, Weston Rotary Club, at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Food Servers Needed!

The Merrimack Valley Rotary Club will be serving dinner at the Lowell Transitional Living Center ( on Friday, November 21st at 5:30 pm! Since 1986, the LTLC has been providing supportive services for homeless men and women from the Greater Lowell Area. Join us this evening, as we help the kitchen staff serve a meal to those in need. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please contact me at or sign up under the 'comments' section under this blog! Thanks!!

Monday, November 10, 2008


In an effort to help eradicate polio throughout the world the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club is holding a fundraiser featuring Stuart Whitehurst, host of the famed Antiques Roadshow. The proceeds from the event will go towards helping Rotary meet a challenge presented by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to match a $100 million contribution the Gates Foundation gave to Rotary International.

The Antiques Appraisal night will be held on November 19, from 7–9 PM at the First Parish Church United, 48 Main Street, Westford, Ma.

Whitehurst joined Skinner in 1995 and has been a favorite on the Antiques Roadshow for years as well as being an auctioneer for Skinner.

The price of general admission into the show is $7 (two for $10). If someone wants one item appraised, the price for admission is $20. Appraisals are limited and must be registered prior to the show by calling (978) 446-9366 or by writing Items cannot be coins, stamps, jewelry or musical instruments.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We're legal.....

Al Jean filed our newly required tax returns for the club. Just thought it was news worthy.

Beginning in 2008, USA and Puerto Rican Rotary clubs and districts with gross receipts of $25,000 or less will be required to file Form 990-N , an electronic e-Postcard report. This report is required annually starting 15 November 2008. Failure to meet the annual filing requirement for three consecutive years will result in revocation of the tax-exempt status of the club or district in question.

Way to go Al !!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Merrimack Valley Rotary Sponsors Antiques Appraisal Nigh!

Is there a fortune in your attic? Dig it out! Dust it off and bring it to the next Merrimack Valley Rotary Club's Antiques Appraisal Night? Appraisal tickets are only $20 before November 14. And $25 after that! Want to just come and watch the show? Tickets are only $7. Want to go with a friend? Two general admission tickets are only $10. Want to get more information? Call Dan at 978-256-1915 or write to See you there!

Merrimack Vally Rotary Is On Facebook...Visit Us, And Become A Friend

wwww, .........we want you to become a friend of Merrimack Valley Rotary on Facebook!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bell Ringers Needed!

Once again, the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club will volunteer to 'ring bells' for the Salvation Armies Red Kettle Campaign. Two dates have been set and we are in need of volunteers to fill the provided time slots. The first date is Wednesday, November 12th from 5pm to 8 pm and the second date is Saturday, December 6th from 9am to 5pm. The Walmart in Chelmsford will serve host for the campaign. A sign-up sheet will be passed out at this weeks meeting, and any hours of volunteering would be greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rotaries Honored At Heroes Evening

Merrimack Valley Rotary (shown in the photo) and seven other local rotaries were honored by Community Teamwork Inc at their 15 Annual Evening with Local Heroes. Rotary was cited as being an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide and whose main mission is to provide service in the community, the workplace and throughout the world. The organization went on to say that rotarians develop community service projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, literacy and violence. Rotarians also support programs for youth, education opportunities and international exchange for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational and career development.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How Many Ice Creams Did Dan Eat?

The question is: How many ice creams did Dan eat at the recent Community Teamwork Heroes Night! Is this picture a set up or the truth! Only those who were there know the answer.


The club meeting will not be held at the Cafe Madrid this week. Instead we'll be meeting at Lenzi's Restaurant in Dracut for the CTI awards. Our normal schedule will resume the following week. Looks like Ken and I will be there for coffee just in case someone shows for a make up. See you at Lenzi's.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Talk On Line With Rotary Immediate Past President

“A YEAR OF SHARING”Participate in an on-line discussion with Immediate Past Rotary International President Wilf Wilkinson

Here is your chance to get "up close and personal" with immediate past RI President Wilf Wilkinson in an on-line discussion in the International Computer Users Fellowship of Rotarians (“ICUFR”) Community Forum to discuss Wilf's “Year of Sharng” and other Rotary topics.
Fresh from "A Year of Sharing" as he traveled the Rotary world as our President, Wilf Wilkinson will again be sharing his thoughts in response to your questions. The ICUFR has generously agreed to once again make its “Community Forums” Internet site available so that Rotarians around the world can get their questions answered by one of the most knowledgeable Rotarians. Past President Wilkinson, who currently serves as Chairman of the "Reach Out to Africa Ad-Hoc Committee" and as a National Advisor for PolioPlus, will next year begin another four year term as a Foundation Trustee.
The on-line discussion with Past President Wilkinson will take place over a 51 hour period beginning at 6:00 P.M., EDT, on Wednesday, October 22nd and ending at 9:00 P.M. EDT on Friday, Friday, October 24, 2008. This informative discussion, in response to your questions, with Past President Wilkinson will take place at the web site http// (Please note the “www2" in the address.)
To ask Past President Wilkinson questions and to participate in the discussion, Rotarians must register in the ICUFR Community Forum. To do that, go to the website and when asked to enter information beside the "D:", enter your district number. Once in the Community Forum, click on ‘Register’ at the top section of the opening page of the Community Forums (http// . A ‘Terms’ page will next appear and, once you accept the terms, you will automatically go to the ‘Registration’ page. Please complete all ‘required’ information. When you register, please make sure you make a personal, private record of the ‘User Name’ and ‘Password’ you decide to use when registering in the Community Forums. It will be necessary to add your club name and district, and additional information in the profile, if you wish.
After you “register”, you will receive a confirming email from an ICUFR volunteer confirming your registration. After receiving the confirming email, you must post messages and participate in other services on the web site. Registering for the Community Forums carries no obligation, and you will not be placed on an email list as a result of registering.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have previously registered in the ICUFR Forum, you do not need to do so again. Just enter your district number at the "D:", and log in by entering your “User name” and “password.”
You also may enter the Forum as a ‘guest’ and read the discussion in the Community Forum but you will not be able to ‘post’ without registering.
We suggest you go to the ICUFR’s Community Forums now, register (unless you already have done so) and then look around for a while to get a ‘feel’ for the Community Forums. Post a message or two in any of the sections and topics, make some friends, and be ready for the discussion with Past President Wilf Wilkinson. On Wednesday, October 22nd, on or after 6:00 P..M. EDT, you can log into the ICUFR’s Community Forums, and be ready to go. Scroll down to ‘Guest Speakers Q&A Discussions’, click on ‘Q & A Sessions’ and then click on ‘Discussion with Past President Wilf Wilkinson”. Then fire away with your questions.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Our Antiques Appraisal night has a new location...

We've confirmed our location for the November 19th Appraisal night with Stuart Whitehurst of the Antiques Roadshow. The event will take place in Westford Center at the First Parish Church United. This is a wonderful location and facility, don't miss out on all the fun.

The show will begin promptly at 7pm. I've created a new blog which is linked under the Project Blogs on the sidebar. Communications will be posted here for all to read. Check it out when you get a moment. Sign up for posts and comments to stay up to date on this project.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Group Study Exchange (GSE) - The Phillipines

Need a little more information on the 2009 Group Study Exchange to the Phillipines? Click on the header for more information and contact names.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Photos From Rotary Medical Mission To Kenya

Merrimack Valley Rotary's Carl Good went on a medical mission to Kenya with 70 other people. Below is a photo of the group along with photos of some of the animal's Carl encountered on his trip.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Why Do Some Rotary Clubs Do So Much And Others Are Doing So Little?

Is your Rotary Club falling short of its potentials? Why?
Are projects, fundraisers, community activities, international events just too challenging for your Club? Why?

How Is Your Club's Self Esteem
Do you have any idea what might be the problem? Why are other Club's accomplishing so much while your Club struggles to accomplish much less. Maybe the essence of your problem is your Club's self esteem. It believes it has a low potential to be able to achieve projects. "We can't do that because ................." Is that really true. The truth is that your Club has the same potential to achieve projects as other Clubs do. The difference it in the belief.

All Things Are Possible
In the book The Secret, readers learn that if they want to get things done, they have to start by believing that all things are possible. The same is true with Rotary Clubs. To accomplish projects and activities, Clubs need to start with the premise that all things are possible. Because they are.....

Two Ways Of Thinking
Positive thinking attracts positive results. For example, which approach does your Club have toward projects and activities... 1) Project are hard for your Club to accomplish...or 2) Any projects your Club sets out to can accomplish. Which attitude do you think is the one that you think is best for your Club to make progress on projects and activities?

Think Positive
If your Club thinks that getting things done is a struggle, then your Club is setting itself up for failure. But if your Club believes that all projects can be accomplished ...then your Club will be be excited at each meeting about ongoing projects and new projects.

Starts With The President
And that attitude starts with the President of your Club. If the President does not believe in its Club's abilities or his or her abilities, then the Club is going to struggle. But if the President believes that anything is possible, then anything is possible. The Club is only as good as its leaders.

It Starts With Attitude
Positive thinking attracts positive opportunities to succeed. Negative thinking create barriers for success. All projects and activities are challenging but the difference between Clubs that meet those challenges and those that don't start with attitude.

Rotarians Treating Children At The Mukuru In Nairobi

This report and photos are from Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good, who is on a Rotary mission in Kenya with 70 other people. The goal of the mission is to help people impacted by AIDS.

These pictures show some of the treatments being provided by the Medical teams. Children had their teeth extracted under rather primitive but effective conditions. However, a few children were very reluctant to see the dentist and held on tight to the first thing that was available. For very young children a graphical eye chart was used. One evening we were hosted at the house to the Deputy U.S. ambassador and the U.S. ambassador spoke to us at a reception hosted by the Rotary district chairman. please see the pictures.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Club meeting today...

At this mornings meeting we had two distinguished guests, Sandi Wilson of the Billerica Club and Elkin Montoya from the Lowell club. Sandi brought us up to date on the need for a leader from the District for the upcoming 2009 Group Study Exchange to Phillipines. Team member applications are being requested as well. Elkin visited us on behalf of his club to invite us to a fundraiser for Polio eradication. The event will take place at Lenzis Restaurant in Dracut Oct 21. donations are needed.

The club meeting Scheduled for October 22nd will be moved to and evening meeting at Lenzi's in Dracut. Area Rotary clubs will be honored for their contributions. All members are encouraged to attend.

A date for the Salvation Army is being set for December, more on the date and opportunities to serve as they become available. Pray for warmer weather!!

The food and the servers were superb as usual. We learned that one of our servers is recently arrived from Columbia and is learning english. Can you guess who?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rotary Supports Equine Theropy Cause That Is Featured On Animal Planet TV Show

The Merrimack Valley Rotary is supportive of The FARM in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. The FARM is a nonprofit organization that provides equine theropy to physically and mentally challenged individuals. If you want to see a video about this outstanding organization. The FARM was featured on the Animal Planet Nework. Visit the link below:

You can also visit their web site at:

He's back.....

Stuart Whitehurst of the famed "Antiques Roadshow" will be with us once again for another entertaining and educational evening. Set you calendars for November 19th from 7 - 9pm. The location will be announced here in the coming weeks.
If you've visited the show, and gave us your contact information, we'll send you an additional confirmation as well. This event is always a sell out, get your tickets early!

Monday, September 29, 2008


With the Holiday season upon us, we will soon be hearing the famous bell ringing and 'Thank yous" from local volunteers for the Salvation Army 'Christmas Kettle' aka 'Red Kettle' campaign. Since its inauguration in 1891, this charity event continues to grow larger, and each year more and more is donated to those who are in need.

Many of you have expressed interest in continuing to volunteer as 'Bell Ringers'. I have contacted the Salvation Army of Greater Lowell, and they are excited to know we are willing to help out!

The season begins Friday, November 7th and concludes Christmas Eve. This Wednesday we can discuss potential locations, that would best accommodate us, and sign up any volunteers who are interested.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Rotary Medial Mission To Kenya. Report Of Activities On 24sep08

Here is one of the reports from Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good who is on a Rotary mission in Keny to help people who are impacted by AIDS. The picture is of children waiting to be treated in the medical building. There are separate buildings for dental (primarily tooth extraction) and optical. They expect to help over 2,000 children before the program is completed. For more posts by Carl visit his blog at

Today we were to leave at 7:00 which meant that I had to get up at 5:30 to meet Darsi’’s driver George at 6:00 to make it to the hotel in time to make the bus to the Mukuru slum and the Catholic compound which is our base. The all went well.
Bumpy Roads
All the roads in the slum are incredibly bumpy I found by trial and error that one wants to sit in the front of the bus to avoid the increased bumpiness in the rear due to some form of leaver action.
Over 650 Children
More local Rotarians and Rotoracters seemed to be present today to ease the burden. Our group handled over 650 children today between the optical, dental and general medical groups. There is triage at the gate to give priority to the neediest cases. Our registration group handled mainly mothers with children and a few that came on their own.
Rotoractors Help
A number of school children came in groups and they were handled by local doctors and where necessary funneled into our functions. All the children who had not been recently de-wormed were given a worming pill. In the registration process we are aided by local Swahili speakers many of whom are college Rotarians called Rotoractors.
Learning Swahilli
As time goes by I am getting to be able to utter a few Swahili phrases but the children are shy and difficult to understand.Once the children have been triaged and registered with numbered armband they go and stand in front of one of three buildings that house the respective optical, dental and medical groups. Because of the large number of general medical patients a tent was erected to shade them during their wait.
Dental Work
The dental group has no chairs and other dental office stuff so each dentist wears a headlight and pulls teeth with their patients on a table. There is no filling as there is no equipment.Our registration process is the first to stop as it takes time for the patients to work through the other groups. Next to the Catholic compound is a Catholic sponsored trade school. One of our interpreters, David who is a clinical laboratorian, took us over for a tour. The students are mainly high school age and get training in sewing and clothes making, hairdressing, wood working, metal crafts, electrical, knitting and math.
Learning Skills
The facilities as one might expect are minimal but functional. In the slum there are many small shops of people earning a living plying these trades. Also, there is a large industrial area near the slum which can employ the graduated students. The hairdressing course is six months with the others being one year. In the courses they make clothes for school children as well as things to sell. All the school children are in uniforms of some type.After helping close up shop we took the bus ride back through the slum to the hotel. My host’s driver picked me up after delivering some medical supplies for the group.
Stopped At Mall
We stopped at a mall to get a few things like more had sanitizer. This mall would rival any I have seen in the U.S.. It was such a contrast going from the slum to this fancy mall. I have been comparing Dhaka in Bangladesh to Nairobi in Kenya. Nairobi is definitely a more advanced city but the slums are very similar.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kenya: International Medical Team Provides Preventive Care to Children in Nairobi Slums

Below is a press release from Rotary International regarding the current Rotary trip that Merrmiack Valley Rotary member Carl Good is currently undertaking in Kenya with 70 other people.

About 70 volunteers from a dozen countries arrived in Kenya this week to provide preventive health care services to thousands of children in the poorest neighborhoods of Nairobi, a city still recovering from the post-election violence of December and January.

The international team includes health care professionals and non-medical volunteers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Japan, Nigeria, Peru, South Africa, Tanzania, United Kingdom and the United States. They include physicians, dentists, dental assistants, paramedics, registered nurses, optometrists and opticians. About two thirds of the volunteers are members of Rotary clubs.

Five of the members comprise a team that will oversee the installation of a 500-foot deep water well about 60 miles from Nairobi in the village of Mithini, where residents now walk miles each day to haul water from a polluted source.

The medical mission, which runs Sept. 22 -30, will focus on the health needs of children living in the Nairobi slums of Mukuru, Mathare and Korogocho, where the poverty rate is high and access to preventive health care extremely limited.

According to UNICEF, the widespread rioting and violence that rocked Kenya in the wake of the disputed Dec. 27 presidential election “took a particularly high toll” on the residents of Nairobi’s slums, where almost 60 percent of the city’s population eke out an existence on personal incomes averaging less than $1 a day. As usual in such circumstances, children were among the most vulnerable victims.

According to team co-leader Connie Spark, an optician and Rotary club member from York, Pa., each child will be screened to prioritize his or her most pressing needs -- dental work, vision problems, malnutrition, injuries, infection, etc. -- then sent to the appropriate specialty stations. Spark says the team is prepared to see as many as 3,000 patients a day, and the total value of services and supplies to be delivered is estimated at $1 million.

Local physicians and other Kenyan health care professionals will participate to ensure that patients will continue to receive appropriate care after the mission concludes. All unused supplies also will remain in Nairobi for that purpose.

The international team will be hosted by Kenyan Rotary club members, many of them members of Rotarians for Fighting AIDS (RFFA), an international organization for Rotary members concerned about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. RFFA has been especially active in Kenya, where it will function as the “mobilization partner” for the medical mission, handling logistics such as transportation, housing, food and security.

In cooperation with RFFA, the international charity Hope Worldwide will offer HIV testing and counseling during the medical mission, according to RFFA founder and chair Marion Bunch, a Rotary club member from Dunwoody, Ga.

The medical mission is supported by a $38,000 matching grant from the Rotary Foundation. Another Rotary matching grant of $49,000 will fund the installation of the Mithini water well. Also contributing funds are Rotary clubs in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Kenya and the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Membership attendance for the month

The Merrimack Valley Club was tied with the Tewksbury club for weekly meeting attendance of it's members. Only 4 other clubs had higher attendance out of the 54 in the District.

Way to go!!

Better late than never...

Well better late than never I guess. Carl successfully reached Logan Airport despite the normal Friday traffic situations and is now safely in Kenya on his mission. Check out his blog which is linked on this page.

Good Luck Carl!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MV Rotarian Carl Submits First Post From Kenya Trip

Merrimack Valley Rotarian Carl Good is in Kenya on a trip made of of 70 Rotarians and non Rotarians to help people in that country impacted by AIDS. Below is his first post from that trip.

There are 70 of us now treating children in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi Kenya. Email access has been difficult but I have taken may pictures and had many fantastic experiences that will be posted later. The group is the largest such group in Rotary history and is composed of medical and non-medical personnel. The conditions in the slum are very bad but the people are wonderful.
Wish me the best.

Monday, September 22, 2008

MVRotary And Others To Be Recognized As Local Heroes

The Merrimack Valley Rotary and other Rotaries in the Greater Lowell area will be honored by Community Teamwork Inc at the annual Heroes Dinner. Each year CTI recognizes organizations and individuals who have consistently reached beyond ordinary levels of generosity, compassion and effort to make their communities at better place. CTI recognizes these organizations and individuals as "Local Heroes". The Local Heroes to be held on October 22nd at Lenzi's in Dracut MA. To find out more about CTI go to

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ahoy Me Hearty Rotarians! September 19 Is Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Merrimack Valley Rotary invites all Rotarians to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19, 2008.

What Is It?
International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur ("Ol' Chumbucket") and Mark Summers ("Cap'n Slappy"), of Corvallis, Oregon, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, me hearty!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy.
For more information:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rotarians Battle AIDS In South Africa

In the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, Rotarians in South Africa are bringing education, nutrition and health care to AIDS orphans, with help from non-profit partner Soul of Africa. From RVM - Rotary Video Magazine, issue 2.1 *** To purchase RVM, visit

Sunday, September 14, 2008

MV Rotarian To Meet With US Ambassador To Kenya

As part of his trip to Kenya, Carl Good will have the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador to Kenya, click on the letter shown here to see full size of letter.

Carl leaves for his trip on Friday, September 19 and should return in two weeks. Forr information on his trip, see article below. For updates on Carl's trip, check back with this Blog or tune into Carl's Blog:

Special Trip To Kenya Is Rotary At Its Best!

Merrimack Valley Rotary Member Carl Good is part of a group of Rotarians and non Rotarians from around the world who will be talking a trip to Kenya on September 19 to help the people in that country who are victims of AIDS.

Carl will be part of a group called RFFA (Rotarians For Fighting AIDS). The focus will be on children who have been orphaned due to the AIDS epidemic and those who are vulnerable due to their socioeconomic circumstances.

Several Rotary clubs have organized this medical mission in partnership with RFFA to serve as many of them as they can. All of the children they will be seeing live in the slums – many in child-headed or adolescent-headed households, others with elderly grannies who barely have the means to support themselves, much less to support their grandchildren. Education is the only way out of poverty for these children, but unless they are well enough to attend school, that opportunity is lost.

As well, most of the kids receive only one meal per day and they get that meal at school. So again, it's important to keep them in school. Their plan is to set up a temporary clinic in one of the slum areas (either Mathare, Korogocho or Makuru) in Nairobi. They will conduct general health, dental and eye screenings. Illnesses and injuries that they can treat will be treated onsite. Those that they cannot treat will be referred to hospital or to the care of Rotarian physicians in Nairobi, some of whom will be working alongside then in their clinic.I

They will be working closely with Rotarians in Nairobi. They expect to see a lot of upper respiratory illnesses, a well as malnutrition, anemia, amoebic dysentery, skin conditions of various kinds (especially scabies and ringworm), minor injuries and wounds, malaria, typhoid and possibly TB.

The CDC also will be providing them with HIV/AIDS test kits. A Rotarian pediatrician in North Carolina, who is part of the medical team, is looking into obtaining rapid serum TB testing kits. (TB treatment in Kenya is free, but testing isn’t.)

They also have arranged to have Kenyan-certified HIV/AIDS educators on site every day of the clinic. The health educators will teach proper hand washing, tooth brushing, HIV/AIDS prevention, and general disease prevention. Each child will then receive a toothbrush, a bar of soap, and a 60-day supply of multiple vitamins and iron.

The team will have a variety of options for lodging: home hosting by local Rotarians or hotels. Lunch will be provided to the team each day by the Kenyan Rotarians. As well, I have arranged to rent enough mini-vans to transport the team back and forth from their places of lodging to clinic every day.

With the help of the Kenya Rotaries, most of the supplies they will need will be purchased in Kenya and will be available upon their arrival. Other supplies will need to be purchased or otherwise obtained here and taken along with then. Any supplies/medications we don’t use for the clinic will be donated to other medical professionals in Nairobi.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Looking To Go To School Overseas? Consider a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship!

Ambassadorial Scholarships, The Rotary Foundation's oldest and best-known program, was founded in 1947. Since then, nearly 38,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices. Today it is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. Nearly 800 scholarships were awarded for study in 2005-06. Through grants totaling approximately US$500 million, recipients from about 70 countries studied in more than 70 nations.

"The Rotary Foundation does some terrific things, not the least of which is the Ambassadorial Scholarships program." — Michael R. Whiteman, international programs director, University of Idaho

The purpose of the Ambassadorial Scholarships program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. The program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as goodwill ambassadors to the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups.

Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to a greater understanding of their host country.

Generous contributions from Rotarians worldwide represent a continued faith that today’s Ambassadorial Scholars will be tomorrow's community and world leaders. Contact us at for more information.

Apply for a chance to make a difference .

Listen Up! Rotary Radio Is Now On The Air!

Fans of classic radio will love the Rotary Golden Theater Radio Show , which RI produced in 1955 for its 50th anniversary. This radio series is now available online. Every week for the next few months, a new episode or two will be added.
In the tenth episode, "Let's Get Acquainted," a man, who was initially hesitant to join Rotary because he thought he didn't have the time, is helped by Rotarians after a fire destroys his business.
For more information, e-mail RI's History and Archives Department at

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rotary Trip To Help Children In Orphanages In Kenya

Merrimack Valley Rotary Member Carl Good, will be one of 70 Rotarians who will be going to Kenya at the end of September on a project to help the residents with AIDs. Below is an article about the Project Coordinator Peter Southern from England.

TEESSIDE Rotarian Peter Sotheran is banking on a crash course in Swahili as he prepares to support an international aid mission to Africa. The long-standing member of the Rotary Club of Guisborough and Great Ayton has been selected to take part in a mission to Kenya, where most of the locals speak Swahili.

Peter, a past president of the club and well known for his involvement in charitable causes, travels out to Nairobi in Kenya in five weeks’ time. His job is to co-ordinate a 70-strong team of doctors, dentists and opticians at three campsites in the slums of Nairobi.

He said: “My job is to integrate the international volunteers with local voluntary help and many of the locals will have limited command of English.” Known as a health and hygiene mission, the aim is to screen and treat several hundred young people each day, targeting 12,000 in the two weeks of the mission. Patients from infants to 20 years of age, plus young mums will be checked and treated.

Two dental clinics will be set up in schools on the edge of the slums, and will be geared to treat around 200 patients a day. The optical team is equipped to examine up to 25 patients an hour, will produce prescription spectacles within the hour and treat minor eye infections. Restoring a patient’s vision restores their independence and enables them to contribute to the family and community,” explained Peter.

Special attention will be given to children in local orphanages, most of whom have lost their parents due to Aids. Working alongside each of the teams will be a specialist HIV/Aids counselling and treatment unit. More than 25% of the population of Nairobi (850,000 out of 3.2m) live in the timber and tin-sheet shanties of the slums.

So many infants are born with Aids-infected blood, we need a massive intervention to try to create an Aids-free generation,” said Sally Platt, a Rotarian from Marietta in Georgia (USA), who is leading the mission. The project is the pilot of a five-year programme that is funded by the US Government and a host of international corporations. The 70 volunteers converge on Nairobi over the weekend of September 20.

Readers wanting to support the work can send donations to Guisborough Rotary Club, Whitby Lane, Guisborough, TS14 6PT. The club regrets it cannot accept gifts of toys, clothes or books as the baggage allowance is now completely allocated to medical supplies and equipment.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rotary Trip To Kenya Is A World Wide Inspiration

Merrimack Valley Rotary member Carl Good will soon be off to Kenya on a Rotary Trip to help treat people with HIV. Carl along with dozens of Rotarians from around the world will be leaving on September 19. If you interested in keeping track of Carl's trip, tune into Carl's Kenya blog at Updates will also be posted on this the Merrimack Valley blog We are very proud of Carl, who completed a polio trip to Bangladesh just a few month ago. For more information write to

Monday, September 1, 2008

Success Starts With A Fire!

"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire."
Arnold H. Glasow

MV Rotary's Ironman Achieve's His Goal! Yeah!

Congratulations to MV Rotarian Jim Fitton who completed the Louisville 2008 Ironman race in 11 hours and 53 minutes. He was 280 out of a field of 1975 people. Not only was competing in the race and finishing it a impressive accomplishment, but it is an inspiration for all of us who aspire to achieve goals. Jim set in his mind his race as a goal, and he did it! Yeah Jim! We can hardly wait until he gets back to a meeting to tell us all about it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

MVR Member To Compete In Ironman Triathlon

Merrimack Valley Rotary Club's newest member, James Fitton, is competing in his first Ironman Triathlon in Louisville, KY, on August 31st, 2008. The race consists of a 2.4 mile swim in the Ohio River, a 112 mile bike, followed by a marathon (26.2 miles)! After 2 years of competitive racing in local triathlons of various distances, including sprints, international distance and half-ironmans, James feels his training over the past year and commitment to the sport has prepared him to take on this enormous challenge. On race day, you will be able to track his performance online, at under the 'Race Results' Section, '2008 - Athlete Tracker'. Good Luck!

RI President D.K. Lee Challenges Rotary To Grow By 10%

RI president, D. K. Lee has challenged Rotary districts and clubs this year to a net membership increase of 10 percent and to add two new clubs in each district. New clubs are a means of reaching demographic groups that cannot get involved in current club meetings.
"If we do not bring in younger members, we will miss out on a great deal of energy and expertise," Lee said during a visit to the Rotary Club of Chicago in early July. "And we will not be providing a new generation of members to become club presidents, district governors, and senior RI leaders in the years to come."
In seeking to recruite new members, clubs should look to new enterprises, professions and occupations, such as web developers or technicians, that may have been previously overlooked, Lee urged.
Two clubs in Korea have been experiencing great success in membership growth. The Rotary Club of Gwangju-Ibseog in Gwangju, Korea, nearly doubled its membership in the 2007-08 year, and the Rotary Club of Iri Dong in Jeonrabug grew from 112 to 152 members last year. Read their stories.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Have Breakfast And Learn Spanish At Rotary

In honor of its new meeting home, the Cafe Madrid, The Merrimack Valley Rotary is not learning Spanish. So far member know how do say hello, see you later, thank you and ask where is the bathroom. At this rate, the members should be fluent in Spanish by the year 2010! Anyone wanting have a great breakfast, good company, rewarding service and Spanish lessons are urged to join MV Rotary on Wednesday mornings at 7:15AM at the Cafe Madrid in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. For more information contact .

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Go To Your Next Rotary Meeting In Your Pajamas

Rotary formed eClubs in 2001 for members to do makeups on line. Below is a list of those English Speaking Clubs where you can get makeups.LIST OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE E-CLUBS

Rotary eClub One:
Rotary eClub of 3310:
Rotary eClub of District 7890:
Rotary eClub of Southwest USA, District 5510:
Rotary e-Club NY1 of District 7150:
Rotary eClub of London Centenary, District 1130:

For a list of eClubs throughout the world go to:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Merrimack Valley Rotary Has Added A Taste Of Spain and Cuba

The Merrimack Valley Rotary has found a new home in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. We have moved to the Cafe Madrid at 28 Alpine Lane, Parlmont Plaza (opposite Radisson), just down the street from 495! Meetings start at 7:15AM and end at 8:30AM. It is a new meeting location but the same highly motivated Rotarians.

On their web site owner Yazmin Badias-Fadjo say:

"It has always been a dream of mine to have a restaurant that would reflect the rich heritage of my background and allow me to use my many years of food brokerage experience at the same time. While I built my own business from scratch in the food industry I found that the excitement of meeting the needs of ethnic foods for those who sought a unique dining experience was something that came naturally to me. I was born of parents from Cuba and Puerto Rico and have a strong feeling for the many dishes that those countries had for their people. My best friend of 20 years being from Madrid, Spain and sharing the same interest in the foods of those people gave me the inspiration to start a restaurant that would serve only traditional dishes from these backgrounds.I trust that you will find in Cafe Madrid only the best quality and traditional recipes of the Mediterranean heritage and delight your tastes for truly a "Taste of Spain in Chelmsford Center"