Clubs Club hears med school report

Despite voter fatigue, November attendance was very good. Dr. Ronald Lindahl reviewed the status of the new USD Medical School building including its many expanded uses for research. Excellent slides let us see the architect's renditions of the finished structure. Dr. Lindahl's presentation was followed by a lively discussion. Dr. Dennis Johnson updated the club on the "University Community" apartment complex project. Several construction sites are being considered. Members of the program committee met briefly to discuss programs for the upcoming year. Suggestions were plentiful and arrangements are underway.

Historical society hears about houses

Don Keck of Sioux City, IA, gave a slide presentation of historical, towered court houses at the October meeting of the Union County Historical Society. The pictures have been taken on trips throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois and South Dakota.

He is interested in being directed to structures with towers in South Dakota which are still being uses as courthouses and suggestions may be given to Historical Society members.

During the business meeting the W.H.H. Fate book, Historical Glimpse of Early Settlement of Union County, was shown by Sherri McKee. The book has been reproduced and is available at stores and some banks in the area. The museum also has a supply and the book can be ordered by mail. The price is $26 plus the cost of mailing.

Frank and Sondra Stickney were host and hostess.

Local Rotarians hear amazing stats

Rotarians welcomed Rotary International Foundation Chair Jerry Johnsen as the keynote speaker during their weekly luncheon Tuesday, Nov 17. Johnsen got off to slow start due to technical difficulties when his PowerPoint slide show would not display on the widescreen.

Once things were fixed, Johnsen provided local Rotarians with some amazing statistics about Rotary International's annual service programs, including facts about PolioPlus and the Humanitarian and Educational programs.

"The Rotary Foundation activities can be pretty boring stuff," Johnsen said, "but if you look at the people and communities the programs serve, the impacts are pretty amazing."

According to Johnsen, PolioPlus is one Rotary's flagship service programs and has been extremely successful. Johnsen told Vermillion Rotarians that since the program's inception in 1985, the number of reported polio cases have declined by 99 percent. Johnsen said that as of November 2004 only 918 confirmed cases of polio have been reported worldwide and that by the time polio is totally eradicated, Rotary International will have contributed close to $600 million to the cause. Wow!

As part of his presentation, Johnsen also showed a short video, which touted other important Rotary International programs that achieved worldwide success. Such programs as the wheelchair project that provides wheelchairs to the needy, the Ambassadorial Scholarship program that provides funding to approximately 1,300 students a year to study abroad, a National Immunization Day in India, the Dairy Farm/Creamery program that provides milk to under nourished youth and the Group Study Exchange (GSE) program that sponsors five people and allows them to travel to other countries and see how their vocations are used to serve communities overseas.

For South Dakota's Rotarian achievements, Johnsen showed a table listing financial contributions from South Dakota Rotarians. According to Johnsen's table, South Dakota contributions have risen steadily over the past 10 years, starting in 1994 at $21,000 annually and peaking this year at $75,611. "This is a significant achievement," Johnsen said.

Another highlight of Rotary luncheon included a series of animated greetings provided by this week's official greeters, Michelle Lavallee and Bernie Stansbury. Thank you Bernie and Michelle for bringing laughter and fun to the meeting. Other activities included the usual fellowship and announcements like the call for bell ringers on Nov 27. If interested, please contact Kathy Chandler at 677-6710 or Mercy Hobbs at 624-3379.

Birthdays recognized for this month were Jack Noble and Rennae O'Connor. And finally, Tim Schorn offered to share beauty tips with Al Pravecek for a mere $5 donation. Your guess is good as mine on whether the value of the U.S. dollar will go up or down by the time this offer is accepted. Just kidding guys!

New members join Catholic Daughters

St. Agnes Court, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, was deeply honored to have state officers as guests at a reception of new members. Linda Flannery, state regent; Cecilia Gibbons, state vice first regent, and Darlene Schnieders, second vice state regent, were present for the occasion.

The celebration began with a Mass by Court Chaplain Father Rod Farke. New members received into the court are Phyllis Bernard, Jefferson; Mary Nelson, Elk Point; and Maria Daniela Callegari and Virginia Knutson, Vermilion. Lucille O'Connor was in charge of the music. Ceremonial Coordinator Mary Geffre Johnson introduced Cecilia Gibbons who described the robes of the state and local officers.

Following the Mass, members gathered at the auditorium for a skit informing the members of the history of the court. The presentation "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" was presented by the past regents of the court, namely Barbara Kronaizl, Margaret Melby, Mary Bartels, Doris Heine, Mary Johnson, Catherine Danielson and Rhoda Grant.

The court received a letter from Epsilon Sigma Alpha requesting a nomination for the DIANA Award. Nominations will be received at the November meeting. A monetary donation was also given to the St. Jude Research Hospital Bike Ride.

Mary Kay Zimmerman and her committee were hostesses for the evening. The committee also played bingo at the Sioux Valley Care Center the previous Saturday afternoon.

The next meeting will be Nov. 23 with a Memorial Mass for deceased members of the court at 7 p.m. Father Farke, court chaplain, will celebrate the Mass for Mary A. Manning, Marjorie A. Doohen, Helen Malloy and Evelyn Chaussee.

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