Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and Organizations
Catholic Daughters install new officers

St. Agnes Court, Catholic Daughters of the Americas, met May 30 for installation of officers at the St. Agnes Catholic Church.

District Deputy Marie Schumacher, Beresford, and Court Chaplain Fr. Rod Farke, installed the following officers for a two-year term:


Regent Linda Paulson; Vice Regent Kay Bjorkman; Recording Secretary Marilyn Burcham; Financial Secretary Jan Chapman; and Treasurer Maria Heimstra.

Following the installation, members gathered for the living Rosary and crowning the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Members met at the Silver Dollar for a dinner and priest appreciation. Fathers Rod Farke and Donald Imming were honored for services administered to the Catholic Daughters and to the Catholic Church.

Ceremonial Coordinator Mary Geffre Johnson announced the Catholic Daughter Mother of the Year recipient was Barbara Chicoine, Elk Point, and Catholic Daughter of the Year, Marilyn Burcham, recording secretary. They received silver engraved trays.

Maria Heimstra was the recipient of first place in the state poster contest, Adult Division 4.

Kathryn Walton, Division 3, won second place in the state essay contest.

Scholarship winners of $300 each were Kyle Hubert, Vermillion High School; Dasche J. Larsen, and Olivia A. Matthys of Elk Point-Jefferson School System.

An ice cream social will be held Aug. 30 at the St. Agnes School auditorium with proceeds for the St. Agnes School Carpet Fund.

The court will discontinue meetings for the summer months and resume meetings in September.

Rotarians learn of solar ovens

Vermillion Rotary met Tuesday, June 20 at noon in the Freedom Forum in the Al Neuharth Media Center on the USD campus for its regular weekly meeting. After lunch, chair Rev. Mercy Hobbs opened the meeting the the club was led in prayer by Rev. Robert Grossmann.

Joe Edelen led our singing, which this week included our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. Jack Noble provided piano accompaniment. Chair Hobbs announced that Rotary is scheduled to staff the welcome table on Sept. 11, and that our next meeting will be the annual �changing of the guard� picnic at the USD Foundation Center at 6 p.m. on June 27 (next Tuesday).

Barry Vickery, who has been in charge of programs for the past two years, introduced Kurt Jopling, who presented our program on �Solar Cookers for Haiti.� Jopling is presently working as desktop information management consultant for USD, also has 30 years of experience working for Sioux Tool and Snap-on Tool companies.

To explain the great need for a solar oven, or more accurately �slow cooker,� technology for Haiti, Jopling explained a good bit about the social situation and economics of Haiti.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with its population bottled up in the small area of less than half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, whose northern end is 50 miles south of Cuba. Haiti�s people have been exploited and oppressed by their rulers of generations so that the nation�s resources have virtually run out.

Whereas the Dominican Republic on the other half of Hispaniola has 20 percent of its land area covered by forests, that number is 1 percent in Haiti. Without forests, the watersheds that provided rivers for hydroelectric power are now mud hills, so even that resource is gone. Haitians spend about 30 percent of their incomes on charcoal with which to cook their food.

In this situation a solar cooker is a true godsend. Once purchased, the cooker can be used indefinitely to provide a family with proper nutrition. Jopling has worked with �Solar Oven Partners,� a project done in cooperation with United Methodist Committee on Relief. Jopling and a crew of Americans visited Haiti in February, taking several hundred ovens produced in Brookings for distribution in Haiti. The ovens, which cost about $55 each to produce, are sold to Haitians for about $17, after the Haitians have been trained in their use over a three-day period.

The Haitians see the ovens, which are about three feet wide and 20 inches deep, assembled, so that they can understand their construction and repair. Ovens are delivered with a thermometer, pans and recipes, so that they can be used efficiently.

The need is very great, and Solar Oven Partners is just making a beginning, but it is a real start and will provide some relief for Haitian folks, most of whom are descended from African slaves.

Our meeting was closed with the singing on My Country �Tis of Thee, as usual. Next meeting is at 6 p.m. at the USD Foundation building.

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