Clubs and Organizations

Clubs and Organizations
Rotary learns laughing is good for your health

The Vermillion Rotary Club held its first meeting of the New Year on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. President David Hussey opened the meeting and Rotarian Art Mabry gave the invocation. A round of singing, announcements, and the introduction of guests including three seniors from Vermillion High School followed this.

Rotarian Barry Vickrey introduced StarBurst the Caring Clown as our guest speaker. Her topic was "Humor Therapy: Healing Through Laughter". StarBurst was created in 2003 after receiving her CGT (Certified Giggle Therapist) from St. Luke's Hospital in Sioux City, IA.

She then became a member of the Caring Clown Troupe, a volunteer organization that visits patients, visitors, and hospital staff at St. Luke's. She went on to further her degree in two different traveling colleges. In addition to clowning at St. Luke's, StarBurst frequents many different non-profit organizations and fundraisers in the Vermillion area.

StarBurst began with a demonstration of Humor Therapy with two "volunteers" from the audience. Humor Therapy involves the use of humor for the relief of physical and emotional pain and stress. The idea traces back to Norm Cousins in 1964 who used the idea of humor as therapy to relieve the pain and stress of his own illness.

StarBurst stated that it does work. It is not a cure but can be used with other treatments. Humor helps to lower blood pressure, reduce the production of stress hormones, and increase muscle flexion among other things. She quoted Charlie Chaplin: "To truly laugh one must be able to take your pain and play with it."

StarBurst said laughing could truly help when tensions are highest. Patch Adams is probably one of the best-known practitioners.

According to StarBurst, clowning is used outside of hospitals in business management training, shelters, in other countries through Clowns without Borders, in disaster areas such as 9/11, Katrina, and tsunami devastated areas.

DESA/Elan holds November meeting

Members of the DESA/Elan organization met on Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Sanford Vermillion Center board room for a meeting. Members started the evening off saying the pledge. The next order of business was to review over old business.

New Business: Members shared information about the state of Wyoming. Members then stuffed Christmas stockings for the soldiers in Afganistan. Upcoming events members could participate in were: Helping to make �cool ties� for the soldiers, to help decorate the Christmas tree at the W.H. Over Museum (bringing homemade state ornaments) and/or helping to put together and deliver holiday treat trays for the shut-ins in Vermillion. The evening concluded with the reciting of the closing ritual.

The next DESA/Elan meeting is on Feb. 3. Members picked the state of Hawaii to learn about in February, Elly – map, Audry – attractions, Ellen – facts, Marley – wildlife, Kate – flag and Hannah – history.

Ellen Hanson,

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