CROW’S CALL – March 18, 2021
 
 
Showing all the signs of a man who’s been doing it too long, our “Do-Over” President Chris Gallagher (a.k.a. Top Gun) gonged us into order.  Greeter Marv Remmich led us in the Flag Salute, raggedly, and offered the story of the guy who went to the golf course hoping to shoot his age and instead shot his weight; Marv gave a second Thought for the Day but this correspondent was so gobsmacked by the idea of shooting a round 227 over par that he missed it.  Marv shared that since his wife Susan fell off her horse and is rehabbing at home, he has learned how to stack the dishwasher and now offers seminars on how to do that correctly. 
We greeted the universe with our enthusiastic “Aloha” and acknowledged that March is Water and Sanitation Month at Rotary.
 
Gallagher’s News You May Have Missed included Naked Cowboys, Turkeys, Raccoons, Johnson & Johnson Shot Recipients and Ineptly Dishonest Deliverymen.
 
 
 
Announcements: 
 
Norbert Walz told us the On-Line Auction raised over $61,000 and that we sent a check to the Ed Foundation for $44,000.That’s incredible during Covid.
Gary Sloan says that Shadow Day at Cal High where students get to explore the many ways that they can get into the Financial Industry is going virtual.  Contact him if you would like to share your career secrets. 
Collette Lay reminds us of the Interact Picnic Saturday, March 20. 
Vera Packard’s Lasix Run to raise funds is March 24. 
Karen McNamara is in charge of the meeting on the Trinity Center next week.  Stephanie Li is the new Interact Liaison for the club.
 
Recognitions: 
 
Steve Porschet got a hangover in Tahoe on his 29th birthday.
Both Kerry Richards and Norbert Walz had incorrect information on their birthdays and so Chris Gallagher had to pick up their recognitions. 
Mike Thelen took Donna to Monterey for her birthday where there were no restaurants open so she got to sample the finest in 7/11 cuisine.
 
Program:                                                                                                              
 
Darren Pradoda grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University. While in school he visited Nicaragua where he was impressed by the friendliness of the people and the scale of problems facing them. (About 30% live in poverty.) Youngsters in particular face issues with drugs, crime and sexual abuse.  Out of this experience grew Darren’s decision to establish SOMOS, a Nicaragua Project which seeks to empower kids and communities through sports.  Darren collects sporting equipment, ships it to Nicaragua, gathers volunteers here to join him on-site and teach the kids how to use the equipment.  They distribute their efforts in ten communities reaching about 2,000 kids with up to 50 volunteers. They receive help from the Morristown New Jersey Rotary Club.
They solicit used sports equipment throughout the year and on shipping day send thousands of pounds of gear south, with the help of the Peace Corps.  They hold what is called Camp Preparations Day where they train volunteers to teach sports and help in sex abuse education.  In Nicaragua, their main effort is centered in Granada at Camp Somos where up to 250 participants come.  In 2019 political unrest diverted the program temporarily to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, but the plan is to eventually build a sports center in Granada.
They hope to continue to build local sports programs and to encourage the participation of more girls. To a great extent the sports taught are dictated by the equipment donated, so Darren foresees the introduction of American football and possibly lacrosse.  The greatest need they face is with the equipment which is expensive to ship, about $8,000 per container.  Rotarians offered contacts with community development programs elsewhere and with sports programs here locally, especially soccer clubs.
 
Raffle: Marv Remmick drew blue, much to the regret of his many friends.  Next week’s program Trinity Center.