On Wednesday, February 13th, RCFC welcomes Paul K. Chappell, an international peace educator who now serves as the Peace Literacy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Santa Barbara, California. Bill Timpson, who graduated from West Point and was deployed to Iraq before leaving active duty as a Captain, will introduce our speaker.

Mr. Chappell is the author of the seven-book Road to Peace series about ending war, waging peace, the art of living, and our shared humanity. The first six published books in this series are Will War Ever End?, The End of War, Peaceful Revolution, The Art of Waging Peace, The Cosmic Ocean, and Soldiers of Peace.  Lecturing across the United States and internationally, he also teaches courses and workshops on Peace Leadership and Peace Literacy. 

Our speaker grew up in Alabama, the son of a multi-racial father who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and a Korean mother. He grew up in a violent household, and has arrived at a new understanding of war and peace, rage and trauma, and has forged a new vision, purpose, and hope. His website is www.peacefulrevolution.com

As our country emerges from a century of almost continuous warfare, this discussion is much needed, and is a compelling topic for U.S. citizens, and Rotary members in particular, considering the Rotary Foundation’s long-standing commitment to promoting peace, and this current year’s focus on literacy.

February 4, committee member Larry Salmen presented RCFC's latest STEM grant to the Gardens on Spring Creek.  The $920 grant will help defray development costs for Pollinator Kits, to be used by all Poudre Schools grades.  This grant continues a long history of RCFC-Gardens on Spring Creek partnerships, including sponsorship of the Children's Garden, and joint sponsorship with Bob and Joyce Everitt of the Great Lawn and Everitt Pavilion.  
February 4, Rotarian Jan Bertholf introduced Captain Brandon Schwartz, who in turn introduced RCFC Cadet of the Month, Emma Lerch.  A sophomore in Army ROTC, Emma has a 3.568 GPA in Biology, 4.0 in ROTC , and scored 294 out of 300 in PT - almost perfect!  She is ranked #1 in her class, and plans to become a veterinarian in the Army.

Last week we were updated on a truly amazing, impactful NOCO program.  The speaker was Tamara Merritt, Associate Executive Director of Hearts and Horses.  When asked if members were familiar with the program, a large number of hands were raised.  Many testimonials proved this therapeutic riding program provides “more than just a pony ride”.

The Therapeutic Riding Center was established in 1997 near Loveland on 23 acres. Two hundred fifty volunteers per week assist approximately 195 clients with (currently) 30 horses.

Four programs exist.

1.    "Therapeutic Riding" for clients with all disabilities-physical, cognitive, social and emotional.

2.    "Changing Leads" which is aimed at “at risk youth”, working closely with local schools.

3.    "Horses for Heroes" - successful with veterans.

4.    "Riding in the Moment" - the newest for clients with dementia.

The physics of a horses’ gait (similar to human gait) and the communication/relationship with the animal seem to lead to magical benefits.  An example, Emma’s story, was moving.  Finally, research collaborations, past and future were described including work with CSU, Children’s Hospital and a pilot study with Columbia University.  As always, FCRC members had great questions for our speaker.

Isaias Braga presented the Salvation Army Bellringing trophy to RCFC for the fifth year running.  RCFC collected $1326, compared to just over $900 for the nearest competitor.  Martin Nelson and Bill Schaffer were thanked for their leadership in this year’s effort.

Wednesday January 30, Chief Tom DeMint presented the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) to RCFC.  The fire chief discussed the history, the size of the jurisdiction, the budget, governance, number of calls, community risk reduction, the quest for continuous improvement and more.  

The PFA was formed in 1981 through an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Fort Collins and the Poudre Valley Fire Protection District (PVFPD).  This consolidation was implemented to provide a more prompt and effective response to fires and emergencies in the 235 square mile area served by the PFA.  

In 1982, PFA responded to a little less than 3000 calls for service.  In 2019, PFA will respond to 25,000 calls for service.  While PFA responds to all fire emergencies, fire is only a small part of the emergency needs.  Today medical emergencies make up approximately 70% of PFA’s emergency response, and PFA is responsible for maintaining the contract between the community and the regional ambulance provider, UCHealth.  According to DeMint the fire authority responds to medical emergencies because they are typically close, are first on the scene, and can provide emergency medical assistance while waiting for an ambulance.  Chief DeMint provided a very interesting and informative presentation, and RCFC thanks all first responders for their service to our community.  

The January 26th, the Quad club (plus Rotaract) Purple Pins for Polio event raised over $30,000 total.  RCFC's portion was over $9000, providing vaccines for more than 45,000 children.  A very successful event.  Johnny was the champ, again!  Thanks, organizers: Ruth Lutes and Sharyn Salman!

On behalf of the Community Grants committee, Kathy Nicol awarded $3,000 to the Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County.  Accepting this award was Cecilia Reynolds, Program coordinator and Jim Haselmaier, Board President.  The grant will be used to publish participant workbooks for Hope for Today, their adult suicide prevention program.

Committee Chair John Vogt introduced Joe Gawronski, principal of Polaris Expedition art School, who in turn introduced Colton Lee as Student of the Month.  Colton is very active and respected at Polaris and was the founder of SART, the sexual assault resource team.  He plays baseball for Poudre High, with hopes of playing college ball.
January 23, Kathy Hawkins outlined her background starting on Omaha Nebraska.  She has studied Elementary Education, Computer Science, Accounting and has worked for Celestica and the FC/Loveland Water District.  Her membership was sponsored by Kathy Nicol, and President Steve presented her with her Blue badge.
Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted Jordan Smith as our newest Rotarian.  Jordan is sponsored by Andrew Stewart and is joining the satellite group.

January 23, Kaycee Headrick, Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County (BGCLC), presented BGCLC's current status and plans for the future.  Larimer County has 8 clubs providing daily out-of-school programs (including meals and snacks) for children 6 – 18 years of age.  Cost is $20 per year per child.  School busses deliver kids to free-standing clubs; facilities integrated in other establishments are aimed at local kids who can walk. 

BGCLC attempts to address three issues.  1) Economic disadvantage: In Larimer County, it takes $70,000 annual income for a family of 4 to meet basic needs; poverty is defined as an income less than approximately $27,000.  11% of the residents in Larimer County live in poverty and it is estimated that 16,000 of those are children.  BGCLC currently serves over 3000 youth each year.  2) Mental health.  Suicide is a major cause of death in the 10 – 24-year age range.  3) High school graduation rates are reduced for kids on free & reduced lunch programs. 

The annual Youth of the Year Fundraising Breakfast will be at Embassy Suites on Feb. 14, 7:00 – 8:30 AM.  Diverse opportunities for volunteering are available through begreatlarimer.org or 970-372-2976.  Questions may be addressed to Kaycee at kheadrick@bgclarimer.org.

BGCLC emphasizes five elements for positive youth development:  1) a safe and positive environment;  2) create an environment that is fun and provides a sense of belonging;  3) build supportive relationships;  4) set high expectations and new opportunities;  5) provide formal and informal recognition.  Examples include a baseball clinic with the Colorado Rockies and a week-long camping experience. 

Priority outcomes include: academic success (graduate from high school); building good character and citizenship; healthy lifestyles (healthy diet and physical fitness).  Kids who attend show better results than peers who do not attend. 

Action plans for the future:  1) increased access.  There are three new clubs in the county; there is specific outreach to the Loveland area; and a church building in Wellington has been purchased to be renovated for a new club to open this summer.  2) Increase program quality & member experience by focusing on staff development & training, program development evaluation, and community partnerships.  3) Strengthen organization & sustainability. 

On January 16, Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted Holly Pettit as our newest Rotarian.  Jean Lamm stood in for Robin Steele, Holly’s sponsor.  Holly is joining the Satellite membership.

This month our club honored two teachers at once because they work together in a dynamic team at Fort Collins High School.  John Maguire and Ale (accent on the e) McGee and their school were introduced at very considerable length by their Assistant Principal, Jen Roth.  Presentations by both teachers followed.  We learned that John and Ale are the key members of the locally renowned Fort Collins High School Integrated Learning Support program, which cares for a number of students needing special help to become part of the high school community.  Both of these teachers are committed to working with students suffering from autism and students suffering from academic limitations.  They are student centered team players, backed up by helpful paraprofessionals.  They have managed to integrate their students into a unified sports program as well as into integrated physical education classes and art classes.  Another aspect of their accomplishments involves preparing students for life after school.  They teach such ordinary skills as shopping for groceries and navigating the Transfort system.  They take students on field trips to become aware of practical, hands on job skills. They also utilize some high school activities to foster job skill training.  Both John and Ale are the children of teachers and were inspired by their parents. John hails from Omaha, Nebraska, and Ale is a Colorado native who grew up in Colorado Springs.

January 16, RCFC member, CSU System Chancellor and President of Colorado State University, Dr. Anthony A. Frank, delivered his annual "State of the University" address, continuing a tradition that dates back to the administration of William E. Morgan, who was a member of our club and served as Colorado A&M / Colorado State University President from 1949 to 1969.

Among the many CSU accomplishments, Dr. Frank highlighted the following.    
  • Undergrad enrollment >33,000
  • Increased numbers of First Generation and minority students
  • Campus infrastructure improvements >$1.5 billion
  • Extramural research grants >$350 million (new record)
  • Partnership with National Western Stock Show and city of Denver to develop an “agriculture” center at the NWSS Complex; 4 new buildings, 3 for CSU; water center, equine medicine & agriculture
  • Fund raising near $1 billion (record)
  • Improved rural engagement; now have presence in all counties and developed/reopened one Agricultural Experiment station
  • Global University continues to grow
Dr. Frank praised leadership team, and received two standing ovations from RCFC members.  He also quoted his father as asking “Are you satisfied”?  He then noted that although much has been accomplished, he is still not “satisfied” as there is much more to do.
Dr. Frank was also awarded a Paul Harris Fellow recognition.
Kathy Nicol and Kent Sutherland with Safe Kids representative.  No other information received.  

FCRC member and owner of Vessey Funeral Services, Steve Vessey’s  presentation was entitled “50 Years of the  Funeral Home Industry 1969-2019”.

His contrast of 1969 and 2019 was both informative and entertaining, and, like so many things, showed how much things have changed locally and nationally in the last 50 years. Some of this has been driven by the large population growth in Northern Colorado as well as the origin of those who have relocated to NOCO (California).

In 1969 the population of Ft Collins was 35,000 and the CSU student enrollment was 10,000.There were 4 funeral homes, all family owned and directors and their families all lived above their business. Funeral directors also doubled as ambulance drivers and deputy coroners with the ability to pronounce death. The obituary entry in the Coloradoan was free; compared to the current rate of $1.27 per word. Essentially all deceased had the same routine-100% embalming, casket, viewing and funeral service. The cremation rate was 3-6% and 95% were buried in our 2 local cemeteries.  Almost all deaths occurred at PVH or a nursing home.

Fast forward to 2019 (2018 figures) in Ft Collins - The population currently may be as high as 178,000. There are still 4 funeral homes but one is part of a large corporation (SCI). The cremation rate is 90%.  Cremains are buried, saved or scattered. All funeral homes have a crematorium. Some families do “direct cremation” (DIY). The term “Celebration of life” was first used in 2000 but now this is the title for the majority of services. The majority of deaths in NOCO occur at home. Hospice played a big role in this trend, and , the first, Pathways Hospice, started locally in 1979.

Finally, preplanning for that inevitable time was discussed as well as veteran’s death benefits.

January 2, Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted Troy Mai as the newest member of Fort Collins oldest Rotary Club.  Mai is Vice President for Quality at Advanced Energy in Fort Collins, and is sponsored by Stacy Plemmons.  Please welcome Troy!

Last week former Social security Administrator and syndicated Social Security columnist Tom Margenau presented a program called “The Top 10 Myths about Social Security” followed by the “real story” for each. He divides the myths into “political” (policy) and “program” (benefits and figures).

He presented 6 policy myths and 4-5 program myths. The policy myths will be listed; unfortunately the program myths were presented in the last 2-3 allotted minutes and the rapid-fire presentation was too fast to be recorded by this reviewer. I’m sure they can be obtained for those interested at Tom’s email thomas.margenau@comcast.net

The  Social Security program represents 25% of the US government spending, but is funded separately. Up until 2019 funds coming in have covered outgo. Potential problems with future funding primarily relate to the large numbers of Americans  (baby boomers) currently retiring.

Some policy myths

1)     “Social Security won’t be there when I retire” (it’s been around for 80 years and minor changes will keep it afloat indefinitely.)

2)     “Illegal immigrants steal benefits from US citizens” (on the contrary, these immigrants put an estimated 2 billion into the system without getting anything back)

3)     “Deadbeats on SS disability are draining funds” (it’s difficult to qualify for SS disability and it’s a separate fund from retirement anyway)

4)     “Social Security is welfare” (a small number of people get dependents or spousal survivors benefits who have not worked themselves )

5)     “Social Security’s money problems could be solved by eliminating waste” (This is a very efficient program with 0.7% administrative costs)

6)     “Congress has stolen money from Social Security reserves and used it for other programs” ( LBJ “merged the books” during the expensive Vietnam War and subsequent administrations have done the same but currently the reserves stand at $2.8 trillion)

 Finally, the most popular suggested  fixes for the SS Trust Fund were listed and the pros and cons of    each discussed. The conclusion was that relatively minor changes could keep this fund solvent for 100 years but, thus far, the political will to enact changes has been lacking.

This was a very informative talk by a very well informed speaker (see his credentials in last week’s Rotogear)

For the past 21 years, Tom Margenau has been a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist who writes a weekly column about Social Security programs and policies.  He is a nationally-recognized expert on Social Security and gives speeches and does media interviews on the topic.  In 2005, he retired following a 32 year career with the Social Security Administration.  While with SSA, Margenau worked in a variety of positions at the agency’s headquarters in Baltimore where he served as the deputy press officer and as the speechwriter for the Commissioner of Social Security.  And for many years, he headed SSA’s public information office where he was the chief editor of all the agency’s informational pamphlets and brochures.  Prior to his headquarters’ assignments, he worked 12 years in agency field offices processing Social Security claims and managing local field offices.  Margenau is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.  He now lives with his wife Becky in Fort Collins, Colorado.  
Twas a month before the new year, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
And I was dreaming about Rotary and what we all share.
Rotarians were nestled all snug in their beds,
While celebrations of the past 100 years danced in their heads.
Wife Jeannie in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just fallen asleep for a long-needed nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
Visions of the next 100 years were approaching on new-fallen snow
With ideas and plans bright as mid-day to the Rotarians below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But even more supportive workers doing even greater service next year.
Our plans and our outcomes were lively and quick,
I knew in a moment that Rotary would stick.
More rapid than eagles the projects did come.
New members whistled, and shouted, and said “we want to do some!”
"Now Steve! Now, Robert! Now, Kelso and Rod!
Lead us into the new year with wisdom and laud!
Board members and committees you said “yes” when service called!
And so did other members who are appreciated by all!"
More wonderful projects…and programs…and ideas began zipping by.
I looked out and saw the 4-Way Test written in the sky.
We think, say, and do what is fair and the truth.
Building goodwill and better friendships is our foundational proof.
I finally awakened and saw you sitting here
Enjoying the holidays and our Rotary cheer.
May the next 100 years of vision be as clear as our sight.
Doing service with others……….and wishing you a good night.
By President Elect Nominee Del Benson
Our Teacher of the Month for December was Joanna Clark, a seventh to ninth grade math teacher at Wellington Middle School.  She was introduced by Bill Peisner, a counselor at her school.  Joanna has been at Wellington Middle School since 2005.  A dedicated teacher, Joanna sees helping students to get over their fear of mathematics as her main goal.  She loves her subject and is particularly thrilled when her students gain success and come to enjoy math.  She is noted for never giving up on the possibilities for success for each and every student.  Overall, she is a key staff member at her school.  She is a grade level leader, the department head for mathematics, and a noted team leader.  She is always keen to support students whether it is serving as student government coordinator or supporting students in extracurricular projects, such as concerts, games or plays.  She enlightened our Rotary Club with a thoughtful, precise and succinct account of how she regards her career and its challenges. She also reminded many of us of Pi, 3.1416 and beyond to infinity.
Student of the Month Committee Chair Jack Vogt introduced the FCHS counselor (regretably we missed the name), who in turn introduced Aileen Gonzalez-Perez, RCFC's December Student of the Month.  Aileen will attend CU Boulder to continue her study of nursing.  Already a nursing aide in high school, Aileen volunteers at PVH and is engaged in a multitude of other community service activities.  Vogt also presented our Student of the Month with a gift certificate to Barnes and Nobel.  
Last week District 5540 Governor and RCFC Member Chuck Rutenberg, spoke to our club.  His extensive Rotary credentials were listed in last week’s Rotogear.  Hi talk focused on two subjects.
First, his long term interest in literacy.  The problem is extensive (35 million Americans may be functionally illiterate) and local (Aurora is in the top 3 US cities).  A brief but moving video illustrated the daily problems that life without literacy creates.  Finding and helping such adults can break the chain of illiteracy and is often the first step out of poverty.  Chuck and Rotary are involved in the cure.
The second topic was membership. Chuck has visited over 50 clubs and this is usually a significant part of the discussions. Membership at 1.2 million has been stable but not growing.  Fifty percent of members leave during their first 3 years.  Solutions include improving the value for members, talking about why we do things (and not just what we do) and tapping into the creativity of our newest members.  We watched an inspirational video about a contestant on Americas’ Got Talent.  In addition to great singing we learned about his growing adopted family-how to go from surviving to dreaming and how to make those in need become”star human beings”.  An excellent Q&A session provided some additional suggestions for improving the number & quality of Rotarians.
Wednesday December 14, new Blue Badge member Bob Bethke gave his Classification Talk, more accurately described today as a "New Member Talk".  Bob covered his youth, his Rotary Exchange Student experience, his reasons for joining Rotary, and his career history.  Welcome Bob!
Meeting Information

Welcome to our Club!

Meetings: Wednesday Noon
Drake Center (Lunch)
802 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO  80526
United States of America
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Board Member
Immediate Past President
To get your announcement, any other news, or edits into the Rotogear or website please email complete information to editor.rcfc@gmail.com.
Thank You! 
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