Spokane North Notes
A weekly bulletin of the Spokane-North Rotary Club
Aug. 3, 2015
Editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
Photos: Jim Minkler
Program coordinator: Brad Stark
          Save the date (tentatively): Stocking the Holmes Elementary supply cabinets – a back-to-school club annual ritual – is set for Monday, Aug. 24, right after the luncheon meeting.  Club President Lenore Romney said she will check with Holmes administrators to finalize the date.
District Governor delivers a heart-felt message
          District 5080 Gov. Mike Dalessi gets right to the heart of the matter.
          He titled the talk on his official club visit Aug. 3 “The Heart of Rotary and How Rotary Changed My Heart.”
          Dalessi, a retired stockbroker and manager, was introduced by Assistant District Gov. Ira Amstadter, a former Club 21 president, and was accompanied by his wife of 36 years, Mary Ann, a Valley Sunrise Rotarian.
          “Many people say the brain controls our actions, not the heart, but if the heart wants something, the brain will follow,” Dalessi said.
          The governor related how he went from Marine Corps sniper from Southern California to a career as a stockbroker and eventually brokerage manager.  He started in Bend, Ore., where, Dalessi said, he quit Rotary after a year.  He moved from Oregon to Juneau, Alaska, rejoined Rotary and felt an “aha,” heart-tugging moment when his club helped area youth mostly abandoned by parents who thought monies from social aid programs were best used in buying and consuming alcohol.
          Another “aha” moment, he said, was the smiles on the faces of disabled children in South American cities who were given wheelchairs to enhance their mobility.  Previously, most had just crawled on hands and knees.
          Dalessi said his Alaskan club was able to leverage local contributions with district and Rotary International grants to be able to afford “a (shipping) container full of wheelchairs.”
          He said many Holmes Elementary kids, like the needy children in Juneau, have prospects which range “from slim to none.”
          He told Spokane-North members, “you are changing hearts and their lives forever.  Way to go!” Dalessi said.
          The governor also said Rotary’s global initiative to eradicate polio continues to make progress.
          “This year, so far, there have been just 33 reported cases of polio – 27 in Pakistan and 6 in Afghanistan,” Dalessi said.  Giving the familiar finger width signal that “we’re this close,” he said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if the world is polio-free by 2020.”
          He asked rhetorically, “what’s Rotary’s next big project?  We don’t know yet.  But the idea to eliminate polio came from a club in the Philippines, and that country became the first to eradicate polio. And the next big idea will likely come from a Rotary club, maybe even one of your members.”
          Noting that the theme of RI President K.R. Ravindran is “Be a Gift to the World,” Dalessi encouraged all club members to “Be a Gift to Your World.”
          The governor, whose district includes 59 clubs, described the huge impact of Rotary even in small towns like Nakusp (population 1,500) and Radium Springs, British Columbia.  The latter, with a population of 800, has an 18-member Rotary Club, and 12 members are women, Dalessi said, adding, “Nothing happens there without Rotary.”
          Asked about challenges during his term, Dalessi said, “We have to allow clubs to be their own clubs, and not dictate what to do.”
          As part of the official visit, Mary Ann Dalessi donated an art piece she did incorporating Rotary wheel cut-outs.  Steve Boharski said Mary Ann also had donated a piece of her art for the club’s fund-raising auction.