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Bulletin Editor
Ruth Lundin
Speakers
Jun 27, 2022
Moon Brook Country Club
View entire list
 
 
Make Up Opportunities 
 
AM CLUB Meets in a hybrid format  the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month from 7:30-8:30 a.m. at Venue 31.
 
FALCONER — 1st and 3rd Thursday of month, 7 a.m., Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Falconer
 
WESTFIELD / MAYVILLE — Tuesday, 12:15 p.m., UM Church, Westfield
 
FREDONIA/DUNKIRK
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Zoom Teleconference Meetings
Effective until further notice
 
 
Committee meetings or social events can also be used as make-ups.
 
 
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Today's Chair: President Kevin Sixbey
 
Weather: Crisp and sunny.
 
Invocation: Sharon Hamilton quoted Amanda Gorman from the Inaugural address: striving to form a union with purpose, not looking at what stands between us, but at what stands before us. Sharon also read a Rotary invocation on peace with Eleanor Roosevelt’s words on working for peace, noting that, as we work on our local and international projects, we must remember that we are working for peace. Remember especially today--Ukraine.
 
Visiting Rotarians and Guests: President Elect John Healy recognized former member Jennifer Gibson, guest of Joelle Washer.
 
Announcements:
-Masks. In response to changes in the CDC guidance, beginning next week masks will be optional. Zoom will continue to be an option.
 
-North Main Street Sign Project. Raffle tickets to raise $5,000 were handed out today. Each Rotarian is asked to sell 6 tickets. Only 500 tickets will be sold. The Grand prize is $2,000. Second is $1,000 and third- $500. March 23 is the deadline to get ticket stubs to Kevin. The Drawing will be at the noon meeting March 28.
 
-Membership. Dan Heitzenrater, President and CEO of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Lori Brockelbank, Area Manager of Davey Resource Group have applied for membership and been approved by the Membership Committee and the Board. Members have 10 days for comments in writing.
 
-Social Committee. Michelle Jones announced Farch on Monday, March 21st at Moonbrook with a St. Patrick’s Day theme. This is in lieu of the Monday Meeting. Bring friends and guests. $25 per person. Trivia again. Need a Rotarian to sell 50/50 at Farch.
 
-Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ruth announced a meeting on March 15 at 2 pm by Zoom. Contact her if you would like to participate. YWCA is starting a book discussion group on Thursdays, starting March 3 at 6 pm via zoom. They will be discussing essays by James Baldwin. Anyone interested can go to the YWCA website at YWCAJamestown.com.  
 
-Lunch price starting next week will be $16.00. Cash or check payments will be discounted to $15.
 
50/50 Winner: Lee Magnuson announced $26 to the winner. Russ Diethrick won and donated it back to the club.
 
Sergeant At Arms: Mark Olson was fined for leaving early. Deb Kathman paid for grandson Thomas Kathman, 6 grade student of the month at Washington. Sharon Hamilton is a new member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board. Mark Olson donated a copier to Love Inc. Chautauqua Leadership Network announced its new class-all alums and board members paid up. Doug’s grandson is indoor soccer champ.
 
Happy Bucks:
Sharon Hamilton’s granddaughter was Jamestown high school student of the month.
 
Michelle Jones and her husband are in the Little Theater production of Almost Maine this weekend and next.
 
Walter Pickut. Daughter Kay has been appointed associate editor of the Marketing Journal. Also, facts about Russia: In Russia-127 Rotary Clubs. District 2223 includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and has 77clubs. The first Rotary clubs in Ukraine were founded before World War II and there are currently over 800 members. So-what can we do?  
 
Melissa Meyers paid a fine for a delightful 11 day cruise.
Stories
Good Neighbors Committee-Luke Fodor and Beth Litton
Rector Luke Fodor, Beth Litton and Rotarian Amy Rohler discuss Good Neighbor refugee initiative. 
 
Tory Irgang introduced Luke Fodor, Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.  He and his family came to Jamestown in 2014. Tory serves with Luke on the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation board. The Fodors and St. Luke’s are known for their outreach into the community. Rotary partnered with St. Luke's on Children of the Book summer reading program which began in 2015. Other community partnerships are Jamestown public and mobile markets and, new last year, Father Bernard’s Blessed Biscuits in partnership with the Mental Health Association supporting workforce development and employment in recovery.
 
Beth Litton also spoke. She is a native of the area, but has only recently returned to Jamestown, working at the Jamestown Community Learning Council. She has a unique passion and history with refugee resettlement.
 
Luke began by talking about his introduction to working with refugees in the 1990s, where he experienced the disorientation of entering into a new world of another culture when visiting an apartment full of newly arrived refugees and their chaotic lives.  He was able to relate how frightening and frustrating it must have been for them every minute of every day, trying to navigate in a new world.
 
During the Syrian crisis in 2016 Luke began talking with Journey’s End, a refugee resettlement organization. However, due to administration policies, immigration ground to a halt before any refugees were sponsored. Late last summer he reached out again, this time about Aghan refugees. By December, it was clear that there was support for a refugee program, and that the faith community should take the lead. He pointed out that it would also make sense for Rotary, as an international service organization, to work on refuge resettlement.
 
Beth Litton had newly returned to the area and is a natural for spearheading the effort, since she has seven years of experience with resettling refugees.  
 
Beth grew up in Frewsburg, where she said she never met anyone from other worlds. She left her job at Refugee Resettlement in Nashville Tennessee in the fall to move back to Jamestown. She believes that those of us who live within safe borders should help those without safe borders. Beth tells about what she learned about the best way to help refugees. It’s not jobs or housing, although those are important. The refugees themselves said, “give us dignity and be our friends”.
 
Jamestown’s effort is being organized by a committee called New Neighbors. Initially they are trying to bring 2 families to Jamestown.  They are drafting a plan that they will submit to Journey’s End to provide housing and employment and also provide personal connections and support.  We need to offer a relationship with people here in the community, which will enrich everyone participating. Each refugee family will have two “accompanying communities”. The accompanying communities identified so far are faith based but can also be civic organizations. St. Luke’s and 1st Presbyterian will welcome and walk alongside one family. Islamic Society and Zion Covenant will partner to welcome the second family. Each accompanying communities partnership is committed to raising $5,000 per family as a safety net for them.  
 
The committee is working with Journey’s End because it is the closest refugee resettlement organization. It is located in Buffalo and is authorized to place refugees within 100 miles. Normally their staff makes all the arrangements and it takes about 90 days. This is the first time they have partnered with a volunteer organization. Journey’s End needs to approve the plan and the people need to agree to move here. Jamestown is at a disadvantage because of its rural location, but has an advantage because housing is much cheaper.
 
Right now there is a refugee film festival on line as a fund raiser for Journey’s End. https://www.wnyrff.org
 
Q: What is the legal status of these refugees and why do we want them here? “Refugee” status is a formal designation. They are in the United States legally. We want them here because they enrich our communities. Because of our declining population, we need people who want to be here, who provide input of new workers and people who are committed to building their lives and our community.
 
Q: Will the refugees stay here? That is the hope, but you may remember that Jamestown helped resettle Vietnamese refugees, but most of them moved on. Using the “Neighbor” idea will help encourage people to make this their new home. Being hospitable says more about who we are, not who they are. We want to provide the resources for them to build a new life and put down roots. Education will be a part of that, so we are reaching out to JCC. We really don’t know what support the families will need, which is why the New Neighbors committee is so important.
 
Q:Where will the money come from and who will hold it? Refugees will be given $1225 from Journey’s End per person. The $5,000 will be in addition to this, as a reserve, probably held by the churches, so that landlords and others will know they have collateral.
 
At this point, Tamu Reinhart, English as a new language coordinator of the Jamestown Public Schools spoke about the role that the schools play. Right now, most of the students in her program are Puerto Rican or Dominican, but in the 1970s and 1980s there were many Vietnamese. In the last four months there have been students from Bangladesh, China and Somalia. No matter where they are from, the school’s function is to support the families, make sure they understand the expectations and integrate them into the community as much as possible. Schools are required to provide education regardless of the child’s immigration status. A recent example of assistance that was needed is a child who missed school because the family didn’t have a shovel and didn’t know how to shovel out from a snowstorm since they hadn’t experienced snow before.  
 
Tory Irgang pointed out that Buffalo & Rochester have the same issues as Jamestown-declining population and lack of diversity. Opening the community to new people can have an enriching impact.  More global communities enrich everyone’s lives. Another example of this is a bazaar sponsored by Westminster Presbyterian Church in Buffalo. The bazaar is a pipeline for entrepreneurs using the resources from their native cultures.
 
To see a video of the program, click here.