November 30, 2017: Joanne Goldwater and Melissa Matthews from Relay for Life
"Cancer is something we simply cannot ignore. One in three women and one in two men will get cancer in their lifetimes," explained our guest speakers in introducing Relay for Life. The Relay is not a run. Rather, it is a team event. Teams do fundraising, which goes to the fight against cancer. The event will take place on June 2, 2018, at St. Mary's County Fairgrounds. The "relay" part is that each team will have somebody walking on a track from 4 to midnight that day. Walkers can go in shifgs or wak together. There is symbolism in the walking: we are fighting cancer one step at a time. The walk is preceded by a walk of survivors: people who are living with or in remission from cancer walk in an emotional victory lap over this dreaded disease. "Wouldn't it be wonderful to know that perahps our children might wake up to a world without cancer?," asked Joanne. Melissa added, "Nothing would please me more than to be out of a job--to pack up everything in my office knowing that cancer was cured." Leoanrdtown Rotarian is considering fielding a team, though we also have an invitation to join the Med-Star St. Mary's Hospital team. Either way, this event is yet another way Rotarians can tackle disease. Thanks, Joanne and Melissa, for your visit!
November 16, 2107: Jolanda Cambell from Greenwell Foundation
Jolanda, the Executive Director of Greenwell, gave us an update on the Foundations's mission and the many activities it sponsors in support of that mission. Greenwell's aid to disabled children and veterans is fairly well known to Leonardtown Rotarians, but their many other activities, including nature connection programs and simply opportunities for leisure in a beautiful natural setting, are perhaps less familliar. Thanks, Jolanda, for the informative presentation!
November 2, 2017: April Havens and Karen Stone of St Mary's County Museums
April Havens, Site Supervisor from Piney Point Lighthouse, Museum, and Historic Park, and Kaen Stone, our County Museum Director, presented on the many attractions at our local museums. These include Piney Point, whic offers exhibits on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, including watercraft; Clements Island, site of the first settlement in Maryland, with exhibits on Colonial and Native American History; Drayden School a preserved (and ow beign restored) school house for Affican-American children from the sad days of segregatin; and the U-1105 "Black Panther," a sunken World War II U-Boat and dive site. Upcoming exhibits include "Christmas in Maryland" and "Holidays in Uniform." The Museums preserve our heritage and promote learning. Thank you, April and Karen, for the informative presentation.
October 12, 2017: Dr. Janice Walthour of St. Mary's County NAACP
Dr. Walthour gave a good overview of the NAACP: how it is organized, why it exists, and how it , and how it has been making a differences nationally, in our state, and locally and continues to shape our society for the better. Dr. Walthour discussed a recent episode at a footbsll game at leonardtown High School that points out how the NAACP work is still not done and, indeed, is needed as much as ever. It is not necessary to be of color to be a member. One need only have a desire to help make our country and county a fairer, kinder, and better place for all. Thank you for your presentation and service, Janice!
October 5, 2017: Arthur Shepherd, Director of St. Mary's County Parks & Recreation
Arthur discussed returnign to his role as Director, having been invited by the county to come out or retirement to take on the role again. The division manages not only our parks, but also our museums and the county golf course, gymnastics center, community pools, and playing fields. St. Mary's is witnessing a nice expansion in its parks, with new addditions offering greater access to beaches and the expansion of the multi-use path continuing to add recreational opportunities for cyclists, runners, and walkers. Teh musuems are undergoign a lengthy process to enew therir accredidatin, but the outcome is expected to be positive. For the future, look for an expansion of multi-use paths to connect neighborhoods and for more parkland to be added as funding allows.
September 21, 2017: County Commissioner Todd Morgan
Commissioner Morgan gave a preview of his portion of the "State of the County" luncheon, discussing some of the accomplishments of the past year and and some challenges that remain. He siad that his area, Lexingtn Park, is doing better than in some past years, with some good renovations and growth, but that the roads in the area are still a challenge. He hopes that the county might be ablet o attract soem of the contractors set up on base into the vacant office space surroundgn the base. The county should, he suggested, be doing as much as possible to attract young workers; however, we do face the challenge of having vibrant urban areas such as Washington D.C. close by, attracting such talent and lessening our possibly supply. He hopes that the airport expansion and Business Incubator will be of some help in diversifyng the economy to make St mary's even more attractive for business.
September 7, 2017: Susan Wolfe of St. Mary's County Historical Society
Susan Wolfe, Executive Director of St. Mary's County Historical Society, visited to club to tell us about their building headquarters, Tudor Hall. Originally built in 1744 and expanded in the 1760's, Tudor Hall has a fascinating history and is interesting architecturally. Thanks, Susan, for the informative presentation!
August 24, 2017: Dr.Meenakshi Brewster, St Mary's County Health Officer
Dr. Meenaksi Brewster, St Mary's County Health Officer, presented on the causes of the current Opioid crisis: how addiction has transformed to being a problem with prescription painkillers to a heroin epidemic, with Fentanyl and carfentanil additons creating frequently lethal combinations. The problem is growing this year in our county, as in much of the country. We in Leonardtown Rotary are making plans to work with our fellow Rotarians in the county and region to help spread awareness and take action, and we shall certainly be collaborating with Dr. Brewster in the future. Thank you, Dr. Brewster, for your informative presentation!
August 17: Amanda Werrell, the "Bird Nerd"
Amanda, daughter of our club's Lori Werrell, is an ornithologist. She visited to club to talk about how she became interested in the study of birds, some of the projects she has worked on, and how research is carried out to discover more about the environment through bird study. She was introduced her proud mother. Club members were pleased to learn more about some significant birds in the area, including the "lazy" bald eagle, and to be able to ask questions. Thank you for the informative presentation, Amanda!
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