Military appreciation on the 20th Anniversary of September 11, 2001
The 2021 District Conference opened with a First Responder and Military Parade around the Crown Room.  This special ceremony commemorated the September 11, 2001 terror attacks killing 2,977 men, women and children. A video replayed the attacks with phone calls from people saying goodbye to loved ones as their hijacked planes crashed. First Responders had quickly tried to save as many people as possible. Military personnel had battled against terrorism. Coronado Police Officer, Grace Del Bagno sang "God Bless America" as emotions ran high throughout the ballroom.
Throughout the day, presenters shared Rotary accomplishments and how "Rotary in Action" changed lives. Here are some of the stories. 

Oasis Orphanage 

Laura Mello spoke about the Oasis Haven Orphanage that providing housing for young Abigail. Her parents were dead. She had lived with her uncle until he abandoned her at daycare. She wasn’t a great student when she went to King School.  Once she reached high school, she excelled at track & field and enjoyed basketball. The speaker, Ms. Mello, had all the opportunities with her education, college degree and a large financial portfolio. Still, she felt she was missing something in her life. She learned about the orphanage and Rotary from her sister. So, Ms. Mello joined the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary to support the orphanage. She worked with her Rotary to fund young Abigail’s education. Abigail, now excited about her schooling and obtaining excellent grades,  is finishing her degree in Journalism. 

Women Empowerment 
Dugan and Phillipe Lamouise educated women regarding savings accounts in Burundi, Tazanie. First, they trained a small set of villagers to teach groups about saving money. This training created leaders who could mentor others in community finance. By 2019, savings groups met weekly and managed transaction booklets with their money locked with a three-key system. They collected funds and presented methods for borrowing funds for projects. One member has already bought a pig and sold the piglets. She returned the funds and bought a stud bull with her profits. Others bought goats to sell the milk.  Weekly, they counted the money together and created their own self-reliance.  


HIV Prevention Programs in Uganda
Rose Naigino, Rotary Global Grant Scholar (SDSU), presented several methods to eradicate Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Uganda. Growing up in Eastern Uganda, she knew first-hand the disease’s impact and has co-authored HIV articles as part of her Doctorial Program in Public Health at SDSU.  Two solutions provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission and safe male circumcision.  Provider-initiated testing occurs when people come to the doctor with potential symptoms, and self-testing will soon become available. Assisted partner notification systems help inform others if they have been exposed. Moonlighting testing occurs for commercial sex workers, and a pre-prevention pill helps avoid exposure in advance.  Training about HIV prevention provided the at-risk populations (fish workers, young girls, and long-distance truck drivers) with solutions to avoid contracting AIDs. Doing this work enhanced Ms. Naigino’s scientific writing skills, leadership potential and research experience. She thanked the joint efforts of Del Mar Rotary and Kampala North (Uganda) Rotary for her opportunities and education. 


Limbs of Freedom

Herb Barrack explained how the Coronado Club worked together with the Barr Foundation to provide prosthetic limbs to amputees in Mexico. The Limbs of Freedom project is a joint effort between the Rotary Club of Coronado, California, and the Club Rotario Calafia-Ensenada. A machinist who lost his leg received a prosthetic leg so he would return to work. A young mother walked on her new leg so she can care for her children. The technology continues to develop from a manual process to digital printing.  



Our club received kudos during the presentation of Rotary Foundation Awards as the Top Giving Club in Rotary Direct.  To end the conference, everyone got a chance to speak about their Rotary's positive results during Phil Blair's speed dating. If he called on someone, they had 30 seconds to state their name, Rotary and one club accomplishment. Rotarian Jen Weeks quickly talked about the yearly "Now and Ben" book distribution and in-class reading. If someone doesn't speak within thirty seconds, a whistle blows.  One Rotaract took too long to introduce himself. The whistle screeched! A Rotaract at the next table finished the announcement of an upcoming club crawl for End Polio Now. 

Water Pasteurization Indicator (WAPI)
After the presentations, Rotaracts needed Rotarians to build little handmade thermometers. The WAPI tube contains soy bean wax that melts when boiling water or milk reaches 68 degrees C -- pasteurization temperature. This ensures safe water or milk without disease-causing organisms. The WAPI’s tub required a wire run through it with a crimped loop at each end. One loop contained a hook to hang over a cooking pot's side. In the center photo, Jen Weeks made loops before the product passed to the crimper. Don Week's table (right photo) completed a WAPI from running wire to end crimps. Rotarians completed 118 thermometers for emergency kits.  


Rotarians Don and Jen Weeks enjoyed the conference at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado.