Meeting Notes from March 21, 2017
 
Presiding was President Brad Weiss and the Thought for the Day was provided by Don Gwinn.
 
Announcements
 
Brad Weiss announced that Yeero Revolution restaurant will be having a Rotary Week from March 27 to April 2 during which members will receive a 15 percent discount. The restaurant is located at 1009 Davis St.
 
Lesley Peters provided a teaser regarding an upcoming presentation by Joan Borg about her work in Guatemala. Lesley is very impressed from what she learned regarding Joan’s work.
 
Gary Peterson announced that there will be a special collection during the meeting for a World Water Day fundraiser to be held at Pitchfork Food & Saloon (2922 W. Irving Park Rd.) tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22 at 5 p.m. The collection proceeds will be matched by a corporate donor. Pitchfork will donate $1 for each beer sold. The entire proceeds will go to Haiti Outreach for its WASH work.
 
Kea Gorden mentioned that she is working with a group of refugees from the Congo. They came to the U.S. last August and are part of a church group helping refugees. Kea requested assistance from interested members of the club to volunteer to mentor a family of eight.
 
Brad Weiss provided a teaser regarding an upcoming video showing by Bill Glader. Bill made the video in support of the upcoming referendum for School District 65.
 
Brad Weiss announced that the Chicagoland Korean Rotary Club is holding a 7K Run/3K Walk on Saturday, April 29, at 8 a.m. at Forest Way Grove in Glencoe. Check the following site for all the details: rotary7krun.org.
 
Brad Weiss is looking for a volunteer to work with the Noon club’s Dick Peach on the clubs’ participation in the Fourth of July Parade. Dick Moenning indicated he will represent ELRC.
 
Elaine Clemens distributed the 2017 Nomination Form for the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Ethics Award. Elaine explained the required information to complete the nomination form. The nominations are due by Tuesday, March 28. Brad Weiss verbally provided a list of all the past winners of the Ethics Award. A recommendation was made to post the list on the club’s website.
 
Brad Weiss announced the 44th Annual Super Senior Day Luncheon to be held on Thursday, May 25,  at 11:30 a.m., where seniors will receive awards in recognition of their contributions to the community. The afternoon will also feature the legendary Milt Trenier and his Company of Three. Brad requested that members nominate one of their own for the award.
 
Roasts and Boasts
 
Gary Peterson boasted himself and his family for adopting a second dog from a shelter. However, he roasted himself for a minor accident resulting in the dog experiencing a leg injury while on the way out for a walk.
 
Kathy Tate-Bradish boasted the city of Waukegan for the upcoming election that will result in either the first woman or the first African-American mayor. Kathy helped to moderate their mayoral forum.
 
Kathy will be conducting her first U.S.-based training on HIV-AIDS prevention and boasted Brad Weiss for introducing her to Stephanie Holms, a patient of Brad, who will be her co-instructor.
 
Linda Gerber boasted Rotary Club Vallejo, a club in Mexico City, for hosting her during a trip in support of SmileTrain. The club re-scheduled their meeting to accommodate Linda’s schedule and held a six-hour event that included tequila tasting, among other things.
 
Randy Usen noted that First Bank & Trust will be holding its 21st Shareholder Meeting and boasted the institution for this notable milestone.
 
Kea Gorden boasted Kristin Brown for having coffee with her and her friend Miguel Hernandez and for making an impression on Miguel for her language skills in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
 
Zbig Skiba quizzed the attendees on various facts regarding the spring season.
 
Program
 
Malta Conferences Foundation – Zara Lerman
 
Fran Caan introduced Zara Lerman, President of the Malta Conferences Foundation. Dr. Lerman holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry and became interested in human rights issues while doing post-doctoral work at Cornell University. She became very active in human rights issues throughout the world from Russia to China after the Tiananmen Square public demonstrations.
  
The Malta Conferences Foundation (MCF) organizes biennial conferences, bringing together scientists from 15 Middle Eastern countries – Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates – together with six Nobel laureates and US and EU scientists for five days. Most of these Middle Eastern scientists cannot easily meet face-to-face to exchange information and discuss collaboration and cooperation because their governments are hostile to each other.
 
The Malta Conferences are the only platform where scientists from these 15 countries can work together on solutions to regional problems. The common language of science helps to overcome chasms of distrust, building tolerance and understanding, improving the relationship between the Muslim world and the US, and among Arabs, Iranians, and Israelis.
 
The conferences provide a platform outside of international politics to address critical issues impacting these countries and to facilitate collaboration in the areas of air quality, water scarcity, renewable energy, global warming, nuclear proliferation, and the lack of civil society. The MCF works under the guidelines established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for many of these areas of concern.
 
Dr. Lerman showed a map of these 15 countries without borders to make a point and to de-emphasize these borders that were artificially created by others. She quoted many participants to highlight the impact of these conferences. One participant said “We only have one nationality here and it is science.” 
 
The participation of many of these scientists is facilitated by the fact that the talks are delivered by Nobel laureates. This aspect of the conferences removes the nationality concern and focuses the respective authorities on experts recognized by the Swedish Academy. Still, participants are careful in their statements as they could be quoted back in their home countries and cause concerns. The participation of the Nobel laureates also minimizes the wide discrepancy existing between the levels of scientific achievement among these 15 countries.
 
Seven conferences have been held so far. Malta V was held in 2011 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris and opened by Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO and HRH Prince Hassan of Jordan; Malta VI in 2013 in Malta and opened by Dr. George Abela, the President of the Republic of Malta.
 
Dr. Lerman reasoned that a young man who does not have an education, a job, and future prospects has nothing to lose by becoming a terrorist. That’s why the MCF aims through its initiatives to achieve improvement in education, cleaning the environment, and creating conditions for economic opportunities.
 
Zara Lerman and Brad Weiss
 
Guests and Milestones
 
Guests
 
Debi Genthe, exec director, Meals at Home, prospective member,
Holly Halliday, prospective member
Zafra Lerman, Malta Conferences Foundation, speaker
Luiz Abreu, exchange student
 
Birthday
 
Lesley Peters, March 23
 
Next Week’s Assignments
 
Greeters:   Bill Glader and Steve Goranson
Thought for the Day:  John Heimbaugh
Scribe:  Helen Oloroso
Meeting set-up:  Chip Uchtman and Randy Usen
Breakdown:  Chris Joyce and Scott Kaplan
 
 
 
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