Meeting Report: May 16, 2016


At their regularly scheduled meeting Monday morning, May 9, 2016, Rotary board members voted to give $1,000 to Shelter Box to assist in the recovery effort in Ecuador. Ecuador was hit with a magnitude 7.8 earthquake late Saturday evening: 650 dead, 16,600 severely injured and 26,000 people in need of shelter. Shelter Box is a rapid response organization for areas experiencing natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc. Shelter Box is the largest project of Rotary International, according to Van Joffrion, chairman. Van said that Shelter Box has sent 2,000 shelter kits, 1,700 water filters and 300 small Shelter Boxes containing water filters, kitchen set, two solar lights, two mosquito nets and two water carriers. Shelter Box is coordinating their efforts with Habitat for Humanity in Ecuador. According to reports, the quake was the deadliest to hit the South American country in decades. Blowing Rock Rotary Club gives regularly to Shelter Box, but this is a special extended effort. Anyone wishing to contribute additional funds may do so by giving your check, designated for Shelter Box, to Bill Leahy, Treasurer.




Pictured here with her proud parents, Michelle & Ian Helton, is eighth grader, Megan Helton, and her award certificate for Student of the Month, presented by Orian Carter, Youth Services Chairman. Megan is a history buff and especially likes European related studies. Never thinking she would be so honored, she was chosen by the teachers and staff of the Blowing Rock school where she attends. “I just never thought of myself that way”, she said. In addition to the certificate, Orian presented her with a $25 gift certificate also awarded by our club.



Ed Tausche, chairman of the CART fund, reported Monday that the Blowing Rock Rotary Club beat out the Lenoir Club for first place in the annual fund raising for this effort. Our club gave a whopping $10,616, which was al- most $600 more than the Lenoir club who contributed a tidy sum of $9,021. Our club also won first place in per capita giving, $179, according to Ed.     Ed passed out pins to all members to recognize this effort. The members present gave Ed a sounding applause for his leadership in this cause.  Great job Ed!

Meeting Report: May 2, 2016



Katherine Graham, Physical Therapist along with Martin Hubner, both with the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, gave Rotary members an overview of the importance of exercise, especially boxing, to the welfare of those who have Parkinson’s Disease.
Our own William (Bill) Thorn (aka”Mr. Pickles”), a Parkinson’s patient himself, gave a demonstration of his boxing skills as he punched away at Martin. Katherine said: “We are still learning a lot about the therapeutic value of boxing as an exercise”. Bill is the heavyweight boxing champion in the boxing program at the Broyhill Center, which is only one of his many talents. He is an accomplished pianist and leads the youth choir at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church.
Gordon Carver, also a Parkinson’s patient, started slowly, but as he warmed up in his turn at sparring with Martin, he really got into it, which invoked an applause from the Rotary members.




Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement, muscle control, and balance as well as numerous other functions. It is part of a group of conditions known as motor systems disorders. Parkinson’s disease was named for James Parkinson, a general practitioner in London during the 19th century who first described the symptoms of the disease. Symptoms describing Parkinson’s disease are mentioned in the writings of medicine in India dating back to 5,000 BCE as well as in Chinese writings dating back approximately 2500 years. Parkinson’s disease is the most common movement disorder and the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease.


Portrait Clabough

Jim Clabough, right, accepts the Paul Harris pin from Virginia Vanstory, Chairperson. Jim has pledged $1,000 per year. Thanks Jim!

Meeting Report: April 25, 2016


Cathy Robbins gave Rotary members a historical review of Tweetsie Railroad that first opened in 1957 and has been open ever since. The train ride is 3 miles long and includes views of the mountains. And along the train ride, you go back to the Old West days complete with Cowboys and Indians. The town looks like something from the Old West and includes gift shops of all sorts. The chairlift takes you farther up the mountain to a small and rather dated amusement park. There are old-timey stage shows in the saloon and different craft shops all around. You’ Ῐl also find the usual attraction fast foods and snacks too.



Railroad and steam engine enthusiasts will especially enjoy Tweetsie. It has two coal fired steam locomotives; #12 which was built in 1917 by Baldwin and owned by the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad, and #190, the “Yukon Queen” from Alaska’s White Pass and Yukon Route and built by Baldwin in 1943. Both engines pull open-air cars along the three mile route so you have the chance to smell the coal smoke and feel some cinders.



One of the best times to go to Tweetsie Railroad is in October for the Ghost Train. The park is open on weekend nights and completely decorated (including the steam engines) for Halloween. And the train ride includes all sorts of scary events and shows. The Ghost Train ride might be a little much for smaller kids, but older ones and adults will have a blastῘ So if you’re thinking that Tweetsie Railroad is old and outdated, yes it is old, but far from outdated. “We are not trying to compete with larger venues such as the latest roller coaster ride at Carowinds, Six Flags or Dollywood”, said Cathy. But is still a fun place to take your family and enjoy a relaxing day of low -key fun in the North Carolina mountains!



Fourteen Rotarians and spouses from our club, along with several other area clubs, and members and friends of the ASU Rotaract club assembled this past Sunday at the ASU campus to package a total of 10,152 meals to be shipped to Charlotte where they will be available to feed hungry individuals around the world. This is all a part of the “STOP HUNGER NOW” initiative and is sponsored locally by the Rotaract members. Pictured below are some of those volunteers from our club. Kenneth Wehrmann is the Rotaract Coordinator from our club.  Additional pictures below: 











Kitty Lumpkin celebrated her birthday by providing Krispy Kreme donuts for everybody. Bill Thorn & Betty Howe are enjoying their delicious taste.




Meeting Report: April 18, 2016


ASU Head Football Coach Scott Satterfield and Parker Collins, pictured here with the trophy from winning the Camelia Bowl last season. Satterfield, a graduate of ASU, has been the head coach since 2013. Although the first two seasons produced less than a stellar record, the improvements that were established in the roots of the program began to flourish. After losing to Liberty University at the ASU homecoming, the Mountaineers went 17-2, losing only to Arkansas State and Clemson who went on to complete for the National Championship Title. Scott says: “ I want our players to become more than just athletes in our football and other sports programs”. For example, Parker Collins, starting left guard, compiled a 3.4 grade average last year.



Doug Gillin, Athletic Director said: “ Academic achievement in all our sports is a very high priority. In all our programs our GPA is above 3.0 average.” 



Satterfield stated: “ I want our players to be thinking about what they will be doing at the age of 40 years, when their life in sports will have all but evaporated. It’s sure some of our players will go on to compete in the NFL, but realistically, only about 1% in the entire nation leave college and gain positions in professional football. That’s why it’s so important to graduate with a degree that will be meaningful for the rest of their lives”. “Some of our players will become doctors, attorneys or perhaps accountants. Don’t be surprised to read someday an announcement that will show one of our players has been named President and CEO of Bank of America”, said Scott. Where do we recruit? Scott was asked: “Ten of our recruits this year were from Florida, six from North Carolina, and a couple from Georgia, which had previously been fertile ground for recruiting”.




Meeting Report: April 11, 2016

Zach Green Gives Update on Mountain Alliance

Zach Green, Director of Mountain Alliance gave an update on their program to Rotary Members at last Monday’s meeting. Growing Leaders through Service, Adventure & Experience is their mission. Zach said: “Backpacking, Rock Climbing, Caving, Mountain Geography & Team Building are some of the programs that help high schoolers become better citizens and leaders”. During last year they sponsored 121 trips & programs, 875 student programming days, 1263 student service hours and, of course every school day mentoring. Any student can utilize the program from Valedictorian to a student struggling with drugs or grades.  All are welcome, according to Zach.  Hospitality House, Hunger & Health Coalition, Local Farms, River Cleanup and many other areas have all benefited from the assistance these students provide in their learning experience.


President Shelby Diachenko Tells About Their “Stop Hunger Now” Initiative

The “1st Annual Stop Hunger Now” event will be hosted by the Rotaract Club of ASU along with the Blowing Rock, Boone Sunrise, & Boone Rotary Clubs. Kenneth Wehrmann, Chairman, & Shelby are hoping to have 50 volunteers to package in excess of 10,000 meals. Several have already signed up for the event which takes place April 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the Reich College of Education Building on ASU campus, The Bryce & Izonia Gordon Gathering Hall, room 124.  Kenneth will be providing additional details in an email to the membership.


Student of the Month Leann Blackburn

Leann wants to learn to become a Pediatrician. “I love kids and I want children to get healthy and stay healthy’, she says. Leann plays on the volleyball team at school. Leann said: “I am honored to be selected by my teachers and appreciate the award and the money presented by the Blowing Rock Rotary club”.

RYLA Award Winners

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is a Leadership development program run by Rotary. This year’s winners are Maggie Gilleskie and Elena Russell.

RYLA award winners were selected by the board of directors of our club. RYLA events are typically 3–10 days long and include presentations, activities, and workshops that cover a variety of topics, including
● Leadership fundamentals and ethics

● Communication skills

● Problem solving and conflict management

● Community and global citizenship

Donation to the C.A.R.T. Fund

Program 1-11-16 Leahey

Bill the Bookie reported good news and bad news. The bad news was that 15 of us did not win the bracketology pool. The good news is Noreen Leahy (same last name as Bill the Bookie??) did win and donated all $320 to the C.A.R.T.Fund. Thank you Noreen for your generosity!