New Member Installation

President Chuck Canady inducted our newest member, Tessa Bowman, at Monday’s meeting, January 29, 2018. Tessa has an interesting background and story to tell. This will be a brief outline and we will learn more about Tessa when she gives her new member talk, which hopefully will be soon (Ed Tausche take note). Tessa recently moved here from Maui, HI and resides at 501 Oak Grove Road in Boone. A Licensed and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant employed by Kindred Care, a home care rehab program with offices in Boone. (Ed. Note: Following my knee replacement surgery on January 8, then a week at the Foley Center, I have been receiving in home rehab from this same company. They have been wonderful, very professional). Her new member talk will elaborate on these two tidbits: 1) She has traveled to all 50 states, and 2) she has done mission work in Nairobi. Her expressed desire is to make a difference in our community and invest in the needs of families through Blowing Rock Rotary. Welcome Tessa!

New Members Recently Installed

Blowing Rock Rotary Club adds four new members






Richard Gambill







John Church







Ed Cummer






David Sweet


November 2017 Student of the Month

Janie Soucek Awarded November 2017
Student of the Month

Janie Soucek, shown here holding her award certificate, along with her father and mother and Ashley Cook, Blowing Rock Rotary’s Youth Services Chairman. The award of a framed certificate and a $50 certificate form Staples Office Supply is given monthly to a deserving Blowing Rock School Student by our Rotary Club.

September 25th, 2017 Program and Events

Patty Adams, Executive Director of Spirit Ride, along with her husband, Craig, and board member Callia Hall, told the audience at our meeting last Monday about “Spirit Ride. Spirit Ride is a non-profit organization that provides individuals with special needs the opportunity to learn, grow and strive to become their ideal selves through equine related therapeutic and educational opportunities. With the understanding that having a family member with special needs has an effect on the family unit as a whole-both blessings and challenges. They believe that to best serve the child’s needs they must serve the entire family. Therefore, the Sprit Ride program encourages family participation in all therapeutic sessions. This not assists in the growth & development of each and every family member, but also helps to transfer the therapeutic intervention from the session to the day-to-day home life of a child.. The areas of development the try to cover are: Improvement of bance & coordination, flexibility & core muscle development, sequencing, speech & communication, self esteem & self confidence, independence, social development and physical health & well being. When an eleven year old child marries with a 1200 pound horse and they begin to realize the control they have over this huge animal, they develop self confidence and self esteem. Why horses? Spirit Ride says there is something about a horse that connects with these children. Each child is assigned a horse based on their needs corresponding to the characteristic of the horse. Their trained and certified staff evaluates the child’s needs before assigning them to a specific horse. A study by a leading medical school recently published in the peer reviewed “Journal for Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine” showed that 24 children were moved from severely autistic to mildly autistic and in one case to non-autistic in just six months of intervention with their researched-based, award-winning methods. For more information on Spirit Horse methods, go to:

September 11, 2017 Program and Events



Irene Sawyer-Founder

At the Rotary meeting, September 11, 2017, Irene Sawyer told her story of surviving breast cancer and the High Country Run/Walk scheduled for October 28th. Irene was an interesting presenter remarking she has a Chemo Brain and is a Blond and that during her presentation, she may forget where she is. That never happened as she provided facts and figures to emphasize the seriousness of this terrible disease. Irene told us that one woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. In the United States there are 220,000 women die each year, after being diagnosed with this condition. Interestingly, while we normally associate breast cancer with women, 140 men will die this year with this disease. (Editor note: A friend of mine and a brother to Jane Rogers here in Blowing Rock, David Bolick, Professional Golfer, recently passed away with this very condition).

Irene said she was diagnosed in December of 2010. While sitting watching a football game with her husband, she told him of a small bump on her chest. Thinking it might be a mosquito bite, but not taking any chances, she had it checked out and sure enough it was a malignant tumor. 18 months of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy with restructuring surgery, she now says she is cancer free, largely because of the early detection and her faith in God. No one fights alone, she said, there must be personal support groups, other survivors, community assistance, and passion in order to go through this process.

Irene is passionate about this cause, so much so, she has organized a 501c foundation to support those in the High Country who need assistance.  She has organized a run/walk for October 28th, which will start at 9:00 a.m. at the American Legion Hall, Blowing Rock, and wind its way through and around Laurel Lane, Mayview, and finally back to the Legion Hall. The entry fee is $20 and there are sponsorships available ranging from $250 to $5,000. Several Rotarians expressed an interest to adding their business to the sponsors list, along with Kenneth Werhmann’s  Monkees, already a sponsor. Irene said 100% of the money is plowed into scholarships, which include: Child Care, Pet Therapy, Support Groups, Wigs/Hats, Classes for Caregivers, Transportation Services, Career Workshops, Art Therapy, Nutritional Education and End of Life Support. None of the money is spent on staff, all workers volunteer their time and the money never leaves the High Country.

Auction Committee Meeting

Members of the Auction Committee and members of the Auction Committee met at 9:30a.m., September 11th to discuss distribution of the proceeds from the auction held August 29th at the American Legion Hall in Blowing Rock.

After all the expenses were tallied (credit card fees, software, the Villa in Italy (which the auction pays for at a reduced cost), their recommendation to the board is that the club will distribute $31,250.00 to charities that support families and children in our area-the original intent of the auction.

Board of Directors Meeting

Following the above meeting, the Board of Directors met and, in addition to other business, received the recommendation of the Auction Committee as outlined above.

Special Event Planned for October 9, 2017

Representatives the organizations that are to receive a portion of the funds from the auction will be invited to a special event scheduled for October 9th at which time each organization will receive a check and will be asked to say “very” briefly what this contribution means to their organization. All Rotarians in attendance that day and all the representatives of these organizations will gather in front of the Chetola Manor Lodge and have a group picture made.

August 21, 2017

Virginia Vanstory, Foundation Chairman, presented Wayne Holliday his pin and award certificate signifying him as a Paul Harris Fellow. PH Fellow awards are given to those who have contributed $1,000 or more to the foundation. Congratulations Wayne!