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December 3 – Zoom Meeting Notes

Today’s Zoom meeting was officially started at 12:05 by President Linda Oda.

Matt from the Countryside YMCA was a guest.

Linda reported that she is stuffing instructions for planting the Buckeye trees, to include in our deliveries.

Linda decided we would skip the pledge, song, and 4-way test.

Linda asked if we could go around and say what we were happy for or any announcements; we then heard from Nancy Schreiner, Ron Fischer, Bill DeLord, Marty Hubbell, and John Zimkus.

John Zimkus was our speaker – he talked about a letter he bought on eBay that regarded Lebanon history; it was addressed to Lucinda Rigdon in Hamilton, OH and written by the lady who would live in Glendower (Mary Rigdon Williams), both of whom were granddaughters of Francis Dunlevy. John read the contents of the letter, and gave historical annotations as he read.

Linda thanked John for his work keeping history alive and interesting.

Linda gave an update on the Buckeye trees; we have extras if anyone wants to make any more sales. Linda then said we are done with fundraising until March.

Chris Johnson said they still plan on delivering Christmas baskets this year; he’s not sure what that will look like right now, but more details will be forthcoming.

Linda announced that the next meeting will be on December 17, through Zoom. With that, the meeting was adjourned at 12:52.

Joint Meeting with Lebanon Kiwanis and Sen. Rob Portman

Adam Mathews opened the meeting with regular Kiwanis business.

Kiwanis then showed a video from the Republican Conference featuring facts and opinions on the COVID vaccine; video will be released later on.

Brad Knapp introduced Rob Portman (after some technical difficulties), during which he thanked Sen. Portman for his editorial in today’s Cincinnati Enquirer.

Sen. Portman spoke about the pandemic – he thinks we will get through this very soon. He also thanked the clubs on behalf of the Golden Lamb. He then talked about the coming vaccine; they are 90-95% efficacy, as compared to 35% efficacy for flu vaccine. He also talked about needing a lack of politics on the vaccine. Portman stated that he feels Congress needs to get through the “bridge” until March/April, when the vaccine is available. Sen. Portman then moved on to the election, with a summary of election results and an outline of the Senate race down in Georgia. Sen. Portman then talked about upcoming bills regarding saving for retirement. He also thanked both clubs for their work with the community. He closed out his talk by mentioning that he went out with President Oda to dedicate the monument for the Rotary Club’s 100-year anniversary.

Q&A Session

Megan Manuel asked about the transfer of power and whether Sen. Portman believes it will be peaceful – Sen. Portman answered that he does believe it will happen peacefully. He also stated that there will always be election fraud, but this election probably wasn’t affected by the small numbers of fraudulent ballots.

Linda Oda asked if conservatives merely feel a media bias, or does Portman believe it exists – Sen. Portman agrees there is huge bias in media, and referenced a recent statement from Carl Bernstein about 21 senators who have contempt for Trump; Sen. Portman denied it, said it was irresponsible.

Jennifer Long asked if the Senate can represent Warren County and earn the citizens’ trust – Sen. Portman said he hopes we can work together, and that the Speaker of the House will be important.

Linda Oda mentioned that the Rotary Club would love to get Sen. Portman back for a centennial gala – Sen. Portman said he’d love to be there.

Aaron Reid mentioned that he’s been working with the Department of Labor regarding regulations and workforce reform, and offered to be a spokesperson for Sen. Portman.

Adam Mathews called the end of the meeting, and had Brad Knapp and Linda Oda pull winners for the Kiwanis raffle fundraiser.

Warren County Health Department – Covid-19 Update

Our speaker was Dustin Ratliff , Emergency Response Coordinator from the Warren County Health Dept.

His talk covered:

Increase in cases reported to office 440% increase over last 45 days

163 cases per day versus 25 per day, not due to increased testing

Talked about the “fatigue” – people getting tired and starting to ease up on restrictions

People are staying indoors more, and sitting in closer proximity

Trying to collect data on controlled school environment

Sports teams more likely to have cases, with lack of social distancing and lack of masks

John Z. asked if the curfew was toothless; Dustin said the target was bars and other places that people were getting together at night. Spread is happening with informal gatherings, so it’s an attempt to curb that, he’s not sure what effect it will have. Also asked if after 21 days there will be more restrictive measures; Dustin is hoping that cases go down so we don’t need to take those measures. They don’t have any advance notice to what the Governor will talk about in his addresses.

Barry R. asked how the vaccine will roll out; Dustin says they know a little, and they’ve had promising news on a vaccine. Uses technology that makes it a more rapid response vaccine.
Initial shipment might be 60k doses, mass distribution will probably be April or June. Looking at whether drive thru or walk up is more effective.

John Z. asked about potential pushback based on what we know about two vaccines; more concerned about people not trusting it or not wanting it. John brought up people who are still not taking it seriously and still denying the virus. Dustin said his wife works in ICU COVID unit and confirms people still don’t believe this is a real virus.

Linda said there’s a nasty flu strain this year – asked about whether this strain was covered by the recent flu shot; Dustin said they look at Australia because they are 6 months ahead of us with their experiences. They are at low levels, and we’re just waiting to see. Stressed the importance of flu shots, and you can be co-infected (have both).

John Z. asked about re-infection; Dustin confirmed that they have seen a couple situations, but finds it hard to determine whether or not it’s the same infection. Recommended not getting tested until 3 months after first test.

Nelda L. asked if people got the early flu shot, should they get another one?; Dustin said it’s the same shot, so you don’t need to unless your doctor recommends it.

Joe C. asked about better/easier places to get tested; Dustin said it’s hit or miss, hasn’t heard about any one place that’s better. Joe followed up about the efficacy of rapid test vs. others; Dustin said PCR is the “gold standard” (swab far up the nostril). Antigen test is faster but not as accurate.

John Z. asked what are the top 3 or 4 symptoms; Dustin said number 1 is the loss of taste or smell. It’s not mild, it’s total and absolute. Shortness of breath is also specific.

Aaron R. commented on his experience getting tested in two different places.

Megan M. asked if elective surgeries are being stopped due to hospitalizations; Dustin confirmed that is happening.

Joe C. asked how soon after exposure should people wait to get tested; Dustin said you can test but it’s more important to continue to quarantine even if you get a negative result.

Linda thanked Dustin for coming in on short notice, and thanked his office for getting information out to quash disinformation. Make sure you’re wearing a mask, limit large gatherings, make sure if you feel sick stay home, and wash your hands.

Linda offered the club to help in any way we can.

Aaron asked if we are going to start seeing more and more epidemics; Dustin listed all the more recent novel viruses we’ve seen, and said there is talk about looking at a department or service that deals exclusively with epidemics and virus spreads.

Chad asked if any members have tested positive; Aaron’s wife was positive, and she’s doing well .

Meeting was adjourned at 1PM.

100 Years of The Lebanon Rotary Club!

Lebanon Rotary 2020: 100 Years of “Service Above Self”

By Lebanon, Ohio Rotarian John J. Zimkus

100 years ago on the front page of the November 25, 1920 issue of The Western Star newspaper in Lebanon, Ohio, proclaimed that Thursday, November 18, 1920, was “red letter day in Lebanon. It was the day on which the Rotary Club received the official recognition of the International Association, the charter being delivered by President Bob Chapman of the Cincinnati Rotary Club acting for District Governor Sam Squire of the Tenth District.”

Rotary has been called “The daddy of all modern service clubs.”

The very first Rotary Club was formed 15 1/2 years earlier when attorney Paul P. Harris called together a meeting of three business acquaintances, a coal dealer, a mining operator and a merchant tailor, in downtown Chicago, at an office in the Unity Building on Dearborn Street on February 23, 1905.

At the time of the founding of the Lebanon club in 1920, there were 775 Rotary Clubs worldwide. (Today there are 35,000+ Rotary Clubs with over 1.2 million members.) The United States had the greatest number, but there were also Rotary Clubs in Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Cuba, South America, the Republic of Panama, China, India and France.

Early in 1920, several members of the organization Men of Lebanon were lunching together and the suggestion was made that they should do that weekly. A few weeks later the idea was a put forth that a new organization should be formed “as a help in furthering the interests of Lebanon and this community.”

That summer a committee was a formed to visit other towns and see what groups they had in their communities that met the goals the men wanted for Lebanon. It was recalled that the “ideal group organization for [Lebanon] was the Rotary Club.”

An application was made to the International Rotary Association at Chicago for membership. It was promptly turned down. The organization had as one of its rules that no town with less than 5,000 inhabitants could form a Rotary Club. As Carroll C. Eulass recalled, “We were so enthused with the idea that we did not give up and sent a representative to headquarters, he making a personal plea, holding up to them the fact of the organization already in existence and the enthusiasm of the business men in this place.”

Rotary International then sent a representative to visit Lebanon who interviewed members collectively and individually. He “was so impressed with the feeling of good fellowship that existed in our organization,” according to Eulass, “that he reported favorably and recommended a charter be granted to us.” Unfortunately, that application was also rejected.

After Rotary headquarters sent a second representative to town who also recommend that a Rotary Club be formed here, was the Lebanon group finally granted a charter.

A press release in November 1920 announced across the country, “Lebanon has the distinction and honor of being the smallest city in the world in which Rotary is established.” (The Western Star, November 25, 1920, page 1, and THE ROTARIAN, January 1921.)

The first meeting of the Lebanon Rotary Club was held at 6:30 in the evening of Thursday, November 20, 1920, at the Masonic Hall at 30 S. Broadway in Lebanon. One hundred people were present at that first meeting with Rotarian guests from Cincinnati, Piqua and Troy, Ohio. The new Lebanon Rotary Club had 25 charter members.

Harold Pauly of the Troy Rotary, which was chartered in April 1918, declared he was the “daddy” of the “new baby.” He grew up in nearby Mason, Ohio and had relatives in the area. Ed Scott, also from the Troy club, stated “he was the brother-in-law because he got his wife from Lebanon – and she is ‘some wife.’”

The ladies of the First Presbyterian Church on East Street in Lebanon prepared a fried chicken dinner with all the “trimmins” for the occasion. The Western Star reported that “happy exclamations” were “heard from all over the hall.”

During dinner “beautiful music was furnished by Lebanon’s talented Trio” composers by Mrs. Dan Collette on violin, Miss Laura B. Cunningham on cello and Mrs. John Marshall Mulford on piano.

After the dinner “President Carroll” C. Eulass of the newly formed Lebanon Rotary Club introduced “President Bob” Chapman of the Cincinnati Rotary Club. It was reported that Bob “grew eloquent upon the purpose for which Rotary Clubs are organized. He told of the spend work done by Rotarians during the war [World War I had ended on November 11, 1918] and how, now with peace, Ohio Rotarians are devoting their energies on behalf of the crippled children of the state, and the maintenance of the hospital at Elyria, Ohio.”

“The hospital at Elyria, Ohio” to which Eulass refers was founded by Rotarian Edgar “Daddy” Allen. He was a wealthy businessman based in Elyria, Ohio whose son’s death in a street car accident in May 1907 prompted him to take an interest in local medical facilities. In 1908, he raised money to build Elyria Memorial Hospital, what is today University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, which initially was maintained solely by Rotary Clubs. This, in turn, brought the needs of children with orthopedic problems to his attention. Medicine–especially orthopedic surgery — made tremendous strides in the years just after WWI, and organizations like ones Allen was involved in, especially Rotary Clubs, were important fundraisers and advocates for new hospitals around the country. In 1919, Allen was the founder of the Society for Crippled Children, the organization known today as Easter Seals.

At the closing of the meeting “President Carroll” asked all to face “Old Glory” and sing “The Star Spangled Banner.”

An editorial in the November 19,1925 issue of The Western Star newspaper in Lebanon commented on the founding of the club five years earlier stated,

“Rotary has a good motto. ‘He profits most who serves best.’ We believe each member attempts to abide by this rule. It is only the Gol-den Rule in business and Rotarians try to forward the principle, not alone in their own business but among those with whom they come in contact.”

“We hope it lives on for one hundred times five years and then some, if fortune shall see it function as it has these past years.”

Visit from District Governor Greg Birkemeyer

Today’s meeting was a visit from our District Governor Greg Birkemeyer, who stopped by to formally introduce himself and describe what’s going on with Rotary at the various levels during Covid-19.

He started off by giving us a little background of how he got started 14 years ago with the Dayton Rotary Club, and applauded us for our singing, something he wishes happened more at his local club meetings.

Greg then moved on to explaining what an interesting year it’s been becoming District Governor in the midst of a pandemic, but wanted to highlight the positives that have come out of it. One of the things he was encouraged by was clubs such as ours that continue to meet in person while observing masks and social distancing, and also offering a Zoom option.

One of the positives at the District level is that training has become streamlined, and although he misses the in-person comradery of getting various club personnel together to socialize, he does see the benefit of drastically reduced travel time for those trainees who come from the outlying areas of our district.

We then moved on to this year’s Rotary International theme…

Rotary Opens Opportunities.

Greg gave us examples of the various opportunities he’s experienced as a member, including fellowship, our work with youth in the community, and developing peace fellowships via grants with the cooperation at the club, district and international levels.

On youth, he highlighted the importance of our participation in local programs like RYLA and the 4-Way Speech contest.

We also touched on Rotary’s founding goal which is to eradicate polio worldwide, and although there are only 135 cases reported currently, it still takes ongoing funding to immunize countries and communities that could still be at risk.

Lastly, he stressed the growing importance of environmental projects, specifically providing clean water to communities around the world through partnerships with neighboring clubs.

The meeting concluded with some Rotary specific business about contributing to District and International funds while also staying in touch with current membership during these uncertain times, and finally President Linda Oda being presented with a certificate commemorating our 100 years of Service.

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