Rotary Club of Carbondale Does the Eclipse
The City of Carbondale, IL, was the center of attention for the recent “Great American Eclipse of 2017”. This spotlight on Carbondale was due to it being near the longest duration of darkness, or totality, during the event. Major media, NASA, and The Weather Channel based their broadcasts from the Southern Illinois campus. Through extensive planning, the city and surrounding communities prepared for the popularity of the eclipse by creating a festival atmosphere throughout the August 19-21 weekend, including music and a variety of amusement activities.
The Rotary Club of Carbondale took advantage of this global event to support their current international project of helping to improve the conditions at the Hospital Bienfaisance in Pignon, Haiti. Club member, Jerry Molumby, led the effort to have a vendor booth at the Carbondale “Eclipse Marketplace: to sell eclipse related items, Southern Illinois peaches, ice cold water and snacks, including Moon Pies and Sun Chips.
Over the past year, the International Service Committee of the Rotary Club formed a partnership with Promise for Haiti, an organization based in Nashville, TN, to support an important life-saving program. The purpose of the “Sanitation Project” is to provide a more sanitary environment for both staff and patients in order to offer better care in difficult conditions at the hospital. Currently, the staff is washing soiled linens by hand in the courtyard of the hospital. This practice exposes the staff to infectious illness and the linens are not appropriately sanitized by heat.
The Rotary Club of Carbondale identified the purchase of an industrial washing machine and dryer as a key component to the larger project which includes plumbing and a building to house the equipment.
Another phase of the “Sanitation Project” is to build a bathroom facility with handicap access. At this time, patients and staff at the hospital have no ability to wash themselves beyond sponge baths. This new facility will provide showers and numerous toilets with plumbing. Patients currently have a latrine in the back of the compound courtyard which is unsanitary and does not have plumbing. A plan is in place to maintain and repair these new additions to this valuable local health care provider.
Club members, Ella Lacey and Pamela Umlauf-Brown, visited and worked directly with the hospital management and staff and confirmed these additions will offer a tremendous improvement in the care provided by the hospital.
For the event weekend at the “Eclipse Marketplace”, twenty club members rotated service at the booth and, along with family and friends, spent more than sixty service hours raising money to support this target program. Popular straw hats and ball caps, along with cooling towels and eclipse “viewers”, were among the top items for visitors from across the United States, and as far away as the Netherlands and New Zealand, who were seeking a souvenir of this special occasion.
All profits from this service effort were contributed to the fund for the purchase and costs associated with delivery of the washing machine and dryer to Pignon, Haiti. In addition to the nearly $4,800 raised, the Rotary Club of Carbondale recently received a grant from the Rotary District Office for $1,950 in support of our efforts to benefit the Hospital Bienfaisance. The support of this hospital is an on-going project and the Rotary Club of Carbondale welcomes any additional community support to continue improving the conditions for the work being performed there.
The Rotary Club of Carbondale is a service organization comprised of business and professional leaders dedicated to humanitarian service and community goodwill. Beyond international efforts such as this project, the Rotary Club is actively involved throughout the year supporting local organizations working for the betterment of Carbondale and Southern Illinois.
Rotary Club lunch meetings are held each Wednesday at noon at the Carbondale Elementary District 95 headquarters at 925 S. Giant City Road. For further information, please visit rotaryofcarbondale.org.
Thomas School Bicycle Helmet Day
On May 8th, the Rotary Club of Carbondale and the Carbondale City Police Department provided bicycle helmets to the students at Thomas Elementary School. Members of the Police Department also discussed bike safety with the kids. This is an annual event to place emphasis on the need for everyone to have a fun and safe summer.
Members of the Rotary of Carbondale help weigh the trash and recyclables brought in by numerous community organizations during the Carbondale Cleanup on April 22nd. Though it was a cold and rainy morning volunteers removed hundreds of pounds of refuse from the sides of our local roadways.
2016-2017 Rotary Exchange Student Program
Polio Plus is a Rotary Foundation program started in 1985 which has led the global effort to eradicate polio. Besides volunteering worldwide, Rotarians will have contributed more than $1 billion by the time the world is certified polio-free.
Belize Children’s Program
In 1977, the members of Rotary District 6510 resolved to help the orthopedically disabled children of Belize when they initiated the Belizean Children’s Project. Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis generously offered to accept Belizean children for treatment – free of charge. Now, almost three decades later, more than 300 children are leading happier, more productive lives. Dr. Jack Sheridan, an orthopedic surgeon, donates his time, and travels each year to Belize, where he conducts clinics and identifies the children who can be helped through treatment in the United States. — Youth Services Committee
Water Wells in Mali
International Service Committee
Read to Me
Several members volunteer annually to read to local grade school students in the “Read to Me” program.
Lights Fantastic! Parade