Posted by Leigh Carpenter on Jul 24, 2018
Our Club grew by one!  Welcome to Bill Poirier!!
Jacky welcomed the Club to our first meeting of the new year!

Guests: Debbie, Bedford Club President & Florence Kamahoro-Goulet, President of the Stella-Rosie Foundation
President Updates
  • Thank you to Laura for incredible banners!
  • Board meetings will now immediately follow 1 Thursday morning meeting a month.  Anyone is welcome to stay & listen, but please take post-meeting conversations into the Café.  Jacky will remind everyone on days this happens
  • There are a few committee roles open including Social Service (Fatima needs a helper)
  • Agenda will be on powerpoint to save on paper
  • Officially no more Thursday evening meetings as decided during Visioning process.  We will be focusing on social/service activities instead.  Keep your eye out for emails through Club Runner or check website.  Send ideas along to Jacky!
  • Committee Updates
    • Foundation (Rich) – Funds come from  our dues and foundation gifts.  The foundation fund is large but always needs to be replenished.
    • Steve new Global Grant chair -  FOCUS grant made the deadline!  Send ideas for this year to Steve or Jacky (Aug 30th deadline)
    • Fundraising –
      • Spirt of Hudson event on Aug 11th.  Logistics are ironed out from last year.  All expected to be there throughout the event as it’s our largest fundraiser of the year.  Invite a friend to help in exchange for a ticket and help spread the word by sharing event on facebook.  Nanci shared 72 beer vendors and 25 restaurants will be there1 
      • Committee chaired by Howard (with Carol, Glen & Leigh) came up with 13 ideas presented to the Board of which a new committee will then be execute whatever events are selected
    • Membership – Howard shared that recruiting from other clubs was a focus in a recent Rotary magazine.
    • Scholarship – Howard is looking for committee members to help interview next spring
    • Veteran’s Breakfast – started by Chris & Laura is growing.  Howard secured an active General and Chaplin to attend Nov 2nd event
    • Speakers – Rita is the chair.  Please share ideas with her
    • Interact – Carolyn shared not much happening over the summer aside from hoping to meet with the Principal
    • Polio – Carol is the chair and organized a Lowell Spinners event for Aug 24h
    • Golf Fellowship at Butternut, July 25th
    • Spirit of Hudson, August 11th
    • PM social meeting with DG, August 23rd – details coming soon
    • Lowell Spinners – End Polio Event, August 24th
    • District Interact Day, September 15th
    • Rotary Means Business, Auburn, September 26th
    • Veterans Breakfast, November 12th
    • Guatamala Stove & Water Trip, March 23-30th
    • Habitat for Humanity Golf Fundraiser @ Shaker Hills, September 18th (see Carolyn Read for info)
    • Bolton Repair Café, September 29th (see Ray Pfau for info)
    • Healing Garden Ride to Thrive, October 14th, register by 7/31  for change to win 4 tickets to  BC Football game (See Leigh Carpenter for info)
    • Bolton 5K, October 6th 
Speaker from Stella Rosie Foundation
Florence, who is originally from Uganda, came to the United States in 2000 to be married.  She joined us this morning to share her vision and commitment to education.
Coming to the United States, she was astonished at the ease of access kids have to go to school.  A bus came to pick up my son?!  Going to school in Uganda during the 1960s was challenging enough having to walk miles to get there & back home, especially being a girl.  Her mother put a fear in her that if she ever came home pregnant, her schooling would stop and her child would not be cared for by her mother.  “I never even shook a boys hand!”
In 1980, Florence went on to high school were her mind burst open.  There was no money for college but everywhere, she looked at how girls were treated.  
When Florence’s husband died, she was left with a 5-year old son to care for on her own.  Her in-laws invited her to marry another one of their sons, but she refused and ran away to Nairobe.  From there, she met an American man, whose wife Florence stayed in touch with.  When his wife died in America, he contacted her knowing they had stayed in touch.
He brought her to America where they have now been married for 20 years.  Florence’s dream of education has stayed with her.  In Uganda, college is only for the rich or those who work in the Government.  Getting a job is also difficult unless you know a business owner or are married to one.  Without college and a job, many children turn to the streets. 

Florence shared her work ethic which funded her nieces & nephews to be sent to Catholoc boarding school.  After watching them turn their lives around, she secretly helped to house 22 children and sent them to school too!  Since her work to raise money to educate girls and boys Uganda, many have gone onto American colleges or received grants to attend college in their home country.  She has now done his for 72 students!! 

The question, how much does it cost for school: $400/semester (3 semesters).  Some families make only $300/month.

Watch Florence’s presentation on our Facebook page.  Thank you to Steve for recording it.