Posted by Yvette Hohler on Nov 17, 2020
Rob hosted today's meeting, which was a hybrid:  4 of our members attended in person at a bit after noon inside Cafe Spiga, while 10 attended via Zoom.  We also welcomed a guest speaker, Susan Miller, who appeared in person to talk to us about Coins for Alzheimer's Research Trust (C.A.R.T.).
 
Rebecca invited our members to join the Community Garden Committee in Port Jeff, which is in the process of being assembled.  In upper Port, adjacent to The Highlands community, the plan is for people to rent a plot within the Village's 4+ acre unused, untamed park property, to grow in raised beds vegetables and/or flowers for themselves or to donate to food pantries and the like.  Contact Rebecca if you would like more information or to work on this project.
 
Mike Burghardt reminded us to look for an email regarding our Annual Christmas Gift List for the young clients of The Open Cupboard.  For more info,  see the NOTES & ANNOUNCEMENTS below.
 
Rob noted that you can join the Exec. Board meeting via Zoom at 8 AM on 11/20.  Let him know if you're interested, and he will send you the Zoom entry info.
 
Susan Miller, our guest speaker, introduced herself and her cause, Coins for Alzheimer's Research Trust,  by first speaking about the "devastating, heart-wrenching" disease, the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., that kills more people than breast and prostate cancer together, and then describing the terrible consequences of this illness on both patient and family- including her own. 
She explained that 8 years ago, her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  A Ronkonkoma Rotarian, he had been, before his retirement in June, 2012, a school/clinical psychologist.  In his last months at work before retirement, he had begun to have (memory) issues, but his colleagues rallied around and supported him, helping where they could.  The change in his behaviors and abilities seemed to happen quickly.  Meanwhile, Susan was working as an occupational therapist with Western BOCES. 
Her husband went through a few weeks of rigorous medical tests that concluded that he was a victim of Alzheimer's, and, fortunately for both of them, he accepted and embraced the final diagnosis.  They made a decision: 1. Make a Bucket List of the things they wanted to do together; 2. Get their affairs in order (via Eldercare lawyers).  Fortunately, her husband had purchased, years earlier, Long Term Healthcare Insurance. 
And so the couple embarked on travel and performing favorite activities together.  While in Myrtle Beach, Susan's husband attended a local Rotary meeting.  He  shared with the members information about his illness, and they responded with the helpful news about the existence of the C.A.R.T. Fund.  Founded in 1995 by a Rotarian in Sumter, S.C., this fund has been adopted by Rotary clubs and districts throughout the South.  The club had lost a cherished member to the disease.  It decided to do something and began to put out blue buckets (with the Rotary logo) at weekly meetings, encouraging club members to empty their pockets of loose change (and bills, and checks), with the money collected being dedicated to Alzheimer's research. This simple fundraising gesture eventually led to the creation of a 501c3 charitable organization.  It provides "seed" money or grants for cutting edge, high impact research (exploring and pursuing outside mainstream ideas) that seeks a means of prevention and ultimately a cure for the disease. 100% of donations go directly to the special grants.  A Medical Review Team selects recipients of C.A.R.T. grants. The Sumter club expanded their organization to their district and then to multiple clubs outside the district.  In 2016, Ronkonkoma Rotary began to empty their pockets into table buckets for the C.A.R.T. Fund. They have collected over $7,000 so far.  Other clubs throughout our district have begun to join Ronkonkoma's effort. (The pocket change and dollars given by Rotarians have resulted in 29 grants since 1995 totaling $5.2 million.)
Susan retired at age 62. Her husband is 64 and now requires 24/7 caregiving. The Covid pandemic has taken a huge hit on her husband, as he has lost the ability to participate in most of his previous social activities, and this has led to continued loss of his cognitive abilities.  Susan acknowledges that there are many resources available on LI, ie., music therapy (via Zoom) for Alzheimer's patients.  SUNY Stony Brook has an Alzheimer's Disease Center of Excellence, with neurologists and neuropsychologists on staff.  
She invites our club to put out C.A.R.T. buckets at our meetings.  Since our meetings are now hybrid, with many club members attending via Zoom, Susan also invites us to Google the organization (CARTFUND.ORG) and make donations using PayPal- perhaps in honor or in memory of someone- on a regular basis. 
While C.A.R.T. has not become an R.I.-sponsored charity, Susan said that at the next RI Conference, there will be an informative session on C.A.R.T.
Dawn and other of our members have offered to place C.A.R.T. buckets in their places of business.  
 
****HAPPY THANKSGIVING!****
 
NOTES & ANNOUNCEMENTS:
 NEXT WEEK, 11/24,THERE WILL BE NO MEETING!!!  The following week, we will continue with a hybrid gathering.
Our club members have donated over $10,300 ( money, gift cards, etc.) to The Open Cupboard since March.  Please keep up your much-needed and appreciated donations.
Mike Burghardt and his elves at Mather are in charge of our Annual Holiday Gift Program. This year, we will be bringing some cheer to 99 disadvantaged kids from our local area. If you have agreed to participate, know that you should have received a list of the gift recipients, including those for whom you'll be making purchases. If you have not received the list yet, contact Michael ASAP.  Our club will reimburse you up to $45 per youngster (but feel free to spend more).  Bring your receipts to a meeting, give them to a member who will attend a meeting in person, or mail them to P.O. BOX 461, Port Jeff 11777.  Kindly do not wrap the gifts you purchase, but attached the recipient's number securely to each one.  Include batteries if needed.  Gift Drop Off is 12/7, 12/8, 12/9, and 12/10 from 10 AM to 1 PM at Infant Jesus' Open Cupboard office at 110 Hawkins St., Port Jeff. Wayne & Kevin Murray will be assisting at the drop off site.  If you are unable to drop off your gift items at the above address, call Dennis Brennan (631-473-5846 & 631-831-2075) to arrange to get them to him.
Rebecca invites us to get acquainted with HometownHopePortJefferson.org. Hometown Hope provides resources and support in times of need to all residents of PJ Village by promoting a movement of spreading kindness. It "strives to uplift through wellness, resilience, and compassionate understanding in our community."  Among services/goods it will provide:  Thanksgiving Meal Boxes; a Holiday Gift Program; home deliveries, and the like for those suffering illness, loss,etc., as well as help for healthcare practitioners during the pandemic. During the holidays, you can sponsor a family. 
Want to volunteer? Contact hometownhopepj@gmail.com .
The following is a share from a Rocky Point Rotarian:  For November only, when you join Rotary Direct with a $10 per month donation (34 cents per day) the District will give you 100 points towards a Paul Harris Award.  Once you enroll, you will be entered into a raffle to win 1,000 points for a Paul Harris recognition.  There will be only one winner.  Join now:  https://www.rotary.org/en/donate.  Why join Rotary Direct at $10 a month?  You will be supporting The Rotary Foundation.  One half of the monies donated comes back to the District.  You can thus impact lives in our communities and around the world.  The possibilities of 34 cents a day:  can feed a homeless veteran;  can send a child with special needs to summer camp; can supplement healthcare for seniors; can help provide lifesaving heart surgery to children in the developing world; and can provide literacy for children in our communities.  If you enroll in Rotary Direct at $85 a month, you will be rewarded with membership in the Paul Harris Society.  Questions about Rotary Direct?  Contact Sonia J.T. Saleh, District 7255 DG in 2022-23 at sjtsaleh@gmail.com.
  FYI: Since our club is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, we can go to that office for free masks and thermometers.
 
***If you have ideas or items to be discussed at our next meeting, let Rob know.  And if you'd like to join one of the club's special committees, let him know this, as well. The more, the merrier!***
         *** Watch for Rob's invitation to our next meeting and plan to join us!***                                                   
                                  MEANWHILE, STAY SAFE AND WELL!