Monthly Archives: February 2016

Jim Trageser from the Boy Scouts Febuary 23, 2016

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Our program today was on the Boy Scouts. TG introduced Jim Trageser, who is the District Commissioner for the Santa Margarita District, which is the North County district for boy scouts and is the position previously held by our own Vic Enchelmeyer. Jim gave us an update on scouting in our area and informed us that the Boy Scouts of America will be celebrating their 100th birthday next year.
TG had a large display of Boy Scout material, including merit badges (many of which he claimed that he had earned) and Boy Scout handbooks. He also told us a story of going to a seedy area of San Diego to purchase a boy scout collection from a Navy serviceman who needed the money to help pay for an upcoming Caesarian section for his wife. TG had picked up his dad to ride along with him. His dad was very skeptical of the whole deal, thinking that TG was paying too much for the display and the buyer would probably be using the money to buy drugs. He was also worried about their car at least having the hubcaps stolen while they were in the house. When they got there, however, and saw a nice tidy house with a white picket fence and met the sailor’s wife and their Down’s syndrome son and saw the scouting collection that was for sale, he quickly changed his tune and has returned there for years to bring the children gifts on their birthdays.

Dr. Janice Kurth Febuary 2, 2016

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Our program today was our District Governor for 2015-2016, Dr. Janice Kurth. As way of background, Janice earned her B.A. in chemistry from Austin College, a Ph.D. in human genetics from Stanford University, and her M.D. from the University of Arizona, with post-graduate training in Internal Medicine. Her professional career has included medical practice, academic and industrial biomedical research, product and software development, and pharmaceutical research management. She is now retired to a busy life of service to her community, family and Rotary.

Janice is a member of the Rotary Club of Del Mar, and was a GSE Team Leader to District 9200 (East Africa) in February, 2010. She has served District 5340 in many roles over the last 10 years, as well as, sponsoring several Global Grants. Janice is a member of the Paul Harris Society, the Bequest Society, and is a Major Donor to The Rotary Foundation. Her other service activities include student mentoring and The San Diego Women’s Foundation. In her free time, Janice enjoys running, weight lifting, traveling, reading, hiking, biking, and wine tasting. She has been married to her husband Matt for 27 years. They have two daughters, ages 24 and 26 years.

The theme for this Rotary year is “Be a Gift to the World.” Janice’s talk spoke to how Rotary is also a gift to Rotarians. She shared how she got involved with Rotary, and was surprised to learn the impact that Rotary has had on the eradication efforts for polio. Never in her training as a physician or researcher had she been aware of what Rotary had and is doing.

Her first project with Rotary was mentoring youth, and while her first effort was a disaster, the second evolved into a relationship that still endures 12 years later. She led a medical GSE team to Kenya and shared how welcoming the local Rotarians were and what an amazing experience it was. Several years later, one of her daughters was doing a service project in Tanzania and found her way to Nirobi. While in Kenya, she was welcomed into the home of one of the host Rotarians from when Janice was there. However, the story gets better. Her daughter met a girl from the local Rotaract club in Kenya, and soon after Janice was welcoming Monica as an Ambassadorial Scholar studying peace and justice at USD. Monica is now back in Kenya working on peace and conflict resolution projects. Lastly, she shared the story of how Rotary has helped “lost boys” turn their lives around in Kenya and told of one boy she encountered during a return trip to Kenya. With the help of Rotary, this orphaned “street boy” is now well on his way to a university education.

Janice’s primary message was that Rotary connects people from the heart. When Rotary becomes personal, that’s when it becomes meaningful.