Children and youth will be the winners as the Rotary Club of Sugarloaf hosts the 4th Annual Gwinnett Duck Derby at the West Gwinnett Park Aquatic Center in Norcross on Saturday, August 4, 2018. Gwinnett businesses have sponsored this fun, family event, while individuals are adopting ducks for only $5 each. All are invited to come to the free event, scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. to swim and to watch the ducks race.
All proceeds will go towards the club’s local and international programs for children and youth. The Sugarloaf Rotary Club, founded in 1982, is part of Rotary International and is known for its service to the community and support for such organizations as the Lawrenceville Boys & Girls Club, Corley Elementary School, and the Brookwood High School Interact Club.
The Rotary Club of Sugarloaf is made up of business owners and community leaders with a heart to serve others. By raising funds each year, the club has been able to:
- Purchase a virtual reality computer system installed at Corley Elementary School
- Fund a scholarship for a Gwinnett Science Fair winner
- Provide sidewalks for Annandale Villagers
- Continue the Polio Plus effort of Rotary International aimed at eradicating polio entirely
The racing of the ducks occurs at 4 p.m., while pool games, a food truck and a DJ will add to the fun. Approximately five thousand ducks will be launched from a slide into a lazy river which is part of the aquatic center. The ducks will flow into a catch basin and the first three finishers will be awarded prizes. The first place prize is $2,500, the second place prize is $1,000, and the third place prize is $500.
A number of sponsors are supporting the event including the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation; Hayes Automotive; The Whitlock Group; Andersen Tate & Carr; GFS Advisory; Jackson EMC; Thompson, Sweeny, Kinsinger & Pereira; and many others.
To learn more and to adopt a duck, visit www.gwinnettduckderby.com.
Why Rotary? A Russian Experience Builds Bridges in Gwinnett
In an effort to build bridges and friendships across the world, Rotary District 6910 hosted a team of nine Russian physicians and a translator who wished to learn about medicine in America – how medical students are taught and how patient care is delivered. After visiting Gainesville and Athens, team members, who represented multiple specialties including radiology, pediatrics, dermatology, neurology, oncology and others, were transported to a Rotarian’s home for a southern feast fit for royalty.
Thanks to the Hayes Automotive Group, a 15-passenger van was available to transport the Russian citizens around Gwinnett and even into Atlanta for sightseeing. Sunday featured tours of the CNN Center, the World of Coca-Cola and dinner at The Varsity. On Monday, the contingency visited Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (GA-PCOM) where they learned about how medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, biomedical sciences and physical therapy are taught to the 1,100 student population.
The translator wasn’t necessary when the physicians toured the college’s Anatomy Lab which features several Mondopads, touchscreens for learning. In addition, the Simulation Center with high fidelity mannequins, a surgical suite, trauma bay and birthing area captured the interest of the physicians. The Russian doctors were familiar with the benefits of osteopathic manipulative medicine and paid rapt attention to a demonstration by Dr. Regina Fleming.
A stop at the Concussion Institute housed at Gwinnett Medical Center in Duluth was a highlight of the visit, along with information about rehabilitative services and bariatric surgery. The physicians indicated they would like to implement some of what they learned about the American delivery of health care in Russia.
Dinner at Dominick’s in downtown Lawrenceville was a hit one evening and the next morning featured more conversation via a handy cell phone app and breakfast with the universal connector of coffee. Group members admitted that their “impressions of the United States before arriving were misguided and that going forward, regardless of what they hear on the news, they’ll know firsthand that Americans, especially Rotarians and Georgians, are a warm and friendly people.”
The Gwinnett experience took the combined efforts of the Lawrenceville, Sugarloaf and Gwinnett Rotary clubs. A certificate from the group stated, “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to you for your hospitality and great contribution to Russian-American relations…This is true dedication to world peace and mutual understanding. Thank you for your friendship which helps to bring our two great countries closer together.”
You never know what to expect when you say “yes” to new experiences, but most often the rewards are so much better than expected.
I spend a lot of time thinking of family, not just my own or the extended family of Rotary, but also the families we are helping in the communities we serve. In many parts of the world, mothers and children face challenges to survive that most of us will never comprehend. According to the World Health Organization, the risk of a woman in a low-income country dying during pregnancy or childbirth, or from related causes, is about 120 times higher than that of a woman living in a high-income country. It is encouraging that infant mortality rates are declining globally, yet 4 million babies annually still die within the first year of life.
In April, Rotary turns its attention to maternal and child health. And when we think of what we can do to help, we can look to clubs like the Rotaract Club of Calabar South-CB, Nigeria, for inspiration. It teamed up with the Rotaract Club of Canaan City (CB) in a program focused on educating mothers on best practices to prevent infant mortality and promote postnatal health for themselves and their babies. In Bangladesh, the Rotary Club of Dhaka North provides free surgeries and medicine to pregnant women who cannot afford the hospital costs associated with giving birth. I encourage you and your club to go to ideas.rotary.org to find projects like these that are helping to save mothers and children.
We also have witnessed how millions of people — families and entire communities — have been ripped away from their homes because of conflict, poverty, and disasters during the past decade. But Rotary has not stood idly by during the global refugee crisis.
During Rotary Day at the United Nations last November, we honored a Rotary Peace Fellow and five Rotarians who are taking action to help refugee communities. Among them was Ilge Karancak-Splane of the Rotary Club of Monterey Cannery Row, California. After visiting several tent camps in Turkey, she led a Rotary project that collected 1,000 pairs of children’s shoes and socks for families in the camps and, later, led a global grant project to help educate refugee children. In March, Gay and I had the privilege of visiting a tent camp in Torbalı and seeing firsthand the good work that Rotarians from Turkey and California were accomplishing with Syrian refugees.
The challenges faced by mothers, their children, and refugee communities around the world are daunting. But when we remember our greatest strength — how Rotary Connects the World — we can begin to find solutions. Through our creativity, our resources, our dedication, and our networks, Rotary can and will open opportunities to face these challenges.