Monday, ApriL 10, 2023

Rotary International asks us to Serve to Change Lives through its Focus Areas

January is Vocational Service Month

This month Rotary International asks us to Serve to Change Lives by helping to improve the lives of mothers and their childrenExplore the possibilities with us at our meeting Wednesday at noon at Wick Park or virtually via Zoom.

The  Zoom ID is: 3567145262

This Week's Meeting

In the spirt of rotating our meetings, this week finds us at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Wick Avenue in Youngstown. Thank you to Rev. Gayle Catinella for the hospitality!
Our speaker will be Dr. George Beelen, retired YSU history professor, founder of the Ohio Cultural Alliance, and author of a new book titled “Genius Knows No Boundaries”. Dr. Beelen led the Ohio Cultural Alliance from 1987 through 2017. The group organized over 300 meetings with distinguished speakers and authors who shared music, cuisine, history, and other elements of their cultures. The Alliance is now under the auspices of Mahoning Valley Historical Society as the Mahoning Valley Cultural Alliance. 

Last Week's Meeting

Alzheimer’s Disease vs dementia – many people think these two devastating diseases are interchangeable. However, according to Mary Ertle, Program Director for the Cleveland & Greater Eastern Ohio Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, they are far from that. 
Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline In memory, reasoning, or other thinking skills that interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, but not the only one. It’s important to remember that dementia is not a normal part of aging. 
Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is a degenerative “whole brain” disease, caused by complex brain changes following cell damage. As the disease advances, symptoms get more severe, and include disorientation, confusion, and behavior changes. Eventually, speaking, walking, and swallowing become difficult. As with dementia, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging.
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, significant progress has been made towards slowing its progression and developing new treatments. Exercise, diet, and social interaction can also help moderate the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. 
Many resources are available for those affected by Alzheimer’s. Dementia care coaching offers one-on-one support to the affected individual, and coaches will help develop an action plan to navigate through it. Education programs are presented throughout the community to help people understand the disease. Caregiver support groups meet monthly in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, and there are two groups in each county. Volunteer opportunities are available too, in the areas of education, support groups, and events. 
The Alzheimer’s Association has a wealth of information and education to help individuals and families deal with the disease. All services are free, and no “official” diagnosis is needed to access services. More information can be found at 
Mary Ertle began her career at the Alzheimer’s Association in Chicago in 2014. She has a bachelors degree from Loyola University in psychology.
Rotary Volunteer Opportunities
There are two cleanup opportunities available for those who would like to help keep our city clean.
  • April 15, from 9am until 1pm, Boys & Girls Club Backyard Cleanup. This will take place at the McGuffey Center.
  • April 19, from 7:45am until 10am and noon until 2pm at Choffin. Volunteers will be cleaning the hillside above the downtown YMCA.
If you want to sign up for either or both of these opportunities, call Adam Lee at CityScape.

Hiring Event
Youngstown Works will be holding a hiring event on Wednesday, April 25 at Stambaugh Auditorium. Spaces are filling up fast, so if you are interested, call Gerri Jenkins at MyPath.

Badge Presentations

President Sharon presented badges to two Rotarians at last week’s meeting. Ra’Cole Taltoan went from a square badge to a round badge, and Pete Herman received his square badge and Rotary informational packet.
New members first receive a square badge, with a list of projects and items to accomplish. Once the list is completed, a round badge is swapped for the square badge.
Congratulations to Ra’Cole for completing her tasks, and to Pete for beginning his!

Boys and Girls Club Cleanup

The home base of the Boys and Girls Club of Youngstown – founded by RCY decades ago – is being renovated on Oak Hill Avenue. The work will stretch into summer and necessitate the relocation of BGCY’s summer activities to the McGuffey Center, 1649 Jacobs Road.
The McGuffey Center needs some “muscle and love,” according to RCY President Sharon Letson. So, put on your work clothes and join us on Saturday, April 15, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the East Side.

April 22, 2023, Earth Day

April 22, 2023, Earth Day, marks the 53rd anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. Intended to increase awareness of environmental problems, Earth Day is also becoming a popular time for many communities to gather to clean up litter, plant trees, or simply reflect on the beauty of nature.
The Earth Day 2023 theme is 'Invest in Our Planet' - designed to persuade businesses, governments and citizens around the world of the need to invest in our planet to improve our environment and give our descendants a better and safer future.
10 Earth Day Activities and Ideas
1. Support Our Pollinators! 
2. Clean Up Plastic in Your Neighborhood or Local Park
Plastic permeates every aspect of our lives. Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can. See a Plastics Recycling Chart
3. Swap Out Kitchen and Household Products!
If You Care” is a product line where everything’s biodegradable and does not use chemicals or plastic.  See the store locator.
4. Plant a Tree!
We love our trees! They capture carbon, cool overheated places, benefit agriculture, support pollinators, reduce the risk of disease transmission, and boost local economies. Planting one oak tree brings in more insect and bird species than an entire yard of plants! See advice on how to plant a tree.
5. Use Wildflowers and Native Plants
Try to simply add a couple of native plants to your garden each year, and you’ll be amazed at the difference.
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in the Garden
  • Buy in bulk - this cuts down on plastic bags.
  • Reuse, recycle, or return old plastic pots and trays. 
  • Plant biodegradable pots right into the ground! 
7. Stop Pesticides and Chemicals in the Garden
Much of this is simply about focusing less on the plant and more on the health of the soil that supports the plant. If it’s nutrient-rich with organic matter, plants thrive. 
8. Conserve Water!
Avoid watering your garden vegetables and plants from overhead, which invites fungal disease. Water at the soil level. Harvest your rainwater. If you have a low-lying area, consider planting a rain garden. See plot plans for “sun” and “shade” rain gardens.
9. Think About Your Diet!
About one-third of the food that we produce goes to waste! How do we avoid waste and improve our diet so that it’s healthier for ourselves (and the planet)? Take this fun 3-minute Foodprint Quiz to find out your foodprint.
10. Get Kids Involved!
Pass down a love of nature and plants to kids. There are lots of opportunities for hands-on learning experiences outside. Find 6 more garden projects for kids from the Old Farmer’s Almanac for Kids!

Manu on the Move

Manu, RCY’s Exchange Student, finished her basketball season at Cardinal Mooney High School and has pivoted to a spring sport: Lacrosse!
You may not understand the game, but we know what it means to Manu to have supporters in the stands. The season has just begun. See the team schedule and attend a match when possible.

Spring Arts Festival

The second annual Spring Arts Festival at Youngstown City School District brings the Rotary Club of Youngstown, Students Motivated By the Arts and the city schools under the Operation Pollination umbrella, all endeavoring to expand public support to create and support pollinator habitats. 
SMARTS provided lesson plans by grade level for English Language Arts teachers, who are encouraging their students to create original art that educates the public on the risks associated with a decline in pollinators and how to reverse the trend. Students’ art projects emerge from all five arts disciplines: visual art, music, dance, theater, and creative writing. 
Students will take field trips to SMARTS from April 18 to 20. The festival will be open to the public on Saturday, April 22, at SMARTS, where students’ art works will be on display. 
Rotarians may support the festival in many ways, as follows: 
  • Volunteers are needed to pick up students’ art works at schools between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. April 3 and April 6; 
  • Volunteers can set up displays at SMARTS, time and date to be determined; 
  • Volunteers may assist on field trip days between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. April 18-20;
  • Volunteers will help during the community open house from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22;
  • Sponsorships of $250, $500 and $1,000 bring the project to life and nurture its continued growth in Youngstown city schools; 
  • Volunteers will transport art works from SMARTS back to schools April 25-27.
Sponsors may call Becky Keck at 330-574-2787 or email her at Contact Sarah Gabrick, SMARTS assistant director, at or call 330-574-2787 for volunteer information.


April 11, 2006: Youngstown Rotarians celebrated “Administrative Professionals Day" with employees attending as special guests; a decades-old tradition that formerly was called "Secretaries Day,"
Gerri Jenkins - April 10
Don Foley - 27 Years
Sharon Letson - 11 Years
Bob Calvert - 12 Years
Save the Date:

Save the date! On Thursday, April 20, at the Downtown YMCA, Bob DiBiasio, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Cleveland Guardians, will make his annual visit to update us on the upcoming baseball season. This is a joint event of Rotary Club of Youngstown, Youngstown Lions Club, and Youngstown Kiwanis. 
Cost is $10 per person. See President Sharon to reserve your seat. 
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Club Information

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Service Above Self

Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Wick Park Pavilion
260 Park Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44504
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(330) 743-8630
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102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7