Notes from the Governor
Double Your Investment Today

How often do you get the chance to double your investment? Rarely – but Rotary District 7610 is giving you the opportunity to do that through December 1.
How? Through the Rotary Foundation Month Matching Point Challenge. I’m sure you’re asking “How is this doubling my investment when it’s really about giving?”

Why Donating is Investing
Let me explain is this way. About two years ago, my wife and I chose to make the Rotary Foundation our primary charity of choice. We looked carefully at what The Rotary Foundation does and determined that this was where we would invest our funds. Notice that I did not say we donated – we invested our funds in The Rotary Foundation because we saw the tremendous return on that investment in our communities and abroad.
We are not a wealthy family – no one needs to hold a telethon for us – but we are by no means rich. However, we decided that an investment in The Rotary Foundation yields returns - globally and in our local community. Every three years, half of our investment comes back to D7610 in the form of a District Block Grant to fund projects, such as

• Food security initiatives for thousands of local individuals in need;
• Scholarships for young students to four-year institutions and community colleges;
• Procurement of supplies for STEM education resources in places like King George;
• Support for the Alzheimer’s Association;
• Funds for efforts for Mary’s House of Hope in Purcellville and
• Supplies for children in the Warrenton area with bookbags and school supplies.

Take Action Now
I urge you to not wait to do this. December 1 will be here before you know and the opportunity to double your investment will disappear. Here’s how it works.

Option 1: You donate a minimum of $100 to either the Annual Fund Share or Polio Plus. The district will match 1 Paul Harris point for every dollar donated.

Option 2: You donate $100 to the Annual Fund Share for enough Paul Harris points to immediately become a Paul Harris fellow or reach the next PHF level. You must pledge to maintain a sustaining member status through Rotary Direct recurring donations of either $10/month or $25/quarter.
Join me and your fellow Rotary members who believe that Rotary opens doors to all of us - whether you are a member or positively impacted by Rotary 7610 in its local communities or around the world.

Ready to join me on doubling your investment? It’ll be the best and easiest way to help others today and tomorrow. 

For more Information contact: DRFC Ronnie Chantker,, Phone: 301-340-2220; or Annual Giving Chair Peter Anderson,, Phone 703-822-0522.
Thank you for everything you do.
Yours in Rotary,

DG Harry Henderson
In This Issue
  • Rosslyn Keeps Pedaling
  • Wassup in North Stafford
  • District 7610 Donates Face Shields
  • Wakefield Interact Comes Home
  • Why Contests for Yutes?
  • Commonwealth Attorney Addresses Rosslyn
  • Interactors Deliver Face Shields
  • Arlington Progress Report
  • The CART Fund
  • Virtual Wine Tasting
  • New Members
Rosslyn Rotary Keeps Riding for Egyptian
Medical Center Project
By Randy Fleitman, Rosslyn
Club members have ridden over 1,700 miles in their virtual bike ride along Interstate 90 to raise $30,000 for my Rosslyn Rotary Club's project to buy X-ray and Sonogram machines for the new medical center in Tema, a community of 300,000 in Upper Egypt. 
John Veldhuis started (virtually) on the Montana/South Dakota border and our superman has already biked 1,000 miles doing 100 mile-days in his garage. He passed near Devil's Gulch, South Dakota and now would now be past Chicago, IL. 
Randy Fleitman has biked over 660 miles on roads and trails in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. Starting from Seattle, he would have just passed Butte, Montana and crossed the Continental Divide. We have over $13,000 pledged already. You can find more information on the project and donate by going to our club website at
Wassup in North Stafford
By Lena Gonzalez-Berrios, North Stafford
Firmly Rooted in Stafford County
Nestled among cornfields and a majestic ginkgo tree is the new home of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia. The North Stafford Rotary Club and friends visited what will become an important site of local culture and history. On October 3, Chief Emeritus John Lightner and Minnie Lightner, Administrative Assistant to the Tribal Council, shared their vision for the cultural center and museum that the Tribe is building off of Kings Highway.

In cooperation with Stafford County, the Tribe is constructing a permanent living village and pavilions to host events with school groups and visitors. They are converting the large home on the property into a museum with space for classrooms, a library, and a gift shop. Visitors will be able to see traditional life in action, do genealogical research, learn the Algonquin language, or just soak up the beautiful site overlooking the Rappahannock River. Learn more at
North Stafford Club Members with Minnie and John
North Stafford Rotary Club Joins the Fan Base for STEPVA
On October 28, North Stafford Rotarians volunteered at a Drive-in and Open Mic Night to support STEPVA (Sensory + Theater = Endless Possibilities), a regional organization that empowers people with special needs through artistic expression and sensory exploration. Young people took the stage to show off their gifts and talents while families and friends cheered them on, enjoying a beautiful fall evening outdoors and socially distanced. The NSRC offered drinks and candy for donations, raising $133 for STEPVA. Learn more at
Stafford County Board of Supervisors Declares Stafford Polio Day
The Stafford County Board of Supervisors has issued a proclamation naming October 24 to be Stafford Polio Day, in conjunction with World Polio Day, in celebration of the progress made by the Rotary and its associates. Practicing social distancing and representing the board of supervisors, both Rotary Clubs of Stafford County, the Rappahannock-Fredericksburg Club, and District 7610 Leadership are Board of Supervisor Chairman Meg Bomke, and Rotarians Mike Smith, Bob Sorkhe, Rene Laws, Felton Page, Sandy and Don Duckworth, Leigh Ann Poland, Janet Brown and Jake Almberg.
Rotary 7610 Keeps Teachers Safe with
Donation of 15,000 Face Shields  
By Lori Prencipe, District Public Image Chair
Because of the pandemic, teachers are facing unprecedented challenges, including having to choose between putting their health or jobs first. As part of its long-standing commitment to teachers and students throughout Virginia, Rotary District 7160 donated more than $7,500 worth of face shields to Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). Approximately 15,000 face shields were secured in part through Rotary Foundation funding and were delivered to FCPS through the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools in October and November 2020.  
“Teachers are facing extraordinary challenges due to the pandemic. Rotary 7610 and the clubs in Northern Virginia have long supported the mission of FCPS to serve students and their families in Fairfax County,” said District Governor Harry Henderson. “Since the start of the pandemic, our district has been in close contact with officials at Fairfax County Public Schools and its foundation to offer our support and resources in helping them meet the challenges of teaching in one of the United States' largest school districts.”
The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools (the Foundation) accepted the donation of the face shields through its Access for All Fund, which supports students and families in need with programs and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Created by the Foundation in response to school closings in March, the Access for All fund is supporting Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) by providing additional personal protective equipment (PPE), grocery gift cards to homeless and unaccompanied youth, school supply kits, and technology access for distance learning. 

Elizabeth Murphy, Executive Director of the Foundation for FCPS said, “It is wonderful to work with organizations like Rotary 7610, who have really stepped up during this time to support our students and families. We appreciate partners like this, who see a need and rush to fill it, and make us a stronger community.”
The CDC states that when used in connection with face masks, face shields provide extra protection to people. The CDC also notes that wearing a mask may not be feasible in every situation. Face shields may be preferable for people who are deaf or hard of hearing—or those who care for or interact with a person who is hearing impaired or other disabilities. 
“We are also coordinating with other school systems and healthcare systems in our district to make additional face shield donations. Rotary has the connections and ability to serve communities throughout our district - and it is imperative that we continue to develop solutions that serve changing needs in our communities. I'm proud to have initiated this program during my term as District Governor and to have strong partners in our clubs, the Rotary Foundation, and the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools,” noted previous District Governor Jonathan Lucus.  
 For more information on face shields and 7610's program, contact Past District Governor Jonathan Lucus,
Homecoming fun and Interact Pride at Wakefield School
By Sima Button, Gainesville-Haymarket
During the week of Halloween, Wakefield School in the Plains, Virginia held their annual homecoming festivities.
The thriving new Interact Club at Wakefield that is partnered with the Gainesville-Haymarket club displayed their pride and their service through a creative and fun float!
“The theme for the week was Country Western, so the Club Committee suggested we make our float a cow because of the beef we’re donating this year from Ovoka Farm! Seated left to right in the picture of the kids in the bed of the truck: Vice President Ben Pieja, Ayla Wilcox, Club Committee Chair Cameron Carnegie, and President Boston Chute. The kids had a blast, and it was a great way to advertise our club. We were the finale in the parade because administrators liked our float the best!” John Pennisi, Club Faculty Sponsor.
It is wonderful to see our future leaders having fun even while making such a great impact on their community! Wakefield Interact also took on organizing a food drive at the school to feed 13 families at Pace West which will be concluded on 11/6/2020. There after the Gainesville-Haymarket Club will pack and delivery the boxes beautifully demonstrating how well the clubs work together! 
Why Youth Contests?
By Holly Graf, Youth Contest Chair
There are so many avenues to reach the community when a club is running a contest, and this is especially true for Youth Contests. Youth Contests touch students when they are looking for avenues to excel.  While these young students are still growing and changing, many have already discovered things they love to do, like writing and music, and the Youth Contests challenge them to improve their skills and deepen their knowledge. The Youth Contests also help students learn about another potential area of interest – Rotary.
Through Youth Contests, students research Rotary and discuss it with their peers and teachers; they will reflect on their own service, past and present, as well as the service of Rotarians around the world. Through this, they will begin to see what Rotary has accomplished and how it will continue to make the world a better place. Students may even see themselves taking part in this one day. Students will have an opportunity to meet Rotarians as they progress through the levels of competition, and so will other stakeholders in local school districts, such as the Principal, the Guidance Counselors, the English or Music teacher, and the drama, speech, debate or Interact club sponsors. Each of these people will have a better understanding of Rotary through your interaction with them.

To initiate a Youth Contest in your community, start by contacting a local school district official, such as those mentioned above. The Youth Contests encourage self-reflection, service, and research – especially into the goals and meaning of Rotary. Whether or not a student has the opportunity to join an Interact Club, learning about Rotary at a young age can lead to Rotary involvement later in life.

The best story I have heard about how the Youth Contests can shape a person’s impression of Rotary is about one of our newest members in District 7610. Willow Pedersen first became aware of Rotary when she participated in the Essay Contest in 2012, when she was in 8th grade.  Her sponsoring club was the Rotary Club of West Point. After winning the local contest, she remained connected to the club by participating in the speech and music contests. When the Rotary Club of West Point sponsored an Interact Club her sophomore year, Willow joined and served as Vice President and then President. Today, she is a charter member of the Rotary eClub of Global Peacebuilders.

Here is her essay, written when she was 13 years old.
“He kicked me! He kicked me!” Allen’s little tearstained face appeared, and he gasped for air, his body running up the hill, shaking with sobs. He grabbed my legs for support. Gently, I lifted his face from where it was buried in my jeans. He looked up at me, the fringes of his curly brown hair damp.

“Who kicked you, Allen?” I asked him, bending down to his eye level. It could be one of the many kids here at the daycare where I volunteer.

“B-b-bobby,” he stammered, big, wet tears still streaming down his face. Just as he uttered the word, Bobby ran up the paved path on the hill. He was shouting something up at me unintelligibly.

“He kicked me first,” I managed to make out from the jumbled mess of syllables coming out of his mouth. It’s at a moment like this when I wish I had a magic way to help me do the right thing. Luckily, I do: the Four-Way Test. This test, which is a series of questions, is perfect for helping solve these dilemmas. Not only do I use it, but I also teach these kids how to use it.

As a 13-year-old, I don’t have that many big decisions to make, but sometimes the little choices I make every day have more impact than I ever would have guessed. Deciding what to leave unsaid and undone is just as important as deciding what to say and do. The Four-Way Test helps me make these kinds of decisions by helping me evaluate how to act and react.

For example, in my position as a volunteer at a local daycare center, I work with kids who are extremely different and don’t always get along. When kids get in arguments, they come to me and the employee who works in my classroom to help them resolve and end these arguments. We try to prevent the situation from escalating to a different level and also, to help the children learn how to resolve and end their arguments themselves. More often than not, both kids involved will come running to me, both trying to get me to take their side. Of course, no one sees everything, and I am generally helping out with certain errands. Usually, I don’t see the situation, and I don’t know exactly what happened. This is where the Four-Way Test comes in.

Is it the truth? Both kids are saying that they’ve been kicked, but I don’t know who started it. I can only control that what I do and say is the truth. It would be easier sometimes just to say the one who caused the trouble is whichever one usually does and let it be over with, but that wouldn’t help them. My whole reason for volunteering for this is because I want to help these children learn the skills they need for life. When I help them solve these problems, I am also trying to help them solve future problems.

Is it fair to all concerned? In my personal life, I don’t assign blame. After all, who am I to judge? But when I am in charge, I am supposed to judge and evaluate situations so I have to be fair. Many times, I sit both children down and say “I don’t know what happened, but you both know better than to kick. The rules are there for a reason, and that is so we don’t get hurt. We need to follow them.”

Will it build goodwill and better friendships? I ask the kids to apologize to each other, and then they usually go play the same game they were playing before. Both of them feel better after receiving and giving an apology. Often, they play together even more peacefully than they did before. They know that they can argue with each other, and it will be okay, because they have a way to work it out.

Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Everyone in the situation benefits because the kids continue their friendship, and are learning how to get along. I benefit because I get to help make those kids happy. I also benefit because I am learning great ways to end arguments and fights that I can use in my everyday life.

The Four-Way Test helps me every day: at my volunteer job, in school, at home, and basically, wherever I end up. When I’m tempted to say or do something I might regret later, I just have to ask myself “Is it the truth?” If the answer isn’t immediately ‘yes’, then I have no right to do or say what I was going to. If it is, I move on to the next question. I just have to think through the test and I will save myself and others from uncomfortable and even dangerous situations. The Four-Way Test even helps me when others use it. If everyone used it, then no one would have to get out of bad scenarios because they would not have been created. I am very glad that I have the Four-Way Test to guide my actions. It’s so easy and simple that the kids at my daycare can use it, but it’s so effective I know I’ll use it for the rest of my life.
Arlington's Commonwealth Attorney Addresses
Rosslyn Rotary
By Randy Fleitman, Rosslyn
Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, the Commonwealth Attorney for Arlington County and the City of Falls Church wowed the Rosslyn Rotary Club on October 20 with her detailed description of the many reforms she has led since her election in November 2019.

Her website states that Parisa was to a four-year term after a twenty-year record of criminal justice reform as an innocence protection attorney, a public defender, and a law professor. She is committed to fair prosecutorial practices that promote both safety and justice. Parisa immigrated to the United States with her parents as a young child. She served as Press Chair and Member of the Steering Committee for the Arlington County Democratic Committee, and as a member of the Criminal Justice Committee for the Arlington Chapter of the NAACP. Our members peppered her with questions about current justice issues in Arlington and her reforms in the Commonwealth Attorney's office. She has previously spoken to our club, and I recommend her to other Rotary clubs interested in justice and reform issues.  
COVID-19 Community Face Shield Distribution Project
By Daniel (Kaz) Kazmierski, Gainesville-Haymarket
On October 22nd, Abdullah Usufzai, President of the Interact Club at Battlefield High School, donated 300 face shields to the hardworking teachers and staff at the Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Virginia. The face shields were courtesy of Rotary District 7610 and the Gainesville-Haymarket Rotary Club that are jointly working to serve our local community during these critical times of need.

The Interact Club at Battlefield High School is in its second year and has completed over three service projects thus far: Thanksgiving food-baskets for families in need, Salvation-Army bell ringing at Walmart, and board games with residents at the Tribute at Heritage Hunt retirement home. The Interact Club at Battlefield High School hopes to complete additional service projects this year, with a focus on helping people during these trying times.        
Mr. Ferrera, Battlefield HS Principal and Abdullah Usufzai, Interact Club President
The Interact Club at The Wakefield School in The Plains, Virginia provided 50 face shield to Open Doors, an organization whose mission is to engage the community of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County to provide shelter, compassionate support and access to services for people who are homeless. The Wakefield Interact Club is also continuing to work on the further distribution of an additional 1,000 face shields to those in need. This is the Inaugural year for The Wakefield Interact Club of 42 members strong that are also working on multiple service projects that include; Ovoka Farms / Rappahannock Food Pantry and Thanksgiving food baskets to feed 13 PACE West families during the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Additionally, The Gainesville-Haymarket Club distributed hundreds of face shields to;
Through these combined efforts we hope this local community “Service above Self” project in distributing this additional personal protective equipment provides a supplemental barrier of protection to front line responders, educators, and county workers serving our community on a daily basis.
Arlington Rotary Moves Forward on Racial Dialogue, and Presents Educator of the Year Award
By Bob Carolla, Arlington
Arlington Rotary Club (ARC) is moving forward on its racial and social equity initiative (previously reported) folding it into Arlington County’s Race and Equity Dialogue that has since been recently launched.
The county has partnered with Challenging Racism, a non-profit organization, to facilitate community-wide conversations to share “experiences, backgrounds, insights, opinions, and beliefs about race and equity.” The conversations are intended to provide a foundation for community action.
ARC member Steve Silcox serves on the Challenging Racism board of directors. On Oct. 22, he presented details of the county and club’s initiatives to the “Group of Nine” which steers the District’s commitment to social and racial equity as one of the year’s top priorities. The presentation followed discussion with District Governor Harry Hughes during a virtual visit with the ARC on Oct. 17 as part of his tour of District clubs.

Steve served with the Peace Corps in Guyana and as a Foreign Service Officer in Agency for International Development (AID), where he worked on institutional and economic development projects, training and evaluation.

“Challenging Racism is a local NGO that has been conducting training in anti-racism for over 15 years, initially with Arlington Public Schools, but now to a broader audience in the DMV region,” Silcox said. “It provides trained facilitators to help participants feel comfortable discussing systemic racism and institutional racism and inequities in our society.”
Educator of the Year
On Nov.5, ARC presented its Educator of the Year Award to Marleny Perdomo, the principal of Arlington’s Key School- Escuela Key.

Key School is the county’s Spanish immersion school for grades K-5, in which classes are taught bilingually. It is an ARC community partner. The award is given annually to a member of its faculty.

Marleny was recognized for the 2019-2020 school year for her contributions in the growth and development of the school. The Presentation had been postponed when the club’s annual spring banquet was cancelled because of the pandemic.

"For over 30 years, Key School has been an important anchor in Arlington’s public school system for developing appreciation for languages and cultures not only locally, but for citizens in our global community,” said ARC President Chelsi Dildine.
“Sra. Perdomo consistently demonstrates to Key's teachers and parents her commitment to educating students and helping them succeed. Students across Arlington are benefitting from her leadership and vision for a strong immersion program.” 
"Our partnership with Escuela Key is a perfect fit with Rotary International's commitment to youth, education, and peace-building programs,” Dildine also noted.
New Club Member
Jeff A. Davis has been inducted as the club's newest member. He is head of communications for General Dynamics, coordinating teams in the company’s 10 business units.

A retired U.S. Navy captain, Davis previously served as the Pentagon’s senior non-political spokesperson and advisor to former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis. Earlier in his career, he was a surface warfare officer aboard the USS Belleau Wood and fleet public affairs officer for the U.S. Seventh Fleet, based in Japan.
Jeff Davis is Arlington’s
Newest Member
The Cart Fund
By Jim McConville, Annandale
CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) started in a club in South Caroline with the idea that a club would pass a bucket around at each meeting , and members would put their change in the bucket. That idea grew and expanded into multiple clubs and multiple districts. Contributions grew over time. The fund is now a tax-exempt corporation that donates grants for research. In June, the total grants totaled one million dollars, divided among five researchers for specific research projects.
We are now in a world where everything has changed, including Rotary. We have virtual meetings, and the CART fund has been impacted. This impact is financial. However, we are seeing people with Alzheimer’s disease, disproportionally impacted when they are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. The number of people who die in these facilities is a significant percentage of the total number who have passed away from Covid-19. One problem with these numbers is that there is no clear identification of those who had a Dementia’s diagnosis.

Governor Harry has asked me to continue as District Chair of the CART Fund. I am an attorney that works with elderly people, and act as guardian for people with dementia. My dealings are with people who process that something bad is happening and people get sick. There is no understanding of limits or risks and feel that they can wander around the facility. This is also true for people who are living alone and get Covid-19 because their Dementia issues limits their understanding of the process.

The following is a synopsis of the five grants that were recently awarded:

           1. Measuring process of blood vessel growth in a brain with Alzheimer’s Disease. Mer is critical in growing new blood vessels in brain. This is testing how Mer controls blood vessel/dysfunction in brain and how that relates to Alzheimer’s Disease. Grant $250,000

           2. Studying the pathway of protein development in development of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is testing how ApoE, a protein that combines with fat to form lipoproteins, affects the development of TDP-43, a binding protein. Grant $250,000

           3. Essentially all microglia of a mouse’s brain can be efficiently replaced with transplanted hematopoietic cells derived from bone marrow. This procedure does not require any genetic modification of host animal or donor cells and is thus readily applicable to any kind of disease model (and in principle to people). Grant $250,000

           4. Study of normal aging proteins and how they are different in Alzheimer’s Disease. This will study how citrullation relates to formation of tau proteins, which are implicated in normal aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. Grant $125,000

           5. Create an effective cognitive analysis tool that uses telephonic interviews with subjects and then use semantic analytic tools to diagnose early memory impairment. Grant $125,000

           The past week, the Food and Drug Administration refused to authorize a drug that would slow the decline in the early stage. This was featured in the Washington Post. This would have been the first drug to be approved by the FDA in twenty years. The company estimated that 1.5 million people with early stage Alzheimer’s could have used this medication. 

The CART FUND is requesting contributions from individuals and clubs be sent to: The CART FUND, P.O. Box 143, Annandale, Virginia 22003.

 Any club who wants a speaker on the CART Fund and/or Alzheimer’s issues, please email 
Virtual Wine Tasting
By Ed Hogg, President, Dun Loring-Merrifield North Stafford
Join in on the Dunn Loring Merrifield Rotary Club's Fundraising event benefiting local Community, US & International projects. 
Attendance is not required to get your wine trio package and support us.

Login on Friday 20 November from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. See the details via the link below and arrange to have three bottles of wine shipped to you in advance of our Virtual event

New Members
These are the new members added in October 2020