Speakers for the June 21 meeting were West High Interactors, Kasey and Kelsey Baller, who spoke about their experience in Xicotepec this spring.  They were introduced by Nancy Pacha.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
Carlos Garrido-- Xicotepec Rotaract
Kasey, Kelsey and Connie Baller-- Speakers, Guests of Nancy Pacha
Abby Dickson-- Guest of Carolyn Wanat
Janet Coester-- Guest of Jack Cameron
Today is the last day to sign up for the Year-Ender to be held at the Ockenfels hangar at 4 pm on Saturday, June 25. Drive in via the road to the Reserve Center rather than the main road into the airport.  It will be a combined celebration of the end of our Rotary year and the gavel passing for both our incoming President, Deb Dunkhase, and our District Governor, Chris Knapp.  Sign up to bring a dish, BYOB, and pay $20 per person.  The event will also feature a small auction.  Included will be an opportunity to win a dinner for 10 at Chris and Vernette Knapp's house, a framed needlepoint contributed by Liz Loeb, and an opportunity to stay at the Hoover's McGreggor home.  Funds raised from the event will go toward our international and community programs, and in particular, a Rotary Global Grant that has been submitted by the Burlington RC, our club and others in the District for a Latrine project in Esquipulas, Nicaragua, which is the community serviced by the Bridges to Prosperity project a few years ago.  The District portion of the $35,000 project is $7,000 and our club's portion will be whatever we raise up to the $1,150 needed to complete the match.
Deb Ockenfels mentioned the TAKO event July 16 at City Park where the AM Club is providing the food for lunch and snacks and will be able to keep any profits made.  The planning group will be receiving pork burgers and hot dogs from the pork producers.  They are talking with Hy-Vee and Costco about getting the other food supplies at free or reduced costs.  They are taking donations to help defray costs for the supplies that need to be purchased.  Also please sign up for a shift to work that day at the event.
Carolyn Wanat introduced Abby Dickson, who is receiving the Interact Scholarship for her work with City High Interact over the past four years. This last year Abby was co-president of the group.  Her experience in Xicotepec has turned around her decision on a choice of schools and careers.  Originally, she planned to become an attorney.  After helping pharmacy students with deworming and other projects at Xicotepec during her junior year she decided to enroll at UI in pharmacy and is very excited about the very hands-on ways she can help other people in this career field.
Brian Adamec announced some exciting items in our Rotary store.  We have made $877 in a matter of only 6 weeks with this fundraising project!
We skipped Happy Bucks to give our speakers more time.
Kasey and Kelsy Baller, members of the West High Interact, were participants in the 2016 Xicotepec trip and felt that this was a life-changing experience.  They had heard so much about the project from other Interactors who attended previous years, but there is no substitute for experiencing it first-hand.  They showed many pictures of the beautiful area around Xicotepec, the streets and plazas they were able to walk through, and the many very friendly people they met.  Highlights included participating in a mural project, helping with deworming and dental care clinics at some of the area schools, a visiting a school for special needs students and a nearby orphanage.  They were impressed with all the animals that wander about the town freely, including many turkeys.  They noted how different the schools are where there is no inside running water or sanitation and the play areas are under large outdoor canopies that serve a similar function to a school gym.  They loved getting to know the Xicotepec interact group (called "Futureactors"), the two exchange students attending school in Xicotepec, and the many friendly people thoroughout the community.