Eugene Southtowne Rotary is a service club of committed members partnering with Rotary International to provide support in service to local and worldwide communities through truth, fairness, goodwill, and better friendships, beneficial to us all.

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Jason Davis is a Public Information Officer for the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Here is a summary from his presentation at Southtowne's meeting on Nov. 20th, in case you missed it.

Influenza is the most common cause of death in the US. As a matter of comparison, in an average year:

  • No one dies from anthrax
  • 2 people die from shark attacks
  • 55 people die from lightning strikes
  • 80 people die from tornadoes
  • 100-300 die from flesh eating bacteria

The flu spreads through respiratory droplets and contact transmission. Every case causes about 2 cases. What is the best way to prevent an outbreak that can spread at this rate? The answer is vaccines.

Vaccines are 60% effective and have resulted in the prevention of major diseases including polio, measles, rubella, smallpox etc. by 90-100%. However, the rate of people that get the vaccine is all too low. Last year Lane County's adult flu vaccine rate was 38%. Oregon has one of the highest influenza like activities in the US. We're likened to states with less regulations and more humid environment because of our low immunization rate.

There are many reasons that people choose not to get vaccinated. These barriers include education, concerns of side effects and effectiveness, and distrust. 2-8% of kids claim religious exemption from immunizations and this has grown significantly over time. Although these are valid concerns, there are many myths that surround vaccines:

  • The flu vaccine is not a live virus vaccine. People cannot get the flu from the vaccine.
  • Vaccines do not weaken the immune system (there is no evidence). This can be true with immunizations but not vaccinations. When you give a vaccine, it stimulates the immune response and so you may feel tired or sore. The flu shot takes two weeks to become effective so you may get sick in the meantime, but it's not because of a failing immune system.
  • Vaccines do not cause autism and the doctor that started that rumor lost his license.
  • No major religion forbids vaccination.

There are potentially serious side effects to the flu including hospitalization and death. Hospitalization is not limited to just the very young or very old; Anyone can be hurt by the flu.

Influenza is also costly.

  • The flu costs tax payers 13 million dollars because of unpaid medical bills.
  • The flu costs Lane County businesses 10-12 million. If there is an outbreak year, costs go up up up. Lane County costs would be $500 million.
  • The US Cost is $675 billion.

How can we help to remedy this situation? 

  • Cover your cough and sneezes and dispose of tissues quickly.
  • Get vaccinated
  • Promote the Flu 50 Initiative to improve the vaccination rate from 38-50%
  • Make it easy for employees to access vaccines

Public Health will come to your business, and has a Vaccine for children program that is either 100% free or on a sliding scale so every parent can afford it. All educators know this. Public Health does many things that Rotary does but on a community scale. Disease prevention, maternal and child health, education and literacy, etc. 

So, when will you get your flu shot this season?


November is Foundation Month and is the time to celebrate the wonderful work of The Rotary Foundation (TRF). One may wonder though, where does all the money for TRF go after it's donated?

Here is a breakdown of that info for you:

50% of the money goes into the Global Grant fund.

50% gets distributed to the districts for district designated funds where district grants are made.

Club Donation : $10,000

District Matches +$10,000 (limit is 10k)

TRF Matches the District amount $10,000 and 1/2 the Club donation

TOTAL: $35,000

Since 07-08, $70,000 has been donated to Stove Team from Clubs which created $82,900 from the district match, which created $118k from TRF.

All of the funds come back to the district after 3 years.


  • Family nights including supplies, food, books, etc.
  • Over 200 food boxes delivered this year because of district designated funds.
  • OBOB supplies.  Head Start reading and check out library books.
  • Dictionaries and bilingual books for PILAS families.  
  • Water for the community garden and a fence for that garden.
  • Nontraditional scholarship $2000 to give to a head start person or someone from downtown languages to help with a little extra training so they can better support their family.
  • Latino food boxes
  • Family engineering night to help build projects for families

On Thursday, December 4th, 2014, Klamath Falls will have its annual Snowflake Parade. It will be preceded by a one mile run/walk. The Rotary Club of Klamath County is using the run/walk to raise money for the End Polio Now program. The club hopes to raise over $10,000 for the End Polio Now campaign.

Everyone in the District can participate. Just make a pledge to the End Polio Now program. Your donation stays in your club and can be added to your Paul Harris account. All that is asked is that you notify Glen Thomet (former Southtowne member and past president) how much is pledged into your account so he can add it to our totals.

Glen is 79 years old, has never run in a race, and is a polio survivor. He strongly supports Rotary’s efforts to eradicate polio and hope that you do too. Let’s all show our support to rid the world of this terrible disease.

For further information and to log your donation, contact: Glen Thomet, (541) 850-9098,

Saturday the 15th, I was invited to the Oakridge fire department to view pictures of the hospital shipment that recently arrived in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dr. Ellen Heinitz and her husband John, spear- headed the shipment with a lot of help from Tim and Patrick, firemen in Oakridge. They shipped an ambulance donated by Oakridge and also a 40 foot container of hospital equipment and supplies.

Southtowne helped with equipment donations from PeaceHealth.

Ellen and John presented us with Congo shirts as gifts from Dr. Ysu in Lubumbashi, Congo. The local Congo tailor came to Dr. Ysu’s home with his sewing machine and made the shirts based on John and Ellen’s estimate of our sizes.

- Lauren Alexander

PolioPlus is Rotary’s priority program which supports global efforts to eradicate polio. It was launched in 1985, with the help of Dr. Albert Sabin, developer of the oral polio vaccine, as a worldwide program to protect children from the cruel and fatal consequences of polio. In 1988, the World Health Assembly challenged the world to eradicate polio and, since that time, Rotary’s efforts, along with partner agencies, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and governments around the world have achieved a 99% reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide. By the time the world is certified polio-free, our contributions will make Rotary the largest non-governmental financial contributor to the global polio eradication effort.

The new simplified indoor family night was a big hit. It was held in the Fairfield Elementary School Gym. Children from Fairfield Head Start, Early Head Start, Junction City Head Start, Eugene Combo Head Start, and Clear Lake Head Start were invited. We also invited the Pilas families who were taking classes to learn English at Fairfield Elementary School to attend this event! Thanks to all the Head Start staff who extended their day and attended the event. Thanks to Head Start for providing salad, drinks, etc. A big thank you to Doug Phillips at Abby’s Legendary Pizza for helping sponsor pizza for over 150 people! It was yummy and what a treat for the families. A huge thanks to Chris Ferguson, our partner at Fairfield Elementary school, while wearing a legendary Turkey Hat, helped set up, clean up and led a popular obstacle course!

Thanks to 16 Rotarians and spouses we had face painting, loteria (like Bingo), book reading in English and Spanish, fall wreath making, putting practice, and an obstacle course. This created a spectacular family event. Alison Willis of Head Start said there were over 150 people there and this was definitely their most successful fall family event! We raffled 2 food boxes and 5 pizzas!

One Head Start teacher Becca Bruce said, "Southtowne Rotarians are always so accepting and loving of our families, and it really does bring tears to my eyes to see people reaching out and serving them the way you do. I hope the feedback you get from your crew is as positive as mine. Thanks again for all you do!"

"Thank you so much for a wonderful evening. The parents and their children had a great time. You all do so much for us that it is so hard to find words that could express the level of gratitude that I feel. Thank you so very much."

Sincerely and Respectfully,
Doe Chasco, Region 5 manager
Head Start of Lane County

To all our members with a connection to the US military -- veterans, spouses and parents of those in service or are veterans -- thank you for your service and your sacrifices. We are honored to have you among our numbers.

Presentation about South Valley Rotary Grant Committee projects in the African nation of Uganda by Larry and Mary Ann Rhodes.

Larry and Mary Ann are members of Airport Rotary, which is part of the South Valley Global Grant committee formed to collaborate on joint grant projects and fundraising. Southtowne is also part of SVRGC. The first projects, instigated last year, were in Uganda.

Primarily the work has been in East Uganda.

  • Clean water has been the primary goal of the Uganda projects. Unclean water leads to so many illnesses and deaths (30,000 a DAY in sub-Saharan Africa). 60-80% of all preventable deaths are related to unclean water and unsanitary living conditions.
  • They have sent medical teams to go to remote villages who have no medical system. About an average of 4000 are served each year.
  • In order to get even somewhat protected clean water from one well that serves several villages, most people have to travel great distances. Otherwise, puddles that drain from swamps and are horribly unclean are the main sources for water.
  • There are huge maintenance issues with the one well.
  • This year's global grant creates water systems in communities so that water is carried into a community instead of people having to walk to wells.
  • There are great partners in the communities that are helping with the projects.
  • They are trying to create a Water Governance Board to help with security and maintenance issues.
  • The grant covers the rehabilitation of existing resources, also, such as existing above ground wells/tanks.
  • Solar powered pumps are used to extract the water.
  • The grant is also helping with vocational training.

To see the slides to the original presentation, click here.

Meet Tim Mobley, our District Governor for 2014-15.

Tim has been a Rotary Club of Bear Creek Valley member since 1999 at the invitation of his wife, LeAnn. Since joining, he has served as board member, secretary, chair of several committees, President and was named Rotarian of the Year by his club.

Tim is a life-long educator. The several important roles he has held over the years include:

  • High school teacher
  • Adjunct professor for two universities
  • Elementary principal
  • Private consultant Director of Instructional Services
  • Business owner

As an elementary principal, the local PTA named Tim Volunteer of the Year.

Tim has been active in the community and before joining Rotary, he served first as a Kiwanian, serving as president of the Bear Creek Kiwanis, next as President of his church council and thirdly on the Mediation Works Board of Directors as their President.

As a trained mediator, Tim brought conflict resolution programs to several schools in southern Oregon and trained teachers in other states and Canada.

At the District level, Tim has served on the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards committee, Nominating Committee, presented at various district workshops, has been an Assistant Governor working with the clubs of Greater Jackson County, and Co-District Trainer with LeAnn. Currently, he is also a member of the Future Vision Steering Committee.

Tim is a Benefactor and a member of the Paul Harris Society.

Tim and LeAnn enjoy travel, music, wine, boating, working in the yard, golf, and especially spending time with family (including their four grandchildren).

For years, Southtowne member Lauren Alexander worked as a volunteer at Sacred Heart Hospital. When River Bend opened, new equipment and supplies were purchased, and there was a surfeit of older, usable materials. Lauren suggested to hospital staff that, as a Rotarian, he could probably find a good use for those materials, and thus began Lauren’s second career, as procurer and supplier extraordinaire of medical equipment and supplies for developing countries.

Lauren has been involved in the shipment of 7 or 8 container loads that have gone to countries such as Honduras, Ivory Coast (West Africa), Ethiopia, People’s Republic of Congo, and Ghana. Those large shipments have included everything from hospital beds and gurneys to bed linens and scrubs. In addition, smaller volumes of supplies have been carried as checked baggage to Uganda, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Kenya, as well as boxes shipped to the Philippines. He often works with other Rotary clubs or other partners (e.g. Holt International and Ghana Hope Foundation) to make the shipments happen.

One shipment came about as a result of a TV program called “Secret Millionaire” that was shot in Oakridge in which a millionaire couple gave over a million dollars to Oakridge because of their depressed economy. The gift included a new ambulance. Lauren saw the show on TV and then read an article about it in the Register Guard. He talked with the Oakridge Fire Chief, which led to a connection with Dr. Ellen Heinitz, who lives in Grants Pass. Dr. Ellen had spent part of a summer working at a clinic in the Congo, and she knew that they needed an ambulance. She offered to buy Oakland’s old ambulance to ship to Africa, but the Oakridge city council voted to donate it to her. The ambulance was loaded with medical supplies, some of which came from Lauren’s ‘stash,’ and shipped. The ambulance has arrived intact at its intended destination. The people there celebrated.


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Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club

We meet at the Vet's Club, 1626 Willamette Street every Thursday at noon! Join us.

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 5158,
Eugene, OR 97405-0158

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What Is Rotary?

Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self.

What Is Southtowne?

We are known in the Eugene/Springfield community as the “fun” club, where our members come to listen to engaging programs each week and are entertained by our spirited Sergeant-At-Arms. The ideal member for our club is someone who is passionate to help the youth in our community, and who enjoy positive business and personal camaraderie on a weekly basis.

Project Highlight: StoveTeam

In Latin America, millions of households are using either open fires or inefficient stoves to prepare food. The open fires are unsafe for women and children and smolder all day. Inefficient, non-vented and non-insulated cement block stoves produce smoke and use large quantities of wood.  Learn More...

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