On 7/7/2020, the members of the Magnolia Rotary Club met to discuss internal club matters. From left to right and top to bottom in the photo above, are: Charles Schultz, Carl Gerhardt, Frank Parker, Hope Moye, Kelly McDonald, Hugh Fullerton, Richard Allison, Real Provencher, Elliott Gabriel (guest), Chase Hogan, David Arevalo, Barbara Provencher, Chopin Kiang, Billy Riley, Glenn Buckley, and Ted Cummings.
Hope opened the meeting by welcoming Elliott Gabriel to our club's meeting. Elliott wanted to get more involved in his community and several of his friends told him to check out his local Rotary Club and that is what he is doing. Elliott than told everyone a little bit about himself.
Kelly McDonald than told everyone that she has sent out all the emails notifying the scholarship winners and had heard back already about Sam Blizzard and Amanda Courtney who had responded with a video thank you which Kelly shared with the membership. Kelly also thanked the scholarship committee for the excellent choices they made on the winners.
Real Provencher summarized the recent email from Becky Mason, District DG,  about COVID-19 by stating how important it is if you get COVID-19 to let everyone you have recently come in contact with, that you have tested positive for the virus so that they can self quarantine.
Real asked the membership to approve the addition to last year's budget to allow for the purchase of a club computer and other equipment to support hybrid meetings where individuals can be in the same meeting room or joining the meeting via Zoom. This allows our club to get speakers from all over the world.
Real Provencher than told everyone that with the help of several of our members who contributed funds, the Sierra Leone Rotary Club was able to hold a "Day of the African Child" celebration. Real then showed three photos from that event in Sierra Leone (see below):
Real also told everyone that the event was held in three 2-hour sessions starting with the children:
  • The children were given small gifts and enjoyed other games.
  • The teenager and young adult group received a talk about sexual ethics and how to protect themselves from sexual diseases.
  • The adults and parents were given information about COVID-19 as well as child and spousal abuse.
Real informed everyone that the event was considered very successful and the reason very few people wore face masks is that their village is still recovering from a fairly recent flood where over 300 people lost their lives. As a result, everyone is still recovering and very few have the funds to purchase or make a mask. Real also pointed out that one of the  main reasons that Sierra Leone has so many girls drop out of school once they reach puberty is the lack of restrooms where the girls can change sanitary napkins. This is a large problem which a number of organizations are trying to resolve.
Barbara Provencher told everyone that she and Kelly McDonald have recently become aware of an organization called "Hope Rising" that is dedicated to the rescue and restoration of minors rescued from human sex trafficking. Barbara told everyone that the group is trying to buy or build a facility that will help the minors who have been caught up in sex trafficking. They expect that this facility will be the first of its kind in Texas. There are many shelters and residential facilities for at-risk youth in our State, but not a one stop facility that addresses all emergency needs and stabilization interventions for children rescued from human trafficking. Hope Rising hopes their facility will provide what is needed. Barbara wanted everyone to consider this worthwhile project for our next District Grant Project.
Real Provencher also spoke about "Micro Lending" as a potential project to consider in Sierra Leone. Real indicated that the Peace Corps and some other Rotary Clubs have finally figured out how to make this work without local lending crooks charging huge interest rates for the loans so they can get rich from those trying to help. Real said he would talk more about this in future meetings.
Hope Moye, than asked each member to tell everyone how the COVID-19 virus has affected them personally as well as how our club needs to adapt to be able to still help our community. After everyone provided their input, Hope asked Kelly what MISD is planning to do this fall. Kelly explained that it is the intention of MISD to go back to an "as normal as possible" school year unless the Governor
indicates they should not. Kelly gave a 70% chance of this happening because there are still many unknowns at this time that could affect a normal school year from occurring.
The meeting was then adjourned.