President's Message
Shellie Peterson
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(970) 507-0500
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The Pagosa Springs Rotary Club is a diverse group of engaged individuals participating through friendship and camaraderie in opportunities to serve our community and other communities around the world.
Ralph Maccarone - Who We Play For
Ralph opened his presentations with an explanation of what had brought him to take on the mission of the organization, Who We Play For, dedicated to providing cardiac screening to students by administering electro-cardio grams (EKG).
Briefly, Ralph’s son, a gifted athlete, stricken by an undisclosed cardiac defect, collapsed on a Florida high school playing field in 2007 when only a sophomore, and died days later.  Three years afterward, Ralph explained, while several of his son’s buddies were students at Florida State University, they formed a foundation in his memory, Play for Rafe.
The group was dedicated to ensuring that school playing fields in the state would be equipped with Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs).  In addition, it lobbied successfully to win passage in 2017 of a Florida law requiring high schools to offer CPR classes.  Today, Ralph said, his son’s former high school has a trainer with an AED present at all times playing fields are in use.
Eventually Play for Rafe merged with Who We Play For.  The organization to date has arranged for cardiac screening of nearly 114,000 students nationally, in seven states.  Upon moving to Pagosa several years ago, Ralph became the local mainstay of the group. 
The key to the screening, he explained, is the administration of an electro-cardiogram, a standard process for identifying cardiac issues, which is not included in a normal medical exam that students are ordinarily required to undergo before participating in high school sports.  A typical exam, he said, may have a 1 per cent chance of detecting a significant cardiac issue.  But with the addition of an EKG, the chance of detection rises to 90 per cent.
The test takes only a few minutes, and the results are read by volunteer cardiologists recruited by the group.  Results are stated as low, medium and high risk.  Those in the latter category need prompt follow-up examinations, and Who We Play For will make referrals.  One in 300 have conditions, Ralph stated, that could result in sudden death if untreated.
Several countries require screening for all students, he said.
Last year in the U.S., 72 students were found in the screenings to have problems needing immediate attention, Ralph told us.  He recalled a girl who was found to have the same issue as his son, and remembered her thanks to him, “for saving my life.”
This year, screening will be provided to Pagosa Springs Middle School students on May 17.  Ralph said that ideally screening should be administered to students both in middle school and high school, because of the physical development which occurs in adolescence.  But unfortunately, he added, the Pagosa Springs High School does not currently participate.
There is a cost of $20 for the screening, Ralph said, essentially the cost of the equipment, since the cardiologists are volunteers.  Ordinarily, he added, the test costs $150.
A concern is that some Pagosa students may decline to participate in the screening because of the cost.  Accordingly, Who We Play For is looking to raise funds to make sure that is not an issue.  $2500, Ralph said will pay for all of the local Middle School screenings.  The organization currently has $1000 available, and is hoping to raise the balance so the screening will be cost-free. 
Ralph said that those wishing to make donations can log on to the organization’s website,, and click on the “donate” button.  He suggested that local donors should include a reference to Pagosa Springs on the comments line when donating, so the funds will be used to support the local screening.   
News & Happenings
We began with an invocation offered by Betty Switzer dealing with gratitude, defined as feeling thankful, appreciating good, and returning kindnesses.  Take a few minutes every day to reflect on those things inspiring your thankfulness, Betty suggested, to help stay on the “right path” and enjoy the blessings around us.
After Betty brought us together with inspiring thoughts, Sue Walen immediately undertook to divide us – but only temporarily for the singing of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” in a three-part round.  Dave Cammack proclaimed that his side of the room had kicked butt, boasting (following the current style of ignoring the evidence) of the stellar quality of its singing.  Your reporter can verify, however, that Dave could be heard to provide considerable effort so far as volume.
Cutting Dave off in mid-spout, President Shellie Peterson then announced, “Here come the clipboards,” beginning circulation of “effort sheets,” for recording time devoted by members to supporting Rotary with muscle, sweat, brain-power, patience, inspiration or whatever (perhaps even volume) where needed to help provide substance to its mission.
While the clipboards started their journey around the room, Shellie looked to welcome guests.  Two, introduced as Murph and Fluffy, had accompanied Betty to the meeting: stuffed puppies gifted to Betty at Christmas, so she could practice “having a real dog.”  Betty pointed out she had proven her mettle as a future dog owner, demonstrating Murph’s well-coordinated, battery-powered ability to walk and wag his tail simultaneously.
Cindy Galabota next reminded all of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program, which supports deserving high school students with a week of camp in June.  Cindy said she and Helen Richardson have succeeded to Roberta Tolan in overseeing RYLA in Pagosa.   Applications need to be submitted in March, Cindy said, and asked Rotarians to encourage promising students to apply.
Jenelle Syverson then invited all to attend Business After Hours to be hosted by Choke Cherry Tree on March 20.  Chile (both red and green), will be served at the Chamber of Commerce organized event, she advised.
Applications for part-time employment by persons experienced in teaching English as a second language were then solicited by Meg Wempe, who explained that the Library was taking over local management of the useful program.
Kim Moore then renewed her encouragement for Rotarians to recruit 2019 event sponsors, with the new concept in place this year of annual sponsorships supporting all four major Rotary fund-raisers, which will include the currently ongoing Ice Melt contest (with the trend in the weather, I’m plunging bigtime for June), Casino Night in May, a concert (on a date currently unknown), and the Barn Dance, to be held (it can now be publicly reported here for the very the first time in a triumphant scoop) on October 19.  What potential sponsor could resist?  Fame and glory for a year!  Just a step removed from immortality!
Following Kim’s reminder to seek sponsorships, details on Casino Night were supplied by Art Benzel.  The gala event will be held May 17 at the PLPOA clubhouse from 7-10 pm, he said, emphasizing that is a changed date.  Games of skill will be contested (blackjack, craps, and Texas Hold-‘Em), and there will be graceful (or otherwise) dancing to the sweet tunes of a combo.
John Richardson announced that the Rotary Scholarship Fund had been gifted $5000 by an anonymous donor, whom he described as a frequent local visitor, but non-resident.  Cody Wilson added that the fund is organized as a 501(c)(3), so donations are tax deductible.
Garrulous Exchange Student Theo Bonlokke reported that the prior Saturday had been the final wrestling tournament of the year, and that on Sunday he had been snowboarding (most likely, one guesses, not for the last time of the year in view of our ongoing blizzard-like conditions).   Increasingly garrulous Exchange Student Cata Acuilera then took the stage to report having attended Winterfest and done some cross-country skiing. 
Betty Switzer then presided in the celebration of February birthdays for Shellie, Helen and Carrie Weiss (absent, for the Weiss’ annual RV expedition).  Alan Roth and wife Eileen were honored for their 34th anniversary.  And Granton Bartz’s 14th anniversary as a Rotarian was noted as well.
Sunshines were offered by Kim in honor of husband Walt’s birthday and her son’s impending parenthood, by Jann Pitcher for the success of Lady Pirates basketball, and Bill Darling for a recent clear scan – one more clear scan in three more months, said Bill, will indicate he should be free of cancer hereafter.
Upcoming District Asseblies
District Assemblies 
Dates and Locations 
Saturday April 13, 2019 in Montrose
Saturday May 11, 2019 in Salida
A District Assembly is conducted to enhance the learning experience delivered at PETS. All club Presidents Elect and Presidents Elect Nominee are strongly encouraged to attend one of the District Assemblies most convenient for them.  The material presented at the assembly will not be a repeat of what you were given at PETS and is not position specific but will cover topics that will help with better club management. Any club member and especially future club leaders will benefit by attending an assembly.
For the Club President Elect we are offering a club incentive "Fill Your Car", for the club PE the cost of the assembly will be $40 which includes lunch and for each additional person only the cost of lunch $15. Each assembly will start at 9:00 am and end at 4:00 pm.
The Montrose District Assembly will be held at the Holiday Inn Express 1391 S. Townsend Ave.
The Salida District Assembly will be held at the Rotary Scout Hut in Riverside Park.
Bulletin Editor
Shellie Peterson
Feb 21, 2019
An Update on Cancer Care
Feb 28, 2019
Haopy Birthday Cata!
Mar 07, 2019
Rotary Serves the Community
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Be Sure To Thank Our Sponsors
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Pagosa Springs Rotary meets every Thursday at 11:45 !          

Pagosa Brewing & Grill    
118 N. Pagosa Blvd.
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147