Rotary Club of Englewood NJ 

We meet each Tuesday at 12:15pm 

Crowne Plaza Englewood 

401 S Van Brunt St, Englewood NJ 07631 

 
Past President Ikuyo visited today along with 16 guests from Japan who stopped off here in New Jersey on their way to the International Conference in Atlanta. Read more about their visit in our Spoke below.........
 
 
 
 
 
 
Englewood Rotary Club – June 6
Meeting Location: Crowne Plaza, Englewood
Presiding:  Jill Abbott
Recorder:  Steve Wiessner
Birthdays/Anniversaries:  None Noted
Visiting Rotarians and Guests: Visiting Rotarians, Past District Governor, Raj Bhatia; Patricia Carerra, President of the Rotary Club of Oakland/Franklin Lakes; Ikuyo Yanagisawa and 12 visiting Japanese Rotarians and three of their wives and one member’s daughter; Guest, Ken Tanner 
Announcements:
Jill made the following announcements:
 
  1. The installation of 17/18 officers will occur the evening of June 20th at the home of Florence and Bob Marchi, 25 Pershing Road, Englewood Cliffs.  There will be no luncheon that day.  Florence noted that we are hoping that Rotarians would consider bringing a food item to the barbecue to keep costs down.  If interested in bringing something, e-mail Florence at grandymarchi@gmail.com . Also, please RSVP to Jill or Janet so we can have an accurate count if you have not done so already.
 
The cost is $30 per person paid preferably in advance, but we’ll also accept payment at the door.  Please bring payment to the 6/13 luncheon or you can mail it to:
         
Englewood Rotary Club
PO Box 412
Englewood, NJ 07631
 
  1. The Banner Exchange will occur on June 29th at The Seasons in Washington Township.   The cost will be $95 per ticket with checks made out to Englewood Rotary Club.
 
  1. The International Conference will be in Atlanta on June 10-14, more information at www.riconvention.org  
 
Other Announcements:
Steve Wiessner announced the Nominating Committee will meet after today’s luncheon
 
Happy Dollars:
Many Happy Dollars for Ikuyo’s return and the 16 guests from Japan that accompanied her who are stopping here on their way to the International Conference in Atlanta.
 
PROGRAM
Ikuyo introduced the contingency from Japan, and there was a banner exchange of our club and the Koriyama West Rotary Club with President Jill and Koriyama West club President Takahashi Miyamoto exchanging. 
 
Ikuyo then reintroduced President Miyamoto and translated his presentation.  Before starting the presentation, President Miyamoto provided two gifts to each of our club’s members and guests, which were a keychain of a red bull, and a card.  The red bull symbolized happiness and good luck.  The mayor of Koriyama added a good luck charm to the gift.  The card also was offered to bring good fortune, although this was presented more as a gift to encourage good financial tidings.  Our club also provided gifts in return to each of our guests from Japan which was a Rotary frame.
 
Mr. Miyamoto then presented a bag which was a gift from the mayor of Koriyama.  The bag included decals, and being that Koriyama is known as the City of Music, 10 limited edition compact discs were also provided to our club members. The CDs were tailored to children who were coping with the effects of the 3/11/11 earthquake and tsunami.  Kids in the areas affected by the disaster were not able to play outside due to the radioactivity near the Fukushima nuclear power plant, so the compact discs were created as exercise videos for children to stay healthy while inside.
 
President Miyamoto thanked our club.  He noted that Koriyama is part of the Fukushima prefecture, which was greatly affected by the 3/11/11 disaster.  He relayed that the earthquake/tsunami was a great disaster for Koriyama and beyond.  The biggest damage that occurred was related to the nuclear power plant’s release of radiation.  Residents felt very vulnerable after the disaster, and many lost everything in the aftermath.
 
The affects to his community were most notably felt on March 12th, which was when the problems at the power plant were manifesting.  President Miyamoto noted that a big problem that was encountered, was that people didn’t know what to do when the radiation release occurred, which was frightening.  To deal with this reality, Mr. Miyamoto made a very difficult decision to move his family 350 kilometers from Koriyama, noting that many others in the community also had to make this life-changing decision.  He stated that a big part of the decision was that he had children in the local schools, and that the radiation levels in the schools was very high.
 
He then showed a video of the disaster.  He noted that over 1,900 people died and 62,000 people evacuated in the Fukushima prefecture due to the earthquake/tsunami.  He noted that there were actually two tsunamis, and it was the 2nd tsunami that occurred about 30 minutes after the first that was more deadly, as people started to return to their homes in the time period in-between which was a tragedy.  The water in the area is heavily contaminated, and it will take 30-40 years for the area around the power plant to be re-inhabited as decontamination is ongoing even to this day.  In all the disaster was responsible for the deaths of nearly 20,000 people and more than 400,000 people required evacuation as noted by the American Red Cross.      
 
President Miyamoto stated that Fukushima was a great cultural area before the disaster, and he said that people in his country and beyond do not want to buy products from the Fukushima area today because they are fearful of contamination.  A sad repercussion of this disaster is that evacuated children from the Fukushima area are not treated well in their new environs, being sometimes bullied and are stigmatized in general.  Another negative outcome for the Fukushima survivors is that others in Japan feel that those affected receive excessive aid from the country which was another sad commentary.  He was hoping that the area around Koriyama could go back to normal as soon as possible, and that children could be happy again and have a great future.
 
At this point, the video ended and the discussion shifted to the Rotary International Global Grant that our club collaborated with the Koriyama West Club.  The original grant was provided soon after the disaster with the great help of Ikuyo connecting our club and District with the Koriyama West Club and working with RI to mobilize the funding.  That grant provided funds to assist a mental health clinic in the Koriyama region which was overwhelmed with the tremendous community need in the aftermath of the disaster.
 
Ikuyo has remained active on this issue and has been a part of the application for another Rotary International Global Grant recently approved to provide funds for the mental health clinic.  This round of funding supports needed supplies for a satellite location of the mental clinic, exchanges of doctors from our region to the affected region, and a children’s book regarding the disaster that was already in circulation to be translated into Spanish.  Our club partnered on this initiative, and provided support towards the translation of the children’s book.      
 
50-50:  There was no 50/50 today
 
Attendance:  20 out of 70, 29%
 
Upcoming Programs:
June 13       Estelle Elbert, Gift of Life
June 20       Installation at the Marchi’s, no luncheon
June 27       To be determined
July 4          Likely no meeting, holiday