Cynthia Ivey & Jill Gonzalez—BookSpring

Posted by on Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Phil Thoden
President Elect Julie Benkoski called the Rotary Club of Austin (RCA) meeting to order. Don Grillo led the pledges and Lois Ann Stanton gave the invocation of the day. Sherry Workman led us in saying the Four Way Test. David Palmer served as greeter and Myron Burse introduced the guests and visitors. President Elect Julie also shared some history about the Four Way Test, noting that it has served as a standard for ethics in business dealings its adoption by the Rotary International in the 1940s. Past District Governor Bruce Golden then provided a 5 minute summary of the very successful 2016-2017 year for our District, notably: our District contributed over $620,000 to TRF, and our Club donated the most we’ve ever given in a single year with over $60,000. He also reported that there were only 37 new cases of polio in 2016, only FIVE new cases to-date in 2017 and the 100th RI Convention in Atlanta was capped off with $1.2 BILLION in pledges from over 12 countries, the Gates Foundation and other major corporations. We’re truly “this close” to eradicating polio in the world! Dean Murray came forward to remind everyone about the Helping Hand Home for Children Splash Bash coming up on Saturday, August 5th. Contact Dean to sign up, whether you can participate for just an hour or the whole time. He called upon Bill Davies to share what’s he’s enjoyed about this event in the past. Bill noted that you get back much more than you give to this annual event aimed at helping children who have suffered much physical and mental trauma in their young lives. Harold Benkoski followed with a brief reminder of our upcoming wine tasting on Friday, August 4th that he and Julie are hosting. Please RSVP with Julie if you can attend! President Elect Julie then made the following announcements:

  • The President Elect of Rotary International, Sam Owori, died suddenly on July 13, and she asked for a moment of silence in his honor
  • Committee preference sheets are available, so be sure to sign up
  • The July Executive Committee meeting has been cancelled and the next one is scheduled in August
  • All parking at St. David’s is now prepaid. If your guest(s) drive to the meeting, they can park in the surface lot in front of the main entrance or use the parking garage at the Austin Centre (behind the Omni at Brazos and 7th)
  • Jack Mayo is still recovering from his fall, and he is missing his friends from the Club. Ronney Reynolds recorded a video of the Club membership wishing Jack well and encouraging him to come back soon to the weekly meeting
  • Last, but not least, the Club sang Happy Birthday to our esteemed Executive Director, Jennifer Olsen. Happy birthday Jennifer!

Todd Coleman introduced our speakers, Jill Gonzalez, Associate Director of Bookspring, and Cynthia Ivey, Bookspring Rx Director. The BookSpring organization builds early literacy through healthcare, education, and the community by increasing home libraries and reading aloud experiences for low-income children and their families. The organization works with over 150 partner sites, throughout Central Texas, including clinics, childcare centers, schools, and other social service agencies to give both access to books and conduct motivational and instructional activities to instill a lifelong love of reading. The speakers updated the Club on what’s been going on at Bookspring through their three main programs of community service: 1) BookSpringRx that builds early literacy in healthcare; 2) BookSpringEd that builds early literacy in education; and 3) BookSpringGo that builds early literacy in the community. They are also thrilled to have a new van to bring books directly to more locations, and the vehicle proudly displays the Rotary Wheel thanks to the support from our Club and others in the area. BookSpring is always in need of children’s books as well as volunteers to pick them up and deliver to various locations around town. This is an excellent service opportunity for anyone with a few hours a month to spare, so please let Todd Coleman or Mary Reynolds know you can help!

Comments are closed.