Poliomyelitis by Gladys (Carlson) Spong

Family History with Polio
by Denver Rotarian Rich Spong (Gladys son)

The following article was prepared by my mother about her experiences in surviving polio at the age of 10 in 1923.  She lived on a farm near the very small town of Buffalo in Southeast Kansas, and going to Kansas City to a large hospital for five weeks was a very unusual experience for her in addition to dealing with the consequences and survival from polio.  She lived a full life until she was 80.  She did have a limp with one leg shorter than the other, but she made the adjustment to live with that impairment.  She was a stay-at-home mom to raise my sister and me.  She died of chronic lymphatic leukemia after a short illness.

Poliomyelitis
by Gladys (Carlson) Spong

The International Society of Polio Victims met November 13, 1985, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the discovery of the Salk Vaccine.  The word polio is a clipped form of Poliomyelitis; only the latter term and “infantile Paralysis” were used for the very rare cases in the early 20’s.  I had never heard of the disease when I became a victim; children today hear of polio as a vaccine.

In the fall of 1923, I began to have a stiffness in my back as I sat at my school desk.  I could not bend to either side to select a book in the desk, so I would slide forward in my seat until I could see inside my desk.  I had no idea what caused the problem.  It was only by retrospect in adulthood that I realized my back stiffness must have been an early poliomyelitis symptom.

Daddy came to get us at school with a team and lumber wagon on a cold and rainy October day.  I was extremely chilled during the wagon ride.  A fever developed.  Dr. Riley was called to our country home.  He could not diagnose a reason for my ailment.  My illness continued through the week; sometimes I couldn’t get up from a sitting position or a knee would give out when I walked.

One evening while my parents were milking the cows, the aroma of freshly baked bread tempted me to venture to the kitchen for a sample.  I got to the cabinet by bracing myself on furniture and walls.  My hand slipped under the dish towel cover and broke off some crust of the second loaf.  As I grasped the crust in my hand, my knees buckled under me and down I went to the floor.  All attempts to pull myself up failed, so I returned to the bed by crawling, hoping Mother would not scold me for breaking off a tasty morsel of warm bread.  The next morning, Mother called the doctor about my condition.  I did not have a fever, so Dr. Riley told mother, “Send Gladys back to school.”

Mother replied, “But Doctor, she isn’t able to go to school; she is having problems with her knees.”

After some thought, Dr. Riley requested, “Bring her to my office right away so I can check her condition again.”

My left knee repeatedly gave out.  Mother and Daddy supported me as I walked to the car and into the doctor’s office. I was lifted to the patient’s table, my legs dangling.  With the side of his hand, Dr. Riley tapped my legs just below the knee.  There was no reflex there or at my ankles.  The doctor looked up at my parents and said, “Get Gladys on the next train to Kansas City and the Bell Memorial Hospital (now University of Kansas Medical Center).  I will meet you there in the morning to see that her case is in the hands of the top doctor.  Get some formaldehyde candles to fumigate your house before the other children return to it.”

Arrangements were made for Grandpa Anderson to come stay with mother.  Our minister and evangelist were to be at our home for a noon meal, so my mother put a note on the screen door telling them of the situation and requesting their support through prayer.  Daddy and I were soon on the train en-route to Kansas City.  A first train ride should be exciting, but I had mixed emotions, wondering just what was to happen in the days ahead.

The Union Depot in Kansas City was overwhelming to me-spacious with so many people.  Men cleaning high windows looked like tiny flies because they were so far away.

A taxi ride to the hospital was another new experience which led to many happenings in the hospital.  After checking in at the hospital, a nurse took me from Daddy to a children’s ward.  She began to undress me.  Off came my wraps, then dress, petticoat, bloomers, and panty-waist.  I protested, “ I don’t take these off when I go to bed.”  Mother had us children sleep in some underthings so we wouldn’t get chilled if we kicked off the covers at night.

I was really shocked when the nurse pulled off my long stockings and next my long underwear.  I felt as if I were walking in a tent as I was led to a crib-type bed wearing only a big, starchy gown.

The outcome of that protest was that after sleeping in only a gown while in the hospital for five weeks, I refused to ever sleep  in underthings again.  It took some time to convince my sisters that wearing only a gown was a much more comfortable way of sleeping.

Dr. Riley arrived early the next morning and brought Dr. Major to my bedside.  I was transferred to a private room in quarantine for three weeks.  Daddy had to wear a white tie-around gown when he came into my room and disinfect his hands after visits.

The paralysis continued to progress until my whole side was paralyzed on the third day at the hospital.  Dr. Major would put his hand under my head, lift upward, and my body would raise from my heels as if I were a post.

Dr. Major and an intern wheeled a stretcher to my bedside, moved my stiffened body onto it, then wheeled me up the elevator to a lecture room.  A gallery of medical students were waiting for their class session.  Dr. Major appeared beside me with an open Bible and began to read.  I was filled with fear.  “What is happening here?  Here I am prone on a stretcher covered with a white sheet to my chin, my body paralyzed on one side and a Bible being read to an audience.”  I soon realized that my doctor was teaching a lesson on poliomyelitis to the interns, beginning with a possible polio case from the Bible.  I would have preferred that he continue to read instead of raising my body to illustrate his lecture.

My spine was tapped three times and the nurses gave me massages daily.  My paralysis gradually left, but I was unable to walk.  Two nurses would take me up and down the hall to help me learn to walk again.  On the first tries my legs just dangled without control.  Little by little, I regained some use of them; I could limp along with the aid of one nurse.  What a thrill to learn to walk again!

The last two weeks of my hospital stay were in a women’s ward.  With my regaining walking skill, I roamed about the ward to visit with the other 13 patients.  I learned their names and something about their ailments.  Observation of some of the nursing details prompted me to say, “I will never be a nurse.”  That statement didn’t hold as in middle age I took a nurse’s aid course and found the floor-training duty very satisfying.

One day Dr. Major and a bone specialist from Wichita came to my bedside.  Dr. Major said, “Gladys, how would you like to go home for Thanksgiving?”  Because I had been in the hospital five weeks, it was exciting news to me.

The next day, I dressed in a new, red wool serge dress that Mother had made for me.  I felt like a  new person to be in a dress, shoes, and stockings and able to walk again.  I was tired of hospital gowns, robes, and house shoes.  Proud of my red dress with the pleated skirt, I walked around the ward to tell each of my patient friends goodbye.

Mother had come to be with me the last two weeks.  We were to leave by taxi for the Union Station after lunch.  As we waited, full of excitement about going home, a nurse came with a wheel chair and asked me to sit in it.  I had been walking unaided for several days.  “Why should I be put in a wheel chair?”  I thought.

Without a word to Mother, I was wheeled away, up the elevator, and into a surgery room.  They lifted me onto an operating table and began to wrap gauze on my left leg, then spread it with plaster of Paris, more gauze, and plaster until my leg was encased in a heavy cast.  The purpose was to hold my heel tendon in place so it wouldn’t tighten during my first weeks of walking again.  I was told that it should be on my leg for three weeks, when I could return to the hospital to have it removed.

A nurse returned me to Mother in the wheel chairs, my leg encumbered with the awkward cast.  I had anticipated waling in the train station, into our home for Thanksgiving and back to school.  I was wheeled to the taxi and through the Union Station to our train.  I hobbled about with the cast during three weeks of school.  Finally, there was another train trip to Kansas City to get the cast removed before Christmas.

Mother continued to massage my legs daily for many months.  Dr. Major’s instructions for other therapy were for me to do much swimming and skating.

My whole left side is smaller than the right side and the left tendon restricts the action of my left foot.  Restricted ankle action had caused many falls for me throughout the years.  I’m grateful for a good recovery.  Much credit is due Mother for her faithful massaging and Dr.. Riley for promptly sending me to the hospital and getting the top doctor for my case.  Dr. Major did not accept credit for my recovery.  His comment was: “Higher powers than ours have had a hand in your recovery.”

Thanks to the Salk vaccine, polio cases are rare today in the United States.

Twenty-five years after declaring “women’s rights are human rights,” there’s still much to do

Professor Ved Nanda, Rotary Club of Denver

The unprecedented global attention necessary to combat the relentless coronavirus pandemic has for now pushed aside the ambitious plans by women’s rights advocates to focus on “a truly transformative agenda on gender equality and girls’ and women’s rights” in 2020, a “milestone year,” to accelerate action for its realization.

One hundred years after the first International Women’s Day was held, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark declaration that “women’s rights are human rights,” at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, which raised the clarion call for gender equality. The representatives of 189 countries attending the conference committed to implement the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action — a visionary blueprint calling for the empowerment of women and presenting a comprehensive plan for action.

A major international development to further the realization of women’s rights was the adoption in October 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which included among its goals the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls. Targets to measure the goal’s progress include discrimination, violence against women and girls, harmful practices, unpaid care work, lack of participation in decision-making, and inadequate sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

Notwithstanding the repeated reaffirmation of the Beijing commitments by governments unilaterally as well as at the United Nations and regional forums, a reality check demonstrates that the Beijing Agenda remains unfulfilled. The progress is uneven, ad hoc, slow, and, on certain issues, superficial. Fundamental protections are often lacking and not even a single country in the world has realized the goal of gender equality.

What is the current status? Despite the great strides in the fight for gender equality, including gains in girls’ education, legal reforms to address domestic violence, removing discriminatory laws, and impressive gains for individual women in many countries, gaps remain. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres reported last year, based on data from more than 100 countries, that 18% of women and girls had experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence in the previous 12 months. Reporting on progress toward gender equality, he said: “Gender equality continues to hold women back and deprives them of basic rights and opportunities. Empowering women requires addressing structural issues such as unfair social norms and attitudes, and progressive legal frameworks that put men and women at the same level.”

Data from 90 countries shows that women spend roughly three times more hours per day doing unpaid care and domestic work than men. Millions of girls and women have been subjected to the practice of female genital mutilation, and 32 million girls are still not in school. The role of women in peace and security negotiations is almost non-existent. To illustrate, women’s participation is not clear in the proposed peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

In addition to discrimination in law and practice, gender-based violence, and harmful gender norms and inequality, institutional barriers remain to equal participation in society. Laws, regulations, and workplace policies force women out when they become pregnant or keep them from returning to work after childbirth, resulting in persistent disparities in women’s income and economic security. Deep-rooted power imbalances due to social, political, and cultural barriers remain a grim reality. Poor sexual and reproductive health information and services lead to high rates of disease and death worldwide for women and girls. A recent U.N. report found 91% of men and 86% of women show some gender bias against women. And a World Bank report says that women have only three-quarters of the employment rights enjoyed by men, while men still control three-quarters of parliamentary seats worldwide.

In the U.S., as of March 2020, women still make 81 cents overall for every dollar earned by men, according to PayScale, a company that collects data on wages.

The World Economic Forum, which annually surveyed the global gender gap for 14 year, reports that it will be a century before women the world over enjoy equal rights with men.

Measures to fight the coronavirus pandemic, such as school closures, quarantine measures, stay-at home, and lockdowns, are further likely to disproportionately impact women, as they generally assume responsibility for care. Domestic violence rates may increase. Migrant domestic helpers are being adversely affected, with little opportunity for assistance. And another wild card likely to impact women disproportionately is climate change, as families will be displaced.

Last month the U.N. Human Rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, warned of a risk of setbacks to women’s rights as they are being threatened and attacked. Similar concern was recently expressed by the secretary-general.

Common sense and also evidence-based actions to advance girls’ and women’s rights and close the equality gap include the following: countries should adopt policies and enact laws to proactively advance gender equality and equal representation and participation of women in all spheres; countries should repeal discriminatory family laws — marriage, divorce, inheritance, custody, and guardianship; governments should outlaw and eliminate domestic violence and harmful practices such as child marriage; countries should directly invest in women and girls and in support of organizations that are working to change legal, social, and political systems to expedite progress; and governments should protect women’s human rights defenders.

The current situation should not be allowed to derail the focus on achieving gender equality.

Ved Nanda is Distinguished University Professor and director of the Ved Nanda Center for International Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. His column appears the last Sunday of each month and he welcomes comments at vnanda@law.du.edu.

 

World needs a more inclusive, just society. But will that be result of coronavirus pandemic?

Professor Ved Nanda, Rotary Club of Denver

Leaders are aptly occupied today with the critical questions, when and how to lift which restrictions to reopen the economy? And how should they strike the balance between two equally important priorities: ensuring health and safety and restoring the economy?

Beyond considering these essential concerns, futurists, thinkers, and some politicians are losing sleep over the long-term ripple effects of this deadly pandemic. “What will the clichéd ‘new normal’ look like within nations and globally?” they ask. Focusing on the global scenario, will the US-led global order that we have known since post-World War II – based on democracy, free markets, human rights, and the rule of law – survive?

How will the currently interconnected and interdependent world fare? Pointing to globalization’s fueling of financial crises, spurring  deregulation, deemphasizing national sovereignty, and furthering the divide between the rich and the poor, critics ask, “Is this the end of globalization?”

One commentator has explained the options: Will the results follow the outcome of World War I or of World War II? Weak institutions were formed after 1918, leading to protectionism, nationalism, and economic depression. But after 1945, cooperation and internationalism gave birth to the Marshall Plan, Bretton Woods, the United Nations, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the IMF, and the World Bank. Optimists will argue that globalization, multilateralism, and international cooperation will certainly prevail to address global challenges: witness the current collective medical and scientific efforts to combat COVID-19.

And countries will still be involved in international trade – goods, services, and capital will cross borders and people will travel abroad. Pessimists contend that nationalism certainly has been on the rise. All BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) are fiercely nationalistic.Current trends show that feeling the sting of unreliable and vulnerable supply chains and driven by the need for self-reliance and self-sufficiency to effectively combat a future pandemic, the outcome could be reinforced nationalism, isolationism, and authoritarianism.

International institutions have played little role in meeting the current crisis. The World Health Organization, underfunded for decades, is being criticized for its allegedly inadequate response to the coronavirus (WHO’s director was hesitant to declare an international emergency).

The International Monetary Fund is also seen as ineffective. The only United Nations body that under its charter can take action in response to global dangers is the Security Council, which has been eerily silent. Regional institutions in Asia and Africa are now filling the needs of those areas. Obviously, the future is uncertain, and both positive and negative scenarios are getting lots of airtime. What’s most likely to happen on the economic front is that this pandemic could push half a billion people into poverty. Coronavirus will be used as an excuse by rich countries to further decrease their development aid to poor countries most urgently in need.

The major deficiencies in our current system of overreliance on markets and profits is leading the states to expand their authorities and become stronger, taking control over healthcare and labor issues. For example, the Spanish government has nationalized hospitals, France is even considering nationalizing large businesses, Denmark is providing income to people for not going to work, and several states are making housing freely available.

Most observers have lamented the lack of American leadership in these difficult times. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt is not alone in noting that “the White House has trumpeted ‘America First’ and ‘Everyone Alone’ for years,” and the U.S. has walked away from its globalleadership. In fact, it has revoked international treaties, rejected international obligations and cooperation, built walls, and imposed anti-immigration policies. China is filling the vacuum, but also acted irresponsibly.

In the end, the need is to create a more inclusive and just society and a system based on international cooperation to solve global problems. The U.S. leadership, now absent, is key to making it happen.

Ved Nanda is Distinguished University Professor and director of the Ved Nanda Center for International Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. His column appears the last Sunday of each month and he welcomes comments at vnanda@law.du.edu.

 

Call to Action: COVID-19 Disaster Relief

Dear Members of Rotary Club of Denver,

As announced during our April 2nd club meeting, we have important news! In response to the current coronavirus pandemic and urgent needs in our broader community, the Denver Rotary Club Foundation (DRCF) and Club 31 have identified funds to be donated to immediate causes.

Utilizing its financial resources, DRCF has responded decisively to past floods, hurricanes and other emergencies, and it is doing it again with COVID-19. The foundation trustees approved a $5,000 disaster response grant, plus $5,000 more from unallocated “new project” funds as part of the 2019 grant cycle. Fifty years ago, Cub 31 Rotarians established our foundation and over the years it has given millions of dollars to fund essential local and international Rotarian-supported projects. When it comes to the impact of DRCF, Club 31 can be very proud! As we finish our 50th anniversary celebration year, what better way than to support our community as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future.

In addition, the club board of directors approved a $6,000 club contribution to DRCF to be added to the above grants for immediate COVID-19 response. This amount represents a sum equivalent to the meal cost savings over the four week period as in-person meetings were canceled. This morning we learned that District 5450 awarded us $1,500 of additional matching funds.

This totals up to $17,500 so far, and we think club members might want to participate individually and increase our impact. We invite you to make a contribution of which 100% will go towards COVID-19 response. We already have our first contribution of $1,000 to get us started! Here is a DRCF dedicated link to make a donation:

CLICK HERE to Donate Now

As for specifically how the money will be distributed, Carter Sales, incoming President of DRCF, has assembled a committee of Rotarians who will evaluate the best opportunities for impact and authorize the immediate distributions of funds. If you have suggestions for the committee and want to be of help to Carter, please reach out to him directly. They plan to begin their work next week.

If you did not join us the last two weeks as we held Thursday club meetings online, then please try to next week. Same time, different place. Bring your own lunch! If you have had trouble with the technology, then please reach out to Darlene or Lauren. Yesterday we had 97 participants including Rotarians and guests. It’s surprisingly dynamic and FUN!

In service to you and our communities,

Alison Clark-Hardesty
President, Denver Rotary Club Foundation

Jim Johnston
President, Rotary Club of Denver

Rotarians Doing What We Do Best!

Call to Action During COVID-19
I’ve been thinking a lot about the aging and the disabled population that we have here in Denver and how much a lot of them are struggling at the moment as a result of this social isolation.

While this isolation is necessary to protect each other and our community, there are a lot of people who aren’t able to do things like go out to get groceries, pick up their mail, or make sure that they have the right kinds of supplies to weather this storm. On top of that, the people that would normally be able to sit with them to keep them company aren’t being allowed in right now, which makes loneliness a significant concern.

These are people who are both members of our Club and members of the community at large…
I think we have an opportunity to really make a significant impact in our Club, on this community, and keep our distance socially, if we organize for some of the following service opportunities.

  • Grocery delivery
  • Calls, letters, etc. to help fight the inevitable loneliness that I’m sure they’re going to be feeling
  • Picking up mail or packages to be sent out or retrieved
  • Making sure that urgent supplies are provided for
  • And, of course, a funding drive to pay for things that they may not be able to afford at the moment

Some people are going to be more comfortable with more of these things than others, and that’s ok. But if we have some people who are willing to pick up groceries from the store and drop them off on doorsteps, some people willing to make calls, etc.

We can do something pretty amazing for some pretty vulnerable populations in Denver – inside and out of our Club.

Please fill out the survey below to let us know how you would like to serve during this time.

Call to Action Survey

Thank you for your service,
Ian Campbell

President-Elect Nominee & VP, Communications Team

_______________________________________________________________________________

How Can We Help You? 
We have teams of Rotarians who have stepped up to help each other and ready to serve.  We just need to know how we can help you!

This is an incredibly difficult time, there’s no question about that.  The need to isolate is wearing on all of us and revealing needs where we never thought we might struggle.

While this isolation is necessary to protect each other and our community, we know that many of us aren’t able to do things like go out to get groceries or make sure they have the right kinds of supplies to weather this storm.

Fortunately, this is where Rotarians shine.  We have teams of people ready, willing and able to help make sure your groceries get to your doorstep, make sure that you have the things you need to make it to the other side of this shelter in place time, and even just to pick up the phone and chat for a bit if you’re bored and need someone to talk to.

I know that it’s never comfortable to ask for help, but we’re here to step up and serve you.  You’ve done so much for us, now it’s time for us to give back.

Please fill out the survey below to let us know how we can help you during this time.

Let Us Know How We Can Help!

Thank you for your service,
Ian Campbell
President-Elect Nominee & VP, Communications Team

Polio Eradication Update For The Week Ending 04/04/20

Polio Eradication Update
For The Week Ending 04/04/20

Our Goal is Global Polio Eradication!

PolioPlus: Zero Is The Magic Number! 

Advocate, Donate & Educate to END POLIO NOW & FOREVER!
                                                         19,000,000 Children Saved from the Paralysis of Polio Since 1988                                                                                      

Total paralysis cases Year-to-date 2020  

Total

2019

Total

2018

 

Total

2017

Total

2016

Globally 39 175 33 22 37
– in endemic countries: 39 175 33 22 37
– in post-endemic countries: 0 0 0 0 0

Wild Polio 2020 cases reported this week:
Pakistan 3, Afghanistan 1, Nigeria 0

 2020 Wild Polio Case Breakdown by Country (Numbers in () are 2019 Totals)
Endemic Countries – 36 Pakistan (2019-146), 3 Afghanistan (2019-29),0 Nigeria (2019-0)

Terry Ziegler, bigzlumber@aol.com Rotary Region 26 Endowment/Major Gifts Adviser

Rotary International COVID-19 Pandemic Response

Dear Rotarians,

In every corner of the world, it seems that not a single person or community is unaffected by COVID-19. You may be wondering how to stay focused on our work eradicating polio when we are dealing with a pandemic caused by a virus for which there is not yet a vaccine — a situation similar to what the world faced with the poliovirus not so long ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic response requires worldwide solidarity and an urgent global effort. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), with thousands of polio workers and an extensive laboratory and surveillance network, has a moral imperative to ensure that these resources are used to support countries in their preparedness and response.

We can be proud that in the ever-connected world of global health, the polio infrastructure that Rotarians have helped build is already being used to address — and stop the spread of — the new coronavirus, in addition to serving countless other health needs. In Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, where polio personnel and assets have a significant presence, workers from all GPEI partners are engaged in surveillance, health worker training, contact tracing, and more. In 13 countries, polio volunteers have been deployed to address COVID-19 preparations and response.

We recognize that the COVID-19 emergency means that some aspects of the polio eradication program will be affected. While addressing the new challenges of today, the most important thing that Rotary members can do to continue the fight to end polio is to sustain our commitment. We are aiming to reach our fundraising goal of $50 million this year so we can work to safely reach all children with the polio vaccine. In the midst of a global pandemic, we understand that attention to polio eradication will be diverted, and this makes it all the more vital for Rotarians to remain strongly committed to fighting polio and not let our progress be eroded.

It is imperative that we remain committed to our work eradicating polio. Learn more about how our work fighting polio is supporting the COVID-19 response and consider making a contribution to PolioPlus.

Kindest regards,

Mark Daniel Maloney
2019-2020 President, Rotary International
Gary C.K. Huang
2019-2020 Chair, The Rotary Foundation

Polio Eradication Update

Polio Eradication Update
For The Week Ending 03/28/20

Rotary’s World-wide 2019-20 Rotary Year Polio Fundraising Goal is $150 Million – Including the Gates Foundation $2 to $1 Match

 Our Goal is Global Polio Eradication!

          PolioPlus: Zero Is The Magic Number!

 Advocate, Donate & Educate to END POLIO NOW & FOREVER!
               19,000,000 Children Saved from the Paralysis of Polio Since 1988                                                                                      

Total paralysis cases

Year-to-date 2020

 

Total

2019

Total

2018

 

Total

2017

Total

2016

Globally

35

175 33 22 37

– in endemic countries:

35

175 33 22

37

– in post-endemic countries:

0 0 0 0

0

Wild Polio 2020 cases reported this week:
Pakistan 2, Afghanistan 0, Nigeria 0

 

2020 Wild Polio Case Breakdown by Country (Numbers in ( ) are 2019 Totals) Endemic Countries – 33 Pakistan (2019-146), 2 Afghanistan (2019-29), 0 Nigeria (2019-0)

 

Terry Ziegler, bigzlumber@aol.com Rotary Region 26 Endowment/Major Gifts Adviser

Celebrate Scholastic Art Awards – A Message from Chair Todd Bacon

by Scholastic Art Awards Chair Todd Bacon

It felt like someone had knocked down our sand castles and kicked the sand in our faces.  The Awards Ceremonies for the Scholastic Art Awards were all set for Saturday, March 10th, at the History Colorado Center, and the day before, History Colorado made the painful but necessary decision to close the museum.  Just two weeks earlier, ten volunteers had spent three days curating and installing the exhibition, which was to be on display until March 28th. Suddenly, in an instant, all the work by the students, their teachers, and the Scholastics volunteers was locked away inside the museum.  

Having recently retired, I was able to participate in Scholastics even more than I had in the past.  Like any endeavor of this sort, the more involved one is, the more one understands and appreciates all the effort that goes into it.  I was invited to participate as a judge in photography. The judging was held over a three-day period at the UCD Visual Arts Department offices in LoDo.  In all, there were 42 volunteer judges and proctors enlisted in this critical and rewarding process.  

On the day that I was a judge, all the judges in the different media met in a hallway.  As we introduced ourselves (see photo #1 below), I was struck by the high level of qualifications and the commitment of the people gathered there.  Most were retired with 25 or more years of teaching experience at the high-school or college level. For example, Robert Dorsey, who had been scheduled to speak at our annual Rotary luncheon, is a fine-art photographer, a retired art teacher, and the former chair of the Fine Arts Department in the Mapleton School District, which has 18 schools in North Denver.  

The 1,002 entries in photography were divided in half to make the judging more manageable.  We worked in teams of two judges and a proctor, who helped us with the mechanics of the digital judging process and to answer any procedural questions.  We ended up giving out 118 awards, which shows the highly competitive nature of Scholastics.  

Once the students and teachers were notified of the winners, the art needed to be prepared for the exhibition and delivered to the History Colorado Center.  For the first time, I was able to participate in the installation process. In past years, I would go to the museum for our luncheon and see all the art on the walls of the atrium without giving much thought as to how it got there.   I never realized or appreciated how much work goes into displaying the artwork. 

The artwork was sorted by category, such as painting, drawing, fashion, sculpture, and photography.  Then, it was determined where each category would be installed in the museum. After that, the pieces were laid out on the floor in groupings, perhaps by color, theme, or style, to make some sense of how to hang the pieces in the “salon style” necessary to fit everything into the allotted spaces (see photos #2 and #3 for the photography curating prior to hanging).  Fortunately for me, I was working with volunteers who had been through this process many times before. All I had to do was grab my hammer, a nail, the right piece of art, and the right placard and then bang away at the direction of the more experienced people.

I made a visit to the museum just before it closed down to take some photos of the exhibition, when a group of students and teachers from Pinnacle Charter High School happened to come in (see photos #4-10). The four teachers and the students manifested great excitement in seeing their pieces hanging in the museum, and they took turns photographing each other in front of their work.  To me, this is what Scholastics is all about. Sadly, this public sense of community and pride in achievement among the students, their family members, and their teachers are what we missed this year with the cancellation of our events.  

Next year, hopefully with the financial assistance of the Denver Rotary Club Foundation, we’ll be able to help the students build their sand castles once again.

(Update: Colorado’s 79 Gold Key winners in photography went on to compete at the national level in New York City, where they ended up bringing home 5 Gold and 4 Silver Keys!)

To view the Best in Grade, American Vision, and Portfolio winners, please click here.

Club 31 Welcomes New Members

 

Kimsey Self
Founder & Owner
Progressive Health and Wellness

Date Joined:  12/17/2019
Rotary Sponsor:  Ben Allen & Evening Membership

 

Kimsey Self is the founder and owner of Progressive Health and Wellness.  Her passion for health began at an early age and has never waned. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Fort Lewis College, Kimsey has completed the Master Nutrition Therapy program from the Nutrition Therapy Institute (NTI) and is currently pursuing her PhD in Natural Medicine from Quantum University of Integrative Medicine, a school specializing in degree programs in natural and integrative medicine based on the science of quantum physics.  She has also completed additional training in functional medicine, including Functional Blood Chemistry, Functional Brain Chemistry, and Integrative Psychology. and still regularly attends medical and business conferences.

Kimsey strongly believes that education is paramount to success. She has been a guest speaker on Denver’s 9NEWS, CBS Radio, the Michael Brown KHOW radio show, and many other podcasts and media outlets. All credentials aside, her clients describe her passion as “infectious”, her humor as “contagious”, and her methods as “effective.”  Kimsey is all about getting results while having a good time doing it.

In her spare time, Kimsey loves running with her dog, hiking, yoga, snowboarding, and spending time with friends and family.

 

Kate Richards
Membership Sales Manager
Downtown Denver Partnership

Date Joined:  2/18/2020
Rotary Sponsor:  Chad Tyler & Membership Team

 

Kate Richards has been managing the membership sales department at the Downtown Denver Partnership for three years.  Before this role, she was at the Parker Area Chamber of Commerce as their Membership Director.  Kate is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, having studied public relations, event planning and tourism.

Kate and her husband Nick have lived in Colorado for nine years this August.  She and her husband recently welcomed their first child, Benjamin, in July and they are celebrating their 9-year wedding anniversary next week.

In their free time (which is little these days), they enjoy snowshoeing and hiking (they have tackled fifteen 14ers so far!) and have been known to brew a few batches of beer for friends and family to enjoy.

Kate is excited to join Rotary 31 and is personally tied to the cause, her Aunt Sally was one of the last recorded cases of polio in the state of Iowa.  She has a deep respect for our work and is eager to get involved.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.