Posted by Peter Brennan on Oct 29, 2018
Rotary Club of Olympia
The Wheel
Today’s Program: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Midwifery Program in the Central African Republic
Meeting Called to order: President Dan Lehuta @ 12:32 pm
  • Invocation by: Diane Gallegos
  • Pledge of Allegiance led by: Sam Meyer
  • Song: My Country ‘Tis of Thee, led by Gloria Strait
  • Four Way Test led by: Gerry Alexander
Visiting Rotarians

Guest of Rotarians
Happy Bucks – hosted by Jim Leonard
  • Jim Leonard - Kicked off happy bucks by thanking the Rotarians who volunteered over the weekend to clean the Nisqually trail.
  • Nancy Zussy Allen - Just completed with the Sweet Adelines at a national competition in St. Louis, where her group took 7th place.
  • Heather Antanaitis - Announced the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound will kick off their Give Local fundraising effort benefitting many non-profit groups in our community on October 31.  The effort concludes on November 20th
  • Gloria Strait - Was excited for the upcoming production at Harlequin Theater, 1940's Radio Hour, which will kick off the holiday show season.  Tickets will be auctioned at an upcoming meeting, so please be prepared to bid early and often.
  • Ed Obie - Was thankful to be heading to Montana soon to meet family to celebrate his mother’s 104th birthday.
  • Rusty Chalmers - Grateful for all who joined him to clear the Nisqually trail, even one member who admitted to not enjoying yard work in the slightest (his name starts with Gerald). 
  • Fred Adair’s wife Mary Jane passed away last week.  Our condolences, thoughts, and prayers go out to Fred and his family. 
  • Corrina Phillips is still in need of volunteer to pour wine at the Cool Jazz Clean Water event on 11/17.  Please contact her at if you are able to support this important club project.
  • President Dan Lehuta shared a funny story from Caroline Manger which was more appropriate than most.
  • Steve Bean auctioned Joe Scuderi sourdough bread to Debra Stephens for $25 and two tickets to see Capitol Steps at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts for $55 to lucky winner Jay Burney.
Program: Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) Midwifery Program in the Central African Republic
Jim Balz introduced speaker Megan Felling, CPM, LM to share her nine month experience providing women’s health in the Central African Republic (CAR) with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).  Megan has a midwifery practice in Lacey and has taught abroad, in addition to her mission work in CAR. 
MSF (Doctors Without Borders) is an independent international medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or man-made disasters.
Megan left for the CAR in February of 2016.  Approximately 5 million people live in the region that is impacted by the re-engagement of the civil war that began in 2015.  The Pope visited the area shortly after the war began, delivering a message of peace and reconciliation.  The war is divided along religious lines. 
MSF began its programs in the CAR in 1997 and now their reach in the region is among the largest in the world.  Approximately 17,800 babies were delivered by MSF the year Megan was there.  The circumstances are difficult and two MSF workers were murdered in 2017. 
Megan reports that women’s health is generally good in the region, but when it is bad, it is devastating.  She shared three stories of women she cared for while serving in the CAR.  The first was 28 years old and was pregnant with her third baby, this time due to rape.  While she wanted the baby, it wasn’t able to survive.  The second example she shared was a woman who was eight weeks pregnant and did not want the baby, so had been drinking tea to terminate the pregnancy which only risked her own health.  The last was a woman who required a cesarean section delivery and she was treated and released with a healthy baby.
Megan experienced a number of new health issues, including snake bites, malnutrition, and meningitis.  For those wanting to help these efforts, she shared that donations, advocating for refugees and staying connecting to MSF webcasts and social media are all valuable to the organization.
More can be found online at   
Mr. Snappy
Dennis Cooper won a $35.00 gift card to Ramblin' Jack's, donated by the Rants Group.      
Meeting Adjourned: 1:30 pm by President Dan Lehuta