Immediate Past President Pat Egbert rang the bell and brought the meeting to order at 12:10 pm. He then led the assembled multitude in the Pledge of Allegiance and then invited M Craig to the podium for the invocation. M shared a quote from Martin Luther King.
Today’s greeter was Past District Governor Frank Presson. He introduced guests Cheryl Dickson, who has volunteered at many Catalina Rotary events, Michelle Craig, daughter of M and president of the Tempe South Rotary Club, and past Catalina Club president Larry Beach.
Sharyn Chesser let us know about the acknowledgements the club received at the recent fund raiser/awards banquet for ITK – Integrated Touch for Kids.
Gene Crandall gave us an update on member Dick Stein, who continues his recovery.
Steve Pender dusted off and showed the club a video from 2003 documenting the club’s rodeo pancake breakfast. Check out the clip at the end of this post.
Queen of Hearts
Jimmy Munozcano sold tickets and shuffled the cards this week. Elise Jumbelick missed the Queen, drawing the Seven of Spades.
Sergeant at Arms
SAA of the day Bob Stofft auctioned two tickets to the UA vs. Washington State game. Michelle Craig was high bidder at $45.
Elise Jumbelick contributed to the can in recognition of her birthday.
Happy bucks came from Peter Pritz, Maria Elena McElroy, Bob DeLaney, Werner Kruesi, Jimmy Munozcano, and Irv Mindes.
Elise Jumbelick then raised some additional greenbacks by asking members to “bet” on the gender of her coming baby. After collecting the cash and depositing it in the can, Elise announced that the new baby will be a boy – Anthony James.
Matt Matthewson introduced Daniel Stringham, Rotary International cadre member and a member of the Sunrise Rotary in Tucson. Daniel was one of two in AZ who worked in Nicaragua to help people use smokeless stoves. Today he spoke to us about the Rotary micro credit project in Sonora, Mexico.
Daniel described the evolution of the project from a casual program to something businesslike with a local manager to keep the money churning.
A microloan is a small amount of money loaned to a motivated and enterprising individual with a successful small business but who has no collateral and no access to affordable credit to expand their business.
Most loans start around $200.
Sonora micro loans are small compared with US business loans. The area is in poverty, with people earning a minimum wage from about 3.90 per day and up to $8-$10 for a 12-hour work day.
Rotary works with a micro credit firm called FinReg, a for-profit firm that handles the money granted by Rotary. FinReg charges 4.5% interest, which is the going rate in Mexico. Borrowers are placed in a borrowing group of 4-12 individuals. This is the key to successful repayment because the group takes responsibility. Many of the loans go to women.
Part of process is training people on how to service a loan. Many have never borrowed money before and they need to learn how to do so. Recipients are required to attend a class to learn how to make weekly payments.
100% of contributions to the project are loaned, with 97% paid back annually. The money is re-loaned two times each year.
Typical borrowers are small vendors selling everything from tortillas to cookies and soda.
For many, microloans offer their only chance for a living income.
Benefits from the income microloan recipients earn: Children being able to go to school, improved home living conditions, better food, families being able to stay together in Mexico, and building hope and confidence for a family’s future.
Partners in the microloan grant project are the Nogales SUR Rotary Club and the Tempe South Rotary Club. Other partners would be welcomed.
Pat Egbert thanked Daniel for his presentation and then rang the bell to close the meeting at 1:32 pm.