Just-graduated high-school student Mannion O’Conner and Carmel Rotarian Marjorie Nichols Keith, Executive Director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County (CCE-Putnam), tell about the activities of 4-H in the county, with a special focus on the 44th annual Putnam Country 4-H Fair. The Fair, run by 4-H clubs with the help of many volunteers, including the Rotary Clubs of Carmel, Brewster, Patterson, and Lake Mahopac, is on July 24-26 this year (2015). CCE-Putnam is the sponsor of all the 4-H groups in the county. Manion has been involved with 4-H for years, although she is into community service (the Teen Action Group TAG) and puppeteering, not animal husbandry. The Fair will have 4-H-raised animals, however, as well as lots of food, with 4-H lemonade one of the specialties.
Even before devastating earthquakes hit Nepal and surrounding territory in April and May of 2015, the plight of numerous children in that Himalayan nation was desperate. Many young children were being sold by their parents to work in Indian factories; young girls were often forced into prostitution. The Blue Butterfly Foundation, created by Lauren Yanks, has helped save over 2,000 children from trafficking, the use of force or fraud to cause humans to provide labor or sex against their will. In this radio interview, Ms. Yanks tells the powerful story of how the Blue Butterfly Foundation was founded and named. She urges listeners to become aware that their pursuit of evermore inexpensive items and food is contributing to this international tragedy.
The ongoing Vassar project for improving education, health, women’s economy, water purity, and forests in Chermaitre, Haiti, is described by the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Vassar-Haiti Project, Lila Meade, and Vassar student Sarah Oliver. Andrew and Lila Meade founded the project in 2001, partly in a response to the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Its original goal was simply a lunch project at a school in poverty-stricken Chermaitre, but it has evolved greatly. So far more than 350 Vassar students have been involved. The project has also attracted the attention and considerable help from the Poughkeepsie-Arlington Rotary Club. One of the major sources of funding is an annual art show and auction featuring work by native Haitian artists.
Licensed Nutritionist Rufia Payman from Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck describes the ravages of type 2 diabetes and steps to take to prevent the disease. Her primary approach is to put her patients on the Mediterranean diet (mainly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, and nuts) and regular exercise. Ms. Payman runs a free 16-week diabetes protection at Northern Dutchess that helps participants lose weigh and avoid the metabolic syndrome that often precedes type 2 diabetes. Meditation and other stress-reducing activities are also promoted. Often a person who has already crossed the line into diabetes can avoid insulin shots with a suitable lifestyle.