Recap for Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Here’s a recap of our Meeting:
Rita Varner Otness asked all Rotarians to please assist in identifying host families for our inbound student arriving in August.  If you know of someone who would be a great host family, please let Rita know. She will do all the contacting, she just needs names to contact.
Tom Hanson reminded everyone that August 7 will be the Capable Partners fishing day at Pulaski.  A signup will be going around but in the meantime, contact Tom to offer assistance.
Tickets for the Car Raffle will be available next week.  Tyler and his crew have been busy planning. The theme is Oktoberfest so get your lederhosen early and don’t miss our best event of the year (and our ONLY fundraiser of the year)!
Thank you to Mark Kaminski and Mark Boyd for coordinating our Picnic in the Park.  It was a perfect night and Rotarians enjoyed the opportunity to relax and enjoy the evening.
We were entertained by an ensemble from Buffalo Community Theater’s upcoming The Music Man.  Mike Walsh brought in the group and we enjoyed some of our favorite songs from the musical. They are offering discount tickets to Rotarians and their families.  Go to and enter the code mmrotary.
Our speaker on Wednesday was Margaret Yapp from the Lutheran Social Services Refugee Settlement office. 
Margaret shared that to be a “refugee” you must flee your country first, relocate to another country, apply for refugee status and reside in a refugee camp / country until your resettlement papers come through.  This process takes 17 (yes, not a typo) years on average to complete. The other requirement is that your move must be due to the fear of persecution.
Travelers who come to a border and cross because they desire to leave their country and travel to a country with greater opportunity or to live with family are asylum seekers.  LSS Refugee Resettlement office only works with refugees, they do not have programs or work with asylum seekers. 
Funding for refugee assistance is provided by the Federal Government however, the refugee program and refugee camps are operated by the United Nations.
The amount of refugees allowed to enter the United States is set by the President of the US.  In 2017, the level reached its highest ever at 110,000. Even though the limit was 110,000 only 54,000 actually completed the process and entered the US.  In 2018, the cap was 45,000 and 18,200 entered as refugees. Over 25 million people are currently refugees. Some of the biggest camps are Dabaab in Kenya comprised of over 300,000 Somalis and Mae La in Thailand for fleeing Burmese.
Refugees to the US are 39% Burmese (Karen), 17% Congolese, 15% East European and 10% Ethopian.  Somali’s now make up less than 1% of refugees due to difficulties from the Muslim ban in 2018.
If you missed this program, you missed a good one!!  She was very informative and the programming was eye opening.  Thank you Rita Varner Otness for inviting Margaret!!
Have an awesome week!  Until Diane comes to present the new theme for her Rotary year, continue to BE THE INSPIRATION for one last week!!
Kris Dirks
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