January 7, 2013 Rotogram: 25

Boys State 2012

Rex Ames, Boys State delegate from Starkville High School, was elected as a delegate to Boys Nation. He was supported by our club.

Next Week: Immigration Perspectives

Ricardo Inzunza, who served as Deputy Commissioner of Immigration for President George H.W. Bush, will speak.

2013-2014 Leaders Elected

On Dec. 10, the Club unanimously elected the nominees for next year’s leadership positions: Vice President/President-elect Michelle Amos, Assistant Secretary Jeff Donald, Directors John Forde, Richard Blackbourn, Nancy Walsh and Bobby Crosland.

Rodeo Tickets

The Rotary Classic Rodeo on Feb. 8 and 9, will add to the endowment for the Oktibbeha County guaranteed tuition program at East Mississippi Community College.

Although this event is our marquee fund raiser, the Board of Directors has chosen not to automatically assess members for tickets this year.

Tickets should be picked up today. Members have the option of purchasing or selling the four tickets they are assigned. Members who are not present will receive their tickets by mail.

All unsold tickets need to be returned by January 28. If your tickets are not returned on that date, you will be billed for them at the advance sale price.

Sandy Hook School Fund

Frank Chiles drew our attention to the Newtown, Conn., Rotary Club’s fund for the victims of the Sandy Hook School tragedy. Families and others in the Newtown community who have been affected will receive support for both short and long term needs.

Donations may be made through

our foundation,


or Newtown Rotary Sandy Hook School Fund
PO Box 263
Newtown, CT 06470

Music in McKee Park

Ellen Boles accepted our support check for the Pilot Club’s second phase of the fully accessible McKee Park Music Trail. With the addition of three pieces last year, the trail has six large scale instruments for children to play.

The plan is to add three more and complete the trail this year. An updated rubberized surface and landscaping also are planned.

For the Record—December 17

Invocation and Pledge:         Ed Clynch

Attendance:                                   48.31%

Present — 90 (33 exempt)

Absent — 83 (12 exempt, 10 honorary)

Makeup reported:             Marshall Molen gave the program in Aberdeen.

Guests: Guests of members were Guy Hargrove of Nancy Hargrove, John Guyton of Mark Guyton, Ruth Remy of Keith Remy and Jo Beth Dodds of Russell Dodds. Guests of the Club were  Ellen Boles; John, Sylvia, Sarah and Anna Byrd; Randy, Melissa and Anna Catherine Follett; and Guilia Martinoli, RYE student.


Between the LionsEmerson Family Resource Center at 11:00 a.m

01/08········· Jeff Donald and Martha Wells
01/15····················· Carrie Beth Randall

Brickfire and First Presbyterian at 9:30 a.m.

01/10········· Sarah Fratesi and Linda Karen Smith
01/17····························· Andy Gaston


From Italy to Alligators, Mosquitoes and Catfish

December 17 — Giulia Martinoli, our nineteenth Youth Exchange student since the mid-90s, marked the middle of her year with us by telling us of home.

“One of the first things my dad did when we knew I was coming to Mississippi, he went to Google,” she said. “He told me there were three things about Mississippi — mosquitoes, alligators and catfish for lunch.”

And, one of her first experiences was catfish at Oby’s. She really likes the Southern experience.

From Milan, Giulia is sponsored by Rotary District 2040 which covers almost all of northern Italy. She gave us a taste of her hometown as she spoke of the ducal castle, the cathedral and the  opera house.

The middle child  in a family of five, she has a 19-year-old sister who is studying journalism in college. Her brother is 14 and started high school this year. Dad is a lawyer. Mom is a high school physics and math teacher.

Her interest in international exchange programs began early in life. Her father was a RYE student in California.

“He had a great experience and he put in me the curiosity to know a new culture,” she said. “I like to know new stuff and meet new cultures.”

Unlike other exchange schemes the Rotary program depends on unpaid host families who really want to share cultures. In his introduction of Giulia, Keith Remy said, “This program would be dead in the water without host families.”

Following a 19 hour trip, 17-year-old Giulia experienced the “best welcome ever” from her host families, the Folletts and the Byrds, and her counselors at Golden Triangle Airport on July 31.

“I flew in my biggest plane ever across the ocean,” she said. “Then I was in my smallest plane ever from Atlanta to Columbus. It was so cute.”

Her biggest surprise was the welcome she received at Starkville High School.

“We don’t have softball in Italy, so I wanted the experience,” she said. “I got to play in the Senior Night game.”

Her school experience is distinctly different from home. In Italy, there are five years of high school, so she will have a final year when she returns. The teachers, not the students change classes, so the groups grow very close. There are 29 students in her class in Milan.

Instead of sports teams at school, Italian youth must join extracurricular activities. Giulia has been in circus school since she was eight or nine. She is an acrobat and a juggler.

“It’s my second home,” she said. “I really love it, because it feels like flying.”

In her school system, students are required to study English from the beginning at about six years old.

In response to a question, she said, “When speaking English, I only think in Italian if the sentence is long and complicated.”

Since she was eight years old, Giulia has been a scout. She showed us pictures at the top of a mountain after a week of backpacking, summer camp tree houses instead of tents and a summer sailing project. In Starkville, she has joined the Venture Scout Crew.

She also is locally involved in the Catholic and Methodist youth groups. She noted that American religion is very different from Italy. “There we’re all Catholic and a few others. Here there are so many different religious groups,” she said.

Her plans for the future are not set. One dream is to become an astronaut. In college, she probably will study something dealing with science or math.

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