The Wheel for November 21, 2019

by Nov 21, 2019The Wheel0 comments

The Wheel

Donna Foley Mabry – Being an Author

Donna-Foley-Mabry-bioDonna was sixty and thought she was gearing down for retirement when a job making costumes for a Vegas casino came along. They set her up in the girls’ dressing room, where she worked and listened to them talk. It wasn’t long before she thought, someone could write a book about this. So–she did, The Last Two Aces in Las Vegas. The publisher said it was too long, and she had to cut twenty thousand words. She took out one character and turned that into her second book, The Las Vegas Desert Flower. She was off and running. Her most successful book, Maude, the true story of her grandmother’s life, became an international best-seller and spent sixteen weeks on the Wall Street Journal best seller list. It’s been translated into Italian, German, and Russian. A movie is now in the works. Alternating between Vegas mysteries and American westerns, Donna publishes almost twice a year. In March, sixteen years after The Last Two Aces, she brought out her newest story, The Vegas Tycoon. That brings her active title list on Amazon to twenty-five. Her newest venture is into filmmaking. Along with writer, director, actor Shana Gagnon, she’s engaged in the pre-production work of fund raising for a mini-series or film to be based on her international best-seller, Maude. Donna is currently working on two books. One is a modern-day story about two college drama students who find they’re just as good at solving murders as they are at acting. The other is a historical that begins in Kansas in 1899 and goes to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Message From The President

Dear Rotarians,

This past weekend was the 30th Annual District 5300 Peace Conference at Treasure Island. A big Thank you to all who attended and worked hard to increase the attendance. We had around 260 participants which included several attendees under 18. The speakers were amazing and the breakout sessions very informative and at times created profound sadness as well as inspiration.

I want to discuss the breakout session that created the profound sadness. The session dealt with the worldwide epidemic of human trafficking. The two speakers were from an organization called Destiny Rescue. The organization works primarily in Asia where children in many cases are unknowingly placed into the commercial sex trade by their own families. Using their own personal experiences as a motivation to help children, Destiny Rescue team members spend countless hours observing, building trust with the victims and even posing as potential customers. This strategy has great success in stealing them away from this tragic life. But it does not end there. The rescued are given counseling, job training skills, education, healthcare and more to get them reintroduced to society, feeling safe and cared for. The success stories are a beacon of hope.

Back at home in Las Vegas, our city deals with nearly the same tragedy. Our city, depending on what stats you read, ranks about number 7 on the list of US cities with human trafficking.

Some profoundly sad statistics:

  • According law enforcement in Las Vegas, the people most vulnerable to sex trafficking in the city are children under the age of 13 and female. With that said, males in that same age group are also the victims of sex trafficking in the city.
  • A shocking one in three teenagers who end up on the streets of Las Vegas will be lured into prostitution within about 48 hours of departing from home.
  • In addition to homeless youth, who don’t take advantage of shelters, a high percentage of young people who end up the victims of sex trafficking have fled abusive or otherwise volatile homes. Others have run from foster care placements.

What is happening to combat this victimization of our children? LVMPD has not had created a task force. The Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force partners with local, state and federal agencies, local non-profits, faith-based organizations, businesses and community members to address all forms of human trafficking. Thankfully, we have local authorities who are recognizing the need and have responded accordingly.

Back to Destiny Rescue. This organization works internationally where law enforcement agencies may or may not help. Is there anything we, as Rotarians can do to help? Yes, we heard in the breakout session that it takes only $1500 to rescue one victim. Those of us at the Peace Conference discussed the possibility of our 25 Club creating an international service project to rescue one victim. How amazing would it be for the 25 Club to have their local service project, the Canned Food Drive in the first half of the Rotary year and an international service project, perhaps become a Destiny Rescue Partner, in the second half of the Rotary year?

Jackie Thornhill
Las Vegas Rotary Club

Member Highlights

Scribe – November 14, 2019

Las Vegas Rotary Club Meeting:  November 14, 2019

  • President Jackie Thornhill called the meeting to order.
  • Ted McAdam began with a Commemoration of Veterans Day and gave the invocation; Captain Gordon Doughty and the ROTC posted the colors;
  • Ted McAdam called all Rotarians who serve or served in the U.S. Military to the front of the room to be recognized by the Club, then led the club in singing the “Star Spangled Banner” and “U.S. Air Force” followed by the Pledge of Allegiance;
  • The Sergeant at Arms was Rose Falocco;
  • There were (1) International Rotarians, (1) visiting Rotarians and (6) Guests of Rotarians introduced;
  • President Jackie reminded the club about the People of Action Campaign and the international convention in Hawaii. She then provided a status update on Project 140.  There are currently 14 prospective Rotarians. Membership is working on submitting applications;
  • Daniel Liles from Beckley thanked the club for their participation in the Fall Festival and Breakfast with Books; P. Karen Whisenhunt and P.P. Jim Tucker discussed the upcoming voting processes and requested additional nominations.  There was a motion made to close nominations that was unanimously approved.  P.P. Jim Tucker discussed the ballots and explained voting will open on Tuesday and will close Thursday to allow for announcement of new directors to take place at next week’s meeting. 
  • Jimmelle Trijo announced that the final week of the canned food drive is upon us; Deb Granada reminded the Club about the upcoming holiday party; Marie Walsh did a wrap up of breakfast with books; Joakim Nyoni reminded the club of tonight’s Wine to Water at David Lester’s house; Jerry Sennes announced the December 14th highway cleanup and brunch at his house immediately after; Janice Lencke discussed the annual fundraiser and announced a new sponsorship that is available;
  • Michael Williams discussed the Peace Conference on November 16th at Treasure Island and reminded everyone about the Teen Leadership Camp December 6-8th; P. Jim Hunt discussed Santa Clothes and the need for more volunteers for the event specifically for Meadows and Grand Canyon. With a very heavy heart, Brock Fraser gave the Club an update on Ty Hilbrecht.
  • The weekly drawing began at $2,608 plus this week’s donations. The Ticket Winner who received $10 was Jerry Sennes;  the Lawry’s Bucks went to Pete Samuolis;
  • Ted McAdam introduced the speaker – General David W. Snoddy with the United States Air Force, who gave a presentation on the Air Force and Nellis Air Force Base;
  • President Jackie presented our speaker with a “Share What You Can” award to benefit the local USO; The ROTC performed a flag folding ceremony; retirement of the colors and President Jackie then adjourned the meeting.

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