Posted by Jeff Benson on Aug 06, 2019
Our guest today was Gordy Backlund from the Fridley Rotary Club.
Many thanks go to the Rotarians, and spouses who showed up to help serve hot dogs, chips and drinks to the overheated Stockyard Days Parade participants.  Although the number of units in the Parade was considerably fewer than would be expected at the normal Thursday evening time slot, the participants were very grateful for the food and refreshments on a very hot and humid afternoon.
The club has been working on criteria for “honorary membership” status and a recommendation will be presented at the upcoming Board meeting.  If the recommendation is approved by the board, it will be presented to the membership for a vote at an upcoming noon meeting.
Charlie Longbella has agreed to head up a committee to enhance our social media presence.  Your input, and possibly your help, will be appreciated.
Check your email for a list of upcoming Rotary events.
Mounds View’s “Festival in the Park” will be held on Saturday, August 17th and our help is needed for the Mounds View Police Foundation’s Bingo and kids games fundraisers.   You can sign up at our August 13 noon meeting.
The Annual Rotary Foundation Dinner will be held at the Delta Hotel in Minneapolis this year.  Let’s have a strong representation from our club this year, as in years past.  Contact Nils Friberg for more information or registration.
Geoff Hollimon reported that the CPY golf ball drop fundraiser went very well last Sunday despite the fact that no golf balls actually made it into the hole.  The event netted $4,027 in much needed funds for CPY.
Cindy Carlson advised us that a new Rotaract club will be chartered.  The newly minted “South Metro Networking Rotaract Club” will celebrate its charter on Thursday, September 12th from 6:30-8:30 at the Black Diamond Restaurant, 5418 Buck Hill Road, Burnsville.  Click here for more info.
For those of you whose interest in Guatemala was piqued by PDG Jim Hunt’s recent presentation to our club, here is the scoop on informational tours of Guatemala:
GLP Tour<> February 1-9, 2020:
Single occupancy $1,875 / Double $1,675
This trip is primarily for Rotarians and their friends and family members, but all are welcome. We spend a week traveling and visiting the GLP projects through the highlands, as well as make time for fellowship with local Rotarians.

Snapshot Tour<> February 18-23 or July 21-26, 2020:
Single occupancy $1,475 / Double $1,375
This trip gives a glimpse into the GLP’s projects and Guatemala in general, with visits to GLP schools as well as tourism (boat ride on Lake, shopping in markets, optional visit to a coffee farm, etc). This is a great intro trip to Guatemala.

Helping Hands Tour<> July 12-18, 2020: Single occupancy $1,575 / Double $1,475 This trip spends all week in beautiful Antigua volunteering at a school in one of the GLP’s programs. You’ll get to work alongside the kids as well as enjoy the beautiful city of Antigua. This is a great trip for families.
CPY could use our help again this year with the kid’s inflatables fundraiser at Stockyard Days.  Sign up online by clicking here.
Dana Rebelein introduced our speaker, Brent Hamoud.  Brent is the former project manager at Kid’s Alive International, author of the book, “Strangers in the Kingdom: Ministering to Refugees, Migrants and the Stateless”, and son of one of our newest members, Jed Hamoud.  Brent moved from the U.S. to Lebanon 12 years ago to better serve refugees and other displaced persons.  Lebanon has by far the highest percentage of refugees of any country in the world with nearly 25% of the population being refugees.  Jed finds it helpful to categorize the displaced people usually thought of as “refugees” into three groups:
- Internally displaced – forced to move to another area within their home country (43 million people).
- Refugees – forced to move outside the boundaries of their country and unable to return (29 million people).
- Stateless – not a citizen of any country (10 million people).
All three groups share the common characteristic of being “out of place” and feel the deep personal crisis of the loss of a sense of home.
Displaced persons face many challenges at least partly due to the displaced status:
- Housing
- Employment
- Education
- Health care
- Legal rights
- Exploitation (human trafficking, child labor abuses)
- Restricted mobility
- Children born into displacement (no citizenship)
- Hopeless future outlook
Brent suggested that we can help to minimize some of these challenges by fostering a place or an atmosphere where displaced persons can experience a sense of belonging.  Even a small effort could have a profound effect.
Brent and Dana are pictured below.