This week we had 38 members in attendance.  The only guest was a visiting Rotarian, Cindy Kasperson, a past-president of the Northbrook Club.  This week John Muno was representing the Park District and Anna Helfman was representing New Trier High School.  John is the Superintendent of Facilities at the Park District.  Ana is the Interact sponsor at New Trier.  
This week we celebrated Rodger Morris’ 43rd anniversary as an active member of our club.  Rodger has had near perfect attendance over the years and he serves his club weekly by keeping track of attendance, collecting lunch fees and selling raffle ticket and frequently sets up the room for our meetings.  He is also keeper of the cash!
Kristen Leahy announced that the WYO and New Trier’s Interact Club raised $400 for Operation Warm.  That amount will supply 16 winter coats to children in need.
This is a reminder that at our special Christmas luncheon on December 17, New Trier’s Swing Choir will be performing and there will be a special meal.  It is important that everyone let the club know if they will be bringing guests for this special occasion.  At list will be available at our meeting on December 10.  If you are unable to attend that meeting, but will be present on the 17th please drop a note to John Thomas at  John also told the club that we would be holding our meetings in the Garden Room for the remainder of December.
Barb Tubekis proudly and gratefully announced that through the efforts of our club, the Volunteer Center, WYO and Skokie School 250 bags of food were delivered to Good News Partners on Chicago’s north side.  It was the most successful food drive coordinated by the Volunteer Center.  Barb read two letters of gratitude, one by a GNP recipient and one from the Jan Harper, an administrator at Good News Partners.
David Birkenstein announced that we have a speaker opening for January 28th and all the dates from February 18th and on.  The club is looking for a person with expertise in climatology
Happy Buck$ this week came from generous members Kristen Leahy, Patti Van Cleave, Fred Schwimmer, Robert Mardirossian, Randy Reeves and Tony Kambich.
The day’s speaker was Harvey Mysel, the president and founder of Living Kidney Donors Network.  His organization promotes education and support for living kidney donations.  The need for kidneys is very great.  When we sign up for organ donation through the DMV when renewing our driver’s license we believe we are making a difference, but the sad fact is that only 1% of the volunteers will be able to successfully donate organs.  Basically you must be in a hospital, usually on life support, so that the kidney or most other organs can be harvested and used for transplantation in a timely fashion.  If a person dies at home or in some accident the vital organs will not remain viable for more than a few minutes within the deceased.
There are over 100,000 people on the waiting list desperately in need of a kidney.  The wait for a deceased kidney donor is generally 5 – 10 years and over 4,500 persons will die each year while waiting.  Virtually everyone can live with a single kidney with no ill effects.  There is a growing movement to use kidneys from a living person, generally a relative of the person in need.  There is a trend of people who elect to donate a kidney without directly knowing the person in need.  This is what John is promoting.  These donors are referred to as non-directed donors.  There is a multiplying effect via this donation.  If a person in need of a kidney has a willing relative but their kidney is not compatible to the recipient, a kidney from a non-directed donor can be used and the willing relatives kidney can save someone else’s life.  Setting up chains like this means that a willing, non-directed donor can, on average impact five other lives.  Another big advantage of living donor kidneys is that they last on average 17 years whereas kidneys from deceased donors last 5 – 8 years.  There is no significant difference in life expectancy whether a person has one or two kidneys.
Kidney transplants, over time, are much less expensive than remaining on dialysis for several years so economics is another reason to encourage more living donors.  Also the recovery time from the surgery has decreased since the surgery is now less invasive.  So if you are wondering how you can make a real difference in several people’s lives consider donating a kidney.