Russell Hampton
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Gary Miller
Jun 12, 2020
Being a Rotary Scholar
Jun 19, 2020
For All Ages
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Canton Historian
Jul 03, 2020
Jul 10, 2020
President's Installation Dinner
Jul 24, 2020
Mediators Beyond Borders
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A Promise to Jordan
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
We meet Fridays at 7:30 AM
Avon Old Farms Hotel
279 Avon Mountain Rd.
Avon, CT  06001
United States of America
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January 17, 2020
Bob Crawford
Hartford Wolfpack
We will be meeting in the Seasons Restaurant
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Members Present: 36
Visiting Rotarians: Janis Jerman - New Britain  
Guests: Donna Swanson, Sharon Cable, and Alex Cable - FOCUS Center for Autism
Happy Dollars: $20
Raffle Winner: Sarah Leathers - Paid it forward to the Club
Jolly Lux celebrated her birthday on January 2nd. She said that Rotary is her second family and remembers when Josh Gillooly, who was President at the time, invited her to join. Shortly afterward she and Kurt founded Guiding Light Orphans (GLO) to help the women and children in her village from Uganda. Rotary and GLO have changed her life. 
Happy Dollars 
Natash Haims was very happy to be back a meeting.
Jolly Lux was heading off to a conference in NYC about women involved in meeting sustainable goals. She was heading back to Uganda in four weeks to continue her work with the young women in her village.
Lauren Gardner was very happy for the news received by her mother, Yvonne Gardner, recently. Yvonne is now cancer free after her bout with breast cancer. She was looking forward to sharing information on FOCUS Center for Autism as part of our morning program.
Donna Swanson was very pleased to be speaking at our meeting this morning.
President Heather Pantano thanked Mike Mezheritskiy for covering the last meeting while she was out with sick kids.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
January 15, 2020: Rotary Pub Night at First and Last Tavern 4:30 - 6:30 PM
January 16, 2020: Taste of the Valley Committee Meeting at Dish & Dat 5 PM
March 28, 2020: Tastes of the Valley at Farmington Gardens
September 14, 2020: 37th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at the Golf Club of Avon
Induction of New Members
None Today

None this week.
Community and International Service Grants
Janis Jerman was back again from the New Britain club to receive a $2000 check from the International Service Committee for the Andean Health Project in Equador.
Janis was here on December 8th with the FIBUSPAM project which provides basic health care to the Chimborazo Province. The bring care to the remote villages in the province and have built a 3-story clinic in the main city. Our grant will help fund lens grinding equipment to provide eyeglasses and jobs to local residents.

Panel Discussion from FOCUS Center for Autism
Donna Swanson, Founder, Lauren Gardner, Fresh Start School,
Alex Cable, Alumni, and Sharon Cable, Volunteer
Lauren Gardner introduced the panel and described the contents of information folders placed on each table. Lauren turned the program over to her great-aunt, Donna Swanson, founder of FOCUS Center for Autism. Donna provided a brief history of the Center. Prior to founding the Center, Donna had a private nursing practice and was seeing more children identified on the autism spectrum. She fell in love with these children and decided to approach her husband, Fred, about starting a foundation to help autistic students about 20 years ago. FOCUS Center began at the facility on Dowd Avenue. The program has grown over the years and now includes the Fresh Start School, supportive housing programs in Barkhamsted and Torrington, Autism Services, and the Annex for older students.
Donna explained that anxiety is the most common symptom of autism because sensory issues are prevalent in most cases. One of the sheets in the folder explained the manifestations of anxiety.
A child is diagnosed with autism every 20 minutes. The diagnosis is very complicated due to the wide variety of co-symptoms. FOCUS provides the resources to help deal with these issues. 
Alex Cable is an alumni of the Center who first came when he was eleven. He is now twenty-six. He regularly participates in the panel discussions that FOCUS holds periodically to provide honest perspectives through sharing personal experiences about what works and what doesn't. In addition to autism, Alex has a movement disorder. When Alex hit puberty at age 13, he wanted to show his affection for the young ladies by hugging and kissing. He created his own behavior modification plan by setting a 1000-day goal to control his emotions. He said it worked very well. Alex's mother, Sharon, also contributed her comments. She said that Alex was a wanderer. She had to come up with methods for keeping track of him, so that he wouldn't wander off.
The Fresh Start School services students from age 10 to 21. It is in its 4th year of state certification and needs four more students to reach the goal of 20 students. The school recently added "The Annex" to provide job opportunities for the older clients.
Some of FOCUS's students qualify for support through FAVARH. Alex was one of those students and held several jobs under their work programs. The center does not have a formal relationship with FAVARH but they work together as colleagues. Steve Morris and Donna said they try to create opportunities.
Lauren asked that our members go to their Facebook page and LIKE and SHARE it:

Special Announcements
Dale Bronson wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and he hopes to be well enough to return to the club next week.
Mail Bag
None today.
Photo Credits 
Today's photographs courtesy of Mike Mehzeritskiy
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?