Club Newsletter
The Rotary Club of Wakefield,
Rhode Island
Thursday, 09/3/2020
Place & Time:
Virtual ZOOM Meeting
Meeting Thursday @ Noon

  • Pledge of Allegiance  - Dick
  •  Object of Rotary poster was referenced.
  • Moderator:  Glen Zibolis
  • Reporter Judy
Christine Payne - Guest Speaker
Club Business and Announcements
Presidents Announcements and Club Business:
Charitable Budget - 10K set aside for this year. Wakefield Rotary has funds to disperse if needed.
Motion: Elizabeth made a motion to approve the budget for 2020-2021. Ed seconded the motion.
Discussion: Bob Horrocks expressed concern over lack of support for International giving and noted that in recent years international budget has seen significant cuts.
-RI and District site has an emphasis is on international support. Dick explained that the board has developed the budget that addresses the challenges all face during this unprecidented worldwide pandemic.
Members comments:
Ed: expressed support for the budget and a preference to focus on assistance to local residents in need.
Elizabeth asked members to consider providing support to a request for International support later in the year should current budgeted funds or from the Wakefield Foundation be accessed.
Linda  would like to see funds for scholarship increased from 1K to 2K.
Chris - pointed out that events take time to plan and grow. Wakefield Foundation continues to  pay all the current scholarships.
Bob Horrocks proposed an amendment to the original motion to split funds equally for both local and international projects. The motion was seconded by Chris.  Dick called for a vote. The majority of members voted not to split funds equally. The motion was not accepted.
Dick called for a vote on the original motion to accept. The majority of members voted in favor of accepting the budget as presented.
Please pay your dues if you have not done so already. Thank you.
The club received a check from the district  for COVID Disaster Relief.  Dick said the new District Governor is visiting next week.
Westerly Project
Westerly Club  is the point of contact for a district wide initiative  called "Operation Senior Quarantine Cheer" which sends cards and letters to Veteran residents living in the Veteran's Home.  Great idea!  Will send a reminder via email.
Good morning Charlene,
Hoping all is well your way. My President, Rona Mann recommended that I reach out to regarding a community need. I am proud to call myself Rotarian. All that we do is truly about community. I am an Army veteran of 23 years and am now a Spanish teacher at Westerly High School. I am also very involved in the veteran community. 
Most recently we received a request for notes of good cheer for our veterans at the RI Veterans Home in Bristol. The residents have been in lock-down since mid-March, They immediately experienced the closing of their barber shop, their mini-mart, their cafeteria, their pool table, no visitors and they lost their outdoor access. This past Friday they were granted limited outdoor access. Needless to say the residents are in a very dark situation. We are asking family and friends to send letters of cheer to lift up their spirits. Last night at our weekly meeting, with Rona's permission, I distributed this handout and asked my fellow Rotarians to write one note, two notes, whatever they can do to spread some happiness. I am requesting for this information to be shared with all Rhode Island Rotary Clubs.
The notes/letters will be consolidated at the Warwick address and then mailed to the RI Veterans Home in Bristol. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I greatly appreciate your support with my request.
Dora Vasquez-Hellner
Dear Friends,
The Veterans at the RI Veterans Home (RIVH) have been isolated from friends and family since approximately March 12, 2020. Morale is exceptionally low. Many veterans groups have requested permission to hold a "gratitude parade" of decorated vehicles circling the RIVH Property but were denied for various reasons.
However, vets may receive packages sent through UPS, USPS and FEDEX. So, who will join me in putting together a "mail bag" of cards and letters for our veterans living in the Home in Bristol?
Please address your mail to "Any Veteran" 786 Church Avenue, Warwick RI 02889. I will ship the package to the Veterans Home once I have accumulated enough mail for each resident. I had originally planned to ship for Veterans Day but I received a frustrated and sad email today from a resident at the Home and don't want to wait.
Happy Bucks
Christine Payne, who is the daughter of club member Dennis McLeavy,  provided a presentation on: Music Generation and the world of AI (Artificial Intelligence.) Christine is employed at OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company. The mission of OpenAI is to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.
The presentation was prerecorded.  Christine described MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) and Jukebox from OpenAI, a neural net that generates music, including rudimentary singing, as raw audio in a variety of genres and artist styles. Christine used music generation to highlight how MIDI and Jukebox function.
eural net that generates music, including rudimentary singing, as raw audio in a variety of genres and artist

Christine McLeavey Payne

Christine is a Member of the Technical Staff at OpenAI, where she recently published MuseNet. She studied physics at Princeton, and neuroscience and medicine at Stanford. Also a trained classical pianist, she then moved away from science to work as a musician.  This blog is mainly from the summer of 2018, and follows her path studying deep learning and reinforcement learning, as well as her project during the OpenAI Scholars Program. Please  follow her on Twitter for updates.

Next Meeting:  Thursday September 10, 2020
Many thanks to the reporters and photographers!
Please make every effort to attend our next Wakefield Rotary meeting.
Better yet, bring a friend!
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