Today's meeting started with our guest speakers, former Interact President, Katherine Wegman and her fellow classmate, John Dawson. Katherine is a senior undergraduate at the University of Rochester with a double major in anthropology and biology. A 2011 graduate of Pittsford Mendon High School, Katherine is a Rochester Early Medical Scholar. She will begin medical school at the University of Rochester in the fall of 2015. Katherine's international studies in South Africa, England, and Jamaica in 2012 sparked her current medical interests in global health, medical anthropology, and pediatrics. This past summer, as Davis Projects for Peace Fellows, Katherine and fellow Rochester student John Dawson returned to a squatter community in Cape Town to implement a community-based solar lighting system. While there, Katherine conducted her anthropology senior honors thesis.
 
We were also joined by a polar bear and Presidents of the two Interact Clubs of Pittsford-Sutherland and Mendon High Schools.  They came to promote their fund raising efforts and participation in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge on February 8th at Ontario Beach Park.  The first Plunge in Rochester was held in 2001 and had 75 plungers with $15,000 being raised. The Rochester Polar Plunge is the largest Polar Plunge in New York and one of the largest Polar Plunges to benefit Special Olympics in the entire U.S. Since its inception the Rochester Polar Plunge has raised millions of dollars for local Special Olympics Programs.  Bravo to our brave and dedicated Interact members for all the work that they do to help those in need and to improve our community.
 
Next on the agenda was Matt O'connor who was born in Flushing, NY and grew up in Queens and Long Island, NY. He graduated from Cornell with a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering.  He worked at Kodak for three summers while in college and on his 4th summer interned at Kodak's Lincoln Plant.  He was fascinated by the work conducted by Kodak in aerospace engineering that he joined the company in 1982 in the research and engineering division.  They manufactured spy satellites for the US government for about 20 years. Matt joined JML Opticals for 5 years in  the 90's, and worked for small organizations thereafter.  In 2003, he returned to Kodak to work on a government funded research program which was canceled in 2005.  He then became Director for ITT Space Systems when ITT purchased that division from Kodak. Matt retired at 55 to teach at MCC in their Economic Development and Innovative Workforce Services Department. His wife, Pat, and he have 2 daughters. Pat teaches at W. Irondequoit. Matt has been a Pittsford Rotarian since 2007 and will be our President in 2016-17.  He is also our Town Councilman.
 
Former Pittsford Rotarian, Ken Hann, attended the meeting to thank our Club for our participating in the Annual Mendon Ponds Winterfest last January 18.
 
 

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