Weekly Member Spotlight:
Karen Shanks Furman Club President 2017-18

1. What​ ​brought​ ​you​ ​to​ ​Rotary?​ ​​During​ ​my​ ​last​ ​year​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Kennedale​ ​Independent​ ​School​ ​District,​ ​I began​ ​attending​ ​Rotary​ ​meetings.​ ​I​ ​was​ ​drawn​ ​to​ ​the​ ​camaraderie​ ​among​ ​individuals​ ​in​ ​the​ ​community whom​ ​I​ ​admired.​ ​The​ ​motto,​ ​“Service​ ​above​ ​self”​ ​reflected​ ​the​ ​family​ ​values​ ​with​ ​which​ ​I​ ​was​ ​raised. The​ ​more​ ​I​ ​learned​ ​about​ ​Rotary,​ ​the​ ​more​ ​I​ ​realized​ ​that​ ​I​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​be​ ​affiliated​ ​with​ ​this​ ​organization.

2. Who​ ​had​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​impact​ ​on​ ​the​ ​person​ ​you​ ​have​ ​become?​ ​​My​ ​father​ ​had​ ​the​ ​biggest​ ​impact​ ​upon the​ ​person​ ​I​ ​have​ ​become.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​magical​ ​in​ ​so​ ​many​ ​ways​ ​and​ ​larger​ ​than​ ​life.​ ​At​ ​6’2”,​ ​he​ ​was​ ​a remarkably​ ​thoughtful,​ ​gentle​ ​soul​ ​with​ ​a​ ​great​ ​sense​ ​of​ ​humor​ ​and​ ​a​ ​contagious​ ​laugh.​ ​He​ ​always​ ​took me​ ​to​ ​Sunday​ ​School​ ​(didn’t​ ​miss​ ​a​ ​Sunday​ ​for​ ​13​ ​years)​ ​and​ ​afterward​ ​to​ ​a​ ​little​ ​restaurant​ ​called​ ​the Blue​ ​Circle​ ​for​ ​a​ ​soft​ ​drink​ ​(a​ ​real​ ​treat​ ​for​ ​me).​ ​When​ ​I​ ​talked,​ ​he​ ​stopped​ ​whatever​ ​he​ ​was​ ​doing​ ​to listen​ ​to​ ​me.​ ​We​ ​would​ ​go​ ​on​ ​Sunday​ ​rides​ ​with​ ​the​ ​family​ ​and​ ​he​ ​would​ ​point​ ​out​ ​to​ ​whomever​ ​was​ ​in the​ ​car​ ​the​ ​beauty​ ​all​ ​around​ ​us.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​very​ ​grateful​ ​for​ ​the​ ​people,​ ​the​ ​surroundings,​ ​and​ ​the​ ​things​ ​in his​ ​life.​ ​He​ ​had​ ​special​ ​ways​ ​of​ ​making​ ​that​ ​gratitude​ ​known.

3. Name​ ​something​ ​you​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​accomplish​ ​BEFORE​ ​you​ ​die.​​ ​I​ ​want​ ​to​ ​obtain​ ​my​ ​master​ ​gardener certificate​ ​and​ ​I​ ​want​ ​to​ ​finish​ ​the​ ​repair​ ​on​ ​my​ ​home​ ​after​ ​the​ ​foundation​ ​disaster​ ​a​ ​couple​ ​of​ ​years ago.

4. Where​ ​is​ ​the​ ​most​ ​beautiful​ ​place​ ​you​ ​have​ ​been?​ ​​Depends​ ​upon​ ​how​ ​one​ ​defines​ ​beautiful. Sometimes​ ​it​ ​is​ ​the​ ​scenery.​ ​Sometimes​ ​it​ ​is​ ​the​ ​people.​ ​Sometimes​ ​it​ ​is​ ​the​ ​artwork.​ ​Sometimes​ ​it​ ​is​ ​in the​ ​movement.​ ​I​ ​see​ ​beauty​ ​almost​ ​everywhere​ ​in​ ​ways​ ​that​ ​are​ ​incomparable,​ ​thanks​ ​to​ ​my​ ​Daddy.

5. Vocation​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​about​ ​your​ ​work.​ ​​​ ​Since​ ​I​ ​retired​ ​from​ ​public​ ​education​ ​last​ ​year​ ​I​ ​have​ ​been​ ​involved​ ​as a​ ​volunteer​ ​with​ ​an​ ​organization​ ​called​ ​RESULTS.​ ​This​ ​organization​ ​envisions​ ​a​ ​future​ ​without​ ​poverty and​ ​advocates​ ​for​ ​federal​ ​legislation​ ​that​ ​can​ ​impact​ ​that​ ​future.​ ​Most​ ​of​ ​the​ ​issues​ ​we​ ​address​ ​involve public​ ​health​ ​and​ ​education.​ ​Although​ ​there​ ​is​ ​a​ ​national​ ​arm​ ​of​ ​the​ ​organization,​ ​I​ ​work​ ​with​ ​the​ ​global arm.​ ​​ ​This​ ​Friday,​ ​I​ ​will​ ​be​ ​attending​ ​a​ ​RESULTS​ ​Seeds​ ​of​ ​Hope​ ​dinner​ ​in​ ​Houston​ ​honoring​ ​Dr.​ ​​ ​Ricardo Nuila​ ​(perhaps​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​most​ ​amazing​ ​men​ ​alive​ ​-​ ​google​ ​him).​ ​The​ ​following​ ​week,​ ​I​ ​will​ ​be​ ​attending a​ ​dinner​ ​at​ ​the​ ​home​ ​of​ ​a​ ​fellow​ ​RESULTS​ ​member​ ​in​ ​Dallas​ ​and​ ​the​ ​guest​ ​will​ ​be​ ​Mohammad​ ​Yunus​ ​(a Nobel​ ​Peace​ ​prize​ ​winner​ ​for​ ​founding​ ​the​ ​Grameen​ ​Bank​ ​and​ ​pioneering​ ​the​ ​concepts​ ​of​ ​microcredit and​ ​microfinance).​ ​Such​ ​good​ ​things​ ​being​ ​done​ ​by​ ​so​ ​many​ ​people.​ ​Additionally,​ ​I​ ​am​ ​in​ ​the​ ​process​ ​of completing​ ​my​ ​training​ ​to​ ​become​ ​a​ ​CASA​ ​(Court​ ​Appointed​ ​Special​ ​Advocate)​ ​for​ ​children​ ​in​ ​custody​ ​of the​ ​state.

6. What​ ​is​ ​your​ ​guilty​ ​pleasure?​ ​​Probably​ ​clothes​ ​and​ ​having​ ​someone​ ​clean​ ​my​ ​house.