Can’t believe it’s the third decade of the 21st Century. Bob Grady opened the meeting on time and on budget. We pledged our allegiance to the flag and were led by Paul Bennett, president in waiting, in an invocation that, among other things, urged us to keep our senses of humor intact.
Lunch was served: Chicken with pesto crème sauce, wild rice, and garden vegetables. Carolina Chicken Salad was the road not taken. Vegan stuffed pepper over quinoa for the non-carnivores. Chocolate pudding with a dollop of whipped crème filled in the chinks.
Today’s volunteers were Andy Kerr as treasurer, Tony Spear as secretary, Michael Troughton as purveyor of Queen of Hearts raffle tickets, ubiquitous Liz Wilson as Greeter, and Matt Matthewson as Sergeant-at-Arms.
President Bob Grady announced that today’s meeting would be a quick check in on where the Club stands in relation to its goals, but mainly a chance to share stories about Rotary. Bob told us we raised $771 for the Salvation Army compared with a typical haul of $200. Yea us!
Bob and Arturo Mojica announced that the on line sign ups would begin shortly for both the Tucson Rodeo beer sales (February 15th -24th) and Tucson Conquistador Golf Tournament (February 28th, 29th, and March 1st).
Barbara Kiernan shared a sweet thank you card with us from Moonie King, our liason in Tepehua, a poor neighborhood near Ajijic, Mexico. Tepehua is where we have helped establish and improve a medical and dental clinic that serves the local population. This is our 7th year supporting students with small tuition scholarships to help fund ancillary costs of education (like books). Along the way, another 13 Rotary Clubs have joined our efforts so we are proud of that we have magnified our impact.
Barbara also encouraged all members to come back to the Viscount next Tuesday evening for the Sunset Rotary Club meeting where Brenda Sanchez and Lisa Kiser will describe their upcoming trip to Alamos, Mexica with nursing students from the University of Arizona to support the clinic serving indigenous rural communities that surround the City of Alamos.
Finally, Barbara successfully arranged for a $5,000 grant from Kinder Morgan (the natural gas company) to fund the new curriculum to be established at the Catalina Rotary Club “Literacy Infused” Creative Arts Center at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson (Grant Road and Country Club location). Kudos to Barbara.
Welcome back Pablo Sandoval and Randy and Carol Long. Snowbirds Pat Dwyer and Merle Anderson were back in the house.
Past District Governor Kirk Reed presented the club with several awards which entailed dreaming big, having fun and getting things done. He called this Humanity (Rotarians) in Motion. He specifically cited our support of the Rotary Foundation and several local and international service projects (indigenous healthcare in Sonora, Reading Seed, Creative Arts Center and serving Thanksgiving Dinner at the Boys and Girls Clubs).
We welcome to next year’s board of directors new members Maria Elena McElroy, Matt Matthewson and Denny Bastron. Paul Bennett will be next year’s president followed by Jimmy Munozcano and Michael Troughton.
Queen of Hearts
Michael Troughton manned the apron and Carol Friedhoff selected the winning ticket. Dashing Steve Pender owned that ticket. After much anticipation, Steve pulled the 4 of Hearts. The pot has grown to $1,183.
Sergeant at Arms
Matt Matthewson did the honors and after dispatching some birthdays and anniversaries (Dick Carlson’s 56th among them) he quizzed us about the Chinese New Year and Sharyn Chesser knew it was the Year of the Rat. We were all glad to hear from Matt that it WILL be a year of success for us all…particularly in terms of Love and Money. Who knew? Happy bucks included some from Sharyn that on February 1st and 2nd, Dr. Patricia Kane will be back in Tucson to teach another session of Wellness for Children in Pima County. Sharyn was especially thankful that this program is sustaining itself without subsidy from Catalina Rotary Club which helped launch it.
Bob Grady, El Presidente, took center stage and ran us through where the club is in relation to its goals. The goal is to qualify for the President’s Citation this year and we just need to keep on keeping on and hit a few marks in the membership area to do so. We seem to have some momentum right now. Bob started his talk off with a quote from Henry Ford along the lines that “if you think to can or if you think you can’t…you’re right!”
Bob switched the presentation to a discussion of telling stories about Rotary rather than spouting statistics. We were encouraged to think of our favorite stories and experiences. Joan Buth reminded us that we are all visual learners and for there to be a visual component to our stories (hello Creative Arts Center). She also suggested we have fliers describing Catalina Rotary Club at each booth at the Rodeo and Golf Tournament. This could be a great source of reaching out to potential new members. Tom Robertson spoke of the TUSD arts program called OMA (Opening Minds through the Arts) which has not been rolled out as completely as possible and how the Creative Arts Center is filling that void. Sharyn Chesser suggested we get near-term and long-term RYLA stories from the kids who attend (which is coming up in two weeks). After further brainstorming, Bob pulled together six volunteers to help him come up with a plan for gathering up these stories over the next couple of months. It should be noted that this was a suggestion of long-time member Jeff Nordensson to focus on story telling.
Bob ended the meeting reinforcing the strong message of Love in the Year of the Rat by saying the longest sentence in the world is “I do”. He made up for that by quoting “Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.”
Go Rat Go!