President Bob Grady began the meeting at 12:11 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance. Jim Kester gave a warm invocation thanking Rotary for its local and international work and thanking Randy Brooks for joining us today and for his work on behalf of Rotary.
We lunched on Grilled Tilapia with Citrus Salad (a flavor of red grapefruit), wild Rice Pilaf and Broiled Tomato. Cobb salads were on hand for the health conscious. Vegans were treated to Asian veggies over rice. Dessert was White Cake with Raspberry Filling. Yummy.
Today’s worker bees were Andy Kerr (treasurer, working hard collecting quarterly dues and lunch money), Tony Spear (secretary), Peter Pritz (Queen of Hearts), Barbara Kiernan (Greeter), Michael Troughton (photographer), and Steve Pender (Sergeant-at-Arms).
Bob advised that the Rodeo beer booth signups were ongoing and that we need to fill out the volunteer slots. Please consider inviting a friend to work with you. The Rodeo runs from Saturday, February 15th through Sunday, February 23rd. The Golf Tournament is on February 28th, 29th and March 1st. These represent our fundraising efforts for the entire year.
Bob mentioned we will have a social event on the last Thursday (the 30th) of the month (place to be determined shortly) in lieu of the Friday meeting.
Guests and Visitors included Audrey Tululian, a nurse and relatively new resident in Tucson; Bill Carter visiting from the Rotary Club of Kitchener Conastoga in Ontario, Canada and our partner in the Honduran Micro Credit grant; Pablo Sandoval; PDG Pam Kerr; returning snowbird Phil Lottavo from Canton, OH; along with fellow birds Merle Anderson and Pat Dwyer.
Queen of Hearts
Peter Pritz had a strong day selling $90 in raffle tickets bringing the grand total to $1,273 Ed McEuen’s ticket number 378854 was selected but the Queen remained elusive as he pulled the Seven of Diamonds from the deck. Sorry Ed.
Sergeant at Arms
The assembled multitude was delighted by the appearance of Phil Four-Way, who was in town on business. After sidling in to the tune of his famous smoky, sexy saxophone refrain, he wished us mugs all the best and told a fascinating holiday story about his friends Mack (don’t call me Henry) and Mabel and the ironical holiday gifts they gave each other involving hip flasks and brass knuckles polish and the like. Truly heartwarming it was. There ensued birthday and anniversary acknowledgements and a slew of happy bucks including a spirited repartee between Pat Dwyer and Bob Stofft relating to the previous evening’s end of the #1 ranked U Conn women’s basketball team’s 98 game home winning streak at the hands of the #6 ranked Baylor Bears. Tony Spear made what he called a “shameless plug” inviting us to see him perform with his group, the Red Moon Trio, at Hacienda del Sol
Future District Governor and Past President Anita McDonald introduced today’s speaker Randy Brooks and alluded, along with his professional and Rotary accomplishments, to his guitar-playing and singing prowess. Randy is a psychotherapist by profession and a member of the Marana, AZ Rotary Club. His topic today was the Rotary Foundation in its many forms.
He started off in a battle of wits with our own former District Foundation Chair, Past President and Past District Governor (phew!) Alan Chesser about Christmas caroling at the Chesser’s house and which of these two District 5500 giants knows more about the Foundation. It was deemed a draw.
Randy was wearing a bright pink necktie for the occasion. He told us he has visited in the range of 50-60 countries over the years on service projects for Rotary which is a truly amazing number. He described a project in semi-arid, drought prone Cameroon involving the farming of millet for cereal and the raising of cattle to provide milk for local residents. He complimented the Catalina Rotary Club for its work in Ajijic/Tepehua and Alamos in Mexico and its long-standing work in conflict resolution starting with the program in Lima, Peru that Sharon Chesser and Maria Elena McElroy initiated and continuing today in the ongoing work of Capacitar and the Wellness for Children program in Pima County.
After encouraging all of us to become Paul Harris members, he explained we have the opportunity to provide a legacy gift to the Rotary Foundation for as little as $10,000 and that it is possible to create a named legacy gift for $25,000. A recurring theme in all foundation giving is the magnification of dollars that the district grants and international grants can help achieve. The money we give truly comes back to us. We (our club) are a major recipient of grant money because we have folks like Barbara, Anita, and Sharyn who have successfully shepherded grant requests through the process. Pam Kerr spoke of how much more of an impact she has been able to make at her home club leveraging the Rotary Foundation on various projects.
Randy said his Marana Club was working with their local high school students on a food and coffee kiosk at the high school as a way to teach business and financial literacy to the students. This is an impressive way to introduce entrepreneurship to young people.
President Bob thanked Randy for his presentation and offered that he won’t soon forget the image of the wheelchair swing that Randy described at a handicapped accessible play facility in Marana that his club underwrote. Today’s was a lively and fun meeting. Bob finished with a quote from Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
See you next Friday at noon.