After two dreary, rainy, cloudy days, it was a welcome relief to see a bright sunny day as we approached the Ridge. Before the bell rang, President Bob gathered us all for a group picture to show solidarity with “SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY DAY” to bring awareness about human trafficking. He marked the backs of our hand with a red X with his magic marker. Can’t wait to see the picture of all 22 of us, red-Xed hands, and facing the camera.

After the Rotary Song and the Pledge of Allegiance, Art gave a somber invocation remembering our recently departed Rotarian Steve Jacoby and keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers.

Lunch consisted of sausages and peppers, salad, and bread rolls. For the folks with dietary restrictions, Jack Sayer had arranged for vegetable sandwiches. Thanks, Jack. Ned, although late for starting his SAA duties, was in time to assume his role as the server of the cookies and to take over from Dan Firestone’s SAA role.

Besides our guest speaker Chris Keating from Hartford Courant, we had some faces today we have not seen in a while, namely Guy LaBella, Hope Firestone, Chuck Clarke and our soon to be new member, Ray Maselek. Art led the Welcome Song to warm the hearts of our guests and almost guests.

  1. FoodShare volunteer opportunity is on Monday, February 17. We will be joined by our two new volunteers, Dan Larson and Chickie Amberg. Many thanks to both of you.
  2. Habitat for Humanity’s fundraising event Charity Give Back Night will be held on February 25 at Maggie McFly’s. Ten percent of your bill will be donated to the cause.
  3. Our guest speaker on February 26 will be Sean Dwyer from Parks and Rec who will also receive a donation check from our club.
  4. Joint meeting of Manchester Rotary and EHRC will take place at the Manchester Country Club on March 10. A local band will perform that evening. This meeting will be in lieu of our meeting on March 11.
  5. Our weekly meeting on March 18 will be at Goodwin University. Here is my understanding of what Guy said and clarified by Dan Larson. Lunch will be provided by GU followed by a tour of the new manufacturing program. We will pay our usual $15 which will go in the entirety to our club. Thanks GU.
  6. Paul Harris Dinner will be held at the Gallery on March 25.
  7. FoodShare Walk Against Hunger will start at Dunkin Donut Park in Hartford on May 10.
  8. We will present a check to Rick Lawrence for the Guatemalan Water Project at the Manchester Country Club on June 16. All are welcome.
  9. District and EHRC installations will be held at Maneeley’s Banquet Hall on June 17.
  10. Rotary in Motion will take place this year on October 3.
Steve Jacoby’s wake will take place at Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury, on Saturday, February 15 from 10-1 PM. Funeral service will take place on Sunday at 12:00 noon at South Congregational Church on Forbes Street in East Hartford.
  1. Happy Jack will be leaving early.
  2. Birthdays for Chuck, Dick McCarthy and Guy. A hearty song followed.
  3. Neal is still mourning.
  4. Dan Firestone’s grandson made the Dean’s List in Florida.
  5. Guy is happy that his son was accepted at the University of St. Joseph. Marc was surprised because he thought St. Joseph is still an all-girls college!!!
  6. Ned paid for being late and in remembrance of Steve Jacoby, a longtime family friend.
  7. Ruth was pleased to see Hope in attendance.
  8. For anyone that I missed, your Happy Dollars are going to a good cause.
The lucky winner for both Raffle # 1 and # 2 was someone we have not seen in while. Believe it or not, it was Guy. Now he is obligated to come back next week to pull the winning ticket for someone else.
Our guest speaker today was Christopher Keating, a reporter at The Hartford Courant since 1990 who covers the State Legislature exclusively. He talked about current issues that are being debated at the legislative body such as tolls, sports betting, recreational marijuana, vaping, casinos and state budget. His presentation was enlightening and informative. 
Signing off for this week, your scribe, Anwar Hossain