Posted by Weston Willett

We were still enjoying better than seasonal temperatures for our meeting this week. With the sunny sky it felt even warmer than the 57 degrees recorded. Our club’s Board of Directors arrived early for a meeting with the visiting District Governor, Dave Mangs, and were so occupied in the buffet room while the club members arrived. Dan Larson was performing Sgt. at Arms duties today. Maybe I’m just not contributing enough, but my $1 did not buy me any better penmanship than last week.

 

President Dave opened the meeting as usual, and as the peal of the bell faded away, we all launched into a harmonious rendering of the R O T A R Y song. Not. I don’t know if some people were starting with the Welcome song instead, or something else was going on, but the first couple lines did not go well. We made a quick recovery however and finished up strong. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Marc Glass gave us our invocation. He encouraged us to always be looking for opportunities to help our fellow citizens and our community. We then proceeded to a lunch of pasta, meatballs, a tasty chicken dish, vegetables and salad. Desert was a selection of itty bitty teeny tiny little cupcakes.

 

After lunch, President Dave started the meeting proper with the introduction of guests. We were joined today by Bob Buettner’s lovely wife and Uber driver Sandra. Seeing as how some people had already been singing the Welcome Song earlier, President Dave decided to forgo another attempt and turned the podium over to Dan Larson for the Sgt. at Arms report.

First, Marc Glass announced a correction from last week’s High Gear. President Dave contributed $78 dollars for his birthday, not $18 as was recorded in the notes given to the scribe J We sang Happy Birthday, and then Dan began his report.

 

A long time ago Dan Russell was born on Feb 18th. He passed on the song.

Peter Klock is enjoying his 28th anniversary in Rotary.

George Agnelli paid for being late and Ned Lynch paid for leaving early.

Bob Buettner paid for getting the dressing off his hand from his recent surgery.

Marc Glass paid for being such a great Sgt. at Arms last week, still The Eagles, and for his son safely returned from Korea after the Olympics.

Alex Wisz paid for the beautiful spring day.

Neal Cunningham paid for almost losing the limp.

Several people paid for having Art Bradbury back amongst us.

Larry Hangland paid just in case he did something wrong.

Dan Firestone hopes the next 2 weeks will be less taxing.

George Schoen paid for the UConn Women being AAC Champions.

Bill Saunders paid for a great trip to Water’s Edge on the club.

Wes paid in hopes he could read Dan’s writing. He should have gone with the nice day instead.

Kevin Kickery paid for being back in baseball mode after watching some spring training at bats.

Happy Jack paid for Dan Larson to go away.

Ned Lynch paid for the Red Sox’ acquisition of Martinez, the Yard Goats, and the Wesleyan Lacrosse team being ranked first in the preseason.

Jack Sayre paid for Art being back.

Our Sgt. at Arms concluded his report with the astonishing statistic that today was the first time in 30 years that Steve Jacoby has not paid a fine.

 

Announcements included The Mayor’s Charity Ball taking place on March 10th. Tickets are $125. Please let Steve Jacoby know if you are planning to go. If we get enough Rotarians, we can get a table together.

 

At Monday’s Board of Directors meeting Jack Sayre announced that he had secured a caterer for our upcoming evening meetings. We will be moving forward with those as we get some dates reserved for the Goodwin college location. Dan Larson let us know that Goodwin is generously waiving their standard fee for room rental.

 

Kevin Kickery announced that The Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Augie and Rays for a coffee this Friday from 7:00 – 8:30. You will have a chance to meet the new director of the Joint Chamber. Agnelli Real Estate is one of the sponsors.

 

Dan Firestone let everyone know that our speaker next week will be Victor Stern from HARP, who will be talking about fraud. District Governor Dave announced that he is donating $20 to the East Hartford Interact club. Happy Jack proceeded with the raffle. For the first time in living memory no one stepped forward to claim the winning ticket. A second ticket needed to be pulled and the money ended up going to Ned Lynch.

 

With a warning about the anticipated length of today’s presentation and a promise to cut him off if needed, Marc Glass introduced our speaker District Governor Dave Mangs.  DG Mangs talked about what it is like being a District Governor and passing on some of his personal experiences. At an International Assembly he was speaking to another DG who told him to always show up for meeting early, because you are never going to meet people more special than Rotarians, and you never want to miss that opportunity.

 

DG Mangs talked about the importance of encouraging our Interact and Rotaract clubs and tapping into them for future Rotary members. Membership is an issue that comes up repeatedly as he visits the clubs in our district. We need to start thinking a little differently about how to ensure that our clubs endure. Almost every current member was asked by someone to join. We need to practice our elevator speeches about “What is Rotary” and start asking people to join. We need to be on the lookout for potential members every day.

 

Another initiative he would like to encourage is satellite clubs. Community based Rotaract clubs are another area that we should be encouraging. DG Mangs also would like to see the Rotary Youth Exchange program revived. It was very active prior to 9/11 but has suffered since then.

 

That’s all for today. Enjoy the nice weather now, as we have a nor’easter headed our way this weekend.

 

Wes Willett

 

 

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