Posted by Mary Martin




Jack and I met Bob “Boutonniere” Buettner leaving The Ridge at 11 a.m.!  Hey, what gives?  The meeting hasn’t even started yet!  Bob had been helping Ceil Collins and Hope Firestone set up for our Thanksgiving wine and cheese repast but now had to hustle back to his flower shop to take care of business.  You could feel the buzz in the air:  traffic increasing, talk of travel to relatives or hosting chores, and a general feeling of being on the doorstep of a new holiday season.


New three-peat Grandpa, Kevin Kickery, stepped away from the podium to give the Invocation and asked us all to form a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder, with arms draped around our neighbor Rotarian.  His unique and heart-warming speech asked us to give thanks for our friends and family and enjoy the symbolic bond of our group hug.  Totally appropriate for the day at hand.


President Dave gave thanks for Bill Saunders taking over the gavel chores last week and for Hope, Bob, and Ceil’s work at making our meeting more festive.


In addition to our guest speaker, Terry Schmitt, we were graced with the visits of two special people:  Peggy “Better Half” Schoen and Susan Hansen, Dan Larson’s “favorite librarian”.  The “Lesser Half”, George, and Maestro Art Bradbury led us in the Welcome Song.

Sergeant-at-Arms Jack “Speed Bump” Sayre gave the following report:  first, I dunno, couldn’t hear; second, Marc Glass like a broken record gave on behalf of his first place Eagles; the aforementioned Grandpa Kickery announced the birth of Clementine Joy at 8 lbs. 14 oz. on November 10 (a day that will live in infamy as the wedding anniversary of both the Kickerys and the Martins). 


Sugar Foot Neal Cunningham hobbled in on crutches and was thankful for the loan of a car that did not require a clutch.  Neal has taken a Mulligan on his ankle surgery - - - this time the docs swear they can get it right.  I’m sure they told him no charge for their first whack at the problem.  Other folks were also glad to be in attendance:  both Sheryl and John O’Connor, both Susan and Peter Klock.  And Ned Lynch in honor of the Celtics, the Patriots, and just to be able to say, “rotten Yankees”.


Before ending his report, Jack said sign-ups for ringing the Salvation Army bell are going well.  Give him a call at 860-646-4298 ASAP if you can take at least one one-hour slot at 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. this Saturday, November 25; or a slot between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on December 16.


Sadly, Ruth Sheehan filled us in on the status of Kathy McCabe.  According to Ruth, Kathy is “still the boss” although now on morphine but she loves getting our cards.  She is staying at her daughter’s house at 66F Ambassador Drive, Manchester, CT  06040.


Jim Watts was recognized for his financial contributions to the Rotary Foundation with a “Plus 8” pin (the number of sapphires indicating level of contribution).  The Foundation supports global programs such as Polio Plus, clean water, etc.


Our program of local giving continued when Sheryl O’Connor was called to the podium to accept a $500 grant to the South Windsor Cultural Arts organization.  This is a 37 year old group that sponsors free concerts, usually at the Wood Library in South Windsor.  March 25, 2018 has been set aside as a Rotary Concert event thanks to our generosity and that of the South Windsor Rotary Club.  Let Sheryl know if you would like to attend and she will be sure to save you a seat.


Up-coming District Governor Marc Glass presented Past President Bill Saunders with a District Award because our Club was 1st in the District for giving to the Rotary Foundation during Bill’s presidential year.


Two items of note:  1.  Our Board will meet on Monday, November 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the EH-YMCA to go over Club business.  All are invited. 


And, 2.  Nominating Chairperson Bill Saunders read the slate of nominations for Board members into the record for the December 6 Annual Meeting vote.  Nominees are:  Kevin Kickery (President 2018-19), Wes Willett (Secretary), Dan Firestone (Treasurer), Past President Dave Amberg, and Directors Jack Sayre, Bob Wood, Neal Cunningham, Ned Lynch, Anwar Hossain and Bob Buettner.  The Board will choose a Board Sergeant-at-Arms within two weeks of their election.  We have a VACANCY at the position of President-Elect.  Please give it some consideration.   We will be taking nominations from the floor on December 6, or call Bill in advance.


Remember:  Wednesday, December 13 is our Holiday Banquet (no Noon meeting).  Ceil and Bob will be passing around the sign-up sheets for the event at The Gallery in Glastonbury.


Treasurer Mary “Empress of the World” Martin thanked the Club for its generosity with cash and checks donated to the Holiday Adopt-A-Family Program.  Two members were particularly generous from afar:  Bill Flynn and Doug Willett.  Nice to know they hold us near and dear across the miles.  Must have something to do with the warmth of Florida.  Or the warmth in their hearts!


Raffle Master Happy Jack Martin had double duty today.  Bob Buettner left us with a beautiful floral centerpiece as a prize in addition to our usual split-the-raffle-pot.  The Gimp (Cunningham) had his ticket pulled first and wisely chose the centerpiece to take home to his lovely bride and Head Nurse, Rosemary.  Marc Glass got the cash.


Guest speaker Terry Schmitt, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, gave a talk about his group’s efforts to combat religious illiteracy.  Their motto is “when we understand more, we hurt each other less”.  The Council has been around for 20 years and hosts events such as “having an honest conversation with a Muslim neighbor” as a way to exchange information about religions outside of a proselytizing environment.  He made some good points about the need for this kind of comparative religion curriculum in public schools so that young people can understand what makes major religions alike or different and end the suspicion and fear that often comes with ignorance.


Hope you have digested your pumpkin pie and had a great Turkey Day by the time you read this!


The Empress