Rotary Club
of East Hartford
  High Gear

Volume 74 | Issue 34, February 17, 2021

Cold but sunny weather today was a welcome sign considering that the next snowstorm is expected to descend upon us soon. On the other side of the climate divide, Doug, our snowbird in Florida, was lamenting that he will probably not get into his bathing suit today since the temperature will be in the low 80s at his zip code. Guy, who was with us today, expressed his keen interest in acquiring property in Florida where he might retire sometimes in future. Another potential snowbird. Doug, dust up your Real Estate Broker’s License.
Raffle off to solid start, needs everyone's participation
President Bob woke many of us from our daydream of basking in the sun by ringing the bell on time. We stood up and recited the Pledge. You all know by now that Zoom was never designed for group recitation. One solution might be to let President Bob do the recitation and we just do lip syncing. Invocation was substituted with the reading of the 4-Way Test.
  1. It is encouraging that in 17 days the Raffle has raised $3,645 in ticket sales. But we have a long way to go to meet our goals.
  2. All members were encouraged to buy and/or sell tickets aggressively.
  3. The East Hartford Police Department cannot promote our Raffle on their website. However, Rotarians can approach individuals at the PD for ticket purchase.
  4. We were all encouraged to contact members who have not been attending meetings since the start of Zoom format.
  5. We will not schedule any guest speaker for March 4 so that important club matters can be discussed at a greater detail.
The main topics of discussion today were scholarship and service projects.
Scholarship money proving hard to give away
  1. Bill Saunders has provided the pertinent information to the professional managers about a week ago and is waiting for the calculation of the actual amount to be given out by the end of this year.
  2. Since the total amount is expected to exceed $20,000, suggestions were made to add a few 4-Year scholarships. Other suggestions included expanding the scope to include scholarships for students going to trade schools, starting a business, offering teachers seed money for classroom projects, etc.
  3. It was suggested that the scholarship managers/trustees review the language of the trust to see how feasible it will be to implement any or all suggested changes.
  4. Covid-19 has disrupted the normal process of getting applications to the students and getting them back. It was suggested that Ruth, Peter, and Connor contact guidance counselors of the schools on the scholarship list and find a way to do this online. Laura indicated that she was able to obtain all information online for Y-Scholarships with Frank Staples’ assistance at the high school.
  5. The Women’s Club was informed by one guidance counselor that many students do not even apply because an essay writing is required. There was a mixed reaction about requiring or eliminating essays by the prospective applicants. Some other options in lieu of essay writing were also discussed.
  6. All Rotarians are encouraged to email to President Bob any other ideas about improving the process.
  7. Since Larry Hangland left Rotary, the Scholarship Committee is short one person. Peter has expressed his interest in being on the Scholarship Committee.
Emails on possible service projects wanted
  1. Many ideas were floated for service projects during and post pandemic times. Included but not limited to are projects such as recycling, Halloween, working with other Rotary Clubs, helping small and minority owned businesses in town, supporting non-profit organizations, helping English Teachers enable students to write essays and filling out scholarship applications, etc. Laura pointed out that many free online apps for these tasks are available. 
  2. All Rotarians are encouraged to email to President Bob any other ideas about service projects.
  3. We also need to be cognizant of the dwindling membership that has an impact on how many service projects we can undertake.
Our weekly zoom meetings are being recorded. For anyone wanting to find them, go to the homepage for our club; then on the bottom right side of the home page, it says Site Pages; under that category, click on Zoom Meeting Recordings. Wes will list more as we record more.
Many of you will remember Dr. Bowtie Ted Jenkin’s presentation on diversity and equity. As your program chair, I would like to inform you of another event on Monday February 22, at 4:00-5:00 pm sponsored by the Connecticut Council for Inter-religious Understanding (CCIU) on a similar topic. Dr. Joshi is a thought leader and a scholar whose writings, speeches and course work focus on promoting cultural and religious pluralism. Registration is free. You can register for this event on CCIU website
Until next week, your scribe, Anwar Hossain
Stay well and stay safe.
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