New Canaan Rotary Club Bulletin June 4, 2015
With only 21 days remaining before President Eric fades from the weekly spotlight he once again substituted a bitter editorial excoriating both recalcitrant Sunday morning parishioners and local Rotarians who choose fair weather activities over their ecclesiastical and service duties as the calendar moves to June for the more traditional prayer. In spite of the negative energy resulting from this blistering “grace” the meeting moved forward in the knowledge that those present, by dint of their attendance, were not included in Eric’s indictment.
Following another tasty repast Eric called for the introduction of Visiting Rotarians and guests. There were none of the former and only one guest, for the third time, Methodist parishioner Duncan Chisholm late of Corpus Christie, Texas.
For the third consecutive week our esteemed President entreated the 50% of the membership who have yet to RSVP for the Installation Dinner on the evening of June 25 at the Roger with cocktails commencing at 6:00 followed by dinner at 7:00 to email him ASAP. In spite of all-caps highlights in previous numbers of the Bulletin, Chris Snyder appeared totally oblivious of any previous request for this information. Very well. We will try one more time. Stop whatever you are currently doing [I am going to take a flier that you are reading the Bulletin], call up your device’s new email function, enter in the address block, and tell Eric whether you will or will not attend and that you will or will not be accompanied by a plus-one. Press send. One more try. DO IT NOW!!!! With only three weeks to go Eric understands that the membership takes its responsibility to torture the leader seriously. He needs no further evidence. Give the poor man a small measure of support as he staggers to the finish [NOW!!!!].
Rotary Foundation Officer, soon to be the designated torturee, John Bemis rose to entreat those members who have overlooked the opportunity to contribute $100 to the Foundation in an effort to make our Club an Every Rotarian Every Year [EREY] Club to correct that oversight and send along a check before the R.I. fiscal year ends.
Valerie reminded everyone that our annual Wine and Cheese event, this year with the addition of beer, will occur on June 11 at the Carriage Arts Barn featuring the Va Va Vroom exhibit so dear to Leo’s heart for the bargain rate of a paltry $35 per ducat. President Eric then, in Ben’s absence, passed on the unwelcome news that Ben has threatened that if you don’t attend he will “hunt you down and kick your ass!” Does this pass the Four Way Test?
B.T. reported that the recent Rotary Means Business meeting at the lavish new Westport YMCA building’s Rotary Pavilion was well attended and very enjoyable. The concept is still developing, but it his conviction that Rotarians actively networking with Rotarians will eventually result in new business for the participants with the added benefit that the new customers will be highly principled business men and women. Give it a try.
John Marlow reminded us that we have committed to hosting a long term incoming International Rotary Exchange Student for the 2015-2016 academic year and that we still need host families. Ideally he would like three families with NCHS students, preferably at least one female, for three month commitments. Rikke Sten Holst is an 18 year old female from Denmark. Ann Cheney and Alex Gontcharov are working with John and Ann gave a quick report on attending a District function with our Spain-bound outgoing short term student, Caleigh Murray and her mom, which Ann found enlightening and enjoyable.
Keith was able to report that the dictionaries have finally been distributed to all New Canaan third graders. He continues to be impressed with the enthusiasm and gratitude with which these books are received and heartily recommends the continuation of the program in future years. Great effort by Keith.
Demonstrating that he is not a fast learner President Eric then called on B.T. to tell a joke in a guest Sergeant role [Was this a subtle slap in the face to Corporal Risbridger who was passed over though present?]. The result was predictable and B.T. moved through a largely silent crowd with his alms basket extended. Mike Hobbs had a happy for a wonderful NC Library Conversations With Business Leaders performance by legendary Fortune Magazine business journalist and editor of Warren Buffet’s annual shareholder letter Carol Loomis; John K was happy he and Faith attended, and were still recovering from, a lovely Friendship Dinner hosted by Leo and Janet at which incoming President John Bemis and First Lady Nancy were thoroughly vetted and pronounced ready to rule; and Valerie had an emotional dollar for having stood on the Freedom Tower Observation Deck.
Program Chair Ken then introduced serial NC building committee junkie and Saxe Auditorium Building Committee-morphed-into-Saxe Middle School Building Committee Member Jim Beall. Jim is one of the town’s most generous and effective citizens and he explained how and why the Committee was formed and the process they have gone through to get where they are now. They have recommended and the Board of Education, Board of Finance and the Town Council have approved the expenditure of $750,000 for design and pre-construction work for 12 new classrooms, a renovated auditorium with added storage, and a 2.700 square foot music facility. The Committee which includes Rotarians Campbell and Walbert has expended a huge amount of time and energy getting to this point and have many hurdles yet to clear before any actual work can take place. Note: The PCB remediation in the auditorium does not fall within their purview and will take place this summer when the building is empty. Thanks to Jim and the Committee for undertaking this thankless, but important task.
Robert Moses