Meeting in Review: December 4, 2013
“You might be asking: What in the world can this group of youngsters actually achieve,” he said, and went on to relate the story of the 19 year old General de Lafayette, who brought his own warship to the American Revolution, was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine Creek, was hailed as a war hero and helped win the decisive battle at Yorktown. George Washington treated him like a son. Only 24 at the end of the war, he has been honored ever since, with hundreds of places now bearing his name.
Secretary Tim Hurd introduced the guests of Rotarians:
- Diego Grajales, Kazen Services, guest of Memo Grajales
- Cindy Ramer, Booz Allen Hamilton, guest of Abe Helal
- Christin Carey, LNSSI, guest of Abe Helal
- Debra Brown, Maden Technologies, guest of Abe Helal
- Cheryl Morgan, KPMG, guest of Abe Helal
- Nita Grace, ZAI, guest of Abe Helal
- Brendan McGinnis, Water Resource Action Project, guest of Abe Helal and new club member!
- Journalia McCloud, CISAC, guest of Abe Helal
- Maurizio DePellegini, guest of Erminia Scarcella
- Francesco Menonna, Global Grant Scholar, guest of the Club
- Milton Heller, guest of Larry and Doris Margolis
- Daljit Bains, Peace Corps, guest of Dick Pyle
- Jennfer Allen, Your Part-Time Controller, guest of Eric Fraint
Acting as Sergeant at Arms, President Shaun announced the birthdays:
- Dr. Sam Hancock, Dec. 2. Sponsored by Larry Margolis when he joined in 2006, his classification is Non-Profit: Executive Director.
- Andy Koval, Dec. 2. Sponsored by Jim Lanning when he joined in July, his classification is Pharmaceutical: Generic.
- Ausra Kaminskas, Dec. 5. Sponsored by Kathy Ward in 2012, her classification is Health Profession: Acupuncture.
- Donnie Shaw talked about upcoming Career Fair activity at Roosevelt High School.
- Rotary Scholar Francesco Menonna thanked us gracefully for the support of his studies here in environmental and economic policy, and presented a framed print of an Italian landscape and banners from the Tivoli Rotary Club.
- Abe Helal gave a full explanation of the new “Rule of 35” support for new, younger members. Speaking from his experience as membership committee chairman, he said there are only three current members younger than 35 out of a total membership of 170. The younger generation sees life differently, faces a difficult economy, student debt and other challenges in money and time. Yet they are passionate about volunteering and deserve our support. This is a temporary plan, subject to reappraisal. Full details are on the website.
- Gretchen Kearney summarized the election procedure and introduced all the candidates for all the Club and Foundation officers. There will be online voting and an announcement at the end of the meeting next week.
- Peggy Schoen, resplendent in shimmering gold turban, shawl and blouse, explained her “bling” as her response to “a grave issue” – the need for fun and conviviality. She gave details of the Holiday Party in Alexandria.
- Dick Pyle talked about a Club mission to Lucy, Jamaica the first two weeks in January. Volunteers will help students with literacy in local schools.
- Eric Fraint was given his blue badge by President Shaun.
- Our speaker, visiting DG Peter Kyle, gave Lynn Holec her Paul Harris +1 pin.
Andy Cook introduced our speaker, a native of Wellington, NZ, summarizing his many career achievements and service to Rotary. He is a lawyer who had additional legal training at UVA, and is also active in Outward Bound, we learned.
DG Kyle identified himself as the source of the glass of New Zealand white wine that everyone had been offered during the meal, reminiscing about his first visit to Washington DC many years ago and tie with the Capitol Hill Club.
He complimented this club on its long and illustrious history, took note of our large Foundation, and expressed amazement at the range of our activities both locally and internationally. He approvingly noted our support for Rotoract. On behalf of RI and District 7620, he thanked us for our work. He thanked a number of people individually by name for their Rotary service.
He told a story about a trip he made to Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, where he was astounded to see the placard of the local Rotary Club and to learn that the organizers had Washington friends and connections. The club has partnered with American clubs to donate wheelchairs and drill water wells. Four women have joined Rotary in this traditionally male dominated country, and a new club has been started in another city in Tajikistan. We may never know what effects we may have when we reach out to other communities, but the 1.2 members of Rotary worldwide can have a profound impact toward peace, stability, hope and comfort, he said.
There has never been a more necessary time than now for service, he said, cataloging some of the problems in the area served by the District’s 63 clubs. He exhorted us to step up, to recommit ourselves to the need for leadership. He highlighted an excellent current matching grant from the Gates Foundation to fight polio.
He made a pitch for donations to the Rotary International Foundation, pointing out that after three years half the money contributed comes back to the District for grants. The average contribution is $117 from District 7620 but only $47 from the Washington DC club.
As is customary, we stood to applaud at the end of the speech, as we had when he began.
Akiko Murai produced the raffle bucket. The winner of the $42 small pot was Nobutoshi Hanai, but the $178 was unclaimed.
Ted Hamady and Stu Shalloway ran the hospitality table. Ausra Kaminiskas and Ken Kimbrough were greeters.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:31 p.m.