At 12:30 plus a little, President Shaun called the group to order. Cell phones were gagged. American members pledged allegiance to the flag.  
Words of inspiration were delivered by John Jackson, who talked about the value of the projects in our own neighborhood, He showed some thank-you notes from dictionary recipients, and quoted one young student who said he “liked your style."

Secretary Tim Hurd introduced the guests of Rotarians:

  • Kenneth Brown with the title of Ambassador from Boisset, guest of Donnie Shaw
  • Robert Esguerra, who is transitioning from banking to the non-profit sector, guest of Lisa McCurdy
  • Kathy Sommer Kamp, Board of Directors of the Greater Samaritan Ministries of Washington DC, guest of Kathy Ward
  • Nancy Kuhn, on the Board of Learn Serve International, guest of Kathy Ward

Sergeant at Arms David Treadwell announced the birthdays:

  • Dennis Miller, January 4: Dennis joined in 2005, and was sponsored by Larry Margolis. His classification is Energy: Renewable Power.
  • Erminia Scarcella , January 7: Erminia was sponsored by Oscar Bartoli when she joined in 2005. Her classification is physician.

In announcements:

  • Past President Howard Davis described the success so far in fundraising for the club’s Foundation Fund Drive.  Pledges have been received from a large percentage of the membership with $12 thousand arriving directly after the effort of Santa’s elves on December 18.
  • PP Howard again announced the opportunities to work on the Habitat for Humanity House in Ivy City Saturday the 11th with another work session February 1.
  • President Shaun reminded everyone that the Walter Reed Bingo night Is Thursday, January 16.
  • Gerry Murphy, who had generously passed out Auto Show tickets earlier, stood up to encourage members to see the Show, one of the top ten such events worldwide.
  • Andy Koval told us about a donation to the typhoon-damaged Philippines of 500,000 hydration packets, which have helped save the lives of a quarter million children in the aftermath of the storm.  More assistance is needed.
  • President Shaun presented a Paul Harris +5 pin to Past President Howard Davis.

The remainder of the meeting was a halfway-mark Club Assembly taking note of events and achievements in the previous six months.

President Shaun recognized the re-instatement of the Past President’s dinner, hosted by PP Jim Freeman, which was well attended.

He summarized the activities of the Grate Patrol and the Dictionary Project, and thanked all who have planned and participated.

He complimented the work of the Speakers Committee, chaired by Clara Montanez and Haleh Vaziri. This and many of President Shaun’s remarks were met with applause from the attendees.

Don Messer took the podium briefly to talk about tutoring at Stanton Elementary School and now also Jefferson Middle School, and congratulated all participants. There has been a 14% increase in test scores for the 3-5th grades.

President Shaun noted the work of the Ambassadors Committee, Marjorie Scott and Irene Koerner; the activity of the Community Services Grants Committee with Peter Sawyer, with applications accepted through the end of the month. He described the pleasant time everyone had at the Alexandria Waterfront holiday party, and is looking for ideas for future such events.

He detailed the work of the International Service Committee with Mark Wilson, Quentin Wodon, Maria Nelly Pavisich, and others who have carefully identified and aided numerous worthy projects around the world. Quentin stood up to mention that the high school Interact Club funded a project to help with diabetes in Bolivia.

Two members are producing column on service projects, and work is continuing on research, planning and evaluation.

Abe Helal summed up the year so far in membership, saying there’s a little competition from other rotary clubs in the area, but we’ve added two members under the new rule of 35.  Applications are pending and the goal of 36 new members for the year is certainly do-able. Our system of advisors, mentors and follow-up will help retention.  The new member meetings on a 6-week schedule attract interest. He’s looking for help in birthday and anniversary note-sending.

Clara Montanez says that RI President Ron Burton is speaking at the OAS January 30 at 2:30.

Donnie Shaw talked about the Career Fair at Roosevelt HS which contacted 150 students.

Shaun wound up the meeting talking about options for a fundraiser, and instituting “not-so-new member” talks to help people get to know the membership.  Also, there has been a spike in accounts receivable and a $25 late fee will go into effect after 30 days.

Buz Gorman brought the lottery bucket forward.  Steen Steensen won the $45 small pot, but the $289 prize was not to be claimed by a mere 8 of diamonds.

Ken Kimbrough and birthday girl Dr. Erminia were greeters.

Balraj Gupta, Stu Shalloway and Ted Hamady ran the hospitality table.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.