The meeting was called to order at 12:30 PM by the Club’s President David Klaus. He led the American members and guests in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Russ Savage provided the words of inspiration, which were based on hurricane Sandy’s reminder of the power of nature.
Secretary Lynn Holec introduced the following guests:

Tonya Johnson, CEO of H.O.P.E.
Barry Lofton, Director, Corporate and Community Relations of the Friendship Public Charter School, and a guest of Kathy Ward
Lenore Jacobs, whose application to join Rotary is in process.  She was a guest of Secretary Lynn Holec.
Lauren Lloyd, Assistant Project Manager of CADCA Vet Corps.  She was a guest of Paula Delo. Her application to join Rotary is in process.
Gene Lloyd, a computer scientist with the U.S. Air Force.  He was a guest of Paula Delo. His application to join Rotary is in process.
Ivan Doney, a guest of Clara Montanez
Flavia Casalini, a guest of Erminia Scarcella
Francesco Bolognesi, a guest of Erminia Scarcella
Steve Genung, a register nurse at Pronurse Homecare, a guest of Joel Alperstein.  His application is in process.
Eelco Dyksha, Council Member, Netherlands Government, and a guest of Bill Dent

Sergeant-at-Arms Peggy Schoen announced the following members who are celebrating birthdays this week:

Nadia Saad - Oct 29
Nobutoshi Hanai -  Oct 30
Gladys Pemberton - Oct 30
Lisa McCurdy - Oct 31

During the Foundation Moment, President David discussed the Foundation’s Vocational Training Teams.  He noted the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to vocational training. He noted the team that our own Rotarian Glynis Long has taken to Turkey.

President David mentioned the memorial ceremony for long-time Rotarian Strong Legs Richardson, which several DC Rotarians attended.

President David announced the District Governor’s request for space heaters and electric cords that can be lent to hurricane Sandy survivors.  The Governor also asked for DC Rotarians to canvas their friends and associates to identify people who may need such items.

President David further noted the following:
  • Participants are still needed for the Habitat for Humanity Event on November 15, which will run from 9 AM to 2 PM.  An explanation of house systems and a tour will be provided.  It will not be a build day and it will be taped by “This Old House” for a future show.
  • Gene and Lauren Lloyd are a potential new member couple.
  • Happy Hour will be held this Thursday at The Rivers Restaurant from 6 PM to 7:30 PM.
  • The Rotary office will be closed on Tuesday, November 6 (Election Day) because Gretchen will be working as an election officer.
President David presented a Mimi Kanda with her Blue badge and new member Glen O’Gilvie with his red badge. Rotarian Haleh Vaziri gave a new member talk.

Rotarian Dick Pyle introduced the speaker José Ramos.  Mr. Ramos was gravely injured in 2008 while serving in the military in Afghanistan.  Yet, within four months he was up and running in the New York marathon.  He recently graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University.

In his talk, Mr. Ramos described how he participated in all sports as a child – as well as helping out in his Dad’s business.  He joined the Navy in a desire to do search and rescue work and accepted a job as a hospital corpsman.  He was in Australia on 9/11 and was immediately sent to Afghanistan.  He was injured on his third tour of duty there.  His injures included the loss of an arm.

Mr. Ramos described how his sports background assisted his recovery.   He further described how competing in sports after his injury helped him return to the community.  As he recovered and participated in sports, he gained an appreciation of the important role that sports can play in helping severely wounded soldiers and others with physical disabilities.  He noted the military has programs to assist wounded veterans to participate in sports including the provision of appropriate prosthetics, e.g., sports adaptive equipment.  However, no such support exists for other people with disabilities and there are 21 million people in the United States with physical disabilities.

Mr. Ramos further noted that the Paralympics gets people with disabilities involved with a community of athletes and helps build confidence that carries over into other areas, such as school and work.  He requested that we advocate for assistance for non-military people with disabilities participation in sports.

Mr. Ramos speech was followed by numerous questions from the members.

President David presented a tree certificate to Mr. Ramos, which promises that the Club will plant a tree in honor of our speakers.

Lisa Cohen won the raffle’s small pot, which was $42, but did not draw the ace of spades so the large pot, which was $587, continues to grow.

The meeting was supported by the following:

Rhonda Poirier sold the raffle tickets.
Balraj Gupta, Stu Shalloway, Ted Hamady and Norm Coe manned the hospitality table.
Ken Kimbrough greeted Rotarians as they arrived.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.