It was great to be back doing the Meeting in Review. We had a very full house today, which included a dozen or so of the students, teachers and staff from Stanton Elementary. I also got to sit up at the head table today, to fill-in for Secretary Tim President Shaun called the meeting to order at 12:30 pm, with the help of Sergeant-at-Arms Dave Treadwell. New member Marta Pentassuglia gave a very nice inspiration and read a poem from Mother Teresa. David announced the birthdays this week (see celebrants below).


As acting Club Secretary, I gave the secretary’s report today, welcoming the guests of Rotarians this week, including Dave McCormick (Director of Organizational Development for Dar El Hanane in Morocco) guest of Sheldon Ray; Giuliano Grisi (Music Director, Toscanni New Symphony Orchestra), Shiva Zangrandi (Personal Assistant to Mr. Grisi) and Francesco Menonna (Global Grant Scholar and student at SAIS)  who were  Erminia Scarcella’s guests; PP Monica Boner’s guest Kylie Marinzel (Intern, Secor Group); PP Howard Davis’ guest Amy Vieth (Owner, Melissa Stone); Marjorie Scott’s guests Monique H. Summers and Camilo Zambravo (Head of Policy Analysis, Embassy of Ecuador); Clara Montanez’s guest Valentin Solis; Peter Sawyer's guest Paul Hebblethwaite (Director of Development, Salvation Army; and Glen O’Gilvie’s guests, who are all going to be honored at the Center for Non-Profit Advancement’s Best Practices Celebration on May 22, Frank Cervarich (Deputy Director, Young Playwrights’ Theater), Courtney Kissell (Executive Director, The Reading Connection), and Polly Donaldson (Executive Director, Transition Housing Corporation). New member and transferring Rotarian Cherry Baumbusch was also at the meeting.


Announcements: There were quite a few announcements this week. Shaun started by giving the Club a recap of the District Conference, which was this past weekend. He thanked many members for their support and presented the two awards the Club received from both RI and the District. Shaun then presented on of the large grant checks to Paul Hebblethwaite of the Salvation Army. The $20,000 is going to go towards paying for the new van for the Grate Patrol. Glen O’Gilvie introduced the three recipients of the Washington Post 2014 Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management (see above) and invited everyone to the celebration on May 22 at 4 pm a the Washington Post building. We also watched a short video of PP Monica talking about Rotary and our Club’s support of the Award for Excellence. Please contact the office for more information about the event. Don Messer also got up and introduced all of the students and staff from Stanton. Boy is it dangerous to let that man have the microphone! We celebrated the birthdays of both PP David Klaus and new member Christin Carey on May 11, Sheldon Ray - May 12, Greg Scarlatoiu - May 15, and Gail Hamill and Octavian Ionci - May 17. Happy Birthday!


Don then made another short presentation about the tutoring program at Stanton, thanking Shaun for his continued support and for the support from others who participate in the tutoring. He mentioned that since we started tutoring the students, test scores have gone up 15% over the non-tutored students. Job well done! Peggy Garret then came up to talk about Walter Reed Bingo. This event is held once a month on the third Thursday from 5 to 7 pm at the new USO facility of the medical center in Bethesda. About 50 people come every month. The program started during World War II and was interrupted briefing during the 1990s because there were so few patients. The program was revived by Don Messer and Earl Strimple during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cost of the program is supported by the Rotary Foundation of Washington DC at a cost of about $3,600 a year. We need more volunteers for this project so please contact Peggy or Shelly Williams if you are interested in participating.


PP Howard Davis then presented three other projects that the Club has been working on. They are the Habitat for Humanity House, which is our Club’s Centennial Project, and will the first ‘net zero’ house in the country built by Habitat; DC Public Schools Beautification Day, which is every August so stay tuned (this is a great one time volunteer opportunity so new members think about it!); and the Grate Patrol, which is our twice monthly feeding the homeless activity in Washington. This volunteer opportunity takes place the third Tuesday and Friday of every month and John Jackson is responsible for coordinating. The next build day for the Habitat House is June 7. Howard also thanked our Rotaractors for their support in this project. Finally, Nancy Riker came up to talk about the Dictionary Project. 86 Rotary volunteers delivered dictionaries to 101 elementary schools: 62 public schools and 39 charter schools. This included schools in Wards 1-8, with Ward 6 being taken care of by the Capitol Hill Rotary Club. The Dorothy Ecceslton Trust endows the Dictionary Project and is administered through the Club’s Foundation. Please be sure and volunteer next fall!


Don closed by stating that these volunteer activities are just a small sample of different ways our Club serves the community and encouraged all of us to get involved – you won’t believe how good it feels to help out while experiencing fellowship with your fellow Rotarians. Clara also stood up and thanked Don for all of his hard work and efforts in continuing and starting new initiatives. PP David won the small pot today.