The Forecaster for September 10, 2019

This was a full meeting that began with a “Prayer for Peace” (fitting since we’re a Peace Building Club), had an announcement about efforts to fund a scorers table for West Potomac HS, recognized 5 birthdays, heard a few words from the incoming Rotary Exchange Student (Juan Carlos Medina from Bolivia who’s staying initially with Frank Fannon’s family), had an update on preparations for Taste for Giving, and a short word about formation of an Interact Club at Thomas Edison HS. Our scheduled speaker had been sick so Anne Rector updated us on the Alexandria Symphony (especially the Sympatico program that provides music education at two local schools) and then Anh Nguyen gave us an excellent and enthusiastic reclassification talk. She’d been sponsored in 2009 by our much admired Dorothy Coffee after taking over a State Farm Insurance office on King St (recently opened a second office in Annandale), graduated from George Mason, and just had a baby in June. Anh told us she loves the “small town” feel of “Old Town” and is looking for more interns (like she had with Meredith Endres this summer).

The Forecaster for August 27, 2019

First was a reminder we’d not have a meeting on September 3rd due to BHCC closed (Labor Day weekend), our next meeting on Sep 10th. Past President Tom Roberts told us of the meeting he had with RI President Mark Daniel Maloney at the International Boy Scout Jamboree and brought back the patch he presented to Tom. Sonia Fischer gave us a brief update on her upcoming year as a Rotary Exchange student in Spain. We were reminded by Rick Bailer that the Walk for Water is coming on Oct. 5th. Our Taste for Giving is rapidly approaching and Martha Gordon encouraged us to help sell sponsorships for the Taste that are key to helping raise the funds we need for Contributions Day. Our speaker gave us an overview of the Waste Management and Energy producing capabilities of the two facilities Covanta operates in our area. Their process processes the solid waste to produce energy that reduces the need for using landfill to dispose of waste – a much more sustainable and sensible process.

The Forecaster for August 20, 2019

In the announcements last week we learned about the new Holy Cow award when Donna Wilson presented the first award to Mike Wicks for his efforts in bringing the new directory to publication. Also enjoyed the birthday recognition by Charlie Ballou for Mark Wright, Taylor Barnes, Larry Alberson, Don Kellerman, and Sam Mason. Mike Wicks returned to the podium to tell us how important the Taste for Giving sponsorships are to our total fund raising and to provide assistance in our approaching other Alexandrians asking them to become a sponsor. President Sharon Meisel told us that Cirque du Soleil has given us two tickets to their Aug. 29th show VOLTA that we are raffling off with funds coming to Polio Plus. Virginia state senator Adam Ebbin was last week’s speaker who told us about many of the programs he is supporting throughout his 30 District such as advancing gun safety, equality, and voting rights. He also described some of the major efforts relating to the arrival of Amazon’s headquarters – affordable housing, STEM education, housing issues, and transportation concerns. A very interesting speech.

The Forecaster for August 13, 2019

Gant Redmon, Newscaster Emeritus, told us that Wegman’s is building a store on Eisenhower Ave and Alexandria is nominated for Southern Living’s Best City Award. Pam DeCandio told us of the initial moves that are being made for Taste for Giving on Oct 25th and we were encouraged to help get sponsorships to increase the revenue. Monte Durham, Fashion Director on TLV’s “Say Yes to the Dress” was our very entertaining speaker last week who told us this was his first Rotary meeting and that it takes 15 to 20 hours to tape each 15 minute segment of the show. He also told us he is very close to opening a new hair salon in old town. He grew up in West Virginia and is writing a book about his experiences from being bullied to his success on the national stage – he credits his mother since they had so little but she encouraged him to achieve his dreams.

The Forecaster for August 6, 2019

Lexi Keogh from Upcycle Creative Reuse Center gave us a Mission Moment about the work they do to support preschool programs and art teachers around Alexandria. We got contact info on Geoff Thomas, a new Red Badger, who is the District Director for the Boy Scouts, Casey gave us info about news of the day, Sharon Meisel announced that our Tammy Mann was appointed to the Virginia State Board of Education, and John Moorman ‘roasted’ 5 August birthday people. Our speakers were 3 who gave their classification talks and a factoid – Farheena Siddiqui, Derek Mason, and Felipe Duran.

The Forecaster for July 30, 2019

Our newscaster emeritus, Gant Redmon, told us that METRO/WMATA is planning on building a new HQ here in Alexandria on Eisenhower Ave. John Moorman recognized birthdays of Drew Carroll and Farrell Egge and then President Sharon Meisel presented blue badges to Bob Blanchard and Dave Walker who transferred to us from other Rotary clubs. To end the announcements, Nancy VG Cooper told us a bit more about the Peace Building efforts our club is doing, often in concert with other local clubs. Dr. Gregory Hutchings, Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools talked to us about the efforts he’s leading in support of our local schools.


The Forecaster for July 16, 2019

We had a unique meeting since this was really the first meeting of the new Rotary year which included inauguration of the new president and her board of directors. Our Rotary Rooters provided us an enjoyable musical introduction to the meeting that was mostly presided over by Past President Peter Knetemann (current Sergeant at Arms) and Past President Patrick O’Brien. Soon-to-be President Sharon Meisel gave a brief summary of the success (in spite of difficulties) of our Flags for Heroes event which raised around $7000. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to installation of the new club officers (listed on the back of the brand new Forecaster bulletin shell) and the associated short speeches and gift exchanges. All in all it was a most impressive and interesting introduction of our new leadership.

The Forecaster for July 9, 2019

Our last meeting on June 25th and was our annual Parent/Child luncheon which was well attended by just under 100 members and happy guests. Jim Carmalt had planned ahead well and provided us an entertainment package of a magician and face painter husband/wife team of Lars and Andrea Klores. Almost as soon as family groups arrived they started painting faces/arms and twisting balloons to everyone’s enjoyment. Additionally we had a delicious meal of basically picnic fare that seemed to have provided favorites enjoyed by everyone. We also had a major fund raiser over the July 4th week with our second annual Flags for Heroes display at the edge of Alexandria. This year we teamed with the Alexandria West Rotary Club to erect the display of many waving American flags even though it was very difficult to drill holes for the flags in the rocky and unforgiving ground. Passing motorists honked and waved in appreciation even though we were unable to mount as many flags as we’d planned. Our thanks to all who helped with the installation and then removal of the many flags.

The Forecaster for June 25, 2019

Last week we learned that Alphonso Hughes is moving to Georgia soon and we’ll lose him – bon voyage! Also we had another impressive inductions led by Gant Redmon for our new Bob Blanchard, Drew Carroll recognized a group of birthdays, President-Elect Sharon Meisel reported on her attendance at the RI convention in Hamburg and also encouraged us to bring in more sponsors for Flags for Heroes, and we were reminded that we would not have Rotary meeting on July 2nd. LP Chang introduced Dr. John Cho, Publisher, Military Medicine International Journal. Dr. Cho gave us a very well presented and informative update on the field of military medicine and it’s impact on the overall field of American medicine. First was that the 4 military services have basically merged their 4 communities under a single provider to achieve impressive economies of scale. He gave us many examples of improvements in medical practice such as electronic health records, collaboration among health providers, and innovative uses of virtual and augmented reality capabilities to assist doctors using critical procedures.