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.

The Forecaster for June 18, 2019

Last week was a busy meeting as is always the case on Contributions Day. We spread out in all three ballrooms to handle the 60 or so guests from the 52 charitable organizations to whom we were awarding grants. Is was a truly red letter day since we presented grants of $131,500 ($61,500 by the ADN&CH and $70,000 by the Contributions Committee) to these 52 grateful organizations. We have set the bar for next year at a high level but one we can attain with continued effort and hard work. Before the handout of grants, the DG Yarborough presented Sharon Meisel the Governor’s Club Builder Award for her efforts with ours and other clubs (well deserved). Charlotte Hall, Chair of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce board was our speaker and started off telling us how grateful she is to us for our contributions to the community and helping bring so many groups together. She made a strong point in asking everyone to think how we can support organizations that support the community and continue to seek out strong up-and-coming young professionals as leaders.

The Forecaster for June 4, 2019

This bulletin reports on the busy program at our annual Boy Scout meeting. During the announcements we recognized our last student for this Rotary year, Carole Beckhorn from Bishop Ireton HS – an honor student who excels in academics, athletics, and in service to her community. The Director of BSA Colonial District, Geoff Thomas, thanked us for our support and said that our district’s scouting program, now including girls, is growing with 6% of scouts attaining the Eagle Scout rank.  Donnie Simpson and Todd Bolick presented awards to two local Eagle Scouts, Russel Biesada and Joseph Lepak and each of them gave us a short presentation on what scouting means to them. Our speaker was RADM, USN Ret Stephen Oswald, who also served as a Space Shuttle astronaut and was recognized as a Distinguished Eagle Scout. In closing he told us that scouting had helped him to be prepared when opportunities came his way. A highlight was the presentation of the Rotary Cliff Dochterman Award, named in honor of the man who was a President of RI and an Eagle Scout who consistently supported scouting. Donnie Simpson presented the award to Mike Wicks for his service to Rotary and our community as club president and enthusiastic supporter of scouting in the Colonial District. In his acceptance Mike mentioned that he himself hadn’t been a scout but that his father-in-law was active in scouting and his four daughters had had the good sense to collect husbands with strong scouting experience.

The Forecaster for May 21, 2019

This was another very busy meeting with announcements about no meetings on May 28th nor July 2nd, birthday recognition led by Meredith and Rick Endres (showing Meredith’s help over many years from the time she had to stand on a chair behind the podium to reach the mike), update info on our Flags for Heroes and Peace Building efforts at Bishop Ireton HS, and a presentation on the Paul Harris Society that culminated with Mike Wicks and Jack Fannon becoming members of this society. We then had an excellent presentation by the Netherlands Ambassador to the US, Hendrik Jan Jurriaan Schuwer. The Ambassador reminded us of the many ties between the NL and US going back centuries to when Henry Hudson (on an exploration funded by the NL) established New Amsterdam where NYC eventually was located (NL swapped it with England for Surinam), and that Thomas Jefferson was our first ambassador to the NL. His well reasoned and informative presentation on the US role in Europe (Pax Americana) has been so important and needs to be kept strong. This was a very interesting and well presented speech by an important friend and ally of the US.

Speakers for June 2019

June 4 – Professor Grace Wyngaard, Dept. of Biology, James Madison Univ., “Aquatic Ecosystems and Their Impact On Our Life”

June 11 – Contributions Day

June 18 – Dr. John Cho (BG, USARMY Ret) Exec. Dir. & Editor Military Medicine International Journal, “Building on the Successes of Military and Federal Medicine”

June 25 – Parent/Child Day

The Forecaster for May 7, 2019

At our April 30th meeting we had some interesting announcements – recognition of the volunteers who did so much to help with our 2nd Annual Golf Tourney and our assistance with a Rebuilding Alexandria project, birthday recognition of Brooke Curran, his classification talk by Alphonso Hughes, and Sharon Meisel’s announcement of our 2019 “Flags for Heroes” fund raiser. To cap these announcements we had Gov. Jim Gilmore speak to us again. He first mentioned some info about his previous talk with us about North Korea and his current more optimistic outlook since their GDP is so small relative to other nations. He then gave us an interesting talk about his nomination as the US Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He is currently only the nominee until such time as the Senate approves his nomination. He’ll be located in Vienna where the 57 nations that are in the OSCE meet weekly. As expected, Gov. Gilmore was both very informative and interesting.

Speakers for May 2019

The Forecaster for April 30, 2019

At our meeting April 23rd we had a series of interesting announcements that: 1. told us that the International Committee wanted everyone to complete the Cultural Identify Survey to tell us where we all came from, 2. reported on our golf tourney that was both enjoyable and a fund raising success, 3. reminded us we were participating in a Rebuilding Alexandria Together project on Saturday the 27th, and 4. heard from the President of Alexandria West Rotary Club about the Tea With Martha Washington they are putting on May 12th. Our speaker was Samuel Shepard, founder of the company ValAsta, about the antioxidant astaxanthin they have researched and developed protocols and products proposed to address a series of medical conditions and human diseases.