The Forecaster for October 15, 2019

One news item from Casey Lindsay last week was that Alexandria has been listed as the third best small towns in America by Conde Nast then Connie Hammell identified Charlie Ballou and Jesse Hernandez birthdays for September. Mike Wicks gave us a good report on countdown for TFG with info on the travel raffle options, the need for good silent auction items, and encouragement to pass the TFG flyer to friends and relatives. Our initiative towards helping a school in Haiti needs items to re-equip them for sports and activities that were taken away by Hurricane Hugo was covered by Denny Kuhns. Rick Bailer gave us a brief report on our participation in the Walk for Water and Brooke Curran thanked us while showing a video of the nice new playground we helped build near Four Mile Run. Last week’s speaker was Mohammed Eid who gave us reports on a range of peace keeping and peace building activities in several regions of the world. He finished with info on how humanitarian aid and just human kindness can help reduce the stress suffered by people undergoing environments relating to severe conflict.

The Forecaster for October 8, 2019

Last week Casey Lindsay told us that Alexandria has decided to go with a single connected high school rather than a new and separate campus. Our Taste for Giving (TFG) update by Mike Wicks gave us status on preparations for our Oct. 25th event and also suggested we invite friends to attend and enjoy with us. Donna Wilson reminded us that Frank Fannon was our Rotarian of the Month (ROM) for Sept. and Nancy Cooper earned that recognition for October. President Sharon encouraged us to attend the District 7610 Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) Oct. 19-21 to become more active and effective Rotarians. Also in this bulletin is contact info on a new member, Tom Connaughton and details on cost savings arrangements for the Forecaster. Our speaker last week was Ambassador Thomas McNamara who talked about “The Triple Whammy Corrupting American Politics” – these are gerrymandering, the party primary system, and the Supreme Court’s decision that allows unlimited, anonymous financial donations to political action committees. He feels these ‘whammies’ have resulted in Congress being broken as well as our entire process.

The Forecaster for October 1, 2019

Our last meeting in September was a busy one – the Board of Directors met prior to the luncheon with our new District Governor, Jonathon Lucas to familiarize him with our club and future plans. When our meeting was called to order we had several announcements: Rick Endres told us about the silent auction for Taste for Giving and encouraged everyone to participate in the event that raises so much for our charities. Connie Hammell recognized birthdays of Charlie Ballou, Jess Hernandez, and Linda Rae deGinder and Rachel Letters told us about Best Buddies, a charity that we support. DG Lucas gave the whole club info about himself as well as some of the plans and programs that we’ll have this year. Our speaker was Dr. Dan Murphy from Bishop Ireton HS to tell us about the Media and Arts Program (MAP) they have to further the efforts for Peace Building. He closed with the core values they have for MAP: Creativity, Story, and Strategic Application. Since we are now a Peace Building Club this speech helped us understand some actions being taken in support of this goal.

The Forecaster for September 24, 2019

This week’s bulletin includes a note from Meredith Endres concerning the formation of the new Rotary Interact Club at Edison HS along with their appreciation of this sponsorship by our club. Also included was info on Frank Fannon winning the BHCC Golf Tourney and his being Rotarian of the Month for August due to his many club activities. Several folks told us about ongoing efforts for our upcoming Taste for Giving. Our speaker was David Baker from Virginia Tech Univ. to tell us about their new Innovative Campus planned for a 15 acre site on Potomac Yards that will ultimately provide annually 750 masters level grads and 125 PhD candidates in fields of computer engineering and computer science. These grads will help close a gap in supply and demand for these personnel in many firms of Northern Virginia. This Va. Tech. effort will be required by both the Amazon HQ2 project as well as many other business and government activities here in the area. First courses are scheduled to begin in 2020 and be fully ramped up within 10 years.

The Forecaster for September 17, 2019

A great announcement last week was that our Brooke Curran had just completed a 100 mile race that took 27 hours of running, eating, and drinking (stopping about every 4 miles to eat (stay carbed up) and drink (stay hydrated). She finished 2nd in her age group and we’re really proud of her achievements. Jody Blood told us that the Taste for Giving Travel Raffle will start sales the 17th and continueat each meeting, on the website, and at the TFG. Travel prize is one of three fantastic events that the winner can select. We were encouraged by Rick Endres to assist in selling TFG sponsorships so we can reach our goal for this major fund raising event. Geoff Thomas and Maribeth Bersani were induced by Gant Redmon and presented their red badges and Connie Hammell recognized birthdays of Katy Fike, Pat Clarke, Derek Mason, and John Woods. Last meeting’s final announcement was by Nancy Cooper reminding us that the “Walk For Water” is on Oct.5th in Reston. We then had a very interesting and informative speech from Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson who told us about on-going activities of the city like the new Amazon HQ2 that will bring 25,000 new people to the area, the Virginia Tech Innovative Academy to be established in Potomac Yard, and planning under way for expanding both elementary and high schools soon. Everyone appreciated the candor and detail of the Mayor’s presentation.

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.