The Forecaster for December 5, 2017

We entered a busy holidayr season with a jam packed meeting that saw a number of important announcements about the Scottish Walk (Dec. 2nd), Meals on Wheels (Dec. 23 & 24), and our Holiday Luncheon (Dec 19) then had recognition of the remaining November birthdays, presentation of a new club flag returned from the UK by Sir Stuart Matthews, and capped by the induction of our newest member, Brook Mitchell (we’d inducted Katy Fike the week before). Our speaker was Diane Hendel from INOVA Fairfax to explain Medicare and also remind us of the Geriatric services and home house calls her using makes – a topic she’d presented to us a few months ago. Amy Curtis received numerous congrats on her winning the long running Queen raffle for the large pot.

The Forecaster for November 28, 2017

Last week’s meeting provided several event announcements so that members could “post their calendars” – the Scottish Walk on Dec. 2; Salvation Army bell ringing on Sat. Dec. 16th; MOW delivers on Sat. and Sun. 16th & 17th; and our Holiday Luncheon on Tue. Dec. 19th. We then had two speakers tell us some of the horrors they or relatives had experienced relating to the Holocaust in WWII. First was Edith Ehrenreich who described events she’d experienced as a 10 year old Jewish girl in Vienna after the Anschluss. Events like having other school kids yell “Jews are swine” and farmers market stall keeper say “we don’t sell to Jews”. Her short talk was ended with a standing ovation by the members. Second presenter was Gwendolyn Beck who read us parts of a letter from her grandmother that Gwendolyn felt was a hero of the Holocaust as she and friends used registration papers of Dutch children to hide children of Jewish families to keep them from being sent to concentration camps.

The Forecaster for November 21, 2017

Our speaker last week was Mara Benner who is the founder of Four Directions Wellness, an organization and philosophy that helps show the connections between body, mind, emotions, and spirit. They support adoption of “whole person” healing modalities to our current health care system. She noted that culture had some approach to wellness well before the arrival of modern medicine. Many hospitals are now considering and using complementary and alternative medicine techniques. Farrell Egge recognized birthdays of Marita Alabaster, Jim Aldige, Will Morris, Jack Fannon, and Sharon Meisel. Jack Fannon told us a bit about Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) and encouraged us to donate to Polio Plus or the RI Foundation to support the many world wide efforts of Rotary projects like clean water and sanitation.

The Forecaster for November 14, 2017

Last week was our celebration of Veteran’s Day and we had many most interesting events. First was the report that our Taste for Giving raised $82,000! Past President Tom Roberts then set the scene with a history of Veteran’s Day, had attendees indicate who were veterans of the military, and led singing of “God Bless America”. Sir Stuart Matthews presented a short history of WWI and the cemetery famous for “Where Poppies Grow” and then recited that poem. Our speaker was Past President Jack Pitzer who told us about the US Army Officers Candidate School (OCS). He went to OCS at Ft. Benning and was commissioned in 1962,served 42 years combined active duty and reserve/National Guard, was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame – retiring as a BG. Jack had a guest, GEN Kroesen who was also an OCS graduate. Both Jack and the general said that OCS has continued to grow and improve as it provides a large percentage of the junior officers for the US Army.

The Forecaster for November 7, 2017

This bulletin reports on another very busy meeting with several announcements, a factoid (Denny Kuhns), a Moment for Missions, and two Red Badger classification talks (Jim Carmalt and Jerry Stalun). Diane Charles from ALIVE!, a charity we’ve supported on Contributions Day) told us of the many programs they provide to those living in poverty. Jim Carmalt, a long time Alexandria resident, talked of his hero, his dad. Jim also told of his activities in the Ft. Hunt HS Alum Assoc that remains very much a factor in the community and he and his wife Carol raising and showing dogs. Jerry Stalun told of his early life in Chicago (Cub fan) – Nats fans take hope for future world series also. He and his wife, Carol, graduated from the Univ. of Illinois, moved around many times, and are now enjoying semi-retirement, kids & grandkids, and living in Old Town.

The Forecaster for October 31, 2017

A key factor in the outstanding results of our annual Taste for Giving is that we will meet our goal of raising $75,000 to support our contributions to Alexandria charities. Soon there will be newspaper coverage of the event in Zebra Press and Alexandria Gazette that should reinforce the very favorable reputation of Rotary and our club. We also learned we’d individually donated $2,500 that will be matched by our Foundation so we can contribute a total of $5,000 to organizations helping numerous locations recovery from recent storms. Our speaker this week was Fred Barnes who gave us a thorough and interesting review of the current state of American politics. His analysis is that he has no idea how next year’s elections will go. The political parties are strongly divided and its apparent that nothing can be done if the parties won’t even negotiate.

The Forecaster for October 24, 2017

The first item in this bulletin was the initial report on our major annual fund raiser, the Taste for Giving 2017, held October 20th at the Patent and Trademark Office – it was a big success! We had over 300 attendees who seemed to have a good time and many stayed until the end of the evening. The restaurants were happy, the auctions had active participants, and the finances (to be reported later) were apparently very good. The report on our speaker last week was Debbie Evans from the Alexandria Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center who gave us a good understanding of all the efforts they do in support of the community. They provide a 24 hour hot line so victims can reach out for help and understanding when they so badly need it. The Center helps provide victims by letting them know someone is listening, helping them build a personal “tool kit” for facing the situations they encounter, and also provides information and education to the community.

The Forecaster for October 17, 2017

In addition to several announcements relating to the Taste for Giving fund raiser coming up on Friday October 20th we also participated in Sergeant at Arms Peter Knetemann’s presentation of a copy of Washington’s Will to a visiting Rotarian from California. As is our tradition, in the middle of his presentation, the entire membership chimed in with the “Mr. President, I come from Long Beach, California ….” saying and astonished the visitor. Our speaker was Shannon Steene from the Alexandria Carpenter’s Shelter who told us of the many programs they provide and also of their upcoming renovation of their existing facility that will require their temporary move to the old Macy space in Landmark Mall. When they return to their renovated building in 2020 they will have much more usable space to use in support of homeless personnel in Alexandria.

The Forecaster for October 3, 2017

There were several announcements last week concerning preparation for Taste for Giving 2017. We also had birthday recognition for Pat Clarke, John Woods, and Charlie Ballou before we received a Mission Moment from Joy Myers of Campagna Center who told us some of the good work our Contributions Day donation had supported. Our club is donating to hurricane relief and we were told the club would match contributions up to $1000 in addition to a foundation donation. Our speaker was Joy Myers from the Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC). We learned about causes of hearing loss, hearing aids, and other support NVRC can provide.

The Forecaster for September 26, 2017

President Mike Wicks led off the jam packed meeting with words about preparation for Taste for Giving 2017 that is coming along well. We still need more ticket sales, auction items for both silent and live, and passing along the word to friends and co-workers. Chris Hook gave his classification talk about his life growing up here in the area as nephew of our long time Rotarian Tom Hook. Chris is now a consultant and hopes to open a brewery next summer. To top off the meeting we had an excellent talk by Dr. Lisa Kaplowitz about HIV and Hepatitis C. Hopefully we may reach an end to the HIV epidemic soon. Hepatitis C is curable but the drug program to cure it is costly, often upwards of $80,000, for the 12 week treatment of one pill a day. Another excellent medical type speech as arranged by Janet Barnett.