The Forecaster for January 8, 2019

This bulletin reported on the meeting back on December 18th when we had our Christmas Luncheon. The first order of business was Past President Mike Wicks presenting the proposed slate of club officers to lead our club during Rotary Year 2019-2020 – this slate to be voted on at our next meeting on January 8th. Other business was presenting checks to members of the BHCC wait staff that have supported us so well during the year. We had another great Christmas luncheon with the Rotary Rooters serenading us with holiday favorites while the BHCC staff circulated with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. At the end of a delicious meal, Jim Carmalt led the presentation of a most enjoyable music program featuring holiday music. A highlight was the lovely singer, Andrea Klores, singing the song “Just My Bill” towards Bill Vosbeck – appreciated and loudly applauded by everyone in the room. All in all a most enjoyable holiday event.

The Forecaster for December 18, 2018

Past President Mike Wicks presented the slate of officers and directors proposed for our 2019-2020 Rotary year and this slate was approved. They are: President-Sharon Meisel, President elect–John Moorman, VP-Pam De Candio, Secretary-Donna Wilson, Co-Treasurers-Lee Duncan and Jeff Kohne, Directors for Group C-Dan Blaine, Group D-Ru Toyama, Group E-Christine Friedberg, Group F-Nancy Van Gulick Cooper, President Alexandria Day Nursery & Children’s Home-John Woods, Sergeant at Arms-Peter Knetemann, and Ex Officio-Paul Anderson. We’ll vote for officers on January 8th. Dan Blaine told us that a Fireside Chat will be held on January 6, 3-5 pm at Shanaz Ahmed’s house and all are invited to attend. Our speaker was Chris Scalia who co-edited a book collection of 48 speeches by his Dad, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonin Scalia. It was a most interesting and enjoyable glimpse into the actions of a highly esteemed justice.

The Forecaster for December 11, 2018

Last week was a most enjoyable and interesting meeting – Charlie Ballou led birthday recognition for Morrie Hoven (member for 27 years), Denny Kuhns, Pam DeCandio, and Nick Harris, Donna Wilson announcing Rotarian of the Month for November as Ru Toyama and Katy Fike for December, Chief Elf Casey Lindsay explained club practices for Salvation Army Bell Ringing, President Paul told us a bit about the Christmas Luncheon on Dec. 18th, We heard from PJ Maddox of Dist. 7610 about the Rotary Youth Exchange Program (we’re sponsoring an outbound student), and Gant Redmon induced Katherine Tulenko and Felipe Duran as new members. To cap all this our speaker, Kirsten Cowley gave us a good intro to the basics of gene therapy. Kirsten told us about some of the techniques used in developing gene therapy and told us that it is one of the hottest areas of medical research today and said we should not be afraid of it.

The Forecaster for November 27, 2018

Last week’s meeting started with Janet Barnett reading an impressive poem about naming a baby boy. The key was that the poem relates to a baby whose naming day, per Jewish tradition, was 8 days after his birth. That naming ceremony was scheduled for the Tree of Life synagogue on the same day of that terrible massacre. There was to be a celebration that Shabbat morning; instead a massacre took place. Later announcements were made about the Scottish Walk (Dec.1st), and our Christmas Luncheon (Dec. 18th). Our speaker was Christina Armstrong who was a Rotary International Exchange Student to Chile 1997-98 and whose mother was an active Rotarian who’d help sponsor numerous Exchange Students and gave the impetus to Christina pursuing a Exchange Student experience to Chile. She gave us a most interesting report on her experiences and follow up efforts. Most impressive was the Rotary foundation she and her mother founded to support families in Central and South America.

The Forecaster for November 20,2018

We started our November 13th meeting just days after Veteran’s Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI with Sir Stuart Matthews reading the WWI poem “In Flanders Field the Poppies Blow…” which all appreciated. President Paul Anderson reminded us that we’re marching in the Scottish Walk on Saturday November 1st and he hoped we have good representation in our marching group and also that our Christmas Luncheon is on Tuesday 18th. Christine Friedberg told us our community support project this month was to bring in cans of food for ALIVE. Our speaker was Dick Schmitt who told about projects he and his wife are supporting in Vietnam in memory of their son, Landon Carter Schmitt who died during work he was doing in Vietnam. First Dick told us a bit about Vietnam’s collateral damage from the Vietnam War – Agent Orange, unexploded munitions, the POW/MIA issue, and both military and civilian casualties. The foundation Dick and his wife established in memory of Landon is building schools and kindergartens in Vietnam to support mainly children who are blind or visually disadvantaged.

The Forecaster for November 13, 2018

The Nov. 6th meeting was a busy one with much worthwhile info on club activities and a most interesting speaker. Sir Stuart started the activities with an exchange of club flags with a Rotarian from New Mexico that ended with us presenting her a Washington’s Will and our patented “Mr. President, I come from Long Beach…..” saying. Next we were informed that our Salvation Army bell ringing would be on Sat. Dec. 15 and the sign-up roster is on the website so go and sign up. Amy Curtis introduced this month’s student recognition candidate, senior Caroline Simmons from T.C. Williams who had a most impressive list of accomplishments. A Polio Plus raffle was presented by Rich Morrison with proceeds going to Rotary Foundation for efforts toward Polio eradication and the raffle drawing will be held on Nov 13th. The Scottish Walk will be on Dec. 1st (come walk with us) and our Holiday Luncheon is Dec. 18th – plan on bringing your spouse or significant other. Our speaker was Tom Sanderson who gave us an overview of the rather frightening world of global risks and opportunities like the disquieting status of Venezuela where millions have fled that country to escape rampant inflation, malnourishment, and where many feel marginalized – over 90,000 people recently fled that country during only one day. He then discussed some terrorist related factors that cause chaos, often due to poor government, corruption, poverty, government repression, ignorance, and racism. Future concerns are worrying since there are about 83 million people being added to the planet each year – limited supplies of food, water, and other resources must be found to support and sustain these additional people. This speech covered these very serious concerns the world will need to resolve.

The Forecaster for November 6, 2018

30 October was the 5th Tuesday and thus was dedicated to club business. Bettina Kanitz gave a factoid on Rotary’s efforts over the years relating to peacebuilding-starting with participating in development of the UN Charter and currently representing Rotary at the UN and other international groups. Our monthly Moment for Missions was by Friends of Guest House that assists women to successfully reenter the community after incarceration. Two young RYLA participants thanked us for helping them attend a conference where they met and interacted with other youth. The real substitute for our speaker was given by Martha Kelley and Terry McCormick presenting their classification talks. Martha told us of her life beginning in the Alexandria area, graduation from William & Mary, working in a really diverse series of endeavors including Rotary activities in GOMA, DRC and now the welcome here in our club. Terry described a life growing up moving often and then continuing frequent moves in his own business life. He grew up and attended universities in Minnesota.. His passion is corporate and non-profit marketing – his wife, Meg is an FBI agent whose job required their move to Alexandria.

The Forecaster for October 30, 2018

The meeting on October 23rd was a bit unusual since lunch was a buffet of dishes from the country of Georgia served with a selection of red and white Georgian wines. Our speaker was the Economic Counselor from the Georgian Embassy, Levan Beridze, who showed us a video of scenery around the nation. He then told us that Georgia is basically a crossroad between Asia and Europe that has been a nation for over 3,000 years and with a history of wine cultivation of over 8,000 years. They have a liberal democratic government that is working for membership in the EU and NATO. We had announcements about the results of our Taste for Giving, about our work with 17 other Rotary clubs to support a school in Haiti (we’re to bring toothbrushes and OTC drugs that will be taken there soon), and also about a raffle to raise more funds for Polio Plus.

The Forecaster for October 23, 2018

The announcements section of this Forecaster mainly dealt with the Taste for Giving 2018 held on October 19th at the Patent and Trademark Office that seems to have been a glorious success. A request was also made for members to provide suggestions on alternative ways to display the many club flags we have that are unmounted. Our speaker was Matthew Moen ,President of the Gettysburg Foundation, an organization that engages Americans in constructive conversations about leadership, citizenship, civility and conciliation in our democracy. One major presentation he made was the importance of having regard for truth as the foundation for the rebuilding of our democracy as a force that can hold us together as a nation. He urged us to be always vigilant to tell the truth and reduce untruth.

The Forecaster for October 16, 2018

Past President Larry Alberson developed and projected a new “heritage” display of the history of our club that is very interesting – check it out. This is only one of the many things Larry has done to bring to life the history of this active Rotary club. Katy Fike then introduced our speaker who was Ron Fitzsimmons, the founder of the charity Alice’s Kids. Ron told us that he and his sister, Laura Fitzsimmons Peters started this charity to provide support to kids for the small things they couldn’t afford but made such a big difference to them. Ron and Laura had been raised by their mother Alice as a single parent and had endured many ‘shortages’ and knew the impact felt by the kids who were not able to participate in some key youth activities due to shortage of money. Gifts, usually in the form of gift cards under $100, are provided anonymously to the children based on needs identified by teachers or social workers. Items provided might be such things as prom dresses, soccer shoes, camp fees, and other things we generally take for granted. The charity has now expanded to 24 states and is based on the clear, simple, focused and disciplined approach to their mission.