The Rotary building was rocking and rolling early on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 22, as well it should be, because this was the night set aside to thank our phalanx of volunteers who help make the Rotary Auction a success each year.
By this scribe’s count, 15 hearty souls who are not Rotarians but who are jointly responsible for the Auction’s success were our guests that night. Interestingly, many are Woodchucks, from Rebuilding Together, or the Community Center — they help Rotary because they know that Rotary helps the non-profits in town, which in turn help our citizens. As president Rick Elder pointed out, we all help one another do the jobs we do.
In news from around the Rotary world, Rick announced that as of earlier in the week Nigeria hasn’t had a case of polio in three years. That’s a milestone — it means that Africa is on the way to be certified polio-free — probably next year — and now the only pocket of polio is in the region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Way to go, Rotary and Rotary’s PolioPlus partners!
And if a water conservation project is in your future, Elias Thomas is putting together a team to work on a dam catchment project in the Delhi region of India next February. If interested, see Rick for details.
Nearer to home, Habitat 7 Rivers has broken ground on a site on the east side of the harbor. Club members are invited to participate financially and via sweat equity. Indeed, the need for new homes and refurbished homes in the Region is great — Tony Curulla announced that Rebuilding Together will have a second rebuilding day scheduled for Sept. 21. Talk to Tony, Vic Taylor or Rick Green to get involved then (or even sooner — there’s lots to do).
And in our own front yard: Steve Salorio has been extremely generous in refurbishing the plantings around the Rotary building. Thank you, Steve!
We welcomed new member (and longtime volunteer) Tom Minerich to Rotary membership. Welcome to Rotary! We also congratulated Ingrid Merrill (in absentia) who has earned her doctorate. Way to go, Ingrid!
Special days coming up on the schedule:
Hometown Heroes is going back to its roots, with a banquet to be held Thursday, Sept. 12 at the Spruce Point Inn. Daren Graves reported that the new SPI owners were extremely gracious in organizing the event. Cost to attendees: $25 for dinner plus cash bar. As a reminder, Hometown Heroes was started in 2002 as this club’s response to September 11. What if disaster happened here and we lost a first responder, the question was asked? And what if we realized we had not said thank you to that first responder for the work he/she does every day to keep us all safe? And as a result, we set aside a day each year to say thank you to all our first responders/Hometown Heroes.
On Saturday, Oct. 5, the District is sponsoring Rotary Rocks! at the Abramson Community Education Center in Portland. This promises to be a day dedicated to look forward in Rotary at all the possibilities for how Rotary can change the world — starting now! Keynoter will be RI director Jeffry Cadorette, a member of Rotary International’s futures committee, and cost to Rotarians is $20 for the day-long event.
The Oct. 17 meeting promises to be a special one — we will loan the Bowdoin half-model to Mark Gimbel for display in the museum downtown; during that meeting we will start off at the Rotary building and then carpool down to visit the museum and enjoy the festivities.
And our Veterans Appreciation Night on Nov. 7 will be a special evening with a speaker from Wreathes Across America sharing with us how one Mainer’s good idea has become a national event. Be there!
Auction 2019 co-chairs Laurie Zimmerli and Debbie Graves led a backward look at the auction held traditionally the first Saturday of August. A few receipts are still trailing in, but already, our gross has topped $64,000. That means a great deal to our community, and it couldn’t be done without our volunteers, Laurie stressed.
Stories from this year’s auction, humorous or otherwise:
Monica Elder said that this is her third year running the Book Tent, and that she is beginning to recognize return customers.
Diane Skogland’s volunteers in the Flea Market wore crowns and she waved a wand to maintain “control.” The Anchor Church sent 25 volunteers and promised to return next year. Meanwhile, the flea market had, she estimates, 20 percent more stuff to sell, and interest was intense — she said the line started forming at 7 a.m. on Saturday.
Rick Green said that one woman in the Let’s Make a Deal section came with her own “sold” stickers. “Here, these are sold already, will you help me move them to my car?” she said.
In the Silent Auction, Irene Fowle defined “fun” as trying to call winners and figure out who won what while the tent is coming down and tables are being removed.
Despite golf cart engine problems, Daren Graves and the grounds crew did a fine job and the young volunteers were a major plus.
Joy Ward expressed kudos to Mike Pollard for all the hard work, which resulted in a whopping record of close to $16,000 brought in by the Boutique.
Mike Thompson also lauded the young volunteers in the Live Auction tent, especially calling out high school students who were asked by Ingrid to come and help out.
With 2019 (almost) in the history books, interest turns to 2020, when the Auction is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1. There’s no rest for the weary; already, pickups have started. Area captains are once again in force, and are looking for volunteers. Let Laurie know, and she will direct you to the captain closest to you. And then Laurie answered the question we were all waiting to ask: Yes, she and Debbie will be co-chairs again next year, but with an added plus: The leadership team for 2020 will be enhanced by Melanie Green! Major huzzahs from throughout the building were immediately sounded.
Interested in Rotary and want to be part of all the good we do in the community and beyond? Call any Rotarian or drop by the Rotary building at 66 Montgomery Avenue. We meet every Thursday for fellowship, fun, and dinner on Thursdays, starting at 6 p.m. Be part of the energy throughout the Boothbay region!