We had another fun Zoom meeting last Thursday with around 25 Rotarians. Join us if you can. It’s mostly time to chat and laugh together. Who doesn’t need a laugh these days. Our “family member” speakers have been fun and interesting. I always invite them with the line “your life story in 15 minutes or less,” no pressure. We usually have a lot of questions which is fun.
We’re continuing our “Meet the Family” series this Thursday with Judy deGraw’s daughter, Kathleen Collins. Kathleen is a graduate of Bates College, right here in Maine. She now lives in NYC and is the librarian at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. And she is an accomplished and published author. She will read an excerpt from her latest book “From Rabbit Ears to the Rabbit Hole” - A Life in Television. Then of course we’ll have time for questions.
A good crew of Rotarians gathered at the Rotary Barn last Saturday in that pouring, driving rain and wind. Wearing masks and practicing good social distancing, with the roar of the rain on that huge metal roof, we cleaned out the old and made room for some new. The Topsham Restore came Friday and filled their truck with some of the old. Linda Clapp and Sue Hochstein helped with the Flea Market area clean up. They set aside a pile to donate to the St Andrews Thrift Store. We did some good recycling along with the clean up. Even though we now have some space we are still not taking donations or doing pick ups. The pick up crews and club volunteers still need a bit more time to rest before another busy summer season is upon us. So, hang on to your donations right now.
One of our new “Under 35” members, Ivan deGroote, was our “family member” speaker last week. Ivan is a Boothbay Region High School graduate. He then graduated from Stanford University with a computer degree. Lucky us, he and Tory, who graduated one year after him from Boothbay Region High School, will be working together on the migration from Club Wizard to Club Runner for our website. (More on that when there is more to say). Ivan is a world traveler visiting family in Oregon, Belgium and his father in Kenya. We didn’t have time to hear his travel stories, but when we meet in person it will be fun to hear them. We are lucky to include Ivan in the BBH Rotary family.
Steve and Ann Demeranville also joined us from their temporary “attic” apartment in Asheville, North Carolina last Thursday. You’ll be happy to hear they had a snowstorm on Christmas. Their apartment has three stories of outside, iron stairs that were totally icy and slippery. That made us all laugh and feel better imaging them sliding down those stairs while we’re snowless. When we all go visit Ann and Steve we’ll have to tour the Biltmore Estate, also in Asheville, North Carolina. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States, built in 1889 on 146,000 acres. Thom Martson says they have the best barbecue in the South in the restaurant there. Ivan deGroote shared that George Vanderbilt never donated a dime to charity instead building mansions everywhere including 10 on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Third generation, William Kissan Vanderbilt turned the tide and built housing for factory workers and donated generously to Columbia University, the YMCA and of course Vanderbilt University.
Judi White reports that so far we have donated 311 pints of soup to the Food Pantry. Amy Ronan is making two big pots of soup every other week, then Rotarians are labeling and packing it prior to delivery to the Food Pantry. Fleet Davies says the soup is “flying off the freezer shelves.” There is nothing like a warm cup of soup in the winter. To be safe, Judi and one other Rotarian package the soup biweekly. If you would like to help email Judi White.
This week we will be making 200 Valentine treat bags for the Food Pantry and the Food for Thought children. Between COVID-19 and Winter, everyone needs cheering up. Making the treat bags will cheer us up and then hopefully these fanciful treat bags with little goodies will bring cheer to the recipients.
So, Join us this Thursday to meet Judy deGraw’s daughter. I am looking forward to it.