The Rotary Club celebrated the holiday with ersatz Latino appetizers and what we do best: fellowship and laughter. It was a youthful crowd. Not only were our young(er) members out in force, but the rest of us proved equally juvenile in attitude and spirit.
President Jeff broke up the festivities with what he called a “brief interruption” to get some Rotary business accomplished. He started by recognizing visitors (some of whom will cease being visitors in the very near future). Introduced or reintroduced to the crowd were Rich and Charlotte Jameson of Newagen, and Paul Jarkowitz, a long-time connection of Chip Griffin. Not a visitor but recently returned from the still-borne District e-club was Margi Spratt – it is good to have her back.
Then it was on to the even better stuff: We welcomed Rick Chaplin to our ranks, sponsored by his partner, Judi White. Welcome to Rotary, Rick! We look forward to your involvement.
Judy deGraw provided an update on Bob Pike, our beloved club curmudgeon. After several weeks and several surgeries at Miles, Bob was Life-Flighted to Maine Med. More medical interventions followed, and now, he is rallying and convalescing. Jeff even shared a picture of Bob smiling (a few of us thought that photo had to be photoshopped. Whatever). We all look forward to having Bob back with us, grousing about life again, per normal.
I.J. Pinkham and Ingrid Merrill brought us up to date on our annual HS scholarships, which Ingrid will present to the graduating seniors at awards night. And for the sophomores, the great news is that the RYLA program is being reborn for the first time post-pandemic. The Board approved funds for five sophomores (rising juniors) to attend; Ingrid took advantage of District funds to invite a sixth student, and this editor suspects that if another student expresses appropriate interest the Board will be able to scratch together the necessary dollars. All-in-all, RYLA is a great, camp-based leadership program – feedback suggests that the kids love it and grow a lot through it - and it’s terrific that BRHS will be so well represented.
Ingrid also spoke of the raised garden at Edgecomb Eddy, which is coming along nicely. There are 34 kids in the school’s garden club, and they, the teachers, and Botanical Gardens volunteers are putting in the sweat equity to make this garden – now in its third year – a success. All this is in addition to the raised beds that we organized in association with the Y – and which have now been moved to Camp K while the in-town Y is undergoing renovations.
And, of course, barn sales continue every Saturday, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m., rain or shine. People are needed to collect, haul, sort, refurb and sell. Don’t be shy – we need you! We also need the People Power to staff our meetings – greet, waiter, scribe, 50/50, et cetera. Sign up with Jim Herbold. We can’t do it without you!
Judi White asked us to remember Rotary’s Annual Fund drive – the financial source of our grant-giving, both locally and overseas. As a reminder: The club matches each member’s contribution dollar-for-dollar up to $100 per annum. Our “bogie” this year is $10,000, and we are $5,925 toward that goal, with six weeks remaining in the fiscal year. Give online at www.rotary.org (click DONATE and then the box for “Annual Fund-SHARE”), or if you prefer, fill out the form that Judi left by the rack of nametags in the clubhouse, or bring her a check and let her do the form-filling. We take cash, credit cards and securities. Everything but Russian yachts, if you please.
Interested in Rotary and what we do for the community? Ask a Rotarian about our projects, or come to one of our meetings, held (almost) every Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Rotary building, 66 Montgomery Road. We’re always looking for newbies who share our passion for giving back to this incredible community.