Volume XI, Issue 7: August 12, 2011 – DG Maureen Visits

Amy Bohner reminded us that the SWOT Team (Serving With Our Talents) would be installing appliances at the Arcata Playhouse later in the morning. Installation should be completed by the end of this week.
Noemi Schonenberger is our new Rotary Exchange Student from Switzerland, and she attended her first Club Meeting last week. She received a welcome gift from the Club – an Arcata High “Tigers” hoodie. Summer attire here in sunny Humboldt County.

Exchange Student Noemi with President Scott

What’s a lip dub? Well, Wikipedia says it’s “a type of video that combines lip syncing and audio dubbing to make a music video”. Before last week’s meeting, President Scott showed us a sample created to promote Grand Rapids, Michigan (here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPjjZCO67WI). Our very own District 5130 plans to put together its own lip dub to promote this year’s District Conference in Fortuna. There will be two meetings to coordinate the project. Both will take place at Fortuna’s River Lodge – one on Monday, August 29th, and the second on Tuesday, August 30th; both meetings will begin at 6 pm. You don’t have to attend both (although you can) – pick one or the other. The project sounds like it will be a lot of fun. The song we will use is “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang.

When Recognitions Master Bob Johnson showed us the newspaper headline that read, “Alleged Shooter Turns Himself In’, you could see that George Cavinta wanted to say more than he could. George had been pursuing the case of the driver who reportedly shot a woman who had rear-ended his vehicle in Eureka, and he was working on three hours of sleep. George said that he noticed the man walking into the Sheriff’s Office. Even with only three hours of sleep, George said to himself, “That guy looks familiar.”

Next, we saw the world as Jessica McKnight recently saw it – from the back of her husband James’s motorcycle. The couple celebrated their anniversary by hopping on the bike and heading for the Mendocino Coast. Jessica also said that her sister and family moved here a few weeks ago.

David and Shawna Neyra also celebrated their anniversary recently. The couple traveled to Las Vegas, and apparently the slogan is true (“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”), because my notes on the subject end there. David also celebrated his birthday on August 16th. At least he was supposed to have done so. He indicated that he did nothing special for the day.

Garrett Perks did celebrate his birthday the following day, and he told us that he received a handmade pen as a gift. He showed it to us – it was wooden, turned on a lathe, and quite lovely.

Bob ended the Recognition session by noting that it had been a difficult period for our Club, with the losses we have suffered recently. However, he is “impressed with the way we came together to help one of our own”. Amen to that.

Assistant Governor Bert Campton of the Eureka Rotary introduced District Governor Maureen Merrill by noting that she is a “paragon of virtue, intellect, and accomplishment”. He proceeded through a list of titles and achievements that was (I believe) mostly fictional, but quite amusing, including her reign as Miss Universe 1975, her prowess as a black belt karate champion, and the way she combined philanthropy and motherhood by donating nine of her ten children to charity.

DG Maureen Merrill and President Scott Heller

Maureen’s true accomplishments are impressive enough – she is a principal in Harris Merrill Speech Coaching in Santa Rosa, she holds an MA in Psychology, and she is a Past-President of the Rotary Club of Windsor.

She perched on one of the Plaza Grill’s bar stools for her talk with the club, saying, “Not every Club has a bar stool. I have one in the back of my car.” At one of her official visits this year, a Rotarian was heard to remark, “There’s a woman at my Rotary Club on a bar stool wearing pumps – it’s a good day!”

Maureen began by noting that of all the components that make Rotary an extraordinary organization, the Rotary Foundation stands out. She took the opportunity to present President Scott with his second level Paul Harris Fellowship, saying, “His generosity is an example to all of us.” Another great example is Former Club President Joyce Hinrichs, who received recognition for achieving her fourth level Fellowship. Joyce said that our Final Friday Foundation Auctions are a great way to contribute to the Foundation.

It’s an exciting moment for Rotary, Maureen told us. We are responding to immediate needs as we prepare for the future. We rely on our traditions, and “one of the traditions we rely upon is change”.

“What will keep your club vibrant and alive?” Maureen asked.

Bob Johnson responded  that we are accommodating to our members. If a Sunriser’s circumstances require him or her to take some time away from Rotary, we are flexible in that regard.

Mark Bruce mentioned that our Club is open and welcoming,

Terri Clark said that she appreciates that we celebrate our Charter Night each year. This allow long-time Sunrisers to reminisce and gives newer members a sense of our Club’s history.

Rebecca Crow said that she likes the fact that our Club encourages our members to bring their kids to our meetings.

John Wesa noted that our Club has the “flavor of post-modernism”.

Maureen noted that Rotary, unlike many other organizations, has a structure that allows us to put the talents of its members to work. She also said that new initiatives, such as the New Generations Rotary Club in Santa Rosa are intended to appeal to younger people. She did say that the young people in that club “don’t realize how soon they’ll be forty!”

The last word came from last year’s Club President Bob Goodman, who said, “This Club doesn’t just tolerate each other, we engage each other.