Posted by Julie L'Heureux

President John Curran convened the meeting by welcoming 46 members and 4 guests; then introduced PP Tom Talbott (photo at right), who gave an invocation in recognition of the birthday of George Washington. His tribute to America’s first president focused on quotes from an array of gentlemen named 'George': 

  • George Herman 'Babe' Ruth said, “Never let the  fear of striking out get in your way.”
  • George Orwell said, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
  • George Costanza said, “When you look annoyed, people think you’re busy.” 
  • George Harrison said, “Love one another.”
  • George Patten said, “All Americans love to fight.”
  • Curious George did not say anything, but the man with the big yellow hat said, “You don’t give a monkey a ladder.”
  • George Jetson said, “Jane, stop this crazy thing.”
  • George Carlin said, “Forecast tonight....dark.”
  • George Burns said, “Good night Gracie.”

Linda Varrell introduced guests Glendon Zernicke and Katherine Hulit, who are apprentices working with WorkLab, a new company she has started.

(Photo L-R: Glendon Zernicke, Linda Varrell,, and Katherine Hulit.)

President John noted that our meetings have had some very full agendas and we haven't been able to take the time to recognize the February birthdays and anniversaries of our members since the beginning of the month, so he listed them off (published in the Feb. 1st issue of the Windjammer) and we sang 'Happy Birthday' to all. 

Talking about birthdays, President John reminded us that the birthday of Rotary is February 23rd and this year is the organization’s 114th birthday!

Continuing to celebrate our dedication to ‘Service Above Self’, the Rotary Foundation Chair, DGN and PP Dick Hall presented Rusty Atwood with a Paul Harris + one sapphire pin for participating in the ‘Circle of Five’ donors. Linda Varrell received her first Paul Harris Fellow with her direct contribution. Acknowledgement was also given to two Portland Rotarian “Rotary Peace Fellowships,” awarded to PP Dick Hall, who supported a student in South America, and PP John Marr, who supported a student in Thailand. Thank you and congratulations to Rusty, Linda and all Paul Harris Fellows.

(Photo L-R: Rusty Atwood, Linda Varrell and Dick Hall.)

Roger Fagan (photo at left) presented an uplifting slide photo update about the volunteer project to provide hearing aids for the children and adults in the Dominican Republic (DR). During their recent trip, the team provided 148 hearing aides to the people who had lined up early and stayed late to have the opportunity to be seen. Children were given priority in the lines of people, regardless of when they arrived. Dominicans expressed their love for Americans and Rotary.

David Small (photo at right) followed by presenting an interesting slide overview about the Rotary volunteer efforts for providing water filter systems to the people who reside in the DR’s Bateys. Nearly all the residents who live in the very poor Bateys are Haitian workers who provide labor for the DR’s sugar cane fields. In the absence of having water filter systems donated by Rotary, all of the available water provided to the Bateys is collected in rain barrels or sometimes delivered in tankers. None of the water is potable. In the most recent visit to install the water filters, the Portland Rotarians partnered with the Rotary Club of Palm Beach, Florida. A “water filter monitor” is the person who determined what residents in the Batey received a filter. A 5-gallon bucket and water filter system, produced by Sawyer, was installed in the designated Batey families’ huts. This particular water system is efficient and does not need frequent replacement of the filters. Also, the Batey occupants greatly appreciated receiving the donated solar lamps.

School supplies were distributed with funds raised largely through our own member, Ben Jackson, Headmaster at NYA, from the “dress down day” fee paid by the school’s students. The supplies were purchased in the Dominican Republic and distributed in the schools by volunteer Rotarians.

Jerry Angier conducted the weekly raffle. Charlie Frair’s name was drawn by one of our speakers for the chance to win $222. Charlie will have to try again next week, because he didn’t draw the Queen of Hearts this time.

(Photo L-R: Charlie Frair and Jerry Angier.)