Posted by Jeff Benson on Nov 12, 2019
Our guest today was Paul Fournier’s wife Chrissy.
President Dennis Connolly displayed our new banners representing 100 percent club participation in Polio Plus and Every Rotarian Every Year (EREY) participation.  These Rotary Foundation awards were presented at the recent Foundation Dinner.   These recognitions signify our strong support for the Rotary Foundation. November is Rotary Foundation month, and each of us is encouraged to maintain or increase our Foundation giving.  Stay tuned for information on how you can double your recognition points for additional foundation contributions in November and December of this year.
New Brighton City Manager (and NBMV Rotarian) Dean Lotter was featured in a recent St. Paul Pioneer Press article
Dean is leaving to be the City Manager in Eureka, CA, and we’ll be bidding him a fond farewell at next Tuesday’s noon meeting.  Rumor has it that there may be cupcakes.  At the same meeting we’ll be inducting John Johnson into the club.
President Dennis reviewed our club service projects.  One project that has stalled a bit is our Financial Literacy class at CPY.  We hope to re-energize the program this year.
Speaking of service projects; our next Harvest Pack event is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon on December 10th.  Our club has earmarked $4,000 for the event and the Lions and Eagles are also likely to contribute.  API Group has generously committed $1,000 toward this project.  You’ll soon be able to register online or sign up at the club meeting.
Mary Stewart thanked everyone who attended the CPY Game Night Gala.  Initial reports indicate about $22,000 in much needed funds for this program that is so critical for area youth.
Ed James has accepted the President Elect position and will begin his presidential term on July 1, 2020.  Congratulations, Ed!
Jed Hamoud is celebrating 41 years of wedded bliss this week!
Denise Jacobsen introduced our speaker, Japanese exchange student Nanase Hirama.  Nanase is one of three children.  Older sister Ami is a freshman in college; younger brother Haruki is in 7th grade and Nanase herself is in 11th grade and enjoys cooking,  music, camping and exploring beaches and mountains with her family.  Her father works for an energy company and her mother works at a hospital.  Nanase lives in Tomiya, a city of about 53,000 in Miyagi Prefecture on the Northeast coast of Japan.  Nanase attends a 600 student all-girl Christian school which was established in 1886.  Nanase’s Japanese school day schedule was very long and packed with built-in study time and extracurricular activities. 
Japan is a very populous country, with 126 million residents (according to Wikipedia).  The Japanese flag is a large red circle (love) on a white background (purity).  Nanase said that the voting age is 18, drinking is legal at 20 and the legal age for marriage is 16 for girls and 18 for boys.  The national currency is the yen and 100 yen is approximately equal to one U.S. dollar.  Japan has sixteen national holidays and numerous festivals.  Nanase’s home is within 10 miles of the location of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and the resulting 130 ft. high tsunami that devastated Sendai city, killing nearly 16,000 people.  Fortunately, the earthquake was less severe in her hometown than in Sendai.   Ed James, Nanase and Denise Jacobsen are shown below.