Posted by Jeff Benson on Nov 20, 2018
Our guests today were: Exchange student Maria Klakegg; Ed James’ guests, Oladele James and Abiodun Adeoye; Irondale Activities Director Chris Fink and Assistant District Governor Sandy Campbell.  We were also blessed by the presence of Honorary Rotarian MaryAnn Bawden.
Ed James reminded us of the Harvest Pack event on Dec 11th.  The service club shift will begin at 3:20 PM and continue until all food is packed.
Maria Klakegg decided that basketball was not going to be her sport so she opted for a more traditional Norwegian choice, the Ski Team.
Just a reminder that, as much as you might want to escape, there will be no  4:01 happy hour meeting on Thanksgiving day.
After the meeting today, Dave Hoel called to say that he has nailed down the location for our Irondale Choir Concert and Carol sing-along on December 18th.  Ted Risdall has graciously offered to host it at Risdall Advertising.
Jeff Benson reported on NBMV Rotary volunteers packing Thanksgiving food bags at Ralph Reeder Food Shelf this morning.  They worked hard and the hard work was greatly appreciated by the food shelf staff.
Happy Bucks Highlights:
- Gerry found a buyer for his ham radio system.  He noted that the longest call he ever got was from Madagascar.
- Assistant District Governor Sandy Campbell offered two dollars; one for our sponsorship of Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, Ellen Dunn and one for Ed James work in selecting the scholars.
- Dana paid a dollar in honor of DG Mike Becker and ADG Sandy Campbell.
Cindy Carlson auctioned off Western Bank’s Gophers vs. Michigan State Hockey tickets.  Dave Hoel was highest (and only) bidder at $50. The proceeds will go to the Rotary Foundation.
While in London recently, Ed James visited the Harrow Rotary Club which will host the previously mentioned District 5960 Ambassadorial Scholar, Ellen Dunn, during her year of overseas study.  Ed showed photos of the club members, one of whom will host Ellen for the entire year at no cost!
Co President John Marg-Patton introduced ADG Sandy Campbell who then introduced District Governor Mike Becker.  Mike got on our good side right away by saying that he had scheduled us as one of his final club visits because he was saving the best for last.  He wondered out loud how a club with so few members can get so much done.  At the same time he wondered how many people in the community know about all we accomplish.   He suggested that Rotary clubs need to do a much better job of getting the word out into the community by taking every opportunity to talk about Rotary with friends and business associates.  He also said that almost everyone who joins Rotary does so because someone asked them to.  To make his point he invited Co-President Cindy Carlson, Membership Team Leader Gerry Tietz and Charlie Longbella to join him at the podium.  Charlie was asked by His Rotarian uncle to join Rotary, so Charlie sought us out.   Charlie has been approved for membership so Cindy and Gerry had the honor of inducting Charlie as the newest member of the club.  See the photo below.
Mike went on to say that getting someone to join Rotary is just the first step.  Retention of members is the real challenge.  Keeping members engaged and being aware of, and following up on, signs of waning interest are the keys to retaining members.  Mike reminded us that the District is there as a resource to help us be a more effective club and to help us get the word out about Rotary.  In fact, the District has developed a promotional campaign that will be airing soon on Public Radio.
Mike also made us aware that District Matching Grant requests far exceed the funds available.  These funds come from the Rotary Foundation, so Mike suggested that we all make the Rotary Foundation our charity of choice.  There really is no better bang for the buck than contributing to the Foundation
In closing, Mike repeated his favorite saying, “What’s in me for it?”  Isn’t that what Rotary is all about?
Co-Presidents John and Cindy are shown with DG Mike Becker below.