A lovely induction of a new member today, Dyan Macomber, daughter of Rotarian Nancy Richards, becoming member number 73, was done by our own Doug. Diane works for United Kingfield Bank and, as Diane was described in connection to her mother before her, The Rose is Still Blooming!
Once again we are cheered to open the day with our most agile adjective juggler, President Mills. A very nice induction of Dyan MaComber by Douglas Ibarguen began the business events of the morning. Our world cup project continues to be a local one this month as we collect funds for the Bridge over the Sandy River Project. Don't forget, for those who give $125.00 or more, your name will appear on a plaque on the bridge. (Let us hope that none find their names written in graffiti, such as we have found of late on the Phillips Bridge . . .). The Bridge Project is an encouraging link that continues to portray the connections between our communities of Wilton and Farmington and worthy of our contributions! Pauline told us about the first Interact meeting of the year, describing the youth as very excited and enthusiastic about their potential projects. Rotaract will be having its first opportunity on the 19th of September at the UMF orientation. Please sign up to join us in encouraging this club to get off the ground! Debbie of the Sunshine committee reports that most everyone is fine right now; this is good news in that several of our members have had a variety of surgeries, accidents, and other health issues in the last year. It is good to know that Rotarians look out for one another as well as those in our communities and in the world at large. Susan Pratt talked to us about the website and offered to answer questions about how to access it. It was encouraging to see how many hands were raised when she asked who had visited the site. Susan offered to help anyone who is having difficulty logging in; all you need to do is email her and she will give you your username and get you started. Be sure to change your password so that it is your own private access code. The user names are pretty standard: the first letter of your first name, your last name and the numbers 2198, which identify the Farmington Club. Susan invites all of us to become involved in the website, as the more people than can be involved, the better the website will be! Also, we have the capacity to post emails to the entire club; just ask Susan for help! Thanks, Sue! Happy Dollars abounding and I must admit, I love the happy dollar time. It is so wonderful to hear what each person has to share; I so hope that it is not cut too short. Although I know that we need time for speakers, the happy dollars bring such a smile! Although there was one happy dollar today that wasn't so happy: Buzz told us the story of how vandals don't always come at night. Right at the same time that he was rescuing the benches that had been tumbled into the river, a vandal was tumbling more. In broad daylight. Hopefully they will be caught and their crankiness be remedied. Our special speaker today was Scott Nichols. An amazing presentation about his time in Iraq, training the local police. Before the the training, the Iraqi police were nothing more than organized thugs. The work that Scott and others were doing helped to set up entire police systems, as nothing was in place. Scott clarified to us that no job in Iraq is a "safe" job; we saw that for ourselves as the video footage that he brought had explosions taking place every few minutes. It was sobering, indeed. He also explained an interesting fact about how one goes about getting business done in Iraq; first, you need to interact with the locals on a very low-key level, drinking tea, smoking, and talking about families and life in general as trust is built. This takes at least a month; then you can begin business. Scott also helped to clarify a very nice concept about those serving in Iraq. He stated that the soldiers and civilians there all truly want to do the right thing and to be of service to the country and its people. Establishing rapport is vital. After viewing the explosions on his video footage, aptly produced by his daughter, I would have to add that not only is establishing rapport vital, but so is courage. Thank-you, Scott, for your courageous service to the people of Iraq. Your courage has not gone unnoticed and your generosity is gratefully appreciated! That is it for this week; signing off, susy sanders