At today's Rotary Meeting . . .
At today's Rotary meeting, I noticed that people had rotated more, thanks to Betty Jespersen's reminder that we are here to make good, solid connections with more than just those with whom we normally connect.  What a great group of people, building better friendships with good will! 

Following breakfast, Adrian and Doug walked us through our usual agenda.  It is Groundhog's Day, and we have had the report that the Groundhog did see his shadow.  Although it was a bit confusing what this means, I think that in reality we can expect 6 more weeks of winter only because we haven't had any real winter yet.

Guests were introduced, of which there were five; Clayton is back, and he did a make-up in Rangeley; welcome back, Clayton!  We are at 85.07% for the week and 82.09% for the month; if it were an exam, I would call it a good, solid "B".


Today is Roy's anniversary and Clayton and Joyce will celebrate theirs on the 7th:  May there be flowers and diamonds . . .  Kent Wiles reported on Basket Bingo.  As many tickets as there are, they can all be sold.  If you have unsold tickets, turn them in, because they are hot.  Also, filler for the baskets need to be turned in by Monday.  And if you cannot help in any other way, then, by golly, make a whoopie pie or two and come on down to the Elk's on Sunday morning the 12th.

Al reported on the World Service Project; we are collecting for the survivors of the Pakistan earthquake.  Many people are still living in tents and it is one of the worst winters in recent years. 

Pauline reported that the Interact club will be helping out at Basket Bingo by serving food.  I was reminded when I saw the big Rotary Poster at Mt. Blue High School that we all serve as mentors, where-ever we go.  And that integrity is learned through modeling.  As Rotarians, we strive to have integrity in our service to our community and to the world beyond; I was proud to know that high school students would be emulating that which they see us model.

Betty Jespersen had the Rotary Minute; she shared also about the Pakistan earthquake, punctuating the report with amazing facts regarding the numbers of Rotary clubs in Pakistan, India, Kashmir, and Punjab that are all responding to the needs.  It is good for us to recognize that Rotarians around the globe are all equal in their desire to serve human need. 

Melanie reported on Membership, and there were five notable Rotarians who were awarded Sponsor Pins for sponsoring new members.  They include:Mike Mansir, Al Feather, Adrian Harris, Carol Timberlake, Clayton King and Carolyn Eaton.  The Sponsor pins will be awarded from now on, serving as an encouragement to each of us to reach out to others in our community who share in their desire to grow in integrity and service.

Clayton reported on the Price is Right; Lucky is making a new game, "Queen of Hearts".  More on this after the Basket Bingo.

The infamous free breakfast ticket was won by Gerry Williams. I really don't know why everyone groans about winning this; it is always such a treat to hear the Rotary Minute.  And I am certain that Gerry will share something equally as interesting as the rest of the free breakfast ticket winners have in the past.  It is, however, the red ticket that everyone desires . . .and the pot is growing!  This week John Frary went forward to draw the card.  No Joker yet.  Had that face shown up, however, we can be sure that fresh carnations would be in his lapel for weeks to come!  Next week . . . there was a suggestion, made by Roger, that was met by groans once more, that we should go to a new deck if the Joker doesn't show up until the last card.  Ah, gamblers. . .  we could all use an easy win!  There were many Happy Dollars, including Adrian, Clayton, and Kent, but the one by Al, always a good happy dollar giver, thanked John for not winning the pot!

Fred O. Smith introduced his guest; I, being from "away", did not know who he was, but then I was told that Peter Mills, brother of our own Paul, is a Senator who is running for Governor on the Republican ticket. 

Peter told us that he had not been to the Farmington Rotary Club for 41 years; at that time, he was the guest of his father and it was 1964.  He had many statements that could make good soundbites, but the one that stuck with me was "I would eat, sleep, and dream cream corn".  Although I also recall that he has a clear understanding of the debt that the State of Maine has been carrying, he stated regarding this: "What doesn't get measured, doesn't get met".  He further elaborated that he has developed a 12-step plan for balancing the budget.  It is available on his website; I was relieved to see that it didn't start out as many other 12-step plans do, with "I came to believe that I was powerless . . .".  No, he does not portray this.  Rather, he seemed to have a relatively empowered perspective about the entire matter.  But I will not forget that he is the man who eats and sleeps and dreams creamcorn from Cornville.  Thanks for coming, Peter, and sharing with us today. 

That is all; your weekly meeting reporter, susy