Now THIS is a Signature Event

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It was tough choosing who to give top billing for this post, but I decided it had to be the beer guys. They kept the Budweiser flowing. (I’m a true connoisseur of the finest light beers.)  From left, Rotarians Howard Topel, Don Taylor, Tom Phelps, and Jim Powers. (Apologies to the Rotarian at far right who persisted in actually working so I couldn’t get his face in the picture.)

I realize that I may be the only Rotarian in District 7620 that has never attended the Annapolis Rotary Club crab festival.  It’s only been an annual event for 69 years!  I rectified that situation last weekend as Linda and I attended the event as a guest of the club.  If you haven’t been there, the scale of thing is breathtaking.  Do you remember the first time you visited Las Vegas?  Manhattan?  Disney World?  When you go to the crab festival it feels kind of similar.  Twenty three hundred people gleefully spending the evening at Navy-Marine Corp stadium chowing down on their favorite crustaceans.

Linda and I got to sit at the President’s Table, which was very cool because we got to meet Naval Academy Superintendent, Vice-Admiral Walter “Ted” Carter and his wife,  Barbara. This guy was at Top Gun when Tom Cruise was shooting the movie.  He flew 125 combat missions in support of joint operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.  He accumulated 6,150 flight hours in F-4, F-14, and F-18 aircraft during his career and safely completed 2,016 carrier-arrested landings, the record among all active and retired U.S. Naval Aviation designators.  

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DG Bill Fine and Naval Academy Superintendent, Vice Admiral Walter “Ted” Carter, taking a break from swapping baseball stories. By the way, Superintendent Carter may have set the record for carrier landing, but DG Bill Fine faced real danger when he raised District dues this year. Perhaps the biggest risk of the evening was Superintendent Carter wearing dress whites while eating crabs.  (NOTE: Spouse, Barbara, did most of the picking.)

Wanna know what the conversation was about when chatting with a bonafide American hero while eating crabs?  Baseball, of course!  It turns out the Superintendent is a Red Sox fan (forgivable in light of his military service.)  He thinks that the A’s got the best of the John Lester trade versus Detroit grabbing David Price from the Rays.  But the topper came from our own bonafide hero, our District Governor, Bill Fine, who related a story of watching Manny Machado, platinum glove third basemen for my beloved Orioles, make FIVE errors in one game at Triple A.  FIVE ERRORS!

But…as usual….I digress.  The stats for this event are ridiculous.  350 bushels of crabs, 3,400 ears of corn, 100 gallons of crab soup, 1,800 hot dogs, 150 pounds of beef barbeque, and hundreds of gallons of soft drinks and beer.  Not too shabby.  The club members were all complaining about the construction at the stadium, but Linda and I didn’t know what it looked like in previous years.  We just thought it was spectacular.  Here’s Annapolis Rotarian Harold Green’s observation on how the event turned out.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that PR wizard Mary Felter managed to get FIVE, that’s right, FIVE, different TV networks to cover the event.  And I also suppose it’s worth noting that they figure they will clear somewhere close to $75,000 for the club’s favorite local charities.  One other observation…it is clear that Annapolis Rotarians work their butts off during this event.  This is clearly the “all hands on deck” event for the club and red shirted Annapolis Rotarians could be seen hustling everywhere you looked.

There are some other fantastic signature events in our District.  The Baltimore Club’s Bull and Oyster Roast comes to mind.  I believe this year is the 93rd year for their signature event.  Wow!

If your club doesn’t have a signature event., an event that your community instantly identifies as a Rotary event, then you should start planning one.  If it involves good food and Lite Beer, I will try to make time in my schedule to show up….clearly in the interest of journalism of course.

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DG Bill and Annapolis Club President, Marshall Larner. It was clear that when attending the event as Club President, Larner didn’t know what to do with himself. I suggested he claim 100% credit for the success of the event, but he didn’t seem to think that passed the Four Way Test.
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Florida Watermelon Queen Megan Morgan, courtesy of the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the Mar-Del Watermelon Association.
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Elvia Thompson, co-founder of Annapolis Green environmental group. Here’s a stat for you: They expected to collect 20,000 lbs of food waste that will turn into fantastic compost in about two months.  And no, I didn’t stick around for the cleanup.
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Rotarian Larry Ulvila, Jr. handling the MC chores.

 

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