I suppose that Past RI VP Anne Matthews is something of a legend in Rotary Zone 33. We were blessed to have her take time out of her extraordinarily busy schedule to be a featured speaker at the District 7620 Foundation Dinner. If you missed it, you missed one of the highlights of the entire Rotary year. And let me say…for those of you attended….you clean up REALLY nice. The guys in tuxedo’s? You rooked Maavelous.
Many of us have heard Anne speak before, but her message is just as vibrant and relevant as ever. And when she held up a glass of clean water and asked us to think about our own lives compared to the millions who don’t have access to something we take for granted, not a person in the room wasn’t moved. You all know that I am far too immature to get right to the point about the many awards and accomplishments we celebrated during the evening, so here is a little test. Why am I including this clip from the movie, “Stranger than Fiction,” where IRS auditor, Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell, finds himself the subject of a narration that only he can hear? Pay attention.
Did you notice that Will Ferrell’s character wasn’t running the water while he was brushing his teeth? Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has heard Anne speak about the Rotary Foundation, and our need to conserve water, will never let the water run while brushing our teeth again. Here’s Anne, along with District 7620 Foundation Chair, Claude Morissette, with a quick comment about the Rotary Foundation:
As you may know, Anne is a fanatic fan of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team. As your intrepid RFA reporter I’m sad to speculate that Anne must have burst a gasket as South Carolina lost to Tennessee last weekend, 45 – 42. It’s clear from her comments that if it was up to her, coach Steve Spurrier’s job would be in jeopardy. In fact, she’s ready to step in and coach the team herself. Here’s something you don’t get to see every day…..RI VP Anne Matthews talking more than a little trash about SEC football with 7620 Foundation Chair, Claude. Two things to note: First, Claude is thoroughly entertained by Anne’s smackdown of Big 10 football. Second, in the background you can hear IPDG Peter Kyle trying to censor the press while I valiantly try to get this important story on video.
Of course, the main stars of the evening were the many award winners for Foundation contributions in our District. Geetha Jayaram, of the soon to be chartered Howard West Rotary Club, was recognized for winning the prestigious Rotary Foundation Global Alumni Service to Humanity award. David Hillery (Parole Annapolis) and Donald Walter (Lake Shore – Severna Park) were recognized for achieving Major Donor Level 2 . Not to embarrass them, but to reach Major Donor Level 2 you must give $25,000 to the Rotary Foundation, a true statement of their commitment to Rotary’s goal of world peace through humanitarian service. And yes, we honored several Rotarians for achieving Major Donor Level 1 status, including Frank Andracchi from Lake Shore, Bea Carson from Annapolis, and John Ramos from Lexington Park. To reach Major Donor Level 1 you must have total contributions to the Rotary Foundation of $10,000. Congratulations to all!
Special recognition was given to new Bequest Society members (3), new Paul Harris Society members (17), District Grant Scholars (4), and our Global Grant scholar, Sarah Dobson. We also recognized the 15 clubs that were awarded District Grants for the 2014-2015 Rotary year. And yes, because we needed to parade even more well-dressed men and women to the podium, we recognized the South Anne Arundel Rotary Club, the College Park Club, and the Lake Shore-Severna Park club, as having the highest per capita giving in the District.
The bottom line is that the Rotary Foundation is our Foundation, and it felt great to all concerned to spend an evening to celebrate our commitment to the cause…even if it did mean that we missed the first half of the Ravens-Pittsburgh game. (If you are a Raven’s fan the game stunk anyway.)
Thanks to DGN, Anna Mae Kobbe for putting on a terrific show along with our hard working and long suffering District Secretary, Sherry Whitworth. And as always, thanks to DG Bill Fine for leading the troops this year.
L-R, DG Bill Fine, RI VP Anne Matthews, Level One Major Donors, Frank Andracchi (Lake Shore-Severna Park), Bea Carson (Annapolis), and DRFC Claude Morissette, all obviously looking at the wrong camera.
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