It's always a great day when we welcome a new member. L-R Scott Tarkenton, Pres. Steven Nelson, NEW MEMBER TIM FRAZIER & Past DG Mack Parker. Tim is with Regions Bank & loves surfing, tennis, soccer, and crossfit. His dog's name is Olley. Welcome Tim!

It’s always a great day when we welcome a new member. L-R Scott Tarkenton, Pres. Steven Nelson, NEW MEMBER TIM FRAZIER & Past DG Mack Parker. Tim is with Regions Bank & loves surfing, tennis, soccer, and crossfit. His dog’s name is Olley. Welcome Tim!

Last evening, we had a wonderful presentation from a future Rotarian, Dr. Kevin Snyder. He spoke about Leadership and it moved many of those in attendance. One of the subjects he touched on was “thinking outside the box“. He didn’t speak in traditional terms, but talked about if we are truly thinking outside the box, or is it simply lip service. He gave us a little task, which Dee Dee Heard solved, and I wanted to include it here. The task is: you must connect all of the dots, using only 4 lines without picking up your pencil. See if you can solve it and bring your answers to the next meeting.

.          .          .

.          .          .

.          .          .

I want to know if you can solve this problem. Remember, you need to be willing to “think outside the box” to get the correct answer. Again, I want to thank our sponsors, Greg Brissette with Janney Montgomery, Erik Grunwald with Cardinal Business Forms and Steven Dieckhaus with America Select Mortgage. The event would not have been possible without their support. Thanks to Dee Dee Heard who volunteered to be the Door Person.

On Thursday, I stopped by Millbrook HS to sit in on a few of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) interviews. The committee has an extremely difficult decision to make to narrow the 25 candidates to 6 with 2 alternates. Ken Brown, Steve Wood, Ed Cody and Jason Potts asked some pointed questions to these young people and their answers were impressive, but not as impressive as the way they carried themselves. We will have another impressive group of juniors going to RYLA this year.

After the last interview, I started to take my leave to let the committee begin deliberating   and on the way out, a young lady stopped me in the hallway and asked me if I was with Rotary. She mentioned she would like to speak to the committee, so I led her to the interview room. It wasn’t until we were back in the room that she revealed who she was. Anne Marie, a RYLA student from last year and one of only 14 invited to return as a senior councelor , began to thank the committee for the opportunity she was given to attend RYLA. She said it was a life-changing experience and one she will take with her the rest of her life. In fact, she has asked if she could speak to our club concerning a program she is supporting this year…Global Hope India. She also inquired about traveling to Guatemala this year as well as expressed an interest in the Youth Exchange program

If you are not aware, Anne Marie and her fellow RYLA students from Millbrook returned from this weekend and reached out to us to assist them in reviving the Interact Club at Milbrook. I welcomed this as it was one of my goals this year to see this club regain its previous successes while building a relationship between our club and the Interact club. It has been successful to this point as ten Interactors joined us for the Stop Hunger Now project earlier this month and several will be attending our next meeting. We hope to get them involved in other projects this year, while be a resource for them to make them successful in their endeavors.

Speaking of Rotary mission trips, I am happy to report that two of our newer members, Bobby Barnes and Mike Weinold will be traveling to the Dominican Republic for the 2014 Latrine and Sanitation project being conducted at the district level. It is encouraging to see our newer members get involved with Rotary. If you don’t know, Mike has taken on the task this year of being the Webmaster and editor of the club’s newsletter. Bobby has volunteered for roadside cleanup, Stop Hunger Now in his few weeks since joining the club. I am looking for great things from the both of these gentlemen.

We are approaching the Senior’s Christmas Gifts for the Total Life Center. After one meeting with the list, we have collected sponsors for all of the 68 gifts.  This is the first time we have gotten all of the names taken before Thanksgiving. It is another testament to the generosity of this club. If you wish to join us for the gift presentation, it will be Dec. 19th at 1:30. This is always a fun experience and very rewarding.

Last week, we inducted our sixth new member of the year, Tim Frazier. Past District Governor Mack Parker performed the induction and we welcome Tim to the family. Now, we have another member with a Kalamazoo connection as he went to college there. Welcome Tim as I am sure he will become a valuable member of our club.

I encourage you to attend next week’s meeting if you will be in town. I know many may be traveling due to Thanksgiving, but if you are in town, it should be a wonderful meeting. Former member (but still a member is spirit) Christine Kent will be the program as she does her annual Thanksgiving program after a couple years of hiatus. I am looking forward since I have missed her previous programs as I had been traveling for Thanksgiving.

In addition to her presentation, we will have several Interact members at the meeting. I have been impressed with these young people and it will be a great meeting where we can get acquainted with these young representatives of our club.

We will also be auctioning off a liquor and a port brought back from the Ukraine by Rotarian Greg Gulley and Sveta Baranova. All of the proceeds will go towards the T.C & Bill Parker Scholarships at Wake Technical College. It was great to see and hear from Sveta who assisted Dr. Gabe Rich as he performed dental work on these young orphans.

If you are not a member of Rotary and you are reading this article, I would encourage you to learn more about Rotary and our club. We are always looking to grow our membership by adding quality people who share our vision to “Do Good in the World” and live by the motto, “Service Above Self”.