Posted by Keith Reed
   Co-Chairs Patti and Barb presided at the meeting. Guests were the speaker Bill Kmiecik, Rotary District Governor, and former Rotarian John Zeddies who has committed to returning as a Club member.  There were 20 members present and 3 attended by Zoom.
BIRTHDAYS, ANNIVERSARIES AND HAPPY BUCKS: Michael Goldenberg and Tony celebrated  birthdays, Greg Nelson celebrated his 6th anniversary as a Rotarian,  Happy Bucks were given by Tony for his wife’s birthday 2  days after his, by Marie Kulpers  for a very pleasant and safe trip to the East coast, and by Barb for all the help she got from Moha for her “make a difference day” at the WCH.
   ANNOUNCEMENTS: Our next meeting on Nov. 3rd will be held at the Lodge in Clarkson Park in Northfield at the regular time of 12:15 and the speaker will be George Alexoff, Executive Director of the Park District; Robert reminded everyone that the park is named after long time local educator James Clarkson who was also a long time Rotarian;  Rich said that the coat distribution at the Ukraine Library in Chicago has been set for Nov. 12th during the day and that another coat distribution is scheduled at a elementary school in Highwood during parent-teacher conferences.
   Barb reminded everyone that the Good News Partners packing day for Thanksgiving will be Nov. 17th and that Bob Baker and David Grant will again be directing the purchasing and packing as in past years.
   DIG AND GRIN:  Lee Padgitt handled  with a couple of observations on what caused the recent pandemic and proper attire during the ordeal!
   SPEAKER  Bill Kmiecik, District Governor:  Bill started off by noting how fast our lives can change as we experienced with the recent pandemic.  Within one month after the start of 2020, most of us were staying at home for almost 2 years.  He said that Rotarians are supposed to be creating change, not be the victims of it!  He gave examples of those Rotarians who are known for their ideas and efforts to make changes: he mentioned Rotarians Randy who constantly seeks and gets many Global grants for our area Clubs; Shawn who continues to run the RYLO program in Wisconsin even though his job took him to Michigan; Linda who gets service clubs to team up with her Club in their community activities; and he also mentioned our Rich Lalley who has also been willing to help other Clubs with their activities.
   After having a career in insurance, other corporate jobs and even running his own company, he became the District Governor which  involved considerable International travel. He described some of the trips and the effect they had on him as follows:
   Guatemala: This was a very positive experience where he and a crew of other Rotarians built 8’ x 10’ cottages for kids to live in while attending a school to learn such service jobs as waiters and bartenders.  The cost to the students for room, board and tuition was $1 a day. The students appreciated the opportunity to learn and get these jobs—they were well dressed, well groomed and smiled a lot.
   Peru: Bill’s crew went up 12,000 feet into the mountains to build a community center without any power tools—just picks and shovels. They were lucky to have local help to do most of the carrying and digging for them.  They were rewarded with a guinea pig dinner (taste like chicken). They were told by the locals that they were the first white visitors who were willing to do something other than take pictures of the local residents.
   Uganda: These people needed more protein in their diets so they were being assisted in developing aquaponics fish ponds to improve their diets. Lots of post holes were needed and the locals again did the heavy lifting—Bill was told that one of the workers wanted to buy a new pair of flip flops, so Bill gave him an extra pair that he had and in return the worker wanted to give Bill a live chicken which was not able to make the trip back to the states!!
    Bill’s travels have changed the way he sees many things.  He has tried to change things in Rotary such as more visits to the 66 Clubs in our District; an emphasis on trying to stop the membership loss at several Clubs; adding Rotorat Clubs for seniors (Wheeling now has one) as he recognizes that the high school and college Rotorat Clubs loose members as they graduate from school; combine activities with other Clubs in such areas as collaborating on grants and  service projects; continue to encourage contributions to the International Rotary Foundation, the Paul Harris program, and the Polio project.  He also mentioned that he is trying to form focus groups to advise on whether Rotary should be doing something in the area of “diversity, equity and inclusion.”
    Some time was left for Bill to take questions, and then the meeting was adjourned by recitation of the Rotary 4 Way Test.