Posted by Keith Reed
    Both Greg and Bill were present at the meeting but Bill chaired the meeting which was called to order at 12:30.  There were 8 members present and at least 13 members  on the Zoom call. Among those participating in the meeting were guests Ron Bernardi, Assistant District Governor Tamiye Meehan, and Sam Badger.   Jeanne Beckman celebrated  a birthday and  Club membership anniversaries were celebrated by Eric Birkenstein (12 yrs.) and Rick Boerjesson (4 yrs.).
     ANNOUNCEMENTS:  The Deerfield Rotary Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary this coming weekend;  Barb and Patti have volunteered to plan a benefit at the Valley Lo Country Club in Glenview on May 13th to benefit our Club’s Foundation.
     HAPPY BUCKS: Those contributing were Brooke Peppey, David Grant, Moha Bouacha for his recovery from a recent medical procedure, and Rich contributed in recognition of the New Trier School District giving favorable consideration to the employment of his sister who has moved back to the North Shore area.
     DIG N GRIN:  David Brikenstein  illustrated how things are not always as they first appear—he told about the father on his deathbed who was parceling out his money and worldly possessions to his wife, his industrial property to his son and his restaurants to his daughter.  When the attending nurse asked how he made all that money, the son revealed that he was in the newspaper business—that is that he started and continued to run several paper routes (ala W. Clement Stone).
     GUEST SPEAKERS GARY & ANITA COURTNEY:  This married couple had several vocations during their working lives including investment banking, ranching, transportation etc.  But they found a different common interest after they married later in life—that being studying and preserving coral reefs primarily in the Florida coastal areas. They mentioned that most people don’t realize how much the coral reefs around the U.S. have died and how important they are to everyone’s ability to breathe.  70% of the air we breathe is produced by the oceans.  But much of those coral reefs have been affected by pollution and the encroachment of “man.”   For example, the Great Barrier Reef is 1600 miles long and 30 miles wide—but is 50% dead. 95% of the coral reefs around Florida are dead or close to becoming dead.  40% of our wildlife and millions of people rely on coral reefs to produce their food supply.
   Anita said that the situation is depressing but that there is a movement called “transition to hope.”  Coral can be repaired, saved, and even cultivated and nurtured like other agricultural products. It can be done on coral reefs that have died or even in huge reproductive tanks. There are land nurseries and plantings 20 feet under water to bring the coral back to life.  Even though the fish caught off the Florida shores have shrunk in size and  most boats have to go offshore 10 miles to catch normal sized fish, this situation can be improved. 
   The Speakers are affiliated with two organizations that have become very active in saving the coral reefs, especially those closed to our mainland: Sanacora Inc. and Mission: Ocean Reef.  This was a very interesting and enlightening presentation of a very serious situation.  Feel free to contact Rich to receive a copy of this presentation.
     After several questions and comments from the floor, Bill led us in the Rotary 4-way test and adjourned the meeting.