Mike Shelton greeted the 31 out of our 59 members that attended with a smile. Robert gave us an eloquent thought of the day. Rich announced that Rotarians from Pakistan will be visiting May 5 on a fellowship exchange, and volunteers are needed for the day to meet them and show them around town after our meeting. He also let us know that our Board met and committed $300 from our Club to support www.firstbook.org at the District conference (April 28 to May 1.) First Book provides new books to children in need aged 4 to 10. Rich sought $50 donations. $300 buys 550 books, and so many Rotarians stepped up we exceeded that amount.
President John cited a recent Rotarian Magazine article on membership as a good source of ideas to boost our membership. Our goal this year is 62 members and all members need to help recruit. Happy Bucks came from Uncle Ned for his new car. Barb invited everyone to Celebrate the Volunteer Center 2016 Honorees recognition event on Cinco de Mayo at the WCH. www.volunteercenterhelps.org/ David invites everyone to the membership committee meeting 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 28 at the WCH.
Patti asked everyone to please RSVP to our Club’s annual benefit - May 13, 2016 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Michigan Shores Club. This is the primary fundraiser for our Community Grants program. Dinner, cash bar, silent and live auctions and a performance by "Acts of Kindness Cabaret" www.aokcabaret.org/ Buy tickets, and if you cannot attend please donate, at www.wnrotary.org/event/spring-benefit-dinner Heidi had to leave early and left a happy buck because Wes did Dig and Grin for her, for which he received a rousing round of applause.
Our District Governor Rodney Adams spoke about his recent Rotary fellowship exchange trip to Pakistan. Donning authentic local garb, he started off by pointing out how the media portrays Pakistan in a poor light. While it appears on a top ten list of worst places to live in the world, the reality is far different. Pakistanis were very friendly and hospitable despite the occasional bombings here and there that get all of the attention. It is a mountainous country of 190,000,000 with poor infrastructure. Polio retains a toehold in the very difficult to access rural areas away from the main cities of Lahore and Islamabad.
Rodney and his cohorts first arrived at Lahore via the world-class international airport. They first stayed at Bahria Town Lahore, a friendly and low crime area. English is commonly spoken as one of two official languages (Urdu being the other.) Islam is a welcoming religion as it is practiced by most adherents. He enjoyed one of the daily shows that take place at the border with India. Peace and Literacy are now promoted, a far cry from the 1997 war between the two countries.
Rodney attended the District 3272 conference at the five-star Pearl Continental in Lahore. Unlike our district conference, the emphasis there was to highlight local acts done with assistance. Rotaract is very popular, and money is raised through corporate sponsorships. “Peace through Literacy” is a major theme, as 40% of the population is illiterate.