There were 31 members in attendance on May 1st, plus four guests.  Mike Malloy was a guest of Luvie Owens for the last time as he has applied for membership.  It is the same case for Greg Skirving, a guest of David Birkenstein; Greg has also applied for membership.  Ned Meisner had two guests – Enzai Fragassi and Barbara Hall.
We were reminded that on May 15th we would not meet at noon, but at 6:00 p.m. in a joint meeting with the Wilmette Noon club.  The dinner meeting will be held at the Winnetka Community House where the speaker will be David Snyder of Crain’s Chicago Business.
On May 16th our club will be celebrating its 90th Anniversary with a Gala and Benefit at the Michigan Shores Club.  There is more information on the club’s website where you can also sign up and pay for your tickets.  Bob Baker, our incoming president for 2014-15 is chairing the event.  Let’s have a great turnout as we celebrate 90 years of service to our community and the world.
A Fireside Chat has been schedule for the evening of May 29th in the lounge at the Winnetka Park District’s Neilsen Tennis Center.  Please mark your calendars!  This is a great meeting, especially for new members, to learn more about the workings of our club.
Rebecca Wolf was given a “Moment to Shine.”  We learned that despite a poor high school GPA and an attempt at art at the School of the Art Institute she was accepted at the University of Illinois.  From early on Rebecca was adept at technology, a field that gave her some of her early employment opportunities.  She worked at the library in Deerfield where she was head of IT and eventually became the assistant librarian.  Rebecca was offered the position of Director of the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library and assumed the position in April 2013.
Robert Mardirossian had a wonderful Dig n Grin.  He wanted to demonstrate how our Rotary Club can increase the power of our giving, i.e., the District will frequently equal our financial gift for a project, as does the Rotary International.  He had a check for $500 that he said he would donate to the club’s Charitable Foundation IF five members would commit $100 each – 12 members volunteered.  Then Robert asked how many would contribute $50 each – 8 members volunteered.  Robert, in a matter of less than five minutes, raised around $2000 for our Charitable Foundation, as his $500 became $2000 – way to go Robert!!!  Two-thirds of the members in attendance contribute on the spot – way to go WN Rotary!!!
Our speaker was Welz Kauffman, the President and CEO of the Ravinia Festival.  This year Ravinia will be celebrating their 110th anniversary.  They operate with a $36 million budget of which ticket sales covers only $23 million.  With the recording industry dying, the big-time artists get most of their income from concerts.  Many big music organizations are going out of business because they cannot afford to pay what today’s artists are demanding.  This year Ravinia will provide over 300 hours of music with 130 events.  Welz noted that there is a declining interest in classical music as we get further away from the origination of the great masterpieces.  Ravinia’s program still includes approximately 65% classical performances. 
For the final 10 minutes we were treated to a mini-concert with Welz on the piano and two flutists from the Chicago Arts Orchestra, Madelene Campos and Elizabeth Barber.
Don’t forget that next week’s meeting will be held in Glencoe’s Takiff Center!