The 2023-24 Glenwood Springs Rotary Club year is off to a great start.  While we still haven't broken the 50% barrier in attendance at a meeting, we keep flirting with it.  The last three meeting have been 48.21%, 47.27%, and 47.37%.  Outside of Charter Night, Whisky Tasting, and Christmas last year, those are the only times we have broken 50%, so kudos to everyone for coming out to start the year off right.
President Wells got the meeting started with the ringing of the bell.  I keep ribbing him about the bell, so he even rang it twice.  After the pledge and the words of inspiration, my attempt at an island song was an epic fail.  The Beach Boys #1 hit song, Kokomo from the 1988 film Cocktail, was not a hit.  I'll stick with a more traditional song this week.  The club welcomed 4 guests this week, including Bill Flood who presented with his wife of 60 years and Rotarian, Nancy Bo Flood.
Nancy and Bill recently returned from Saipan where Nancy was doing an educational trip to Northern Marianas College.  The focus of the trip was to educate educators on the history of Saipan.  This trip was a return to the island for Bill and Nancy.  In the short time we were blessed to here from these two passionate speakers, there was much to learn about the history and importance of the Northern Mariana Islands.  From the early days of Magellan to the current days of the United States, and everything in between, there is a lot of significance and history to the islands.  Nancy has written several books (5) on the islands from the vantage point of the locals.  While she shared an excerpt from her book Warriors in the Crossfire and several stories, there is so much more to the islands.  Bill shared a story of his 500 mile journey via a canoe and spoke of coconut shavings and the refreshing ocean water (you had to be there).  Nancy left us with a visual and a statement.  Holding a beach ball that resembled the globe she reminded us that 30% of the Earth is the Pacific Ocean (the largest water mass on the planet) and that 71% of the Earth's surface is water covered.  She then told us of a quote, "The ocean does not divide us, it connects us."
At the meeting this week, we will hear from a Rotary Peace Fellow, Beth Klein.  One of the objects of Rotary is, "The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service".  As Rotarians, we make a difference.  From our efforts at home, to our efforts abroad, our Glenwood Springs Rotary Club continues to have an impact.  During happy bucks Deb Wilde shared that in September we would once again be participating in the clothing swap and newly added toy drive.  Ken Robinson shared that our $5,000 donation to Chinle was turned into $20,000.  Great things are happening in our Club and every one of our members is making a difference.   Floyd Diemoz had the lucky blue ticket and gave his proceeds back to the club.
Keep up the great work!