September 24, 2013 Recap

Photos from the meeting are online at this link.

Lots of wonderful guests, as always. Jackie re-introduced Tricia Holt-Bowlby, Fresno Philharmonic, CJ Cooper, Claudia Habib and Nene Casares (all in line for membership – hooray!); Nancy introduced her staff member Kristen McKelvey again, and promoted the Focus Forward Fundraiser at Arte on Thursday, Sept. 26; Sally introduced Joanne Price and Joanell Stevens; three wonderful young women from Talbot’s Fig Garden didn’t remember who invited them, but came to visit and we are delighted; Sandy noted Eric’s guest Dr. Robert Ware was back (also in line for membership!).

Our delightful Tehipite Middle School Students of the Month for the Character Trait of Caring were Azucena Ramirez and Vanessa Lopez, who led the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and were introduced by Principal and Rotarian Yvonne,

Jerry’s Paul Harris quote for the day was: “Education is the finest weapon God has put in the hands of mankind. Education strengthens individuals to think clearly when facing adversity and consider solutions that benefit not the individual, but the collective whole of society.”

Laurel announced that 230 students turned out for the informational meeting to form the ONLY Cultural Arts Interact Club in the World! Interviews for officers are scheduled for this Wednesday. Thank YOU, Laurel. This is truly exciting. The kids are looking at involvement with Zoo Boo, with a water project in the Philippines, and in addition, Central Unified students will be performing in Storyland Theater on Nov 2. She also handed out great information on Central Unified’s Visual and Performing Arts Education for 2013-2014. Great great stuff!

Laurel also announced she had neared her sponsorship goal of $300 for the Alzheimer’s Event, and several members contributed to meet and exceed the goal. Thanks to all who supported this worthy cause!

Sally announced that she will attend the Honor Flight Program and handed out calendars for the remainder of 2013 meetings. She then introduced guest speaker, John Alkire, CEO of the Big Fresno Fair. John gave an exciting and truly informative talk on the Fair, noting it is still the largest public gathering between Sacramento and Los Angeles County; that the grounds are in use continually, with 3-4 events every weekend, totally some 210-220 events annually; that they are celebrating 130 years this year; that their mission is Celebrate – Educate – Have Fun!! The Fair generates some $68.5 million in new revenue to the County; they hire 1,040 people to run it; and they contribute $2 million to the local tax base. Along with a lot of other great stats, John announced they are forming a wonderful History Museum, much of which has been furnished through the generosity of the Caglia Family. Sally noted that after the first of the year, we will have a meeting there and tour the museum.

It is such a pleasure and honor to serve the community together in the ONLY Cultural Arts Rotary Club in the World! – Jackie Ryle