Meeting of November 14, 2017

Meeting Notes from November 14, 2017
President Marv Edelstein convened  the meeting and Jim McGuire led the members in the recitation of our club’s statement, “Why I am a Rotarian.”
Marisa Naujokas made several announcements about the Holiday Sale.  When paying for an order by check, the payee is The ELRC Foundation and the order number should be written on the memo line of the check.  Similarly, the check number should be recorded on the order form.  She also pointed out the fact that each table had handouts with the milestone dates for each product from November 10 through December 9.
Kate Collinson placed samples of the pecans for sale on each table and encouraged everyone to taste the products. 
Kate Collinson also reminded the club that there will be a collection box at the front of the room each week for the next several weeks for coats, hats, scarves or gloves for Evanston children in District 65 K-8.  The Evanston School children’s Clothing Association (ESCCA) will distribute the cold weather clothing through its clothing center.
Last, Kate Collinson announced that the ETHS Community Service Office is producing an Evanston Community Cookbook.  Sales of the cookbook will support the White Helmets, an organization of volunteer first responders in Syria.  Recipe submission forms were distributed on the breakfast tables but they are also available online at:
Linda Gerber thanked those who had responded to the club survey on fundraising priorities and encouraged everyone who has not yet responded to do so as soon as possible.
Linda Gerber also demonstrated a waterproof solar light that can be hung in any shelter without power.  The club will be sending these to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico.
Bob Teska spoke of the upcoming leadership event on Friday, November 17, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  at Rotary International.  The event titled, “A World of Opportunities in Leadership and Service Available to Evanston Youth,” is sponsored by The Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club for students at ETHS, Beacon Academy, and Roycemore School.
Harold Bauer thanked members and their guests who attended the opening of his art exhibition on November 13, remarking that the club members made the event very festive. 
Helen Oloroso announced that members should save the date for the club’s annual holiday party, to be held at the home of Brad and Tiffany Weiss on Sunday, December 10, at 6 p.m.  Details and a call for volunteers and food contributions will be coming shortly.
Roasts & Boasts
Dave Simmons roasted his 105-year-old grandmother who lives in Oxford, Ohio.
Kathy Tate-Bradish boasted Ann Searles for encouraging members to attend the art exhibition on the Japanese incarceration during World War II entitled, “And Then They Came for Me.”  The exhibit is at the Alphawood Gallery on Halsted and Fullerton in Chicago through Sunday, November 19, and is free of charge.
Participatory Meeting with Facilitator:  President Marv Edelstein
Marv Edelstein led the members in a discussion on the interrelated topics of membership and the cost of being a Rotarian.  He urged us to think of the importance of expanding our membership in order to spread out the work of our service projects and the fundraising efforts that it takes to support them.
Jean Saunders gave a brief slide presentation on the work being done collaboratively by the Membership and Public Relations committees to provide prospective members with a better understanding of what we do as a club.
Jean Saunders also circulated copies of a draft brochure that highlights specific examples of the service projects that we produce and ways for potential members to become involved.  She explained that the brochure was developed from a template that is available to members through and can be modified within the parameters of the template.  Jean also distributed business card-size cards that can be easily carried in a wallet or purse and given to people who might be interested in joining.  In addition, an email template is being developed to provide members with another means of reaching out to potential members.
Ann Searles shared the tips that she has developed over the years, which have resulted in quite a few new memberships.  Ann’s successful strategies include:
  1.  Always look for an opportunity to invite people to come as a guest to a breakfast meeting, emphasizing the fun, the camaraderie, and the opportunity to do good in the world.
  2. Be honest about the commitments that Rotarians make to service, locally and globally.
  3. Don’t emphasize the “business development” aspect of networking but be able to share stories of how good business opportunities can develop among Rotarians based on mutual trust.
  4. Be honest about the fact that being a Rotarian means sharing the cost of the meal, just as one would by going out to eat with a friend.  The dues are competitive with any similar organization and support the mission of Rotary.  The time of day for our meetings is also an advantage because we finish our meetings by 8:30 a.m., leaving one with plenty of time to do other things – including getting to work.
  5. Share printed materials and make the club website known to them.  (Forward one or more recent copies of “The Light” to them, especially following any meeting they attended.)
  6. Follow up with another invitation and keep in touch.
Marv Edelstein restated the No. 1 goal of Rotary International:  to support and strengthen clubs.  We do this by retaining members, increasing club membership, starting new (satellite) clubs and increasing membership of women and underrepresented groups.  Increasing membership is vital for sharing the work, building and maintaining a pipeline for the future, and sharing knowledge from one generation of Rotarians to the next.
The next topic was the cost of membership overall, but it was focused more specifically on the cost of the breakfast itself.  Each member pays $13 for each breakfast during the fiscal quarter.  However, the hotel charges $18.45 per meal and the club makes up the difference with a subsidy of $5.45 per meal.  Because members pay for all meals in the quarter, whether they attend or not, the club has been able to break even and absorb the cost of the meals we provide to guests.  While some members would like to be able to have a less expensive option, including coffee-only, the delicate balance between revenue and costs under the current model could only sustain a small number of people being able to participate in a coffee-only choice.
Marv Edelstein explained that the current year’s budget has been approved by the board and will be posted for all to have.  Discussion continued around the various considerations that the club would have to make in order to expand its membership; that discussion will continue.
Guests and Milestones
Visiting Rotarians
Alice Artemis, Rotary Kakawega, Kenya, guest of Kathy Tate Bradish
Beatrice Berger, Aix en Provence Connection, guest of Kristin Brown
Jean Luc Berger, Aix en Provence Connection, guest of Kristin Brown
Larry Shawver, Harbor County Rotary Club, Mich.
Other Guests
Patida Phanithollandt, inbound Rotary Youth Exchange student from Thailand
Club Anniversary
Keith Sarpolis, 12 years