Our assembled cast of Rotarian characters was jolted to awareness as President Nick rang the bell at precisely 12:15.  Mike McManus led the pledge to the flag; Ed Palomba the 4 Way Test and Greg Stokes expressed our thanks to our Creator as we paused in reverence at the start of the festivities.  
Guests included Nancy Berube and Michele Tracy.  Derek Meade ably filled in as SAA and collected fines from those not wearing white pants - now that summer weather is here.  (Or at least visible white pants.)  Joanne Smith celebrated a birthday as well as spouses Lisa Deni and Candace Bell. 
Joe Fallon challenged us with the identity of mystery man Israel Isadore Baline who came to this country and composed some of our most memorable music.  ‘Twas Irving Berlin - ably guessed by Lindsay Weber seated to my left. Berlin’s hit “There’s No Business Like Show Business” was first sung in what musical? – “Annie Get Your Gun”.  His most famous song, introduced by Kate Smith, was “God Bless America” and the proceeds were donated to the Boys and Girl Scouts. (When your erstwhile scribe heard the name Kate Smith my first thought was “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain”.)  After the Rotary lunch I happened on a comprehensive article on the internet celebrating Berlin’s birthday, today, with the entire quiz answered right there in black  and white.
Your scribe (me) was not scheduled to be at Rotary today but duty called and I attended to write the SPUR.   Lucky me - as I pulled the Queen of Hearts and won $1.7 million – uh, no wait – uh – oh shucks it was $55.00.  Still a YUUUGE win.
Deadline for the 4 Way Test scholarships was May the First but Nick asked for any late applicants to hurry and send along paperwork.   Fundraiser at the “99” next Tuesday as diners will have 15% of their bill donated to our club. Please come and bring a sizeable party and big appetites.  The road race went well as we had 182 registrants and a probable 200 plus runners with walkups included.  Kate Garvey suggested, and the club voted, to gather at Lulu’s at 5 PM on the 19th to celebrate a successful Shadowing Program.
Carol Bohnet introduced our guest speaker Rich Lawrence of the Manchester Rotary Club. Rich was accompanied by his wife Ellen. Rich presented a program summarizing the past 9 successful years of the Rotary project to provide safe and clean drinking water to remote Mayan villages in Guatemala.  Rotarians work with the assistance of the Antigua Rotary Club in Guatemala to provide materials that enable villagers to access clean water for their respective villages.  Local labor is used on these projects. Until the assistance provided by Rotary, residents had to walk 20 minutes each way with earthen pots to collect clean water – several times a day. Villages sit in rugged terrain and are usually accessible only by four wheel drive.  In the villages assisted so far, since the project inception in 2006-2007, there has been a 33% decrease in cases of childhood dysentery.  Villagers are also taught to construct safe and well ventilated stoves for cooking. These small efforts by Rotarians from four districts, including our own 7890, reap sizeable and deeply appreciated results.  Our club board has voted to donate another $2500 to the project this year.
Your guest editor,
Dave Drinan