The annual Rotating the Wheels dinner was held on the last possible day of the Rotary year, June 30, at the Sons of Norway Lodge. The theme selected by incoming President Stewart Martin was a Cowboy evenin’, and everyone had a hollerin’ good time.
New to us, the Sons of Norway lodge was a great facility, perfectly suited to this purpose. And the Shilo Inn, thanks to Shaun “Cookie” Wagner, served up bar-b-que chicken, beef and prawns, with lots of corn on the cob, baked beans, salad, dessert and favorite beverages.
There were lots of awards, for perfect attendance, service on the club Board, recognition for Paul Harris fellows, new and “experienced” (what was it Alice, PHF+8? Awesome!). President Russ humbly reflected on over a dozen accomplishments this past Rotary year – and promised never to underestimate this Rotary club again, as it blew the doors off his goals for donations to TRF and Polio. In fact, incoming Prez Stew “Stretch” Martin will have to adjust his goals, since they’ve already surpassed. Stew talked about how fitting this year’s theme is – and a bit about the club’s emerging Vision for the coming five years, and some goals for 2011-12.
Two outstanding Rotarians were named Rotarian of the Year: Shaun Wagner and Alice Kero Woods. Both relatively new, they have demonstrated their service to the club and community, and this honor is well-deserved.
The highlight of the evening might well be the serenades of exchange student Pierluigi Capretti. This young Italian student, for whom English is language #2, sang authentic cowboy songs – the kinda songs we ain’t heard since some of us were kids – made popular by Gene Autrey and Roy Rogers. First retiring President Russ Vandenberg was ushered out with a round of “Happy Trails to You”, then there were a bunch more, ending with Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport (bet you didn’t know that was a Rotary cowboy song from Down Under).
Everyone hit the hay at 9 pm, rarin’ to start a new Rotary year –> Reaching Within and Embracing Humanity.