President Bill opened the meeting with 16 members and one guest present.

A very impressive new granite flag stand (in full Rotary colors) was unveiled by Bob Pope.   Unfortunately, the flag staff is too tall, so we were unable to unfurl our new flag which Jim Catone brought in a week or two ago.   Bob will shorten the flag staff and bring it back for permanent display.  Thanks for the excellent work Bob!

Bertil gave two sad dollars for missing last week's meeting while in Dallas at a SCORE convention (not sure why there were two $$ given as we thought there was more to the story, but alas, we were wrong).   Bertil did ask if anyone knew what SCORE was, and Ron P. (always on top of things) said "that's what I used to do in high school"!   Bertil reminded us it really means Service Corps of Retired Executives.

Chet Briggs paid two happy $$ for the expected arrival of the first of two exchange students he and Karen are hosting.   One is from Thailand and the other from Japan.

Secretary Sue introduced prospective member Charlie Dindo, who has already submitted his application in the classification of Granite Manufacturing-Drafting.   Charlie worked the Rotary Breakfast for us this year.  This qualifies as the first notice of Charlie's application.

President bill reminded everyone of the upcoming fund raising concert at St. Michael's College planned by the District to help out our fellow Rotarians in lac Megantic, Quebec following the devestating train derailment and fire in that community.   The concert will be Sept. 24th and tickets are available through Flynn Theater tickets at or by calling (802) 863-5966.   Bob P. generously announced that Rock of Ages/Swenson Granite will donate $250 on behalf of our club to use as seed money for this fund, due to RofA's close relationship with Lac Megantic.   Thanks once again Bob!

Since our guest speaker had to cancel due to a funeral, we had an impromptu, but very worthwhile, club assembly, focused primarily on our annual charities budget.   President Bill announced that following our board of directors' meeting this morning, it was decided to cancel the budget meeting that had been scheduled for tonight at Community National Bank.   The board made this decision due to the extremely limited amount of money that is available for charities this year ($5,100 according to Tom B's report).  Since there was not enough money to make a significant donation to any of our "traditional" charities, and since only five organizations had sent in formal requests for aid this year, the board recommended to the club that we forgo the usual budget setting exercise and hold all of the money in essentially a "contingency fund" and deal with requests for assistance on a case-by-case basis as the year progresses.

A lively discussion followed, with discussions about holding project-specific fund raisers like we do for the library, holding on to our $5,100 this year and look at ways to grow the fund so we can make more significant donations in the future, what to do with the roughly $9,000 that's in the Rotary Park fund, etc.  It was noted that the club was interested in working with the city to install rest rooms at Rotary Park (there are none there now and this week as many as 40 people have been at the playground with no rest room facilities available to them) but the city has not been a willing partner to date.   Charlie Dindo, a city council member, said this was an issue he'd like to pursue at the city council level and he spent some time with Joe P. after the meeting to get brought up to speed on the subject. 

The club administrative budget will be voted on Sept. 4th and a final decision on whether the club will proceed as discussed today regarding the charities budget will also be made at that time.

The winning raffle ticket was held (we believe) by Joe P. though it might have been Bob P. or perhaps someone one seems to be certain.

Next week's meeting will be our annual visit from the District Governor, Steve Dates.