President Bill opened the meeting with 12 members and 5 guests present.  In lieu of a blessing, President Bill asked for a moment of silence in memory of long-time Rotarian, club secretary, and Rotabarrian Don Collins, who passed away Sunday at the age of 90.   Don will be missed.

Ron P. proposed a fine of 1+9 on all members not wearing their badges (which seemed to be the majority of those in attendance today), even though the fine for going badge-less is an automatic 1+1 1/2 (seldom paid up on the honor system however...sergeant-at-arms please note).  Tom B. provided what might pass as a defense when he said he left his badge in his other car.   However, it was duly noted that Tom usually wears someone else's badge anyway, so there was no defense.   The fine easily passed.

Claire gave an update on the weekly downtown walks that the club started last year.   It has now been expanded, through Claire's efforts, into a weekly clean-up, with all the local service clubs participating.  The Rotary Club has been taking responsibility for Main Street, while the Kiwanis Club is now cleaning Auditorium Hill and Seminary Street up to the Auditorium.  The Lions Club is now responsible for cleaning the beltway from Dente Park to the railroad tracks.   The Altrusa Club is looking into taking over cleaning and weeding grassy areas along Main Street.  A great joint project for downtown Barre spearheaded by the Rotary Club.   Well done Claire!

Sue gave her secretary's report, introducing visiting Montpelier Rotarian Fred Bashara, and guest Kevin Eschelbach, who will be replacing Kevin O'Hara at the Boy Scout Council.   Kevin is being proposed as a new member.   Sue also reported that services for Don Collins will be held Saturday at 1:00 at the Congregational Church.   There will be no calling hours.

President Bill reported that the board of directors made recommendations on several funding requests and asked the club to vote on the recommendations.   The board recommended that $250 be donated to the Home Share Now program, which pairs people in need of affordable housing with those who need assistance to live independently on their own.  The board also recommended giving $500 to support the Barre Partnership in its efforts to revitalize downtown Barre.  The club unanimously agreed to the recommendations. 

The board also discussed participation in the District 7850 Speech Contest, and Jack Barnes volunteered to chair the project.   Information will be sent to Spaulding High School seeking interested students who can win up to $1,000 in the contest, in which a speech on Rotary's Four-Way test will be given at the club, area and district levels.   More information will be forthcoming once it's determined if there is local interest in participating.

Elizabeth introduced our guest speakers, Connor Moore and Troy Anderson who attended RYLA in June at Lyndon State College.  The head of the guidance department at Spaulding, David Nicholson, was with the two RYLA students.   Both described their RYLA experience as being one of the best events they've participated in.   Connor said he made several friends he plans to stay in touch with, as did Troy, and both said they hoped to go back next year as counselors.

They described several of their team-building and leadership exercises and talked about how the experience forced them to step outside of their comfort zone, and taught them not only how to be good leaders, but good followers.

All participants were required to take part in a talent show, and Troy wound up taking second place playing his ukulele and singing with two other RYLA students.  Connor said he was the MC and hosted the talent show, and also read a poem he had written.

Both students, juniors at Spaulding, hope to attend college.   Connor hopes to become a physical therapist and Troy wants to attend UMASS and major in music education with a minor in theater.  They both said they're already urging current sophomores to apply for next year's RYLA session.

Connor pulled this week's winning ticket, held by Ted. G. who was unsuccessful in finding the white (or is it clear?) marble.

Check our web site for information on upcoming programs.