Rotary's Joint Service holiday celebration

Today was the 2nd annual Joint Service Clubs holiday party, with many members of the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs joining us (I don’t know if there were any Altrusans there).  President Karen opened the meeting and we sang the usual song and pledged the flag.  Then Leo offered a wonderful grace.  P. Karen welcomed everyone, and said she hopes we’re starting a tradition of Joint Service Club holiday celebrations that will rotate through the clubs.


Sue went around the room for introductions of guests – too many for me to list here.


Carol proposed a fine on Tom for being out of the room on his cell phone during the introduction of his guest, leaving the task to the others at his table.  Tom volunteered to pay the fine without a vote.


Kiwanian Jerome Bolkum gave a Happy Dollar – the flowers on (some of) the tables had been provided by his flower shop for the Kiwanis Christmas party earlier in the week, along with the Lions Christmas party, and were now doing triple duty decorating the Rotary Christmas party. (more on this later)


Kiwanian Karl Boisvert gave 10 Happy Dollars because his daughter works at the Steakhouse and the Central Vermont Rotary Club gave her a wonderful tip during their holiday celebrations.


Roy reminded us that the fines, Happy & Sad Dollars this month are going to the Give a Gallon campaign, which prompted more generosity.


Claire gave a Happy Dollar, a furnace (somewhere, but not hers) wasn’t working, but it is now.


Tom proposed a fine of 1+9 on Amber for hugging a Kiwanian (the aforementioned Jerome).  Amber paid without a vote and kissed Jerome for extra measure.


Leo offered 20 Happy Dollars for the pleasure of seeing visiting Rotarians Linda & Colleen from the Shelburne Club.


Tess gave a Happy Dollar because the Rotabarrians sounded GREAT at their rehearsal last night.  You should have been there…


Prez Karen gave a sad dollar in memory of Cho Lee, who passed away earlier this week.  Mr. Lee gave a great presentation on Thunder Road at the library earlier this year.


Michael gave a Happy Dollar because his daughter Lilly didn’t sleep well last night, and asked about Rotary this morning, remembering the breakfast and the pancakes.  We’re not sure what the connection is between losing sleep and Rotary, but we took the dollar.


Bill Noyes gave 5 Happy Dollars.  He said there have been no girls in the Noyes family since 1961, but recently 2 granddaughters have been born.  All the grandkids will be visiting for the holidays.


In accordance with a long-time Rotary tradition established by Doc Parnigoni, Carol proposed a fine of 1+9 on all those NOT wearing red.  There were attempts to amend it to preclude those whose profession frowns upon such attire (unless you happen to be a bishop).  The amendment failed and the fine passed.


Continuing the tradition, Karl then proposed a fine of 1+9 on all those who WERE wearing red.  It passed.


Kiwanian Jerome, while being coerced into paying the aforementioned fine, asked what the heck “1+9” means.  Karl immediate proposed fine on Jerome of 1+4 because there were no flowers on his table.  Jerome said perhaps Karl didn’t deserve flowers.  Tom amended the fine by adding an additional 1+1½.  The amendment and the fine passed, but Jerome had no idea how much to pay.  Tess suggested $20, but I think we settled for 75 cents (which is the right amount).


Claire read a holiday message from Homer, wishing us all a Merry Christmas, love & blessings.


  • Roy presented 5 Paul Harris Fellowship, and said the Club has contributed more $240,000 over the years, and that 118 Barre Rotarians have earned their PHF through the years.  Those honored today included:
  • Karl, for his 6th PHF, and an additional PHF for Karl’s wife, Charlene (who couldn’t join us today).
  • Kevin, for his 1st PHF.
  • Jim, for his 1st PHF, awarded by the Club following his designation as Rotarian of the Year last year.
  • Amber, her 1st PHF, presented by Carol, who used some of her points to complete Amber’s contribution.


President Karen invited our guests from the Shelburne Rotary Club to accept the Barre Club $1,500 donation to Hand to Honduras.  Linda & Colleen said this will be the 8th year that they have traveled with the H2H program.


P. Karen presented a $750 check to representatives from Barre City Elementary & Middle School for the Adopt-a-Family program, which will support 40 families during this holiday season.  The reps thanked the Club for its support through this and other programs.


The Club passed around a basket for tips to our waitstaff, who serve us so well during the year.


Dick gave a Sad Dollar, as John Lincoln, our usual Rotabarrian accompanist, is home sick today.


Carol read a short story:  Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon and then donated the book to the library.


The Rotabarrians sang, but not quite as well as they had at last night’s rehearsal (you should have been there!)


Dick led us in a few Christmas carols.


Shelburne Rotarians Linda & Colleen donated $1,000 from their Club to the Barre Rotary Club for flood relief.  Barre Rotarians thanked the Shelburne Club and decided to put the funds into the Give a Gallon campaign for food & fuel relief.


Father Leo pulled the winning raffle ticket, which happened to be one of his.  He donated his winnings to the Give a Gallon campaign.


Dick said Rotarians are going to visit Don & Alice Collins after the meeting, to bring them some holiday food and cheer.  All were welcome to join in.


Leo offered a beautiful musical benediction, making many of us wish he would join the Rotabarrians.


Your scribe won’t be at next week’s meeting, as our staff Christmas party is the same time, so I’ll wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays now!