Huge Thank You to Cal for this great picture of our little group at our first live meeting since early March and for providing this wonderful space for us.  He also set up a Zoom connection for Kathryn and the Lanes.  Everyone was safely spaced and masked before eating. Three of our members attended via Zoom, also thanks to Cal.  The Cooked Goose provided delicious sandwiches and salads.  Dave Wargat, a Plainfield CT Rotarian, and his son, Justin, were guests of Chris DiPaola.  Dave has been working with Chris and expressed interest in transferring into our Club.  Dave Mann and Jen Brinton also joined us last evening.
Our Guest Speaker for this special evening was Lt. Gov. Dan McKee.  He is currently visiting small businesses and advocating that the Covid Federal funds sent to the State is distributed to Small Businesses.  He explained that his office has been open throughout the pandemic, though some of his staff have worked from home; but they have taken all calls for help.  He said that they have been in contact, through the International Business Program, with weekly calls all over the world to discuss how they are handling the pandemic issues etc.  Lt. Gov. McKee has been "focused on creating more economic opportunity for all Rhode Island families and building solvent communities" and "supports small businesses, improve the state's economic situation."  He is also a small business owner himself.  In a letter to the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Advisors on Business Restoration, he proposed framework for a Small Business-Friendly Grant Program using a minimum of ten percent of Rhode Island's $1.25 billion CARES Act funds to assist small business in Rhode Island.
Steve Cofone provided the Rotary Moment with a story from the July Rotarian - "Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are drawing on their experience fighting polio outbreaks to respond to the COVID-10 pandemic.  Rotarians helped build the polio eradication infrastructure used for detecting the poliovirus and delivering vaccinations, and that infrastructure is enabling a strong response to COVID-19, especially in polio-endemic countries. Polio staff in those countries who track the spread of the poliovirus support surveillance for COVID-19 through contact tracing, improving lab testing, providing technical support, and training additional surveillance officers.  Health workers provide information on hand washing and staff a national help hotline in Pakistan that was originally used for polio-related calls and has been adapted to provide information related to COVID-19."
We have received thank you notes from Adam Gilman, our RYLA 2020 student, Brandon Larossa, one of our Scholarship winners, and the children of Angie and Arthur Smith for our donation to the Lions Club in Angie's memory.  It included a lovely picture of Arthur and Angie.  RYLA had been postponed until October; however, it has now been cancelled.  District has decided that 2020 RYLA students, even if they are Seniors in 2020/21, can participate in 2021 RYLA.  The offer was made to Adam and he has accepted.
Dora spoke to members about the Women Veterans Virtual Walk coming up on July 25.  She said that the fastest-growing segment of the homeless populations are women veterans.  Funds from this event will support Operation Safety Net, which assists "women veterans and their children with emergency assistance to prevent homelessness, end homelessness, and everything in between."  Dora, Rona, Kathryn and some of Dora's friends will be walking in Ashaway.  Rose will be walking in her back yard.
The Rhode Island Alzheimer's Walk on Misquamicut Beach is planned for September 12 and the Terri Brodeur Foundation Walk will take place on October 3rd.  So far, Rotary participants are Rona and Kathryn.
Next Monday, July 20, we will meet at Central Baptist Church again with The Cooked Goose sandwiches - place your order with Rona by Saturday evening.  Rona is planning a surprise "entertainment" before meeting begins at 5:30, hopefully, it will include installation of Officers and Board AND induction of Frank Livingston.  So, come early!!!
July 27 will be an evening of fellowship at the Grey Sail Brewery at 5:30 with sandwiches from The Cooked Goose.
August 17 Rick and Elin Lawrence will join us at Central Baptist Church for our 5:30 meeting.  Along with bringing us up to date on the Guatemala  Water and Sanitation Projects, they promise to bring some of the handicrafts that they brought back from their last trip.  Purchases of these items help them to fund school and other supplies that they will bring back to the Guatelemala villages.  Good night to bring a guest!!!
August 24  District Governor Charlene Jarest visit - may be a zoom meeting rather than a MDM at Rotary Park.