Submitted by Diane Ekberg
The July 27, 2021, meeting was called to order at the Boone Courtyard Marriott by President Jim Street at 7:45 a.m. There were 22 in person and 4 Zoom attendees.
After the Pledge of Allegiance, Sergeant at Arms Nick Friedman shared humor and collected Happy Dollars. The 50/50 raffle returned, with David Jackson managing ticket sales.
Scheduled speaker Randy Ledford had to cancel at the last minute, so a “club assembly” was held.
Bob Miller gave an update on Polio Plus and the Rotary Foundation. A key take away was the success of fundraising at the District, Zone 33 and international levels for both in 2020-21, in spite of Covid 19. At the District level, an average of $54.75/Rotarian was raised for Polio Plus versus the per capita goal of $45. Meeting the $50 million Rotary International goal resulted in the Gates Foundation contributing another $100 million.
A couple of other interesting notes:
- The cost per polio vaccine dose has increased from $.60 in 1985 to $2.60 now.
- In the pandemic year of 2020, 450 million children were still vaccinated.
- Only 2 new cases arose in 2020, both in Afghanistan.
We had two committee reports:
- Caroline Poteat spoke on behalf of the Fundraising Committee. A possible joint parking project is under discussion with the Historic Society for the September 4 Luke Combs concert in Boone. The $40 fee would be split evenly between both groups. A Bingo night is planned for sometime after the fruit sale. Stay tuned for details.
- David Jackson provided an update on the social media efforts of the External Communications Committee. He showed us the Facebook page featuring the new “Five Questions with…” a member feature. The first interview features Chuck Eyler. David asked that members like/share/comment to push the page out to others. Stay tuned for your turn to be interviewed! Efforts are now underway to update the Club’s website. David asked that articles written by or featuring members be shared with him so that the website and Facebook page can highlight “what we do as a group and who’s in the group.”
John Cooper shared that the Appalachian Theatre will open September 3, 2021, with a show to be announced soon. Let him know if you’d like to be a sponsor or know of others who are interested.
Chuck Mantooth was asked for an update on Covid 19 in the community. There are currently 5 hospitalizations locally after not having any. The Delta variant is 50x more transmissible than the original strain and accounts for 60% of cases in NC, 80% nationally. Chuck also shared that 400 employees have been hired this year, largely to fill vacancies created when fatigued employees left. The conversation turned to the topic of mandatory vaccinations. Chuck advised that some of NC’s large health care systems are moving toward mandatory vaccines for all employees. Watauga Regional Medical Center, where 70% of employees are fully vaccinated and another 10% have had Covid, is not doing so at this time, but Chuck asked members for feedback on the topic. Those who spoke up supported a strong pro vaccination position for the safety of the community and, in turn, the health of businesses and the economy.
After reciting the 4-Way Test, President Jim Street adjourned the meeting at 8:35 a.m.