Meeting Recap – December 21, 2021

Minutes compiled by Diane Eckberg

The December 21, 2021 meeting was called to order at 7:35 a.m. by Immediate Past President John Eckman.  There were 28 members and guests present, plus 5 Zoom participants.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Sergeant at Arms Nick Friedman managed the 50/50 drawing and collected Happy Dollars:

  • David Jackson recognized Nick Friedman’s holiday sweater.
  • Reggie Hassler made a $50 contribution:  one “happy to be here” dollar and $49 in recognition of his 49th wedding anniversary on 12/23.  Reggie shared that Max Friedman, Nick’s dad and a former noon club member, started this tradition.
  • Mike Roberts was happy to have daughter Julia home from England.
  • Brian Crutchfield was happy to share his holiday card.

Returning guest Matt Rupp introduced his brother Dan, who was visiting from Hong Kong.

Announcements

Nick Friedman paid tribute to former Senator Bob Dole, who passed away on 12/5/21.  Senator Dole met every Honor Flight in Washington, DC when he was in town.  Nick reminded the Club that we will be organizing a flight.

Chuck Mantooth provided a Covid 19 update at Appalachian Regional Medical Center.  Hospitalizations have risen to 18, with most patients being unvaccinated.  The hospital is using 80 contract nurses, which has a significant budget impact.

David Jackson gave a Chamber of Commerce update, noting that businesses are enjoying the impact of large numbers of visitors.

John Cooper shared that Delfeayo Marsalis will be a headliner at JazzFest, which is being held June 10-12, 2022.  The Club will serve as one of three organizers, with its main responsibility being the procurement of sponsors.  John will be a meeting speaker in early January to kick off the Club’s participation.

Lynne advised that Club members donated $1100+ in cash and gift cards to the Hunger & Health Coalition’s Giving Tree program.

Diane Ekberg will share an email received by Elisha Childers from the Hunger & Health Coalition, which is looking for volunteers (*see below.)

Ben Henderson announced that the Club made about $7,000 from the fruit sale.  Brian Crutchfield awarded citrus peelers to Ben and Caroline Poteat for their fruit sale leadership.

Program

President Elect Brian Irving introduced speaker Jonathan Allen of Allen Wealth Management, LLC, who provided a tutorial on cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which transactions are verified and records maintained by a decentralized system using cryptography instead of a centralized authority.  As a decentralized currency, it relies on a peer to peer exchange of something of value.  

Bitcoins, which were established in 2008, is the largest and most well known of the 4000+ cryptocurrencies.  Cryptocurrency’s establishment coincided with a period of economic upheaval and mistrust in the banking system.

Other examples of digital currencies include airline points and reward cards.  The issuance of “private” forms of money is not new…in the 1800s, banks issued their own currencies.  

Cryptocurrencies are currently unregulated, but governments around the world are investigating how to regulate and potentially issue their own cryptocurrencies.  The US is leading the way in regulatory review, with multiple agencies (SEC, CFTC, OCC, IRS and others) investigating.  China and the Bahamas have issued cryptocurrencies.  The US may do so once regulatory/consumer protection controls are in place.

Several problems with cryptocurrency were noted:  

  • Security risks in the computerized realm of cryptocurrency;
  • Increased electrical power use given the reliance on computing power for issuing and checking the value of the currency; 
  • Decentralized nature (no accountable CEO or regulatory authority) results in inefficiencies;
  • Opportunities for fraud abound; 
  • Highly speculative

Mr. Allen answered questions from the audience, then the meeting was adjourned at 8:34 a.m. by John Eckman after the 4 Way Test was recited.

————————————————————————————————————————

*From the Hunger & Health Coalition: 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: The Hunger and Health Coalition, located at 141 Health Center Drive in Boone, is a nonprofit that offers food in its food pantry and medication assistance in its free pharmacy. HHC is always in need of volunteers who are passionate about helping our vulnerable neighbors in the High Country who do not have enough to eat or lack access to the critical medications they need. During COVID-19, HHC has created a drive-thru system to provide food and medications curbside to clients who remain in their vehicles. Clients are able to receive services Monday-Friday, 10a.m. – 3p.m.; HHC is closed on weekends. 

The winter season — especially December and January — is a slow season for HHC in terms of volunteer participation but is a season when the nonprofit experiences an influx of clients. HHC would love to have churches, organizations and community members come and volunteer with them during this winter season! Volunteers can help HHC put together meals prepared by staff, pack produce and pantry boxes, wash medication bottles, and serve clients at the drive-thru. Volunteer opportunities can be from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Children are welcome to volunteer as long as they are supervised by an adult. All volunteers are asked to wear a mask and closed-toed shoes. 

For more information about HHC, visit www.hungerandhealthcoalition.com or call (828) 262-1628. To sign up to volunteer as an individual or group, or for more information about remote opportunities (such as conducting your own food drive), email HHC Volunteer Coordinator Kayla Lasure at volunteeringhhc@gmail.com. If your group or church would like a HHC staff member to visit with a presentation about all of HHC’s services and volunteer opportunities, please request one by emailing Kayla and asking for a presentation. 

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