66 years of Red Hook Rotary!
Marking the 49th week of “stay at home” meetings required by the coronavirus outbreak, Jennifer Van Voorhis called the Zoom meeting to order at 8 am Fourteen club members attended along with our District Governor Tony Marmo, our assistant district governor, Maureen Gates, our frequent guest/member, Gwen McCann, and the much esteemed, Dan Budd, founder of Red Hook Responds. The meeting marked the 66th anniversary of our club and featured a review of decades of club activities and initiatives. Jen led the meeting off with introductions of all our guests and with some unique versions of our ritual meeting openings. We spoke the pledge of allegiance, and then witnessed a beautiful video of a Tanzanian club’s sung version of the 4-way test. Rev. Michael Shafer offered a blessing to start the meeting.
Jen, then, orchestrated a series of member testimonials on activities that marked their experience with Rotary. Susan Simon led off with the story of her first experience of a Rotary district leadership meeting at which she was a disc jockey and dance teacher for a group swing dance. Jonah provided a photo retrospective of club activities since 1955 (which can be seen on our club website), including youth exchange students (Chris Chale) and interact club students (led by Carl Dowden and Linda Greenblatt), Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (founded by Bud Weaver’s dad when he was District Governor and financially supported by the club every year), Apple Blossom Day (organized annually by Dave Wright and Linda Greenblatt), Tree Planting and Aqua Box distributions (maintained by Tim Lynch), Clynk and Food Pantry support (initiated by Jen Van Voorhis) which has contributed $2500 worth of personal hygiene products distributed through the Community Center and food pantries of Red Hook, Radio Rotary which features service above self on local radio stations (Jonah Triebwasser), support of the Library literacy project through purchase of books, Baxter’s Bash, our annual picnic, Youth Wrestling and more. 
Our district governor, Tony Marmo, provided the history of our club, detailing the many changes in our chartered name and number. He noted that we started in 1955, the 50th anniversary of the national and global organization, with 25 members including John Martin, one of the many Martin’s, still living in Red Hook. The club was started by Herbert J Taylor. He talked about the importance of community based activities in keeping club’s relevant and healthy. The Rotary International Convention will be virtual again this year as will the Highland Club’s Ribfest.