Amanda Walls called the meeting to order and Larry Rankin led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
Melody Rider introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians. Janessa Cardona was a guest of Scott Katz. Bethany Fite was a guest of Steph Colon. Linda Rodenberry was a guest of Larry Rankin.
 
Happy Dollars were collected by Stacy Williams. Mike Loudon led the Club in singing “Old Macdonald had a Farm.”
 
President Amanda began announcements by giving a check to Lisa Marquette as a donation to VISTE.  She also announced upcoming “Know & Grow” events on the Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday after Thanksgiving. We have 20 families signed up so we need more volunteers. Also, please register for the Christmas Parade watch party – sign-ups are available online. Additionally, Tyler Davis needs assistance on the communications committee – please reach out to Tyler &/or Amanda to join the committee and help with social media and the bulletin.
 
Irma Cole announced that a generous Rotary member has volunteered to sponsor the Honduras trip. Irma is asking for more members to join. She told a touching story about the previous trip. A single mom and her 4-year-old daughter. There were no toys, she was playing with a AA battery. When asked, “How does she use the restroom?” The mom stated her daughter had to wait all day and when it got dark she went into the field. That is just one story of why adding bathrooms for these families is so important.
 
Mike Loudon was the speaker for our Thanksgiving Program. Mike has been a Rotarian since 1999 and began with a story that he was just trying to get an inflatable Turkey. After local shopping, he was told “we don’t do Thanksgiving here. That’s online.” It made him think that sometimes we forget about Thanksgiving.
 
Mike went through an amazing history of Plymouth village, the first Thanksgiving, the holiday act (which made it an annual holiday), and the 1939 change of moving Thanksgiving up a week to provide more time before Christmas.
 
Every year the president receives a turkey every year. JFK decided to pardon the turkey and started a tradition. Often before the big Thanksgiving meal, there are famous parades. After Thanksgiving moves to football. Then is Black Friday. Inflation hit this year and Turkey’s will be 17% more this year.  That’s the history of Thanksgiving but what about us? Is it just a day off work or what should we be thankful for?
 
In the last few years, we’ve been through some very rough times. Churches had closed their doors. Many businesses failed. Inflation went on an upswing. You may not have been happy with the election results. So why give thanks?
 
Mike shared a story from a friend. His friend explained a story of the Buddha. A man lost his 6 cows and went to the Buddha and asked “do you know where my cows are?” The Buddha said no. The man said, “I’m ruined. I’ve lost my cows!” The Buddha turned to his students and said, “Aren’t you glad you don’t own any cows?” Do we own the possessions, or do the possessions own us?
 
He told an amazing story regarding perspective. Every time something good or bad happens the father answered, “maybe or maybe not.” Sometimes things that seem good may have bad consequences and vice versa.  Mike explained that he retired at 70. He loved being a preacher and the people. He was asked, “when are you going to give someone else the opportunity to serve that congregation?” In retirement, he found a whole new group of friends. He plays golf multiple times a week and has become more involved with the Rotary.
 
Mike is thankful for all the amazing things Rotary is doing. There is always a reason to give thanks even when things may not seem to be going well.
In the next week, think about the things you are grateful for. Mike gave the microphone to multiple members who spoke about what they are grateful for. Thank you Mike for presenting such a heartfelt reflection to our club.
 
President Amanda closed with her word of the week: corpulence which means extreme fatness or girth, as in “I hope you all enjoy your Thanksgiving feasts, but not the point that we notice a new corpulence about you when we gather again in two weeks.”
 
As a reminder, there is no program on November 22.