Posted by Jim Bolas
Past President Jim Hinerman chaired the meeting while President Heather Dieckmann attended the March Madness Tournament.
 
Club Meeting Program Schedule
March 22nd - Rev. Matt Fricker - John McMillan Presbyterian Church – Houston Recovery
March 29th - No Meeting - Holy Thursday.
 
Announcements    
 
  • Jim Hinerman
  • District 7300 Rotary Foundation Luncheon – Members are encouraged to attend the annual District.7300 Rotary Foundation Luncheon at the Rivers Casino at noon on Sunday, April 15th. The cost is $60. Our Club will receive a Paul Harris if we have a table of 10 and/or provide a gift basket.
  • Ambridge Rotary Club – The Ambridge Club requested contributions from other clubs for its Free Medical Loan Program. In particular hospital-type beds are being requested.
 
  • Ray Kells
  • Easter Egg Hunt – The Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, March 17th and a “rain date” is not being set because of the availability of USC Interact students after mid-March. March 17th will also be a challenge because of St. Patrick’s Day and the school musical. Members are to gather at the old Rec Center at about 8 AM (coffee & doughnuts available). Laura Maines will be this year’s Easter Bunny (due to the previous bunny having cataract surgery). Eggs will be hunted starting at 11 AM.
 
  • John Donahoe
  • Pancake Festival Auction – John announced the auction basket winners. All Clad items will be available next year. The auction made about $600.
  • Attendance – It was noted that this year’s attendance at the Pancake Festival was about 1500 which was less than the 1800 attendees in 2017.
 
Program – Tom Atkins – Visiting Former Foreign Exchange Students
 
  • Tom & Diane Atkins hosted two foreign exchange students from Argentina over the years. This year Tom decided to visit both of them this year and wanted to share his trip experience with the Club.
  • The first leg of the trip was to visit Nathaly Bonilla in Delray Beach, Florida where she now works in computer security for TransUnion. She graduated from a Florida university with a Masters in Computer Science.
  • While visiting Nathaly Tom met her husband George and her sisters Jessica and Jasmine, both of whom are currently in the U.S. under political asylum status. Jasmine works in a jewelry store and gave Tom a ring to give to Diane.
  • Tom said he found a favorite drink while in Delray Beach – a unique margarita called a “Tommy”. Every night he could get 2 for 1 price. What is not to like.
  • Tom’s cousin Betsy came down from 2 hours away north of Delray to see Tom and meet Nathaly and her family.
 
Nathaly Bonilla
 
 
 
  • The 2nd leg of the trip was to visit Wilma Martinez Konfino traveling to Buenos Aires, Argentina via Houston.
  • In the Houston airport, Tom had to walk a long way to get from B to E terminal and was the last stand-by to board and ended up sitting in the middle of an Argentine rugby team. They treated him well on the 9-hour flight.
  • When Tom landed in Buenos Aires his checked luggage did not make it with him and arrived on a later flight.
  • Wilma stayed with the Atkins in 2003 and was a challenge primarily due to her difficulty in adjusting to American culture but she was a good host.
  • Wilma now works part-time for an Argentine congresswoman as a lawyer. Her husband, Damion, is also a lawyer. His nickname is “Gore” after Al Gore who’s politics they agree with.
  • Wilma and Damion have a 3-year-old son, Fidel, named after Fidel Castro. Fidel has a picture of Che Guevara on his bedroom wall.
  • Tom was told that Wilma is 4 mos. pregnant.
  • Tom enjoyed trying all the delicious dishes he was served in restaurants and when hosted by Wilma and her family.
 
                                  Wilma Martinez Konfino
 
 
  • Tom enjoyed the opportunity to visit the foreign exchange students who stayed with him and Diane while they were in Pittsburgh.