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The Rote – January 1, 2021
State of the Rotary Club of Miami presentation delivered by President Robert Bull
Every year the President of the United States presents before Congress the State of the Union address.  Well today, Robert Bull presented the State of the Rotary Club of Miami. We have just finished the six-month mark of this fiscal year, so he wanted to review what we have done and look at what we are planning for the final semester of this fiscal year.
This year, started with Robert’s installation. The celebration at the Rusty Pelican was cancelled, despite protestations but COVID left us without any recourse. So, we had a virtual installation and to make this ceremony more inviting, everyone in the Miami-Dade area had an individual bottle of champagne and a flute delivered to their home.
This started a new practice.  For the Hispanic Heritage Happy Hour, everyone received a mix drink at their home and a mixologist entertained us.  Thank you, Dunia Miranda.  For Octoberfest, everyone received a bratwurst, a soft pretzel and a bottle of German beer. We had Michael Hilbos and the entire Stuttgart, Germany Rotary Club virtually attended our meeting.  Just recently, for the Holiday/Christmas Happy Hour, we all received a Panettone and a Christmas libation.  We also played a virtual Bingo game and there were five winners.  Robert thanked those who helped distribute the goodies, Rick Miller, Diane Landsberg for using her home as a pick up point, Renel Noel, Norys Figuera and Ariel Gonzalez.
We had other Happy Hours.  In July, we had celebration Bastille Day and the prize for our trivia game was a bottle of French wine.  In August celebrating Women’s Right to Vote, we raffled a Rotary Scarf and four women were inducted into the Club.  For Halloween, we had a scary costume contest and the Picker Wheel selected the winner.
Despite the COVID lock down, we were active with our Community Service projects.  We donated backpacks to the Miami Rescue Mission and the Children’s Home Society.  We sold basketballs to raise funds for this purpose. The Principal of G.W. Carver Elementary School was thankful for the dictionaries we donated. All we collected books for the future children’s library at the Black Police Museum.
Norm Kassoff has played a leading role this year.  He was recognized with the Rotary Club of Miami Lifetime Award.  We also donated $2,920 in his name to the Polio Plus project.  Norm celebrated his 90th birthday this year, and we formed a birthday caravan to greet him.  Our own, Spielberg, Jay Almeida produced the video.  You may watch this video on the Club’s YouTube channel or on our webpage.
We also had virtual banner exchanges with the Kfar-Saba Club in Israel, the San Miguel de Allende Club in Mexico and the Rotary Club of Warburg.  We want to thank Ron Felton, of the Miguel de Allende Club and Jens Neumann & Charlotte Gromsen for attending our meetings on a regular basis.  We also had visitors from Rotary Clubs in Israel, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, London, India, Colombia and Germany.
We helped home bound senior citizens by participating with the JCS Milk & Honey event, and donating food and nutritional beverages to the Kosher Food Bank.  Thanks to David & Marisol McManus for donating the nutritional beverages.  Gently used clothing was also donated to Haiti via the courtesy of Arlene Terrinoni and Renel Noel.
We had two Beach Cleanups, one in Matheson Hammock and another on Miami Beach.
We also participated with the Walk to END Alzheimer’s and the Heart Walk. 
This year these WALKS were very different, no large crowds. 
Internationally, in September we helped the Rotary Club of Guatemala City North provide food for the
village of Joya Verde and we delivered mosquitos nets to Iquitos, Peru to fight dengue and Zika. 
The Club’s Rotaract Clubs at FIU and Miami-Dade College and the Interact Club at Miami Senior High School have been very active this year, despite the challenges of COVID.  Thank you to the Club’s leadership and the guidance of Amelia Bonilla and Randy Lichtman.
After Hurricane ETA and IOTA devastated Central America, we helped the Rotary Emergency Committee of Guatemala with food donations.  To help raise funds for this support we raffled off a bottle of Ron Zacapa, which Dave Anderson won. We also provided lifesaving supplies through to Rotary Club of Tambo Huancayo with oxygen regulators and nasal cannulas. Thanks to Patti Urban for arranging air transport down to Lima, Peru. Our Club also participated with the Global Grant that Ms. Jennifer Jones, the future President of Rotary International and the first female President, with their literacy project for Guatemala.
We now have an updated webpage.  Please visit our webpage to see for yourself at:
The Thomas Brown McClelland Trust Alumni Newsletter goes out periodically.  Marcia Brod is the person handling this initiative, the Reconnect.  Through her efforts over $100,000 from TBM alumni have been donated back to this Trust.  We are currently receiving applications for next year’s scholarship program and Phil Seipp and Diane Landsberg are reviewing these are preparing for the upcoming interviews.
We need Members to invite their friends to “LIKE” our Facebook Rotary Page.  We now have nearly 2,000 who like our page.  Jay Almeida has been managing our Social Media activity.  He also has been leading our efforts with FEED MIAMI.  Watch this video on the Club’s YouTube Page or on our Website.
Our Club has had a longstanding relationship with the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind.  We have three Members who are on their Board: Robbin Shelley, Scott Richie and Frank Voytek.  We participate in their programs and will continue in the future.  In November, a virtual conference for High School students, Leading Change in a COVID World was conducted.  Thanks for Randy Lichtman for the initiative and to Norby Rudel and so many others to making this virtual event a reality.  We also delivered mosquitos nets for lower income families in Miami who do not have air conditioning and leave their windows open in the night. In October, we held our SOCKTOBER collection, delivering over four hundred pairs of socks to the homeless at the Miami Rescue Mission.  Prior to Thanksgiving we wrote and sent hundreds of cards to our troops stationed overseas.  The Miami High School Interact and the FIU Rotaract Club participated, as well. We continued to support the Girl Scout Troop in Overtown.
In December at Diane Landberg’s home, Interact Students and Arlene Terrinoni, Mara & Jay Almeida wrapped hundreds of toys that were delivered to the Miami Rescue Mission, Care Resource and the FIU Rotaract outreach program.
We promoted Rotary’s EREY programs and have started selling “Golf Balls” for the “DROP”.  We really need more Club members to sign up and buy the $25 Golf Ball.  This will satisfy their EREY goal and help the Club.
We had many interesting speakers at our meetings.  Choose the one you liked the best.
In December, we also recognized the Outstanding Miami Police Officer of the Year, Erica Socarras through the Griffitts Award.  Also for the first time in our Club’s history, we granted a Paul Harris Award to Kano, the Police Patrol DogOur Distinguished Citizen was Ms. Bea Hines.  We was a recent speaker at our midday meeting.
Our Club has grown despite these unprecedented times. We have ten new members and Dave Anderson is working on a new Member virtual orientation and induction program.  We also awarded Seven Paul Harris recognition pins.
Financially our Club is in a great position.  We thank our Treasurer, Phil Seipp, and Northern Trust for the stewardship of these accounts. Also important to note is that your Board of Directors has been very active. Attendance rate at the meetings has been over 90%.  The By-Laws of the RCM Foundation have been updated.  The Club’s own By-Laws have been updated and are essentially finalized and will be submitted to Membership for approval.
Looking forward to 2021. 
We are soon going to finalize the fund raising for the GBI Rx Rotary Project.  It seems as though we will exceed our targets with donations in excess of $100,000, this with our Club’s Foundation match will reach a total approaching $250,000.  Congratulations to Phil Seipp for your initiative and leading this project.
We will be planting Green Buttonwoods Trees in Key Biscayne in the salt marsh areas of Crandon Park.  Everyone is invited to join in and dedicate a tree.
We are finalizing the next steps for a bee project in Miami Dade County.  This should be a stinging good project.
RI President Holger is supporting ESRAG, and they are holding an “I FIX THE PLANET” video story contest.  Obviously, we are going to enter this competition.
We will need your help in a few months with the interview and selection process of the candidates for the TBM scholarshipsWe will need volunteers to read and evaluate the essays for the Grace & John DeLury Leadership Award, based on an essay of the Four-Way Test. This scholarship for graduating Miami Senior High School students.
An investment club, the Alpha Generator Investment Club, LLC., is being created.  While not part of our Club, it will follow the Four-Way Test and currently, several Members of our Club have joined.  Thank you to Dave Anderson for this initiative.
We have a Rotary Club of Miami Satellite Club that will be starting soon.  This Club is specifically designed for those who cannot attend our meetings because of the location, date and time of our meetings.  Talking about meetings, we are preparing a plan for our future in-person meetings.  While we currently do NOT know when these will be, we will be ready.  Initially, we will most probably have what are known as Hybrid Meetings, which will use a combination of both in-person and ZOOM.
At the end of June, we will install our current
President-Elect, Noreen Timoney as the 105th President of the Rotary Club of Miami.
After several Club members commented about our year-to-date performance and their expectations for the balance of the fiscal year.  President Robert Bull ended the meeting showing a video of the famous year-end song: Auld Lang Sine.