Our 3rd meeting of the year on January 20 was zoom attended by about 20 Rotarians.
Lowry announced that our speech contest will be March 3 at Seascape and will be hybrid.  Doug worked out a deal with Seascape where attendees can order off the menu.  The District contest will be March 8.
Sue Lawson was asked on behalf of Freedom Rotary if our club would send a letter supporting the application of an Iranian for refugee status in Turkey to avoid deportation to Iran where there is a fear of condemnation because he had converted to Christianity  The request is from Ashley Winn, a member of the La Selva Beach Community Church, which wrote a letter in support.  Our members who weighed in on it supported the effort for its humanitarianism but there are questions as to whether or not it is a political activity which Rotary prohibits.  Pres. Ken raised it at the area President’s meeting and was referred to RI. 
Our club sent a group of students to Tonga in 2004, which also has a Rotary club.  Dave Campbell wrote an article that Mardi sent out on Club Runner.  We are trying to see if there is any way for our club or the area to send support to Tonga through Rotary connections.
Rotary International sent an email (not clear to whom but eventually found its way to some Area Presidents) advising that RI has been contacted by the White House Coordinator for Operations Allies Welcome to participate in programs for aiding Afghan refugee families that are settling in the USA.  Pres. Ken completed the survey asking for more information before taking any additional steps.  Members are invited to check out “Operation Allies Welcome”  and email Ken/the board on their thoughts. The Area presidents are considering pooling resources if enough clubs agree.
Pres. Ken doubled as detective.  One set of questions was asking members to complete quotes by Dr. King in honor of his day.  Another set of questions was about some historical facts about Rotary.  Highlights were members’  ability to complete some of Dr. King’s quotes and knowing the names of astronauts and US presidents who were Rotarians. Bonus points to Dr. Art for knowing that Rotary’s first service project was public toilets in Chicago in 1917.  Don’t say it…flushed with pride?
Our speakers were Deidre Hamilton and Laura Sutherland who own a company called Talk Bubbly To Me.  Not surprisingly, their topic was sparkling wine.  Their presentation was engaging and educational, as they explained the processes and differences in sparkling wines, the different grapes used, regional/national names, qualities and  bottling.  The event was frustrating because they were sampling champagnes while the rest of us licked our lips and soothed parched throats with something far less satisfying.  There is great support for a champagne tasting fund raiser.  Sgt at Arms Craig B’s suggestion that attendees get Continuing Education Credit was approved by unanimous consent.  Question- will there be a lab?  Extra credit?
Members probably remember that Deidre Hamilton also gave a great presentation to our club on Kwanzaa- a true Renaissance woman.
It was nice to see Anissa who claims she had covid for her 50th birthday.  That is difficult to believe because there is no way she is 50….
Bonus info- Flushed With Pride is the name of the biography of Thomas Crapper.  Really.  He didn’t invent the flush toilet but did invent the float in the tank and had a line of plumbing devices in the UK.