Leigh Carpenter, Sponsored by Don McPherson, is Admitted into Membership
  • Joyce Graff, Visiting Rotarian and Speaker
  • Gino Frattilone, Visiting Rotarian
  • District Foundation Forum: One quarter of our club attended last night’s event, the best participation in the district.
  • Masquerade Ball: This is coming up this Saturday evening, at the Boxborough Holiday Inn.
  • Veterans Day Breakfast: The breakfast will be held Wednesday morning, but setup is on Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. The location is the First Parish church, Route 117 next to the library, in Stow.
  • Joint meeting with the WPI Rotaract club, November 12.
  • End Hunger New England: Food packaging at Solomon Pond Mall, November 14, between 1 and 4 p.m. This is a District event, benefiting local food banks. Our club has donated $500 to this cause.
  • Thanksgiving breakfast: Littleton Rotary Club is holding a breakfast Thanksgiving morning, November 26, from 6:30 to 10:00 a.m., at the Littleton Middle School.
  • Holiday Party: Our club’s holiday party will be December 17, at Nancy’s Airfield Café.
New Member Induction
Leigh Carpenter graduated from Gettysburg College and now works for the American Cancer Society, in community engagement; their current project is to ban tanning beds, which cause skin cancer. Leigh transferred from the Framingham club.
Happy/sad fines:
  • Bob: happy to be seeing his granddaughter tonight.
  • Rich: disappointed that neither Chris nor Ron was here, so he could present them with $863.22 from Lancaster’s Purple Pinkie Day.
  • Gino: attended seven meetings last week; made Purple Pinkie donations to all clubs except ours—we’ve done so well.
  • Nanci: spoke about Healing Garden to the Bolton Lions Club, who is interested in a possible joint meeting with us.
  • Leigh: excited to have become a member here, and that Christmas movies are airing on TV.
  • Don: happy to be flying his own plane to Houston and Boulder; and learned that a friend came down with shingles, so he got a shingles shot.
  • Laura: sad not to be going to New York for UN day; and that her dog contracted Lyme disease.
  • Natascha: excited to accompany her husband on his last business trip to Europe; she also has Purple Pinkie pins for sale.
  • Joyce: happy to be here.
  • Jim: happy that 8 members attended the district Foundation Forum. 
Joyce Graff, Past President of the Brookline Rotary Club and member of the District Membership Committee, spoke about membership. To be effective, a Rotary club needs members. A club’s ability to serve the community, support The Rotary Foundation, and develop leaders capable of serving Rotary beyond the club level is directly related to the size and strength of its membership base. 
The Nashoba Valley Club is young and doing well as far as membership is concerned; Brookline has been in operation since 1938 and has 50 members, down from 80 about 20 years ago; and 20% of the membership is over 80 years old. Organizations are living entities; if they’re not growing, they’re shrinking.  Attrition happens; so attrition needs to be offset with new members. This is a job that’s never finished.
Corporate membership is a new concept for Rotary. There was a pilot project a few years ago, the results of which were inconclusive. So the district has come up with suggestions. (Our club has two corporate members.)
The Brookline Club met at the Holiday Inn at lunch time. Lunch was inconvenient for many members, let alone younger, prospective members; but was fine for the older, retired members. How to balance these needs?  Last year, the Club started a pilot program of breakfast meetings; and for a year, they held two meetings a week. They did pick up new members, but also, surprisingly, some existing but absentee members began attending again. This led to some changes in the way meetings were run. It would have been awkward for everyone to stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance in the middle of a restaurant, so they replaced it with a “patriotic word of the day.” They evaluated it at the end of the year, and the majority won, to change locations and times. The goal was to recruit the members who would run the club 10 years from now.
Question: What about prayer, which many younger people might find a turn-off? Answer: A moment of inspiration is fine, but it should be ecumenical. The Rotary “creed” is the four-way test, not a specifically denominational prayer. We want to be inclusive, not to make anyone feel the club is not for me.
Question: What about the smallest clubs, which don’t have a membership committee, and don’t come to the district membership forums? Answer: Each club has to find its own way. But by visiting other clubs and sharing, we gain a perspective on other possibilities. Rotary is a lot of things, not just the narrow experience a single club gives.