July 19, 2018: Denise Foster from Leadership Southern Maryland (LSM)
Denise has recently taken on the Executive Director gig at LSM and visited to tell us about her new role, how LSM can help participants, and how LSM participants help non-profits by taking on projects that expand capacity and foster engagement. Several of our Rotarians are LSM and vouch for the program's effectiveness in heping its participants leanr more and make community contacts. The class that is starting in September is full now, but next spring will bring a call for a new class. Thanks, Denise, for your presentation!
July 12, 2018: Liz Cooper: On Writing and Publishing
Reading Specialist for 19 years in St. Mary's County Schhols and Community spark LIz Cooper visited to tell us about her inspirations for wriitng, give some tips on the difficult busienss of getting published and the equally difficult paths to self-publishing, and to read us some stories. 600 books are published in the U.S. on an average day, but breakign into traditional publishing requires and agent, and even getting an agent without a successful track record is itself a challenge. Liz recommends perseverence, networking, and "shameless self-promotion." Liz's current work is Granny's Teeth: A Collection of Quirky Rhyming Tales. The title story alone is worth the price of the volume. Buy it on Amazon or from the iStore and Android stores, of read it at St mary's County Library. Thanks, Liz, for the great morning of story telling!
July 5: Sharon Stapf and Sky from Pets on Wheels
Pets on Wheels is a non-profit 501-C-3 that brings therapy animals of all kinds to hospitals, assited living homes, schools, libraries, and just about anywhere the might help a peson feel more conected and happy. They have had great success in the Charlottle Hall Veteran's Home: even people that the nursing staff think cannot talk will sometimes open up and say words to the dogs. In our libraries, we are scheduling visits from the dogs for reading. Children who are shy about reading to adults often like to practice reading with one of the therapy dogs. Thanks, Sharon, for what you do for our community. Volunteer opportunties are available. Visit the website to learn more.
June 21, 2018: Dave Taylor: St. Mary's and the Lincoln Assassination
As a former slave-holding state put under martial law after the Civil War began in order to ensure the safety of the Federal capital in Washington D.C., Maryland and perhaps most especially Southern Maryland was rife with Confederate sympathies. Union troops stationed in the county proclaimed it very unfriendly, with locals unwilling to help them and plainly abetting smuggling across the Potomac and other ways of supprting Virginia and the South. Perhaps not surprisingly in the wake of the Lincoln Assassination, then, suspicions that the killer John Wilkes Booth may well hve been headed to our county to escape. Booth never made it into the county, getting as close as Hughesville before working his way towards the Potomac in Charles County. He was reported as being here, however, and for decades it was widely believed that he had been trailed here and the residents of our county were the archest of traitors. Dave Taylor, a specialist in the history of the time, gave a lively presentation on our county's role in the tragedy. It is fortunate that we are no longer wrongly tarred with the a guilt that we did not earn (however much some residents may have sympathized with what General Grant the "worst cause ever fought for"). Learn more about the time, including how to take a historical tour, on Dave's website.
June 14, 2018: Giving Away Rotary Grants
Today our club presented $8,046 to 17 non-profit grant applicants. Some effective fundraising over the year allowed us to present more this year than we sometimes do. We were able to give all but one grant recipient the full amount requested. Our worthy grant recipients this years are as follows:
A Community That Shares (ACTS) - $500;
Christmas in April - $500
Foundation for Heroes - $500
Friends of Cedar Lane - $500
Friends of St. Clements Island - $500
Greenwell Foundation - $500
Habitat for Humanity - $500
Helpful Hooves - $500
Historic Sotterley - $500
Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad - $500
Literacy Council of St. Mary's - $396
St. Mary's County Adult Recovery Court - $500
St. John's Charitable Society - $500
St. Mary's Caring - $500
St. Mary's Historical Society - $400
Tri-County Council Foundation/Project Impact - $250
Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions - $500
The video link shows each organization receiving its grant and a bit of information about how the grants will be used.
June 7, 2018: Rick Steinmetz, A Day in the Life of an Attorney
As often as courtroom drama and attorney heroics (or villainy) appear in fiction and non-fictin books, televison, and movies, many of us are not aware of exactly what attorneys do with their time. Rick, a club member and attorney with Baldwin, Briscoe and Steinmetz, pres ted to us on a day in his life. Much of his time is spent on discovery: trying to find out the facts of a case before it goes to trial. Rick says that most cases are won or lost (or likely to go to mediatio or arbitration) before the hearing even begins, with effective discovery or protection from discovery of salient facts. There is more of interest znd vriety than what might expect, and some of Rick's cases are amazing or amusing, dependg on what clients claim. Thanks, Rick, for the inside look!
May 24, 2018: Bonnie Elward of Southern Maryland Community Resources
SMCR exists to "advocate for individuals with special needs, to recognize the inherent dignity that is theirs because they are members of our one human family. We promote social recreational and educational opportunities where individuals with developmental differences can contribute their unique gifts and develop their potential." Executive Directo Bonnie Elward told us more about the mission and various acitivities of SMCR, especially their main fundraising activity, the Solomons Island Dragon Boat Races. The cause is indeed a worthy one! To find out more about them, visit their website via the link below.
May 17, 2018: Cathy Askey, The New Tax Laws
Rotary member Cathy of Askey and Askey Accountants gave an informative presentation on the new tax laws, with an emphasis on how they will affect individuals. At least for now, most instances she has analyzed suggest that people will pay less in taxes under the new laws. The standard deduction has been raised. A number of deductions that were previously allowed, however, are no curtailed or no longer allowed, suggesting need for caution and investigating now so we can avoid unpleasant surprises when we do our taxes in early 2019. Fewer of us are likely to itemize. Thanks, Cathy, for helping us be more prepared!
May 10, 2018: Robin Finnacom, the Newtowne Players
Our very own Club President, a gifted actress, presented on the shows at our local theater group, the Newtowne Players. Robn has recently added "Producer" to her theater resume. She discussed the differing roles of actor, director, and producer and the many contirubtios made by stagehands, musical directors and performaers, and lighting experts, plus how the company (a non-profit) survives. As club members can asttest from personal experience, the shows are always well-reviewed and entertaining. To learn more and buy tickets, visit the website.
Want to see other other recent speakers? Check out our YouTube site: