On Tuesday, September 29, 2009 I visited the Rotary Club of Baltimore to talk about benefit auction ideas. I’ve been documenting some of my Rotary talks, which you can read here and here.
The Club meets in the beautiful Belvedere Hotel. (A misnomer: The Belvedere Hotel was converted to condominiums in 1991 and is no longer a hotel.)
I’m a sucker for old buildings, so this quickly ranked as the most glamorous venue of any Rotary meeting I’ve attended.
Rotarian President Mary Anne had told me that the Club had been growing, and – sure enough – I saw some photos of new members in one of the Club’s meaty weekly newsletters.
I was initially caught off guard when the Club started to sing the national anthem and it was sung so well. The Star-Spangled Banner isn’t an easy song for the average person to sing, yet this Club belted it out beautifully. When we guests (three total) were announced to the club, a chorus rapidly assembled (see photo) and greeted us with an official “Welcome to our Club” song sung in 4-part harmony. This Club has some vocal talent.
Rotarians are never short on humor. Rotarian Howard was presented a T-shirt from a fellow member who found the “perfect” T-shirt for him while vacationing in North Carolina. The shirt said something like, “Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.”
Without missing a beat, Howard responded. “First, I’m flattered that you think I still wear a size large. Second, don’t forget that revenge is a dish best served cold.”
Rotary is an international organization with 1.2 million members and 33,000 clubs worldwide. Today, a Rotarian from Turkey visited the Club and brought the customary banner (each club has its own banner) and a gift of Turkish Delight candy.
When the business of the Club was finished, I spoke about how I became an auctioneer and shared some ideas around procurement.
One woman approached me after the talk and said she’s going to research auction schools. “I like careers that don’t have a lot of women in them,” she said.
(She’s right about that. Read this post for more information on that topic.)
P.S. More photos from the Club meeting can be found on our Facebook Fan site.
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