Rotary Club of Amherst
Amherst, New York, USA
 

In Gear 5/23/13

 
 
 

Make up questions:

1 – About how much did we raise at the club's first ever golf outing?

2 – Which member counted the members in the room before our vote regarding the club’s support for Tyler’s RYLA slot?

3 – What happened that was described by the editor of this publication as a totally unique experience? 

Members in attendance were Katie, Gerry, Ward, Isadore, Sally, Chris, Dick, Liz, Gabe, Cindy, George, Peter, Pravin, Mike, Jorge, and Rob.

Pravin led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and Jerry led us in the Four-way Test.

Gabe then asked for the introduction of our guests, and Rob introduced us to Robert Novak from Nova Industrial Supply & Equipment.  He was invited to our lunch so that he could tell a joke on Rob’s behalf for Jokefest, and Mr. Novak is also the Vice President of a local Veteran’s Council.  Cindy then introduced us to Sally Draper, our club’s very own prodigal snowbird.

Gabe then announced that we “got through” the golf outing, which drew a nice round of applause from the members in attendance.  Donations are still coming in, and we still have to pay Westwood, but based on the preliminary numbers, Gabe projected a net “profit” of $7400.  He once again gave special thanks to Liz and Carolyn, and everybody that pitched in to make it a success.  Cindy did a great job with the baskets.  On theother hand, Chris begged the club for more volunteers, only to discover that they weren’t really needed.  The various “betting” opportunities, like the par 3s, the 50/50, and the basket raffle, netted us about $1100.

Ward walked in as Gabe announced that we’ll have a wrap up meeting soon to discuss what was good and what needs improvement.  Thank you letters will go out to all of our golfers and sponsors, and each will also have a comment card so that we can learn from our customers.  Liz commented that Paula’s talk at the end of the event was touching, and everybody left with a good feeling about the cause.

Cindy talked about the menu for the installation dinner at Westwood on June 27th.  I heard shrimp and asiago and stuffed chicken and pork tenderloin before my drooling ruined the rest of my notes.  I also remember hearing that the cost will be $30 and will include dessert and beverages.  It’s a little more than we spent on the dinner for the Mix and Mingle, but it sounds as if we’ll have a better dinner for the money.  Cindy encouraged us to start signing up and bring our spouses or significant others.

Gabe then asked us to reconsider the date for our recruitment cocktail party at Westwood.  The previously decided upon date no longer works for the Westwood and will never be mentioned again for fear of confusing the membership.  However, June 20th is available, though some members cannot make it.  Gabe asked Mike if he would mind if this event was pushed into July.  Mike was fine with it.

There was, once again, no Professor Phil in the house to quiz us.  Gabe almost started to ask for fines, but then remembered that we needed to do fines after Jokefest, as we’d surely raise a lot more money that way.  That realization was met with nervous laughter.

So Gabe announced that the Williamsville club would be holding the next Mix and Mingle at Milo’s on Monday June 3rd.  He reminded us that the Williamsville club sent like 15 members to our event, and encouraged us to attend theirs.  He thought it was an impressive sounding menu for $25, and it starts at 6pm.  They will have a singer from the Amherst Symphony, but he wasn’t sure if there was a guest speaker or not.

The Prez then brought up the RYLA applicant that we’ve been discussing.  Tyler actually came to our golf outing and met some of the members, who were all very impressed.  I heard people say that he is a bright kid, does a lot of volunteering, and he’s staying busy this summer with an internship.  He’s going to SUNY Fredonia and his grandfather was President of the Kenmore club.  Gabe noted that the other clubs in our area have already sent their RYLA students and spent their budgets.  We also budgeted for a RYLA student, but unfortunately it didn’t work out with our candidates.  Ward noted that we had a quorum.  George wondered if the board was on board.  Gabe reminded him that they did that when they approved the budgeting for one student.  George remembered a situation years ago when the club paid for a student and there was some controversy.  Apparently the other club hadn’t budgeted for any RYLA students that year and we ended up footing the bill for, “one of their kids.”  Finally, after a bit more discussion, Cindy made a motion for our club to pay for for Tyler’s RYLA slot.  Peter seconded her motion, and the vote was unanimous.  We will be sending Tyler to RYLA this summer.

Gabe ran through some reminders for us, noting that the next board meeting will be held at 11am on Thursday June 13th.  It seems that our next President will be holding the board meetings before our lunch meetings, thereby saving an extra drive to Westwood for the board members.

Gabe asked if there were any other club business to discuss, and Mike took the floor.  His “conundrum” is due to the fact that Jim Sutton is moving to NYC, and therefore can’t be our Sgt. at Arms this coming year.  Rob said that he has other commitments, but he would fill in as needed.  Mike scanned to room to see if there were anybody not present that we could nominate.  No volunteers stepped up, but Jorge said that he was willing to help out.  Cindy, Sally, and Gabe also said that they would help.  John Olsen was nominated to manage our growing “staff” of fill in Sgt. at Arms peeps.  Katie stepped in to save John, saying that she could “schedule” the Seargants at Arm.

Then, with soup finished, but before the entrée, we found ourselves with some (rare) spare time for fellowship.

After we were fully fed and fellowshipped up, the Prez called for the jokes to begin.  Rob, who was Rob’s guest, got up first to read, “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas” (kinda) to us.  The unusual thing about it was that it was very carefully and ridiculously read in a language that Rob had himself had invented.  (I bet you read that sentence twice.)  I have never seen or heard anything like it.

George then explained that Rob (the one that invented a language) would be our judge for Jokefest.  George also gleefully explained the fines again and told us the rules.  No risqué jokes and no ethnic jokes etc.  Then he gave us a vocabulary question.  He wanted to know what an aphorism was.  Of course, nobody had a clue.  So George explained that an aphorism is a short, pithy statement – and one that delivers a message.  He gave us some examples, like when Nikita Kruschchev said that, “Politicians are the same all over.  They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.”

Then, with the crowd properly “warmed up,” George showed us a bottle of Arbor Mist and another bottle of (good) wine.  The Arbor mist was for the worst joke.  The other stuff was for the best joke.

Ward got up to tell the first joke and started by offering fines.  His joke was bad, but the fines were not because of his bad joke.  He was going to have to leave early.  Mike also reminded him to pay for being late.

Peter told an Italian joke that was intended for Phil.  Too bad Phil wasn’t here to enjoy it, but then again, hearing it may have started a lifelong vendetta.

Gabe, Jerry, and Cindy actually had to read their jokes to us.  At least Cindy’s was a Rotarian joke.

And since the rules were already being broken, I may as well tell you that some (many) of the jokes were a bit risqué.  Each (dirty) joker seemed to feel more comfortable than their predecessor and each joke became a bit bolder.

George actually read a risqué joke.  I guess when you invent the event, you can do whatever you want to.

Jorge got up apologetically and said, “I’m not picking on senior citizens.”  That was right before he began telling a joke that picked on senior citizens.

Chris told the last joke of Jokefest and he hardly got half way through it when Isadore began loudly and uncontrollably cracking up.  It seemed that, based on the groans we heard when the joke was (finally) over, the middle was the best part.

Gabe called for fines to begin as the judge tabulated and considered the results of Jokefest.  Mike got up and bragged that he would collect $600 to make it an even $8000 raised this week for the golf outing.

He began by fining all those that were not either golfing or volunteering at the golf outing.

Then he fined Liz $5 for not having a joke.

Then he fined Liz $1 for not shaking his hand.

Cindy was fined for referring to Sally as a guest.

Gabe was fined because he didn’t say hi to Sally until after the bell had rung.

Pravin was fined for leaving a conversation (with Mike) abruptly.

George was told to empty his wallet.  He was fined for asking Sally if she could read the In Gear, for saying, “The rules come from my heart!”, for confusing the two Robs, and finally, for acting as a quasi-Professor Phil when he asked us a vocabulary question.

All of those that read their jokes were fined.

Katie was fined for telling a blonde joke and then claimed that she was blonde when she was growing up.

Isadore was fined for laughing well before the punch line of Chris’s joke.

Cindy paid a happy fine because she had shoes on both feet.

Chris paid a fine because he didn’t write an In Gear last week.

Isadore paid a fine for being away at a conference.

Finally, the winners of Jokefest were about to be named.  Really, the losers were all of the members in the room that had to suffer through some painful jokes and equally painful joke telling.

Cindy was given the good wine for the best joke.  She was as surprised as anybody in the room to receive this honor.

George was given the Arbor Mist, which he richly deserved.  At least he was the one that picked the wine and he picked out a nice peachy variety for himself.

Finally, Dick’s ticket was then plucked from the fish bowl.  But, like everybody else at Jokefest, Dick was unable to find a good joker!

The members that were NOT present, and therefore incurred a $5 fine, include the following:

Phil, Gerry, Rob, Don, Paul, John, Ken, Carolyn, and John.