2015-08-26, District Governor Tom Walker

President Alex Keatts opened the meeting with the ringing of the bell at 12:10 pm.  Mary Ellen McKay gave the familiar table prayer: “Be present at our table, Lord; Be here and everywhere adored; Thy creatures bless, and grant that we may feast in paradise with Thee” (credited to John Cennick, 1741).  Alex led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.  And if that wasn’t enough happiness, Denton Holmes led the group in a rousing “When You Wish Upon a Star!”

Gaurav Panwar, Cornell Menking, Jodie BrdeckoLots of greeting, hugging, and hand-shaking followed.  Several people commented on Christopher Dulany’s robin-egg blue tie and how nice it was to have so many visitors.  Welcome to Tessa Valadez (Crosstown), Peter Krebs (Rio Grande club), Linda Woodward (Anthony club), Jesse Allen (West El Paso club), Glenn Duff (really Glenn, I don’t think you are a visitor anymore!), and Gaurav Panwar (NMSU International Student).  The mystery greet was Don Moen!

Many, many happy dollars – John Pickett, Blaine Goss, Jodie Brdecko, Mary Ellen McKay and John Hernandez, who was happy to be here and happy to be standing up next to Jim Berry!

District 5520The Program-Rotary District 5520 Governor Tom Walker

Tom Walker grew up on a small farm in Missouri.  Even though he was from an interior state, he received an appointment to the US Naval Academy, graduating in 1971 with a B.S. in Naval Architecture.  He spent 27 serving our country which included 7 years actually underwater in four different nuclear submarines.  Along the way he earned a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.

Tom joined Rotary in 1997 and was the 2007-2008 President of the Rotary Club of Albuquerque.  His mother was a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow as was his father.

Tom told the story of a young Sri Lankan boy’s journey through the Rotary family.  This boy is now Rotary International President “Ravi” Ravindren.  The remarkable tale of his mother’s recovery from polio because of the network of Rotarians was amazing. 

Four weeks ago Mr. Ravindran announced that it has been one year since the last case of polio had been reported in Africa.  The only reported cases of polio are now in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

So what are the 1.2 million Rotary neighbors, friends, and community leaders doing to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world?  Well, many hands are making lighter work.  In our district, we are bringing cleaner water to villages in northern Guatamala.  As a bi-product of delivering clean water to these communities, girls are no longer trudging from nearby rivers and ponds to the villages with water.  They can go to school and make a better life for themselves.  Bridges are built and people south of the border are helped with life-changing surgeries, not to mention the many literacy projects.  But did you know what the first project was in District 5520 – toilets! 

The work of over one million Rotarians in more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas impacts lives at both the local and international levels.  Can Rotary help bring the gift of peace to the world?  WHY NOT!

Join in by attending the District Meeting in Albuquerque April 28 – May 1, 2016 and the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Seoul May 28 – June 1.

After the Program

President Keatts announced a short Board Meeting to follow the regular meeting.  The can report netted $51 for Mesilla Valley Hospice and Sue Groth won the raffle.

The meeting ended with the four-way test.

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians



Glenn Duff

Dinus Briggs

Tessa Valadez

John Pickett

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club

Peter Krebs

Rio Grande

Jesse Allen

West El Paso

Linda Woodward


Student Guests



Gaurav Panwar

NMSU Computer Science (India)







Club Anniveraries-September

Member Club Anniversary Tenure
Jim Maxon September 3 7 years
Alex Keatts September 6 16 years
Janet Green September 8 14 years
Andrew Taylor September 9 6 years
Jay Jordan September 10 11 years
Bobby J. Rankin September 16 45 years

Submitted by Kristi GranadosKristi Granados