Posted by Jim Garrett
We began with an invocation offered by Betty Switzer dealing with gratitude, defined as feeling thankful, appreciating good, and returning kindnesses.  Take a few minutes every day to reflect on those things inspiring your thankfulness, Betty suggested, to help stay on the “right path” and enjoy the blessings around us.
After Betty brought us together with inspiring thoughts, Sue Walen immediately undertook to divide us – but only temporarily for the singing of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” in a three-part round.  Dave Cammack proclaimed that his side of the room had kicked butt, boasting (following the current style of ignoring the evidence) of the stellar quality of its singing.  Your reporter can verify, however, that Dave could be heard to provide considerable effort so far as volume.
Cutting Dave off in mid-spout, President Shellie Peterson then announced, “Here come the clipboards,” beginning circulation of “effort sheets,” for recording time devoted by members to supporting Rotary with muscle, sweat, brain-power, patience, inspiration or whatever (perhaps even volume) where needed to help provide substance to its mission.
While the clipboards started their journey around the room, Shellie looked to welcome guests.  Two, introduced as Murph and Fluffy, had accompanied Betty to the meeting: stuffed puppies gifted to Betty at Christmas, so she could practice “having a real dog.”  Betty pointed out she had proven her mettle as a future dog owner, demonstrating Murph’s well-coordinated, battery-powered ability to walk and wag his tail simultaneously.
Cindy Galabota next reminded all of the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) program, which supports deserving high school students with a week of camp in June.  Cindy said she and Helen Richardson have succeeded to Roberta Tolan in overseeing RYLA in Pagosa.   Applications need to be submitted in March, Cindy said, and asked Rotarians to encourage promising students to apply.
Jenelle Syverson then invited all to attend Business After Hours to be hosted by Choke Cherry Tree on March 20.  Chile (both red and green), will be served at the Chamber of Commerce organized event, she advised.
Applications for part-time employment by persons experienced in teaching English as a second language were then solicited by Meg Wempe, who explained that the Library was taking over local management of the useful program.
Kim Moore then renewed her encouragement for Rotarians to recruit 2019 event sponsors, with the new concept in place this year of annual sponsorships supporting all four major Rotary fund-raisers, which will include the currently ongoing Ice Melt contest (with the trend in the weather, I’m plunging bigtime for June), Casino Night in May, a concert (on a date currently unknown), and the Barn Dance, to be held (it can now be publicly reported here for the very the first time in a triumphant scoop) on October 19.  What potential sponsor could resist?  Fame and glory for a year!  Just a step removed from immortality!
Following Kim’s reminder to seek sponsorships, details on Casino Night were supplied by Art Benzel.  The gala event will be held May 17 at the PLPOA clubhouse from 7-10 pm, he said, emphasizing that is a changed date.  Games of skill will be contested (blackjack, craps, and Texas Hold-‘Em), and there will be graceful (or otherwise) dancing to the sweet tunes of a combo.
John Richardson announced that the Rotary Scholarship Fund had been gifted $5000 by an anonymous donor, whom he described as a frequent local visitor, but non-resident.  Cody Wilson added that the fund is organized as a 501(c)(3), so donations are tax deductible.
Garrulous Exchange Student Theo Bonlokke reported that the prior Saturday had been the final wrestling tournament of the year, and that on Sunday he had been snowboarding (most likely, one guesses, not for the last time of the year in view of our ongoing blizzard-like conditions).   Increasingly garrulous Exchange Student Cata Acuilera then took the stage to report having attended Winterfest and done some cross-country skiing. 
Betty Switzer then presided in the celebration of February birthdays for Shellie, Helen and Carrie Weiss (absent, for the Weiss’ annual RV expedition).  Alan Roth and wife Eileen were honored for their 34th anniversary.  And Granton Bartz’s 14th anniversary as a Rotarian was noted as well.
Sunshines were offered by Kim in honor of husband Walt’s birthday and her son’s impending parenthood, by Jann Pitcher for the success of Lady Pirates basketball, and Bill Darling for a recent clear scan – one more clear scan in three more months, said Bill, will indicate he should be free of cancer hereafter.