Posted by Doug Willett on Jun 27, 2018

As if signaling that this new administration is going to be very different from those who came before, rather than a formal dinner, Kevin invited us to his spacious backyard to celebrate his ascension to the Club Presidency. And celebrate we did.

The party was in full swing when your scribe arrived a half hour late. Appetizers were being consumed, drinks were being imbibed, friends were catching up with friends. The hospitality proffered by Sue and Kevin Kickery was on display.

With the conversation and conviviality in full flower, outgoing President Dave Amberg called us to order and the usual song was sung. After Bob Wood’s invocation praising the orderly transition of power, Dave provided a summary of his year.

Successful Fund Raisers in the Golf Tournament and the Raffle allowed us to donate more than $40,000 in scholarships and support to both town and international activities and still have a modest amount left to launch Kevin’s year.  

President Dave then went on to express his thanks and appreciation to all those who contributed so much to the year’s success. Many Rotarians received kudos, but a few special contributions deserve mention.
First of these was PP Bill Saunders who stepped in to run the Club while Dave recovered from his parking lot misadventure. Second was the Empress, Mary Martin, who wears so many hats for our Club and does them all with enthusiasm and competence. And finally, First Lady Chickie Amberg who kept it all together through the trials of the year and smiled at all the appropriate times. And our thanks to you, Dave, for a most successful year.
With that now Past President Dave handed over the medallion and the gavel to incoming President Kevin Kickery.
And right away, we could sense that this year will be different. Rather than a prepared speech, our newly minted President Kevin brought us into his shoe collection. Displaying a well-used sandal, Kevin offered that it symbolized his normal laid back and relaxed nature. He next produced a stiff, slightly dusty from little use, in need of polish brogan which he described as the shoe he will now be wearing for the foreseeable future as he gets used to his new leadership responsibilities. And he followed this up with a slip-on casual loafer which symbolized the state he aspired to as our President – “light, flexible, comfortable, where I want to be.”
President Kevin went on to say that there are “some things I want to change but I’ll leave that for another day. Tonight, we are here to celebrate Dave and his successful year.”
With that Kevin shifted to focus on the Rotary International theme for the upcoming year, “Be the Inspiration” by showing us the RI banner and passing out specially made cookies with the Rotary theme and Rotary artwork. These were made for us in North Carolina by Kevin and Sue’s daughter, Amy, who is baker and owner of Kicker Konfections. This was a very nice touch and most eschewed eating them, so we could admire the artwork at our leisure.
Lots of pizza was consumed, a nutty coated ice cream round was served, and the evening came to a rather abrupt end as a light rain began to fall.
But we can’t wrap up before we take care of two items of Rotary business. First, congratulations to Art and Charlotte Bradbury for celebrating 71 years of marital bliss. Art claimed it is more like his honeymoon year 71 times over. Saint Charlotte just smiled.
And finally, thanks to President Kevin and First Lady Sue for an evening that goes in the memory book. We wish you a great Rotary year.
Just a reminder that next Wednesday is a holiday and our next meeting will be July 11th at 6 p.m. at Goodwin College.
See you there. Doug Willett