Writer: Bob Dimmig

Invocation: Rick Graham

Visiting Rotarians: Bob Dimmig

Sergeant-at-Arms: Scott Mason

Finemaster: Gary Roberts


President Larry called the meeting to order at 12:37. He led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and a rendition of ‘God Bless America’.  Your writer was busy taking notes, and cannot pass judgment on the quality of our voices this afternoon.  We will assume it was perfect!

Rick Graham offered the invocation, asking to keep Larry Ward in our thoughts and prayers as he recovers from by-pass surgery. He also gave thanks for all Rotary members and their talents in support of others. There were no visiting Rotarians or guests.

Under the heading of announcements, President Larry made an executive decision and announced that there will be no meeting next week, which falls on Martin Luther King Day. With cancellation of the meeting, we will devote our February 18 meeting to invite prospective new members. He also announced that the ‘Purple Pinkie Project’ will expand to four elementary schools on January 24 and 25. Ron Levea announced that Brian Berkman, a former member of our club, had recently passed away. Brian was 63 years old.

Gary Roberts stepped in as Finemaster. In honor of our guest speaker, Gary tested our knowledge of Erie Canal history, including the architect, the cost and the number of locks.

Before proceeding to our speaker, President Larry read a letter from Laurie Kudla, expressing her appreciation to the club. He offered her email address (laurie.kudla@yahoo.com) for members to stay in touch with her in the future.

Our speaker was Thomas Dee, Executive Director of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation. Tom led us through a review of the tremendous assets we have in the Inner Harbor, Outer Harbor and the Buffalo River, as well as the status of plans in each area. Their efforts are becoming reality through dedicated funding sources that include $120 million through the New York Power Authority. Members asked several questions and found Tom’s efforts to be very exciting.