Posted by Harry Farchmin
Like many Rotary Clubs in the United States, the Elmbrook Rotary Club (ERC) has a tradition of opening our meetings with “Happy Fines ($).” The “Happy Fine” has a storied place in Rotary history and in our local club as a way to get members talking beyond their immediate table about what’s new in their lives, family, jobs, and the community. Members typically contribute a dollar or several dollars for their “happiness/news,” and all of us enjoy hearing about what’s going on in one another’s lives.

Since the onset of COVID-19, we’ve suspended in-person meetings and now have virtual meetings via Zoom. This past Friday’s meeting ran long due to our speaker and an update on coronavirus stats & responses in Waukesha County. We had to cut short our day-in-review, the joke of the day, and our “Happy” discussion. Not to be deterred, a number of ERC members turned to the ERC WhatsApp group to share their “Happy” news and to offer contributions in support of COVID-19 relief. Bill Severson kicked it off with a contribution, a match, and a poker challenge. Then we were off and running. Several members responded to the challenge. We had commitments for several hundred dollars when Kathy Becker “upped the ante,” and commitments really took off. We crossed the $1,000 mark, and the momentum continued. After a few hours, we surpassed our self-made $2,000 goal with contributions from 20 members. The ERC Foundation Board of Directors will determine the specific organizations to which the funds will be sent.

Special thanks and shout-outs to:  Jeanne Allen, John Allen, Pati Allen-Brickman, Kathy Becker, Bonnie Bertram, Phyllis Blodgett, Sue Cerletty, Tom Curl, Linda Edelstein, Harry Farchmin, Ralph Gould, Tom Hochuli, Doug Jacobson, Andy McCully, Larry Myers, Kevin Roche, Chris Salani, Bill Severson, Noaman Sharief, & Mark Thurner. Way to go, ERC!!!
NEWS FLASH:  The ERC Foundation has offered a matching grant, U.S. $1 per $1, up to $12,000 (which includes the $2,150 already raised) for COVID-19 support to three local organizations. More details will be forthcoming.