One of the cool things about my job is the public-speaking opportunities that come with it.|
Yesterday, it was the Rotary Club of East Moline/Silvis.
Any service group that makes a 900-book donation to better the reading lives of children, is aces. The Rotary Club of East Moline/Silvis did so recently to benefit Project NOW Head Start/East Moline.
I'm often asked to speak before service groups and schools, emcee luncheons and wait -- now you may begin laughing --- participate in fashion shows. Enter the "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear'' joke now.
It's an honor to do them all and I usually get a free lunch. Lunch Thursday at East Moline's Christ United Methodist Church was fantastic.
When asked to present a program, the asker usually wants me to share something about my job. Truth is, he or she -- like my bosses and me -- doesn't know what I do. All I know is my security card beeps every morning and the door opens. After that, my job-like life is a crapshoot.
But I digress.
Like many service groups, Rotary employs a fun-loving extortion tactic on its membership, usually using newspaper stories, photos and cut-outs from magazines.
If a member of the club has been recognized or participated in something noteworthy, a trusted Rotarian (the chief extorter) saves it. The clipping or story usually gets back to the club and the member at a meeting, but it comes with a price.
Sometimes it's $1, but in 2012 -- with inflation like it is -- it could be $5. The money extorted goes to fund the many civic projects Rotary is responsible for.
My pal, Chris Lemon, a banker, a member of the Rock Island Rotary and head baseball coach at Alleman High School, took a second mortgage last spring for Rotary fines. Alleman finished second in the state and Lemon's name and mug were plastered everywhere for nearly a month.
At the conclusion of my talk Thursday, I warned those still around that my visit could get costly, that my hope is they all get nicked by the club's designated hustler. This can happen when there is unlimited online space and your company buys ink by the barrel.
I think a dollar for each name mentioned is suitable.
So, Robert Greene, Father Daniel Mirabelli, Jay Morrow, Sue Rosenthal, Milton Anderson, Angie Ashcraft, Mike Atkins, Dave Emerick, Carl Freeman, Mark Bollaert, Bill Bollaert, David Coene, Kim Corbett, Claudia Hernandez, Larry Johnson, Dawn Tubbs, Bob Lofgren, Joel Youngs, Roger Dolleslager, Roger Perry, Beatriz Brasel, J. Patricky Borby, Shelly Cain, Larry Clark, Doug Reynolds, Steve Schroder, Wendy Bonilla, Megan Petersen, Steve Taets, Steve Verdick, Marty Morrow, Dr. Bettie Truitt, Tony Columbia, Jim Cooksey, Scott Culley, Robert DeFrance, Steven Dembrosky, Chad Dresing, Nancy Hicks, Brian Hillyer, James Hughes, Paul Jones Jr., Tom Klingbiel, David Lamb, Steve Layer, Graham Lee, Robert Lofgren, Lyle Lohse, Wallace Longbons, Nola Lueth, Julius Lytton, Gary Matteson, Alex McGehee, John McGehee, Peter Mitchell, Victor Moreno, Patricia O'Brien, Roger Perry, Michael Phillips, George Polios, Greg Prickett, Micahel Romanowski, Carrel Sagon, Kathy Schroeder, Doug Small, Greg Solis, Florence Spyrow, John Thodos, Larry Toppert, John Van Hoe, Mike Van Hoe, Al Van Tieghem, Mark VandeWiele, Ramon Zoller Jr., Terry Westbrook, Holly Wilkinson and Dale Zude, pay up.
The money, like with all service groups, will be put to good use.
Columnist John Marx can be reached at (309) 757-8388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.