Today's meeting featured a presentation by Lara Celeghin, AM Rotary's exchange student from Udine, Italy.
Guests and Visiting Rotarians
Phil Jordan-- guest of Deb Dunkhase
Lara Celeghin-- Exchange student
Kermit Sheker-- IC Noon
Today is “Giving Tuesday” or Global Philanthropy Day.  Deb Dunkhase suggested we all think about good causes and give.
Deb awarded Chris Ockenfels with a pin for achieving Paul Harris Fellowship Award plus 2.
Gratitude Challenge – Names of members who had written out “gratitudes” were put in a bag.  Name drawn from the bag was Mark Patton who won a pack of notes cards with a Rotary motif drawn by a child.
Deb Dunkhase mentioned the Trivia Night organized by Mellow Mushroom.  She hopes we can get 40 teams of 4.  Registration forms were on the table.
Mark Patton announced that our Rotary is to participate with an opthalmalogy project and to bring our old glasses to contribute to this project throughout the month of December.  The glasses will be repaired and cleaned and given to those in need by local opthalmalogists.
Peggy Doerge again announced the Chili Supper/Fireside Chat/Month Opener at her house next Monday, Dec. 7. Starting at 6 p.m.  Bring wine/beer, or corn bread, or just come.
John Ockenfels said that the new owners at City Carton are not very interested in maintaining the Rotary’s can recycling container and that we should, instead, take our cans to the Can Shed.  The cans have brought in extra money for the Rotary, and we will not be getting as much revenue from that source in future.
Rotarians in the news:  Mark Patton was in the newspaper, but his name was misspelled!
Happy Bucks: 
Some of the people sharing happy moments were Pat Schnack, Mike Messier, Brian Adamec, Nenu Piragine, Liz Loeb, Chris Ockenfels, Deb Ochenfels, and Deb Dunkhase.
Mike Messier explained the process for election of Directors (for the period July 2016-June 2019) and President-Elect (for 2016/17 and President in 2017/18).  The members were to fill out their ballots choosing 6 names for Directors on the Board of Directors and 3 for President-Elect.  Ballots were then collected.
Lara Celeghin, our Exchange Student from Udine, Italy, was our speaker.  She told us about her background, her family, her school, her country, the government, and her town.
Lara’s talk was accompanied by slides.  The first slide showed several aspects of Italian culture – the music, the art, the history – and most importantly, the food!
She pointed out the Italy was not a united country until 1861.   There are 21 regions and she lives in the north where it is rainy.  She loved seeing the snow here 2 weeks ago!
The government is a Parliamentary Republic, led by the Prime Minister.
She lives in the region Friuti-Venizia-Giulia in the town of Udine.  Her city dates from the 8th century.
Her slide of her family and friends showed her father, mother, sister and some of her friends.  Her father is Italian, but her mother is Serbian. Lara was born in Germany.  She grew up learning Italian, Serbian, German and English.
Lara’s family had an exchange student from Iowa for 3 months.  She was able to see this girl again in Des Moines when she came here for her own exchange experience.
The slide of Lara’s school showed a lovely Romanesque looking school.  It is a boarding school, but Lara actually lives at home, she doesn’t board there.  School is from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Then, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Lara goes to her music school where she studies violin.
Her hobbies (another slide) include violin (her favorite), singing, orchestra, acting in plays, and chess.  She said when she is older and out of school she would like to travel and she believes she will be able to do so as a violinist.
Her goals here are to become more independent and responsible.  She is very grateful to Rotary and the Schultz family who are hosting her.