Peak to Peak Rotary holds holiday meeting

Light-hearted fun for last get-together of 2018

by Patty Unruh

The Peak to Peak Rotary Club held its holiday program on Thursday, December 20, at noon at Farraddays Steakhouse in the Isle of Capri Casino in Black Hawk. The meeting was preceded by a buffet for those who wished to partake.

President Jeff Kelley welcomed the members, who then recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Four-Way Test of how the members conduct themselves: is it true, is it fair to all, will it build goodwill, and will it be beneficial to all?

The Christmas meeting was the last for 2018; the first meeting in 2019 will be at noon on January 10 at the regular Faradays’ location and will concern the service organization’s fundraising activities.

The meeting was a potpourri of holiday activities. Zane Laubhan presented an inspirational moment, playing the John Denver tune, “Alfie the Christmas Tree.” He asked that his fellow members consider the words.

“Oh, Alfie believed in Christmas, all right. He was full of Christmas cheer all of each and every day and all throughout the year. To him it was more than a special time, much more than a special day. It was more than a beautiful story; it was a special kind of way. You see, life is a very special kind of thing. Not just for a chosen few, but for each and every living, breathing thing. So when you’re at Christmas prayers this year, Alfie asked me if I’d ask you, say a prayer for the wind and the water and the wood and those who live there, too.”

President Kelley advised that Rotary gift packages were taken to Gilpin County Human Services last week for the gift drive.

“It’s a great community contribution,” he noted of the Human Services’ gift distribution.

Ron Engels explained a recent project in which members teamed to bake Christmas cookies to give to Gilpin children and senior citizens. 72 bags of sugar cookies were dispensed.

“That’s 1,250 cookies and 60 pounds of frosting,” Engels said. The cookies were baked a couple of weeks ago, and the frosting was made the night before distributing.

The cookies were taken to the Human Services Food Bank to give out with holiday food boxes and were also provided to the participants of the Gilpin County Senior Program.

Wally Cleaveland handed around books of Christmas carols and led the group in singing “Jingle Bells,” “Joy to the World,” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

Special guest Mrs. Claus, aka Barbara Thielemann, presented some fun activities. She wished everyone “Joyeux Noel” and “Feliz Navidad” and regaled the members with a Christmas poem about Santa Claus.

She followed that up with a new children’s story, “I Saw Santa in Colorado,” written by JD Green and illustrated by Nadja Sarell and Srimalie Bassani. Santa hasn’t planned his vacation this year. Mrs. Claus says, “How ‘bout Colorado, my dear? You always say it’s your favorite place, but remember, the children should not see your face.”

So Santa and Mrs. Claus come to Colorado, but children all over the state keep reporting “Santa sightings.” He is seen in Canon City, Fruita, Boulder, and Denver. He is spotted at Wings over the Rockies, Elitch’s, and the Colorado State Fair. The head elf is upset at this turn of events, but Santa and Mrs. Claus smooth things over by giving each of those kids an extra gift along with a special note.

“You are my favorite child. There’s so much to do in Colorado. I might be somewhere you’d like to go. I love Colorado.”

The members were also tested with a few word puzzles to keep their minds active.

A “left-right” white elephant gift exchange was an amusing way to trade presents. Everyone selected a gift from a table and took their seat. Thielemann read the story “Suing Santa,” and every time she said the word “left” everyone passed their gift to the left. Whenever she said “right,” everyone passed their gift to the right. The story was written with lots of lefts and rights in it, so there was a whole lot of passing going on. Finally, the story was over, and everyone opened a lovely gift to take home.

Thielemann encouraged the members to take gift bags filled with candy, oranges, and other small treats to give to children.

The group finished by presenting their regular Farraddays’ server with a card of appreciation for her service during the year.

Thielemann noted the benefits to serving with Rotary. “It’s a wonderful family, and helpful for networking,” she said.

Those interested in learning more about Peak to Peak Rotary and its projects are welcome to join the group at a weekly Thursday noon meeting at Farraddays Steakhouse at the Isle Casino and Hotel in Black Hawk. You may also contact Jeff Kelley at the Kelley Law Firm, 303-761-4400 or 303-582-9900.

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