Friday, July 15, 2011


I want to talk a little about community.  It certainly comes as a surprise to no one that in these challenging economic times there is a lot of divisiveness in our country.  That’s why it’s doubly pleasant to talk about times when we work together to make something really good happen.  To that end, I want to celebrate with you two venerable traditions that once again brought us together as a community, namely the Rotary Auction and the Grand Ol’ Fourth.

The auction and the Fourth set us apart from a lot of other Washington burgs and show that which makes us unique.  In spite of some particular obstacles this year, the Bainbridge Rotary … and all the many, many volunteers who manage to control the madness of running the world’s biggest garage sale … raised over $366K!  These monies go to make possible all the great philanthropic endeavors that Rotary funds.
And although the Fourth does indeed have some corporate sponsors, their numbers were way down this year due to the economy and the effect the Winslow Way construction has had on local merchants.  Still, through the determination of dozens of volunteers and in spite of a lot of obstacles like having to re-route the parade, the 44th Grand Ol’ Fourth went off without a hitch.  I was honored to be invited back to serve in my 25th year as parade announcer … great fun!
These events have survived for so many years because of the determination of this community to hold on to its traditions and our desire to come together to share our love for this place and its people.  I think during our present state of uncertainty globally, nationally, and locally, that we embrace each other and the unity that we have held dear.  And if you haven’t already, please make an effort to support local businesses, especially those so severely impacted by the street construction.  They’ll certainly appreciate it, and you’ll know you helped build a stronger community.