We have had a lot of feedback from fellow club members voicing their thoughts and preferences about our meeting venue. In order to make sure that everybody understands the genesis and importance of this process, I am writing this summary for your information.

The subject of moving the club meeting venue has been discussed for a number of years by previous boards. During Robin Gorman’s presidency, a committee headed by Brad Warthen was formed to review and recommend whether to change venues. The board decided not to pursue a venue change but was successful in getting Seawells to upgrade their food offerings. In spite of that upgrade, we have continued to hear calls from members to consider another venue. In consultation with President-elect John and the board, we came up with a plan that we thought would be fair to all concerned. We are now coming to the end of that process.

We want to be very clear on this: the goal of this process is not to satisfy some people and alienate others when it comes to our meeting place. The goal is to keep the Columbia Rotary Club strong and relevant in its second century of existence. Our hope is that whatever the outcome, our club will be stronger and more engaged.

We encourage you to make every effort to attend the meeting at Agape on Monday (Columbia’s own Anne Matthews and first ever female vice-president of Rotary International will be our speaker). We are going to do our best to make it as much like a regular meeting as possible so that you can make an informed, objective vote. The final decision ultimately rests with the board, but we are not going to make a change unless there is a clear consensus. Please be assured that the 4-way test will guide our decision.

Finally, one bit of clarification on the parking at Agape. The parking instructions that John Johnston sent out this week (which I am re-attaching to this email) say that there is a charge for parking in the garage. There is not a charge for this meeting if you park on the 2nd floor or higher. The entrance to Agape is just across a courtyard from the garage elevator. If you have any questions at all or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to call John or myself.