Newsletter #3

Have you fulfilled the second duty of the White Hat Society –recruiting a new member?

The White Hat Society has established in 20 Districts to date.  They are 5150 (California), 5220 (California), 5420 (Utah), 5440 (Wyoming), 5450 (Colorado), 5470 (Colorado), 5510 (Arizona), 5520 (New Mexico), 5730 (Texas), 5750 (Oklahoma), 5770 (Oklahoma), 5790 (Texas), 5810 (Texas), 5870 (Texas), 5890 (Texas), 5910 (Texas), 5930 (Texas), 6080 (Missouri), 6110 (Arkansas), and 6200 (Louisiana).  White Hat giving to the Foundation has exceeded $1 million and 100 members.

Thanks to the leadership of White Hat Society Founder, PDG Bill Bryce, D-5870, the White Hat Society celebrated in New York during November 2007.  We all arrived on a Thursday at the Yale Club, the private hotel of the Yale Alums.  Our Society co-founder, Bill Brice, is a Yale grad and arranged for our group to stay there.  Quite a place!  22 stories across the street from Grand Central Station and just up from the United Nations.  It has several restaurants and cocktail lounges, two floors of excellent gyms, one floor with the university-level library, and a great staff that doesn’t take tips.  Free broadband, too.

As the group began to arrive on Thursday at various times, some went shopping; some toured museums and such.  Drinks in the Club Lounge, and then we attended a presentation by the actor John Lithgow (Third Rock from the Sun), there in the Club.  Quite entertaining with 15-year old Single Malt in a magnificent meeting hall with the five U.S. presidents who were Yale grads staring down at us.

Our group assembled early Friday morning for breakfast on the 22nd floor and were joined by Gillian Sorenson, former Associate Secretary General of the UN and current leader in the UN Foundation.  She had invited us to New York and offered to give us a personally guided tour behind the scenes at the UN.  After breakfast, she gave a talk on the history of the UN and Rotary, then took us to it.  We went into the General Assembly, and several other impressive meeting rooms, toured most of the building, oohed and awed over the Art, then had lunch in the Delegates’ Lounge, along with the diplomats from many countries.

After lunch, we walked back to the Club through Midtown Manhattan.  Some went shopping; some went touring.  Had a great dinner that evening in the club.

We met for breakfast again and decided on the day’s activities.  The Saturday morning for most of us was a tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It was the ‘Rembrandt Exposition’ and we had a simply wonderful time. Then across Central Park to the Tavern on the Green for lunch, a beautiful place, good food, excellent service.

Some of us then cabbed down to the World Trade Center site.  They are rebuilding it and the evidence of ruin is there to be seen.  What a somber, chilling experience. There was a steady stream of people coming and going, many with tears in their eyes.

Back to the Club, then, where we gathered for Sherry and cheese in Bill’s suite, then went to an off-Broadway play, ‘Stomp.’  There was lots of stomping and syncopation.  Late night drinks at the Club after the play, and a foray into the neighborhood for a post-midnight dinner.

The whole purpose of this trip was to share fellowship among our White Hats and to have fun.  This is the essence of Rotary, we believe.  And, by the way, Rich Kaye, RC of Killeen-Heights (Texas) came up with an innovative way to create White Hats and Major Donors simultaneously in his Club.

We hope that next year’s meeting may be in San Francisco where we have the largest contingent of White Hats.

There was a lot of ‘buzz’ about the White Hat Society at the International Convention in Salt Lake City.  Expect more White Hats soon!

Many thanks to Bob & Kathy Lowe of Russell-Hampton Company for designing and donating the WH pins.