Alan Graham, 2015 Austinite of the Year (Mobile Loaves & Fishes)

Posted by on Tuesday, January 5th, 2016 in Blog

Meeting on January 5, 2016, Recorded by Phil Thoden

President Harold Ingersoll called the meeting to order. Phil Thoden led the pledges and Mike Capps gave our invocation of the day. Carolyn Hansard led us in saying The Four Way Test. Elliott Flick greeted each member and guest as they arrived and Russell Gallahan introduced the guests and visitors.

Karen Waryas and Tillery Castillo provided information about the upcoming Membership Soiree on January 19 from 6:00-8:00 at the Headliners Club. Reservations are required and RSVP to

Jim Bryce gave a Global Awareness Update and noted that the Tournament of Roses Parade featured a 37th consecutive Rotary Club float entry seen by the 80+ million viewers worldwide. More information at

President Harold made several announcements:

  • The first Thirsty Thursday Happy Hour Cluster Meeting is January 7 at Sully’s Side Bar
  • The first Early Act First Knight Knighting Ceremonies at Pecan Springs Elementary and Dawson Elementary
    will be held on January 15th
  • Join Club members on January 30th to help put together food packets in support of the Stop Hunger Now event
    sponsored by our Club. Volunteers are needed during the hours of 8am to noon (even for just an hour or two!)
    at Tarrytown United Methodist Church. More information about this charitable cause is available at and if you’d like to volunteer please let Mary Reynolds know
  • Last, and on a somber note, Club members Oscar Doell and Robbie Robertson passed away recently so
    please keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Michael Portman, Chair of The Rotary Foundation, recognized Jack Nash (PHF+6), Jaime Phillips (PHF+3) and Don Tompkins (PHF+4) for their continued support as Paul Harris Fellows. Thank you Jack, Jaime and Don!

Next, the Thank Goodness Basket brought Jim Innes up to honor his sister who passed away this week. Sherry Workman expressed thanks for having known Robbie Robertson. Diane Ventresca shared the good news that she and her husband are approved to adopt a child. Ellen Hunt thanked the Group Youth Exchange Committee for again bringing Australian students to Austin. Tim Von Dohlen expressed gratitude for he and Pat Von Dohlen as her daughter is recovering well from recent surgery. Kenton Johnson announced he is running for State Representative in District 49 and also that he and his wife have adopted a 1 year old. Mark Johnson announced his daughter is now working for Phillips 66. Elvin Pool reminded everyone about the soiree prospect event and noted that information sheets for your prospects are at each table. Last, President Harold noted it was good to see Sue Klopp back at the Club. Welcome back, Sue!

Ann Graham introduced our speaker, Alan Graham, who is the President, CEO and Founder of Mobile Loaves and Fishes (MLF), a social outreach ministry committed to providing permanent, sustainable solutions for the chronically homeless with compassion, love and dignity. For more than 15 years, Alan and teams of volunteers have been delivering meals with a side of hope to the homeless and working poor in Austin and several other cities around the country.

Alan spoke passionately about his experiences with the homeless population, noting that profound, catastrophic loss of family is the common thread in each of their lives. He firmly believes that housing alone will not solve the problem of homelessness, but community will. He noted that a “home” is a place of permanence, dwelling, embodied inhabitation, hospitality, safety, stories, orientation and belonging. He is currently in the process of building and growing Community First, a 27-acre master-planned community that provides affordable, sustainable housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas.

Next week’s speaker is Sichan Siv, Former Ambassador to the United Nations.

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