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Randall Parr — EarlyAct FirstKnight (EAFK)

Posted by on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 in Blog

Reported by Reggie Nisbett

I arrived at about 11:40, and as I reached the top of the stairs was met by a living, breathing Knight in Shining Armor, armed with a long Excalibur (sword). Standing proudly as if to guard President Julie
from any marauders lurking nearby. I knew then we were in for something a little medieval today.















President Julie called the meeting to order and we all came to our feet from our assigned tables. Yes, assigned tables, chosen randomly from a fish bowl of table numbers from 1 to 16 or so. A great way to break up the status quo! I met two new guests and several members I had not visited with in ages.

Diane Ventresca led the pledges and Ande Rasmussen gave our invocation of the day, including a touching tribute to his late father’s birthday and Bob Rasmussen’s long love of Rotary. Jim Bryce
led us in saying the Four Way Test with a little help from the crowd to keep him in the right order. You should have been there, it was funny!

Sir Cass, the knight in shining armor, greeted each member and guest as they arrived, and Carl Noble introduced our guests and visitors, of which there were many. I counted at least 13.

We heard from Todd Coleman who reminded us that very few groups get access to the Helping Hand Home like we do at the annual Splash Bash. Our almost 100-year history and special relationship with HHH clears us for the chance to share joy with the children of this secure facility. Please come to the party on August 11 and help with the kids!

President Julie made several announcements. She explained the assigned tables for this meeting, reminding us that Rotary is about networking as well as good works and service. Expand your circle of contact! She also reported on the recent wine tasting at Bobby Brown’s house. Home of the cow pasture fairway golf game. By the way, Reggie won the whiskey trophy. (Ed. note — Congratulations, Reggie!!) Then we enjoyed Fellowship time for ten whole minutes.

Mary Reynolds introduced our speaker, Randall Parr, Founder and CEO of EarlyAct FirstKnight (EAFK). I learned so much about this program that I didn’t know before. Randall is a former Navy Chaplain, and you certainly don’t meet one of those every day. He taught ethics to 20,000 recruits over two years and had some funny stories about recruits in boot camp that surely took all veterans back in time! I could see the rows of yellow footprints in the pavement in my mind’s eye, and his quote of the first thing recruits said to him was “I’ve made a terrible mistake.”

I especially liked his story about the breaching of the Great Wall of China by the Mongols. How was it they were able to get through this impenetrable wall, you might ask, when they couldn’t go over it, under it or break through it? They bribed the guards at the gates (how’s that for ethical?!?). Think about it. You should have been here for the “Red Roses” story, too, it was hilarious! I’m sorry I can’t describe it here tastefully.

Here is a word you don’t hear very often any more: Chivalry. Randall described it eloquently. We learned that more than 50,000 students today participate in EAFK, and it all started with the Boerne Rotary Club and the Rotaract effort in our schools. It was easy to tell, this is a driven man who intends to fill the gap of what our young people should learn so “the guards at the gates can’t be bribed”.

I personally gained a new appreciation for the good that EarlyAct FirstKnight does for our society. Thank you, Mary Reynolds, for bringing us this program today! If you were here today you are better off for it; if not I’m sure to see you next week — Look for the FBI Special Agent in Charge. We mean business. Get in here!

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