Program for February 29,  2016: Ron Knopek with the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge
Invocation: Paul Fitzpatrick
Rotary Update:  February 23, 2016 is the 111th birthday of Rotary. Mary congratulated Erika Cox, Rick Gosney, Eric Thomsen, Diana Broderson and Shane Orr on their anniversaries as Rotarians.  The Rotary Board is meeting today right after the meeting and the RYLA Committee will meet right after next week's meeting.  Mary asked Rotarians to donate to the Annual Conference Ping Pong Drop recognizing the Ponzetti Project.  Keith Porter was happy that the Pitchers and Catchers are ready to play.  Tony Joseph is happy that the Chinese Symphony is here on Wednesday Evening and encouraged participation.  Tony also thanked Jess for all her "fun" activities for the club!!
Program: Tim Nelson introduced Terry McWilliams who discussed the evolution of the "Old Thrashers Reunion" and all the various activities surrounding the event and the 501c3 organization. Old Thrashers began in 1950 and has changed every year.  Terry said Mother Nature controls everything for the events for the Labor Day Holiday Weekend of activities.  31,000 people attend the event spread out over 120 acres of show grounds.   Every year big entertainers are brought in as a draw with the admission fee only being $5 or $20 for the entire weekend.  Climbing on all the farm equipment is encouraged, along with trains, steam engines, locomotives and antique cars and trucks.  An Iowa event has to have food.  Food is homemade by local church sevice groups who provide 78% of what is sold.  Another highlight is the Antique Carousel.  The grounds and activities are used year round.  4th-6th grade students visit each spring.  The organization utilizes a lot of volunteers to pull off the Halloween Haunted Railroad and the Mt. Pleasant Fesitval of Lights at Christmas.  Old Thrasher's is the biggest source of tourism in Henry County.