May 7th, 2015

By Tommy Fulton
Invocation, Song and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order.  Larry Sindel led the song.  Ben Cummings gave the invocation.
Peyton Mattei promoted the Five Rivers Delta Boat Tour
Tommy Fulton encouraged members to continue to give to the CART Project for Alzheimers.
Program:  Cart Blackwell, Architectural Historian/Mobile Historic Development Commission. “Of Color & Light:  An examination of Life & Career of Artist/Designer Clara Weaver Parrish”, introduced by Eddie Brister.
Mr. Blackwell spoke for the third time to the Mobile Rotary Club.  In his examination of the life of Clara Parrish, he described the fascinating life and works of one of Alabama’s most accomplished artists.  Ms. Parrish was born in Selma in 1861.  Her family was very influential in the founding and development of Selma.  She was very accomplished in art, and showed it early with influences from such renowned artists as James Whistler.
During the 1890’s, after moving to New York with her husband, Clara began promoting women artists, while serving as an officer in the Woman’s Art Club of New York.  She eventually had two daughters, both of whom died very young.  Following the death of her sixteen month old daughter, she developed an interest in mosaic, mural and stained glass design.  She was also one of the first artists to show the relationship between blacks and whites in the South during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s.
As Mr. Blackwell showed in his extensive slide show, she became most well-known for her stained glass windows which are displayed in churches throughout Alabama and also in the Northeast.  She was featured in thirty World’s Fair exhibits before she died in 1925.  Her will established the Weaver-Parrish Memorial Trust, which provides aid to the needy of Selma and Dallas County to the present day.

April 30, 2015

By Monde M Donaldson
Speaker: Most Reverend Thomas J. Rodi
Archbishop of Mobile
Invocation, Song Music and Pledge
Ken Robinson called the meeting to order. Richard Wilkins gave the invocation.
Tom Martinstein led the song and pledge. He was accompanied by Les Greer.
Student of the Week
Ernest Holloway of Lillie B Williamson High School was recognized as the Student of the Week. He was introduced by Saty Putcha.
Archbishop Thomas Rodi gave an overview of the Archdiocese of Mobile. The archdiocese is comprised of the 28 southern counties in Alabama, and encompasses half the state. The Cathedral parish was established in 1703 making it the oldest in the Mississippi Valley. There are 30 churches in Mobile and 12 in Baldwin County.  Catholic Social Services serves 11,000 in Mobile County and 5,000 clients in Baldwin County both Catholic and non-catholic. This year, the Archdiocese has broken ground on St. Michael’s Catholic High School, the first Catholic high school in Baldwin County and McGill-Toolen Catholic High School is in the midst of second phase of building for their capital campaign. There is also a new social services center under construction on Florida Street.
The archbishop noted that when Bishop Michael Portier, Mobile’s first bishop came to Mobile he faced several major challenges. They were: serving the poor, passing on the faith to families and youth, finding priests, serving immigrants, raising money for ministries, the scandalous behavior of clergy and laws facing the country troubling to the teaching of the church. Ironically, these are the same issues facing the church today, he said.
Archbishop Rodi focused his talk on religious liberties. They have been a core value of our American and religious history, he said. Today, there are troubling times where respect  for these values has come into question under the US Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, he said. The Constitution says we are entitled to free exercise of religion, he said. In the months to come, the Little Sisters of the Poor will be challenging the right of the government to impose certain laws and mandates.
In the past century, the Catholic Church has had outstanding men such as, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II who experienced fascism and Communism in their countries, he explained.  The political climate of their home countries promoted that your dignity came from the state. Courageously, these bishops would remind their countrymen and the world that your rights and your dignity were given to you by God. The founders of our country made it clear where our rights came from, he said. The Bill of Rights is to be respected by the government. The archbishop’s plea for  respect for fundamental rights was met with a standing ovation.
The meeting was adjourned.

April 23, 2015

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting
April 23, 2015
By Erin Kinney
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Ken Robinson at 12:15 p.m. Douglas Kearley offered the invocation followed by the song led by Tommy Blankenship accompanied by Les Greer on the piano. Tom Martenstein welcomed visiting Rotarians and members’ guests.
Student Guest: Saty Putcha introduced Heath McLaney from Theodore High School as the honored student.

Student guest Heath McLaney of Theodore High School
Student guest Heath McLaney of Theodore High School

New Members: The club welcomed back former member Bill Smithweck.
Announcements: There is a fellowship event May 7. Three is a sign-up sheet with Peggy.
Program: The day’s program was Garrett Williamson, president of Personal Edge Fitness, on the Save-A-Stray Program. Garrett started the program off by introducing his foster failure, Sam, a flat coated retriever. Sam was found under a house in Pritchard. The Battle House is a pet friendly hotel. Save-A-Stray is a nonprofit that enriches the of shelters pets by finding them permanent homes.
Garrett highlighted the story of Lola, a nine week old long haired dachshund who was thrown out of a third story window by her owner. The story garnered world-wide attention, resulting in over 200 adoption applications. The former owner was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a fine of $2,300. Lola was adopted by a family that travels between Key West, Virginia Beach, and Georgia.
There are too many homeless pets and not enough homes. In 2012, over 11,000 pets needed new homes. Save-A-Stray works with Helping Hounds in DeWitt, NY, a suburb of Syracuse. Save-A-Stray readies and transports 18-25 dogs at a time. The partnership has lasted over 3 years with over 1140 dogs being placed in homes. Save-A-Stray provides veterinary care through three vets, and has sponsorships with B&B Pet and Nutro for supplies and food. Save-A-Stray also partners for cat adoption. Spay Day had four vets and 159 animals altered this year.
There are transport standards, such as the animal being located out of the shelter for 2 weeks with a family, medical checks with age appropriate vaccinations, two dewormings, heartworm testing, heartworm and flea prevention, healthcare, a microchip, and if necessary, spay/neuter. The number of foster homes dictates how many animals they can transport. Foster families can request their preference of size, gender, age, etc. Save-A-Stray covers vet costs, provides a family experience, and photos. Foster failures do happen, but are not encouraged.
Garrett concluded the program by bringing in a dozen fosters with their dogs. These dogs will be on the next transport to New York, driven by the supervisor of the Saraland Animal Shelter, Crystal Beatty, and her husband Mike, in a specially designed trailer.
Adjournment: President Robinson adjourned the meeting at 12:55 PM.