Apr. 18, 2019

Minutes of the April 18, 2019 Meeting
The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Ernest Ladd at 12:15 PM. Sumpter McGowin offered the invocation. Tommy Blankenship led the club in song and the Pledge of Allegiance. Bob Chappelle welcomed members’ guests and visiting Rotarians.
• Ernest announced there would be a Board meeting immediately following the regular meeting today in the Ashland Suite.
• Ernest announced that Mobile West Rotary will hold the Mobile Bay Charity Golf Classic in April 24. Call Jimmy Lyons for details.
• Ernest announced that we now have a credit card payment system in place. Email Peggy for invoice with the proper card link.
• Garrett Williamson was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Program: Tonie Ann Torrans, Executive Director of Penelope House
Russ Ford introduced the speaker
The Penelope House was founded by in 1979 by the Daughters of Penelope. The mission of Penelope House is to provide safety, protection, and support to the victims of Domestic Violence and their children through the provision shelter, advocacy, and individual and community education. The house has twelve rooms and has accommodated as many as seventy two people at one time. They have a staff of approximately fifty and operate 24/7…..never closing.
There are approximately 5,000 incidences of domestic violence reported each year in our area. Statistically, only about one in four are reported. Penelope shelters 600-800 people in a given year. The location remains a secret to the general public in order to protect victims. Police officers escort victims to the home. They also have 6-8 apartments available for transitional living……….up to two years rent free to allow the victim time to get their financial life in order. The home has violence counselors for both adults and children in addition to court advocates. They do not turn any victims away.
The executive director is the daughter of the first executive director. Penelope’s budget is approximately $2.25million, of which 60% is funded by grants. Other fundraising includes the Penelope’s Closet on Old Shell Road in Mobile and various fundraising events. Urgent needs include back packs, towels, pillows, sheets, cleaning supplies, air freshener, diapers and hand sanitizer.
Ernest Ladd thanked the speaker for her informative update on Penelope House and noted that in her honor a donation has been made to the Rotary Children’s Foundation.
The meeting adjourned at 12:47 PM.
Rob Diehl