July 15, 21

Minutes of the July 15, 2021 Meeting of The Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Elizabeth Stevens at 12:15 PM
Invocation: John Garrett offered the invocation.
Song and Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led the club in singing God Bless America and then reciting the Pledge.
Welcome: Tommy Blankenship welcomed guests of members.
New Member: Ryan Zarzour, CIO of the Zarzour Companies was introduced by his uncle, Alec Armbrecht. Both are descendants of Rotary Club of Mobile charter member, William H. Armbrecht, Sr.
Announcements: Elizabeth made the following announcements:
• A board meeting will take place following today’s luncheon meeting.
• Reminded members that the Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th and invited Ernest Ladd to come forward and talk about it. Ernest encouraged members to buy a sponsorship whether as an individual or business, reminding them that to date this fundraiser has raised over $250,000 for charitable causes in Mobile. A link to the site will be sent to all members. The location for the Captain’s Reception which takes the place of the 5th noon meeting will be announced shortly, he added.
• Wished happy birthdays to members with up-coming birthdays.
Program: Our District Governor’s Annual Visit
Each year the Rotary Club of Mobile is approached by the new district governor to come to our meeting and take the normally scheduled speaker’s place. Each year as a result, many members seem to have pressing business needs or vacation plans which make them unable to attend. Many of those who forgot what the program would be attend and find it a good day to “dine and dash” before the program begins. Still others use the time to check their emails, Facebook posts or send text messages. This year was no exception.
Elizabeth introduced Harry Bruce McNeal, a native and life-long resident of Dothan, AL. (our state’s Peanut Capital). Harry took the opportunity to personally wish the birthday Rotarians whom Elizabeth had just named, a very happy birthday. Neither was in attendance. He thanked Robert Greer for his leadership in the successful “Pink Pinky” fundraiser for Polio. Robert was in attendance.
Harry noted that due to covid many of the clubs in this district are struggling. One has ceased operations entirely and others have a dwindling membership where it is commonplace to have the same individual serve as president multiple times.
He said that the Rotary Club of Mobile is in a different league, terming it a very healthy one, and one he was proud of. Then he read off a list of the four members who were awarded various Rotary district awards at last week’s very well-attended meeting.
Harry then read a poem to his audience, with the adage that the dash between the dates of our birth and death on our graves is merely what we are doing on earth right now. He told the club about his tremendous pride in his wife and son who were sitting in the audience, his other children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He listed numerous boards and activities he is or had been involved with in the Dothan community, his 29 years in the healthcare industry, the many hats he wears, how he cannot say no, and the many roles he has served during his years as a Dothan Rotarian.
Then, on a bit wider scale, he reminded his audience that there are 1.2 million Rotarians in the world, and that the international president hopes that number will rise to 1.3 million. Harry reminded the group of the many worthy projects Rotary tackles worldwide ranging from clean water to polio eradication and Rotary’s service to humanity.
Keep growing membership he said and remember the motto “Each one, bring one.” Contact missing members and make them want to return, he advised. He encouraged the Mobile club to work towards 100% participation in the numerous regional and international Rotary programs and meetings offered.
Elizabeth thanked him for his inspiring program and said that a donation in his honor has been made to the Scholarship Program at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab.
Tom McGehee