July 8, 21

Minutes of the July 8, 2021 meeting of the Rotary Club of Mobile
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by club president Claire McCarron at 12:15 PM.
Invocation: Sandy Stimpson offered the invocation.
Pledge: Tommy Blankenship led us in the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed guests of members.
A Moment of Silence was observed for the death of Honorary Member Sonny Callahan.
Announcements: Claire made the following announcements:
• The annual Tarpon Tournament is scheduled for August 7th and the Captain’s Reception will be held on the 5th, with the location to be announced shortly.
• The board will meet next week following the luncheon meeting.
• The Rotary Club of Metairie and Mid City New Orleans is having a “Big Game Raffle.” Please contact Peg for a link for further information and ticket purchases.
New Members:
• Kate Carver introduced Justine Bixler, Director of the United Way of SWAL.
• Elizabeth Stevens introduced Chris Gibson, Director of Mobile United.
• John Peebles introduced John Hoyle, PhD, President of the Alabama School of Math and Science.
Awards Presented:
Claire presented the following members with awards announced at the recent regional meeting:
1. Tommy Blankenship received the Jerry Brunson Unsung Hero Award.
2. Ann Bedsole Holmes received the J. Barton Greer 4 Way Test Award.
3. Ernest Ladd IV received the Wayne Sims Rotarian of the Year Award.
4. Robert Greer received the Polio Plus Star Award.
The board of directors of our club approved the following recognitions which were presented by Bob Chappelle:
• Past president Win Hallett was made an Honorary Member of the club.
• Claire McCarron was then presented with a pin as the club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow.

Program: Annual Passing of the Gavel
The annual Passing of the Gavel was observed with past president Russell Ladd (1970-71) passing the gavel on to the next past president until out-going president Claire handed the gavel to incoming president Elizabeth Stevens. More than 20 past presidents participated.
Claire then discussed the year just past which she said conjured up “a myriad of emotions.” The challenges of the pandemic were overcome by the successes of our club which followed through with safe in-person meetings and continued our work with student guests, scholarships and the awarding of grants – including new ones that were covid related. She noted that our membership is holding steady and that remarkably we are at about the same number of members as before covid. After thanking her board of directors and Peg, she turned the podium over to Elizabeth Stevens.
Incoming president Stevens thanked many of our members who made the past year so successful and extended a welcome to incoming board member Suntrease Williams Maynard. She said her goal is to ultimately grow the club to 300 members and said that Helene Hassell and Robby McClure have taken on the task to hold a new members’ orientation to be held at the Mobile Infirmary. She also noted the classroom which our club sponsored at Barton Academy will be ready for the August 11th opening of the new school.
After the upcoming birthdays of members were announced the meeting adjourned at 1:05 PM.
Tom McGehee