June 23, 2016

Minutes of the Rotary Meeting – June 23, 2016
By: Henry R. Seawell, IV
Invocation, Song, Music and Pledge
Robbie McClure called the meeting to order. Steve Dill gave the invocation. Rotarians engaged in a remarkably well-orchestrated, a cappella version of the National Anthem.
Introduction of Guests and Visitors: Tom Martenstein.
Announcements: Rotarians were reminded of the Passing the Gavel Ceremony, which took place on July 14th.
Speaker: Pamela Patterson, Executive Director of Distinguished Young Women, was introduced by Rob Diehl.
Distinguished Young Woman, formerly America’s Junior Miss, has been a vital part of the Mobile landscape for 59 years. Pamela “Pam” Patterson presently serves as Executive Director of Distinguished Young Women. Her interest in the organization began when she and her family opted to act as a host family. The competition was held from June 23 – 25 and featured 51 contestants, one from each state and the District of Columbia. Tara Moore from Easley, South Carolina won this year’s event.
Distinguished Young Women seeks to promote scholarship, leadership and talent. These extraordinary young ladies are quite accomplished; several of them have already started their own non-profit organizations. In addition, this year alone, more than $2 Million in cash scholarships have been awarded to the contestants. The academic prowess of the ladies is equally impressive, with an average contestant ACT score of 32.
The Distinguished Young Women footprint is rather large. According to Patterson, over the 59 years of the program’s existence, more than 745,000 people have participated in the program in some manner, whether as a contestant, host family, volunteer or otherwise. Interestingly, the largest feeder program for the finals in Mobile is located in Idaho. There are 411 state and local programs throughout the country that offer candidates an opportunity to compete. The competition also introduces very talented young women to the Mobile area. Apparently, they like what they see, as 6 state winners are presently attending the University of South Alabama and 37 state winners are enrolled in an Alabama institution of higher learning. Pam is to be congratulated for the excellent work she is performing for Distinguished Young Women to carry on the tradition of excellence for this local gem.
The meeting was adjourned.