President Carol opened the meeting, and called on Karen Moore to handle the invocation, pledge and Four-Way Test.
Kyle Zenkner introduced our guests and visiting Rotarians, including Kip Kipnis, our District Governor.
Happy Dollars were collected by Cole Springer, which included Eric "I lost a bet" Powell in a Gator jersey.
Art Erickson and Kirk Eich were at the Head Table this week. Art has been in the Club for 23 years, and Kirk for 6, though he has 23 total including service in Clubs before he moved to Lakeland.
For announcements, President Carol asked Chuck McDanal to fill us in about the online signup for Salvation Army bell ringing. Our slots at Lake Miriam Publix are from Dec. 16-24. Chuck brought step-by-step pictures in case Joel Ivy needed a little extra help understanding the Internet. Sign up here
Then we heard from Vanessa Johnson, who is current vice president and incoming president of the Rotaract Club at Florida Poly. Vanessa is looking for mentors and our Club’s help sending a few of their members to the Rotary International convention.
Carol reminded us to pick up tags for a Christmas Angel. We can get them on 12/10 too, and the gifts need to be brought to the 12/17 meeting.
Then Jack Lowman and Trey Harden presented a check for $20,000 to Kip Kipnis, and Linda Johnson, who is our District’s CART chair. This will help fund Alzheimer’s research and came from our recent golf tournament. Way to go!
Fred Oeters told us about a special award our Club gives out once a year: Induction into the Lakeland Rotary Club Hall of Fame. This year’s well-deserved recipient was Deane Hart.
Kathy Abels introduced our program, which was about Brightline/Virgin Trains USA high-speed rail. Katie Mitzner came to talk to us about the project. It’s the only privately built and operated high-speed rail in the U.S. Their mission is to connect cities that are just a bit too far to drive, and a bit too close to fly. In Florida, they have a line running from Miami to West Palm Beach, and are currently working on the line from West Palm to Orlando. If you’ve noticed the big, gleaming rail station as you head into Orlando International, then you know where the train will stop. We’re all hoping for a leg between Orlando and Tampa to hit the drawing boards soon! Learn more at
50/50: Steve Miller handled the cards and Kim Votery drew a 4.
Next program: USF’s Dr. Aryn H. Bush, (Mis)Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias