President Joel Ivy called the meeting to order. Stacy Campbell-Domineck led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
 
Amanda Walls on Zoom and Jim Russell in-person handled the introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians, who included: Allison “Al” Lewis, guest of Stacy Campbell-Domineck, Jeff Baker, Andrew Troller, guest of Mike Huff, Greg Agohian, guest of Melody Rider, and John Fullerton, guest of Mike Loudon. Doug McCall from the Rotary Club of Wallasey, England was a visiting Rotarian.
 
President Elect Nate Dunham then reminded the club of two proposed bylaw changes: one regarding check signing to be changed so that payments can be made out of club accounts via electronic fund transfers, and one regarding the nomination of candidates for director seats. We hope to have a quorum present at next week’s meeting so a vote can be taken.
 
Happy dollars were also led by PE Nate. Some of the in-person happy dollars were missed because this author was on Zoom and could not identify the speaker. Mark Scolnick was happy to remind everyone about the District Conference this weekend, which is free and online and will be engaging with trivia, entertainment, and speakers. Mike Loudon was happy because he and Bob Eckenroth’s college alma maters are rivals and this year Mike’s football team came out on top, becoming the NCAA Division III Champions. Jack Lowman was happy to be celebrating his 15th Anniversary in The Lakeland Rotary Club. Don Selvage was happy to announce that the Lakeland North and Lakeland Christina Rotary Clubs are merging to become the Lakeland Sunrise Club, making them a stronger club. John Loute was happy to be celebrating a wedding anniversary.
 
Todd Christian reminded the club about the Anniversary Dinner scheduled for June 22, 2021 at Lone Palm. Jack Lowman reminded us about a team trivia fellowship event on May 27th at 6:00 PM at The Heights, which will include finger foods and buy-your-own drinks. President Joel announced the Board meeting taking place Tuesday evening at 5:15 at Lakeland Electric.
 
Irma Cole announced updates for the Rotary Cares a Ton Challenge. Our club is in 11th place out of 22 clubs with 14 members participating.  Over 40 tons have been collected district wide.  If you want to participate with a financial contribution, tell Irma the amount or 5 pounds per $1 donated.  Send Irma an email regarding the weight of the donation (irmacole26@gmail.com).  Irma invited the club to join the current STARS class for another work day on May 22 at 8:30 AM at the Carl G. Schowe Boys & Girls Club trailer behind Crystal Lake Elementary School. 
 
President Joel then introduced Sarah Powers, Chief Executive Officer of Top Buttons, Inc.
 
Top Buttons is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that uses fashion, beauty, and style to build positive self-worth in young women. Top Buttons challenges girls ages 15 – 22 to seek the right type of attention, and project the appropriate image for the setting. They partner with a number of other organizations such as PACE Center for Girls, Polk County School Board, and Parker Street Ministries, to provide self-esteem programming for girls that is focused on finding the balance of having quality clothing, fun and individualized style, and appropriate levels of modesty for the circumstance. Girls and young women are then matched with a stylist to help pick out up to $75 worth of free clothes, plus a complete job interview-appropriate outfit and high quality brand-new undergarments, from the Top Buttons boutique.
 
Top Buttons’ three local boutique locations (on Kentucky Avenue in Lakeland, also in Bartow and Winter Haven) are also open to the public, and the revenue from these stores helps fund the education and self-worth programs.
 
Like all businesses, Top Buttons was severely impacted by COVID-19. Retail shopping was limited and program participants weren’t able to be present in-person for the traditional Wearing Confidence programming. However, Top Buttons has persevered and adapted, including adding an online shopping option, and looks forward to serving many more girls and young women to have a long term impact on Polk County.
 
Next week’s speaker is Homeland Security Assistant Special Agent Micah McCombs.