President Nate Dunham called the meeting to order. Ron Denney led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
 
Kyle Cox was a guest of Linda Jezard; Lydia Boyd was a guest of Carol Wallace; and Jennifer Stuart was a guest of Jessica Kirby. Visiting Rotarians included Michelle Emerson-Lewis from Tampa Midtown and Doug McCall from Wallasey England.
 
Happy Dollars were collected by Melody Rider. Brenda Ramirez was happy to have recently celebrated her daughter's 4th birthday, and Michelle Ledford was happy that her company MADE Brands was recently honored with an award for being one of the fastest growing businesses led by a USF alum. Mike Loudon then led singing of "R-O-T-A-R-Y, that spells Rotary!"
 
 
Announcements began with President Nate noting the many upcoming district events listed below in the "What's Going On In the 6890?" section below. Jack Lowman told members about the Rotary Golf Tournament and asked members to bring in donations for the basket of cheer, volunteer to help at the event, or sign up to golf. President Nate then had the privilege to induct another new member - Greg Agohian, sponsored by Melody Rider - and presenting him with his red badge.
 
 
Dr. Angela Garcia Falconetti then gave a lively update about the status at Polk State College. There are approximately 7,000 students in Lakeland, including some at two collegiate high schools. In furtherance of its core mission to meet local workforce needs, Polk State has expanded and seen tremendous growth in its aerospace, health sciences, and education programs. 90% of Polk State students have a Polk County zip code for their home address, and 70% of its graduates stay in Polk County to live and work. 
 
"Somos Polk" is the College's initiative to attract and support a growing number of Hispanic students. Currently, Hispanic heritage students make up more than 25% of the student body. This statistic is great for everyone, because it makes the College eligible for federal grants that may fund improvements around campus that all students enjoy. The College's Metallica Scholars program (yes...THAT Metallica...the rock band) trains students in metal working. A recent success story from this program is a woman who was displaced from Disney as a result of the COVID-related shut downs. After completing the program, she was able to obtain an entry-level metal working job paying $60,000 per year.
 
 
Mike Loudon won the putting chance again and invited Dr. Falconetti to take the putt for him, but she missed. President Nate shared his dad joke of the week: “I try not to say 'mucho' around my Spanish speaking friends. It mean a lot.”
 
Next week’s program will be a Lakeland City Commission candidate forum.