President Julie Townsend called the meeting to order. Irma Cole then led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
Carol Hornsby introduced the guests and visiting Rotarians. Rebecca Fortier and Brenda Alvarez were guests of Marsha Leap,  Allison Burt was a guest of member Gina Tullio,  Joe Parker was a guest of James Ring, Melissa Kelly and Danielle were guests of Alice Hunt.  Our visiting Rotarians were Norm Rhora and David Bielby.
Happy Dollars were collected by Pam Craven. Mark Davies then led the Club in singing “If You’re Happy & You Know It.”
Jason Wyatt began announcements by mentioning that the proceeds from this year’s Golf Tournament will go to support the  Flight to Honor. We are looking for sponsorships and you do not have to be a golfer to participate or attend the dinner/auction! The goal for this year’s tournament is to raise $60,000.
Tom Conger presented this year's Paul Harris Fellow Awards. First Paul Harris Awards - Frances Hadley-Ervin and Dr. Shandale Terrell. Second Paul Harris Award - Carol Catanzarite, Brandon Clark, and Scott Reed. Third Paul Harris Award – Chuck McDanal. Fifth Paul Harris Award - Dorsey Hightower. Sixth Paul Harris Award– Deane Hart. Ninth Paul Harris Award – Jim Russell. Congrats to each of these recipients!
President Julie recognized Mark Scolnick with the Four Way Test Award trophy which was recently engraved.  
Rick Maxey introduced today’s speaker – Angie Pattison, Director at Big Brothers Big Sisters. The work of mentoring is extremely important in Polk County. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power & promise of youth. The vision is for all youth to achieve their full potential. They have been mentoring since 1904 and BBBS of Tampa Bay was founded in 1964. They are in all 50 states and 12 countries. Of those 2,400 littles that have been matched for at least one year, 99% were promoted to the next grade level, 98% had no involvement with the Juvenile Justice System, 97% maintained or improved their educational aspirations, 96% improved their social competence and social acceptance, and 94% maintained or improved their academic performance. Who are the littles that they serve? 59% female, 41% male. 76% youth of black, indigenous, and people of color, and 24% white. 63% are 13 or older and 37% are younger than 13 years old. 87% receive free or reduced lunch from school. 65% of littles live in single-parent households. 25% of littles have one or more family members in jail, prison, on parole, or on probation. What a big provides them is to be a reliable and supportive friend, a positive and authentic role model, and an adult ally.
They have both community-based programs and site-based programs. The community-based program is at 15-month minimum commitment and they must commit an average of 8 hours a month (prefer at least 2 outings – no more than 15 hours).
Rick Maxey spoke about his little and his experience as a big in this program. Rick has been in the program for about a year and a half. He said its extremely important that kids have adults in their lives that want to be there for them. It’s a very impactful role. Rick gave an overview of what he does with his little, and how they’ve set goals. Rick strongly encourages everyone to be a mentor.
They also have Site Based Programs that take place at seven different elementary schools. The big commits to spending one hour a week with them during the student’s lunch or after school time.
One other program they have is a School to Work mentoring program. High school students are mentored for two years in the workplace. They meet with students at the sites one day a month. They also have a Bigs in Blue/Bigs with Badges program which connects youth with police, first responders, and other members of the justice system in their community.
Please consider getting involved to be a mentor. Additionally, you can purchase a BBBS license plate. Also, consider volunteering or seeing if your company matches donations. One more way to get involved is to refer a little if you know someone who would be a good fit for one of the programs. On August 29th, 2023, consider attending the Summer BBBS Breakfast honoring Senator Colleen Burton at the Advent Health Fieldhouse in Winter Haven.
Email Angie at for more details!
Thank you Angie for speaking to our club and for the impact you are making with kids in our community!
President Julie made some quick announcements bout the Fellowship Social & School Supply Drive on 8/22, The Twilight 5k at Common Ground Park, and the Annual Rotary Golf Tournament. Please consider attending and donating your time, energy, or school supplies (for the Fellowship Social event).
Next week’s club is Danielle Drummond with Lakeland Regional Health.
President Julie concluded the program with paraprosdokian – “Knowledge is knowing, tomato is a fruit, and wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”