President Nate Dunham called the meeting to order. Larry Rankin led the invocation, pledge, and Four-Way Test.
Andrew Troller handled the introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians. Eric Gardner was a guest of Blair Allen, Jay Quillen was a guest of Stephanie Colon, Jackie Maxey was a guest of Rick Maxey, and Pam Craven had a guest whose name couldn't be heard clearly on Zoom. Doug McCall from Wallasey, England was a visiting Rotarian with us via Zoom.
Happy Dollars were collected by Coady Cheek. Michelle Emerson Lewis was happy to be starting the process to convert her garage to a gym to house her personal training business and is looking for quotes from any contractor who is interested. Jack Lowman was happy that the Gators are not as bad as FSU this year. Stacy Campbell Domineck was happy (professionally) that Career Source Polk received a $1.2M grant to serve veterans and (personally) that her son is graduating from Georgia Tech and staying for another two years to play football while working on his Masters degree. Rick Maxey was happy to share that his lovely wife Jackie was named alumni of the year by her alma mater. Lydia Boyd was happy that Michigan beat Ohio State and Michigan State beat Penn State, while others were happy about the University of Miami going to a bowl game and Mizzou being better than the Gators. College football was a popular source of happiness this week!
Dorsey Hightower led the singing of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in honor of President Nate.
Bryce Philpot announced that our club added 6 new Paul Harris Fellows and 8 registrants to Rotary Direct since he last spoke to the club two weeks ago. He again emphasized the importance of Rotary direct, sharing a statistic that only 18% of Rotarians who are NOT on Rotary Direct actually gave to the Rotary Foundation last year. The Foundation Committee is asking each member of the club to thoughtfully consider Rotary direct and make a conscious decision to sign up or not.
President Nate then read a heartfelt thank you from Peace River Center for the donation our club made with DDF funds that helped create 84 personalized engagement boxes for young people in Polk County dealing with mental health issues. Stephanie Colon reminded us of upcoming social events, including coffee talk with President Nate on December 10, a gem class at International Diamond Center hosted by Ryan McKellen on January 20, and an Aprons Cooking School dinner on February 15. Pam Craven gave an update on Know and Grow and Jim Russell encouraged everyone to sign up on Club Runner for one or several bell ringing shifts. He also needs day captains.
Stacy Campbell Domineck then gave an impressive, impromptu (because the scheduled speaker cancelled at the last minute), and touching talk about what Rotary has meant to her over the past five years. She reflected on the character traits of all the Presidents that have led the club since she has been a member and how each one left their own mark on the club. She also shared her personal realization that what makes Rotary special is not just the meetings, but the people and the uniqueness of Rotary fellowship through through service that she missed most during the time meetings were virtual due to COVID. She encouraged each of us by acknowledging that we have been tested over the past two years, but noting that we have proven to be resilient. Now, it is incumbent on each of us to share the best characteristics that Rotary has to offer with others by inviting them to join our club and by reaching out to serve those in need.
President Nate then ended with a joke: "Dad, can you explain a solar eclipse to me? No, son."
Our meeting on December 7 will be new member profiles.