Thank you Jill Beneke for a great year!
Hello new president Brooks Buchanan.
Looking forward to an exciting year!
The last of the Raffle Prizes awarded.



Monday, June 26, 2017


President Jill Beneke, CEO and president of Pileum, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone.  Jim Rosenblatt, Mississippi College School of Law, delivered the invocation. Brent Melton, Vizaline LLC, led the pledge of allegiance.  Beneke led the four-way test and introduced the head table: Neddie Winters, president, Mission Mississippi, and president-elect of Rotary Club of Jackson for 2017-2018, Brooks Buchanan, assistant general council, C Spire and current president-elect, Jack Spradling, retired SBA and past Rotary president, Carol Hardwick, executive director, RCJ and Paul Bowers with People Lease and sergeant of arms of RCJ.  Johnny Donaldson, BankPlus, introduced guests and visiting Rotarians.

Beneke announced the fiscal year ends June 30 and asked that those who have past-due balances to please remit. Invoices for 3rd Quarter 2017 will be going out by email this week.


Amanda Fontaine, as chair, thanked all who served on the Raffle committee: Tom Johnson who collected all the prizes and even came up with the idea last year, Patrick Jacobs who collected and counted all the money raised, Becky White who handled marketing and promotional items, and Scott Day and Mason Williams for picking up, storing and delivering all of the prizes.  The winning tickets drawn today were:

1. Virtual reality headset – Thad McLaurin

2. Fit Bit charge fitness tracker – Yolanda Singleton
3. Emeril knife set – Wirt Yerger III
4. Kitchenaid 5-quart mixer – Wirt Yerger III

5. Everyday Gourmet 40-quart Yeti Hopper cooler – Meagan Brewer
6. Samsung Galaxy tablet – John Macon
7. $2,000 cash Grand Prize – Sherry Grimes


For the disbursement of the raffle proceeds, Fontaine asked these representatives to come forward: Marilyn Blackledge with the Mississippi Food Network, Stanley King with Clean Water for Malawi and, on behalf of 2nd Chance Mississippi, Hinds Community College Continuing Education representative Carla Causey, director of adult education and Dr. Robin Parker, assistant dean of career and technical education.  Each organization was awarded a $5,000 check.   Fontaine thanked everyone who sold and bought tickets.


Jill Beneke remarked what an honor it was to be president this memorable year, thanking the board of directors, committee chairs and many others who worked to make this such a successful year for this outstanding club. She also poignantly thanked the late Henry Holman who sponsored her membership in Rotary many years ago. She said membership had risen to 240 and named many of the successful projects which included dictionaries for JPS third-graders, Stop Hunger Now food packets, and youth sponsorships to RYLA.  She thanked her family for their unwavering support in this and in all she does. She then showed photographs taken during this past year of members and projects.  Beneke then called Brooks Buchanan forward and presented the gavel to him as the 2017-2018 president.


Buchanan presented Beneke with a Presidential plaque commemorating her tenure along with an official Rotary Past President pin.  Jack Spradling then read a poetic tribute he had written in her honor.  Beneke received a standing ovation from the membership.

Buchanan enthusiastically conveyed what an honor it was to be President of this club that is making such a difference locally and internationally, “making a difference” being his theme for the coming year.  He said we should never take Rotary for granted, as you get out of it what you put into It; and he challenged everyone to be even more involved, especially in growing the membership.  He asked each member to commit to sponsoring at least one new member during the year.  He also noted the strong community leadership which makes up our membership and challenged each member to strengthen their relationships with each other by committing to get to know at least one RCJ member each month that they did not previously know well. He is proud to be a Rotarian and is looking forward to a great year.

Next Monday, July 3, we are off for the 4th of July holiday.  The following week committees will meet.