The Club’s annual “passing of the gavel” took place last week with President Digit Matheny recapping the year’s initiatives and Assistant District Governor Andy Brack swearing in Paul Stoney as President as well as the 2015/16 Board members.
With both passion and humor, Digit recounted his lessons learned, from the challenge of delivering a successful Health & Happiness punch line to the value of different points of view. Calling it his best Rotary Year ever, he noted numerous Club programs and activities: 350 coats, hats, gloves to elementary students – gifts, food, holiday music for 75 senior citizens – 10,000 school supplies to 800 students – 40 bikes and helmets to kids – Y-Achievers partnership – Tennis lessons for kids – Youth Exchange – Scholarships – Teacher and Students of the Year – new International partnerships –donations in response to local and worldwide tragedies – $10,000 distributed through grants – $55,000 Water Missions International global project – District awards for social media and literacy work – launch of inaugural Boat Parade Viewing Party to support these efforts.
After presenting Digit with a commemorative plaque and Immediate Past President pin, Incoming President Paul Stoney reflected on the past month. Beginning with Rotary International in Brazil and ending with a trip to California that was punctuated with questions about Charleston and its response to the recent shootings, Paul reflected on the Rotary ideals of Service Above Self and how they have been so evident throughout the community this month.
Paul also shared observations from Brazil, noting there are 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide. Meeting highlights included the International House of Friendship, Peace Symposium, and Carnival Parade. This year’s international theme is “Be a Gift to the World”. Following this theme, Paul’s focus for the year will include: advance Club diversity (gender, age, race, religion, employment, etc.), measure the impact of our community service activities, grow scholarships, and grow membership.
Closing with the Brazilian phrase “obrigado”, Paul thanked the club for the honor of serving them. Both Digit and Paul and family and friends in attendance to celebrate this transition.
Submitted by Tammy Coghill, Keyway Committee
Photos by Historian Fred Sales