June 25, 2009

Rotary Club Honors Scholars, Youth Center at Annual Banquet

The Scotland County Rotary Club celebrated one of its most successful years at its annual banquet, June 16, at Kiddoo Barn in Scotland County.

Outgoing club president Barb Blomme was awarded a presidential citation from Rotary assistant district governor Liz Reel in recognition of the club’s efforts during Blomme’s tenure. She is the first Scotland County president to receive this prestigious honor since Ellen Aylward was recognized for her service in the 2000-01 year.

The Scotland County club has gained 10 new Rotarians, which represented a 33% growth in membership, since July 2008, when Blomme’s term began. The club also inducted seven new Paul Harris Fellows this year – Brent Walker, Nate Walker, Maxine Cook, Kim Nicoli, Gary Young, Dr. Ronald Keller and Tom DeBerry. A Paul Harris Fellow is given in recognition of a donation of $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation. The club received a Rotary simplified grant for $1,500 that was used for improvements to the Scotland County Food Pantry, including the purchase of a new deep freeze, and supports for the Share the Harvest program.

The club had many service projects this last year, from the annual Bingo and Chicken Que at the Antique Fair, to the Duck Derby, to the John Ed Luther Memorial Golf Tournament. Blomme also led the planning for the celebration of the club’s 30th Anniversary, which was celebrated with a lavish banquet in March.

Sixteen Rotarians and their spouses attended the banquet and dinner. The club was also pleased to have members of the Schuyler County and Kirksville noon Rotary Clubs as guests. The club saluted H and Peggy Middleton, who are about to leave for Birmingham, England, for the Rotary International Convention.

The featured speaker for the evening was Michelle Stuart from Kirksville, who participated in a Rotary Group Study Exchange that recently returned from three weeks in South Africa.

The club recognized four of its five scholarship winners at the banquet. Zachary Kapfer, son of Carl and Nancy Kapfer, Cheyenne Ward, daughter of Jim and Laurie Ward, Michael Moore, son of Beverly Moore, and Shannon Tobler, daughter of Dr. Randy and Helene Tobler, were present to receive their $500 award. The fifth recipient for this year, Kelsey Frazier, did not attend.

The Place, the Scotland County Youth Center, was awarded the Rotary Club’s Citizenship award. This marks the first time the award has gone to a group. Joe and Kathy Miller, along with Beverly Talbert, were present to receive the honor on behalf of the Place.

“This is a group that is doing something that we can all be proud of here in Scotland County,” said Rotarian Brent Walker. “They have put in a lot of time and effort to give the youth a first class place where they can go that is unique.”

The evening closed with the installation of Dick Bratton as the new president of Scotland County Rotary Club for the 2009-10 year, with the traditional passing of the gavel ceremony. The banquet was then adjourned.

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