At our end-of-year gathering on Thursday, June 30, we celebrated our accomplishments for the year and the Rotarians who made them happen. The lighthearted, joyful atmosphere grew out of the camaraderie we’ve enjoyed all year long.
President Jenn Kinne talked about her three favorite things for the year:
1. Our service to the community, both club and individual efforts. Jenn’s gift of a dollar to the Foundation for each individual act of service helped spur us on. That added up to over $200!
2. Our fun, healthy competition and collaboration with the Lions Club, from the fishing competition to the blood drive, including the help of Steve Lyndsey each week (Lions president).
3. Our use of committees. Jenn knew our success depended on the efforts of the club as a whole, and active committees helped ensure that.
Club service included litter clean-up for the Sarah Terry Trail; work at FACES Food Pantry; shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child; donations for Piedmont Senior Resources Santa for Seniors; support for a Thanksgiving food event; hosting for two blood drives (one with the Lions); support for the Prince Edward County Public Schools food market; and resumption of the Taste of Farmville. We supported many other community efforts as well, including Prince Edward County teacher incentives, the Boy Scouts, the Salvation Army bell-ringing, and the FACES backpack program. Thanks to all the Rotarians who made these efforts possible.
Our efforts in Honduras (through Rotarian Patti) were a huge success, with the establishment of a grant worth over $120,000 and other donations as well, such as the toothbrush drive.
Jenn also talked about our four socials for the year, thanks to a creative and hard-working social committee; our strong attendance at meetings with good engagement; and our restoration of the Interact Club (Rotary at the high school level).
Then Jenn gave out several well-deserved awards:
• The New Rotarian of the Year went to Andrew Payne, who “came in with a gusto of energy that inspired me.” He immediately got connected in the community, serving with Habitat, Toys for Tots, Operation Christmas Child, and efforts at our public schools and hospital. “If there is a need, we saw Andrew enthusiastically filling it.”
• A Shout-Out and gift went to Bill Bergen, who served as our Happy Hour chair. “Bill is kind, dedicated, fun, and a leader.” In addition to leading Happy Hour, he often tuned into the lunch meeting as well.
• The President’s Award went to Doug Stanley, who transferred in with “so many ideas and a lot of knowledge.” He established the new Sponsorship Program, which brought in over $10,000 and new members. He also helped Anne Tyler with social media. Doug has agreed to be our secretary for next year and also has accepted a position at the district level. “I am in awe of his service and grateful for his partnership and friendship.”
• The Rotarian of the Year Award went to Patti Wagner. “Her real job is serving, and yet she still makes time to serve others in her free time too.” She got the club involved in her longtime efforts for Honduras and spearheaded our successful application for the major Rotary International grant. Patti’s service doesn’t stop there. She took every opportunity to participate in local service opportunities as well.
• A Shout-Out and gift went to Sue Carter, who was Patti’s sidekick during the grant application process. “Sue is the true definition of Rotary. I am in awe of her dedication…. Sue never says no when asked to serve on a Rotary board or committee.” Jenn gave Sue a Rotarian-made necklace that “sparkles just like Sue every time she talks about Rotary.”
• The Honorary Rotarian Award went to Steve Lyndsey. “Steve may be a registered Lion, but I know and you know that Steve is a True Rotarian.” Steve set up for our meetings and often made “guest appearances from behind the curtain.” As president of the Lions, he encouraged his club to participate and co-sponsor events with us. “Steve is enthusiastic, dedicated, and looks great in blue and yellow. I honestly would not have survived the year without my friend and fellow servant Steve.”
Steve then took the mic to say “you are literally my second-favorite club.” He then heaped praise on us and our efforts and pledged future collaboration between the two clubs.
Rotarian Barbara came forward and gave Jenn a beautiful Rotary afghan she had crocheted and offered to make one for other interested Rotarians to help facilitate our service efforts.
At the end of her presentation, Jenn thanked all her board members for serving. She then installed new president Joy Stump along with her new board, and gave Joy the gavel along with her blessing.
Joy gave an upbeat talk. “We have so much momentum and don’t need to fix what isn’t broken,” she said, thanking Jenn for her leadership. “Let’s keep up the great attendance,” she encouraged, using zoom if we can’t get there in person. She likes our programs and will continue having individual Rotarians select our speakers. We’ll also continue with our service projects and fundraisers.
“One thing I love is our happy dollars,” she enthused. “This is a way for us to share our lives and build our relationships.”
Joy wants to highlight the teachers in our school systems. They were much impacted by the pandemic and are stressed and overworked. We want to lift them up, celebrating their accomplishments through teacher awards.
She also wants to increase Rotary awareness in our community. Many people don’t know what we’re all about. How are we unique? “Rotary is so special, and we need to get that word out.” She thanked Jenn for taking on our public relations outreach to help make that happen.
Joy is looking forward to an amazing year. “Let’s keep the momentum going.”
2022-2023 Leadership Team (not all pictured):
President: Joy Stump
Vice President: Shaunna Hunter
Secretary: Doug Stanley
Treasurer: Teresa Stewart
Foundation Chair: Sue Carter
Sergeant At Arms: Barbara Smith
Happy Hour Chair: Bill Bergen
Future Vision Chair: Chance Reynolds
Service Chair: Julie Flores
Membership Chair: Kerry Mossler
Public Relations Chair: Jennifer Kinne