December 10, 2007 Rotogram


Our club, like those throughout the Rotary world, has moved literacy to the top of its priority list for action. Today, we’re pleased to welcome and recognize an outstanding teacher and two students from each of five more area schools – Armstrong Middle School, Henderson Intermediate, Starkville High, East Oktibbeha High, and West Oktibbeha High.


December has turned out to be Education Month for Starkville Rotary Club. Next Monday, we’ll honor teachers and students from three more schools. Our guests will be from Starkville Academy Elementary, Starkville Academy High, and Millsaps Career and Technology Center.


Next Monday will be our last meeting of the year. We’ll take the customary break for the holidays. With New Years Day on Tuesday, we’ll be almost a week into 2008 before we resume our regular noon meeting schedule on Monday, January 7.


Attendance: There were 104 members (69 active, 35 exempt) present, and 65 active, 22 exempt, and all 10 honorary members missing.

Invocation and Pledge: Richard Blackbourn.

Visitors and Guests of Members: Visiting Rotarian was Bill Overstreet of Pascagoula. Guests were Rick Smith of Larry Mulins, Stephen Cunetto of Frances Coleman; and Zach Rowland of Trey Breckenridge.

Guests of the Club: Claire Crawford of Claire’s Bears;

Denise Rowan (Ward-Stewart Principal); Diane Baker (Overstreet Principal); Julie Fancher (Sudduth Asst. Principal); Shoshonna Bracket (Starkville Daily News); and Rotary Exchange Students Maryna Melnik and Negrita Caicedo.

Special Club Guests were family members of the students being recognized – Michelle Williams (mother) and Connie Althen (grandmother) of Isaiah Williams; Erin Miller, mother of Matthew Walsh; Kaile Minor, mother of Kariah Minor; and Veleeka Nash, mother of Kaley Smith. The 26 guests were introduced by VP Chip Templeton.

Makeups Reported: Andy Gaston made up in Aberdeen Nov. 26. On-line makeups were reported by Jeff Donald, Nov. 26; and Janette Self, Nov. 27 and 30.

Meeting Notes: President Ned Browning recognized the good work of the committee of new members who put together the beautiful Christmas float. Special thanks to Zach Rowland who supplied the truck and wagon. Ned reported that we’ve had two offers of more efficient places to store the float for next year’s parade.

Rotary Minute: Nellah Taylor, chair of Budget and Finance , explained the club’s budgeting process. “It starts with the appointment of committees, which develop plans for the year and submit requests for estimated funding needs.”

The financial officer provides estimates of operating expenses and projected revenue and the committee prepares a budget to present to the Board for approval. The Board has the option to make modifications before approving the budget. Nellah said the budget for the year is $161,447, 77% of which is operating expense.

Rotary Dollars at Work. Stephen Cunetto, Systems Administrator at MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library, was presented a check for $500 to support the 2008 Templeton Ragtime Festival. Cunetto said the festival, March 28-30, will feature eight outstanding ragtime pianists, two of whom are from outside the United States.

President Ned presented a check for $250 to Claire Crawford, who thanked the Club for its continuing support. “This will buy bears for 25 children with cleft palates,” Claire said.

“This is a perfect time of year for us to demonstrate Service Above Self.”


Rotarians will ring the Salvation Army bells at both Wal-Mart entrances all day Tuesday, December 18. Sign up sheets were passed last week and will be available again today and next Monday if necessary.


Last week, we honored teachers and students from three Starkville schools. All were presented certificates and gold rulers with Rotary’s 4-Way Test inscribed. We were impressed with the poise and candor of all six youngsters who were honored.

Sudduth Elementary – Star Teacher Melanie McCarter has been teaching for 8 years, 7 at Sudduth. The youngsters were honored for being “energetic and good scholars.”

Kariah Minor, 5, had to stand on the chair to reach the microphone to tell us she wants to be a doctor.

Wes Pruitt said he likes math and playground and hopes someday to be a policeman.

Overstreet Elementary – Star Teacher Debbie Christopher has taught for 21 years and is in her second year at Overstreet. Both students she introduced are “energetic, eager to learn, and get good grades.”

Isaiah Williams , who also wants to be a policeman, said the things he likes best about school are reading and teachers.

Kaley Smith likes reading and music and wants to be a singer. The articulate 8-year-old third-grader gave us an articulate lesson in using the dictionary to learn the meaning of a strange, new word.

Ward-Stewart – Star Teacher Helen Odom is retiring after teaching for 31 ½ years – all at Ward-Stewart. She said she’s worked for five principals and said she didn’t know how she was going to like retirement other than “no more 7:15 bell!”

The two students she chose for honors “are good students and both go far beyond what you ask them to do.”

Marlo Rogers said his favorite subject is math and someday he wants to play professional football.

Matthew Walsh said his favorite school subjects are recess and music. He wants to be a professional musician – a drummer.


Two membership proposals have been approved by the Board for publication and review.

Rick Smith is proposed for membership by Larry Mullins with the classification of Marketing.

Joe Bumgardner is proposed by John Robert Arnold with a classification of Medical/Healthcare (retired).


The Board of Directors has accepted with regret the resignation of Dan Craig, a member since 1991.


December is a big month for Rotary birthdays. Members with birthdays this month are Lee Beck, David Breaux, Julie Brown, Ron Brown, Gary Chism, Charlotte Coker, Bob Daniels, Mikell Davis, Tom Dawkins, Andy Gaston, Ernie George, Prentiss Gordon, Carey Hardin, Bo Haynes, Rob Leach, Johnny Thompson, Terry Thomas, David VanLandingham, and Sherrie VanLandingham. Exchange Student Maryna Melnik will celebrate her 18 th birthday, Dec. 30.


The December meeting of the Board of Directors has been changed to Thursday, Dec. 13 at 11:45 a.m. in the Country Club lounge. Any officer or director unable to attend should notify Secretary Michelle Amos.


The Nominating Committee of three immediate past presidents, after reviewing nominations received from the membership, presents the following slate of nominees to be voted upon Monday, Dec. 17. All have been contacted and have agreed to serve with President-elect Chip Templeton for the Rotary year July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. Nominees are:

Vice President-Pres.-Elect . . . . . . Martha Wells

Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Donald

Treasurer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nellah Taylor

Director Univ 5 > yr. . . . . . . . . . . Bob Daniels

Director City 5 > yr . . . . . . . Tommy Prentice

Director Univ < 5 yr. . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Fratesi

Director City < 5 yr . . . . . . . . . . . Janette Self

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