December 7, 2009 Rotogram


Buddy Stephens, East Mississippi Community College, is this year’s NJCAA Region 23 Football Coach of the Year. The 2009 Lions claimed their first-ever state football championship with a memorable 75-71 home victory over two-time defending state champions Mississippi Gulf Coast CC.


Rotary Youth Exchange student Francesca Scaravelli tells us of her home and family in Italy at our last meeting of the year next week.


Invocation and Pledge: Richard Blackbourn
Attendance: Attendance stayed below 50 percent with 98 members (34 exempt, 1 honorary) present and 92 (15 exempt, 11 honorary) absent.
Guests and visitors: Visiting Rotarian was Eddie Longstreet of West Point. Member’s guests were Craig Adams of Lynne Richardson, and Vera Vanlandingham of J.B. Vanlandingham. Club guests were Joan Wilson, Barbara McLaurin, Kelly Daniels,  Starkville Daily News and Kasper Eriksen and Francesa Scaravelli, Youth Exchange Students. Excellence in Education guests included parents Antonio Chandler, Jinwon and Seong-Gon Kim, Linda Griffith, and Reny and Sylvia  Jinkerson; spouse Tanisha Williams; and school principals Joseph Stone of Henderson, Keith Funnell of SHS and Timothy Bourul of Armstrong.


President Martha presented support checks to Joan Wilson, Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum director ($250) and Barbara McLaurin, Starkville/MSU Symphony president ($1,000).


Club Secretary and Past-president Dave Boles led the Club in celebrating the Bulldogs’ 41-27 victory over the University of Mississippi.


Top of the Class — The Club annually spotlights excellence in education by naming students and teachers of the year for each school in Oktibbeha County. Recognition continued with three more Starkville Public Schools. Honorees include, front from left, Walter Williams III, teacher, and Ben Griffith and Alexus Sykes, students, Henderson Intermediate School; Dominique Brown and Emily Turner, students, and Angela Hobart, teacher, Armstrong Middle School; back from left, Paul Cuicchi, teacher, and Barunie Kim and Jeffrey Jinkerson, students, Starkville High School. Congratulating the students are President Martha , and Richard Blackbourn, Student-Teacher Awards chair.


Young guests and members alike were enlightened by tales of Rotary years past shared by J.B. Vanlandingham and Bill Simmons.
   BSA Troop 14—J.B. featured Rotary’s Boy Scout Troop 14. He is one of nearly 300 Eagle Scouts from the 81 year-old unit.
He explained that Guy Nason, a charter member of the Club, saw a need for a youth program after consulting with YMCA and Hi-Y Club officials. Seeing the potential of Scouting, he organized a troop committee that finally chartered the unit.
As a Pushmataha Area Council Eagle, J.B. took trips to Washington, D.C., Chicago and Monterey, Mexico. Proving that Scouting does expand one’s horizons, he remembered meeting President Hoover, not seeing Sally Rand, avoiding the Monterey red light district, and hearing the Hal Kemp orchestra from the basement of Chicago’s Blackhawk Restaurant.
Littlejohn Era—Bill Simmons recounted the legendary influence of W.W. Littlejohn on the Club for more than three decades.
The head of MSU’s Department of Accounting  served as Rotary secretary-treasurer from the mid-1950s until he was incapacitated by a stroke in 1988.
His budget management practice had been to tell the board, “We’ve got enough money to meet our bills.”
Bill said, “He ran the Rotary Club completely; told officers what to do and when to do it.”
Simmons was vice president and David Vanlandingham president that year. When they lost  the ability to communicate with Littlejohn, they had to essentially restart the Starkville Rotary Club.
The result was that the jobs of secretary and treasurer were separated and terms were limited to two consecutive years to ensure a broader corporate budget memory.


Next week, we will elect our Club leadership for the program year beginning in July. The nominating committee proposes the following slate:

President-elect……………………………. Eddie Keith
Secretary………………………………… W.C. Johnson
Treasurer………………………………………… Jeff Read
Director-City 5+ years…………….. Shelton Jones
Director-City <5 years………………. Brian Portera
Director-University 5+ years…….. Julia Hodges
Director-University <5 years….. Zach Rowland

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