January 25, 2016 Rotogram: 24

Diamond Dawgs Report

John Cohen, MSU head baseball coach, looks ahead to the season that opens on Feb. 19. Joe Thompson will introduce him.

Next Week: Rotary Youth Exchange

Benedetta Trentarossi, RYE student, tells of her home in Milan, Italy, and her year thus far in Starkville. Matt Reynolds, last year’s exchange student to Italy, also will speak. Grant Arinder will introduce them.

For the Record—January 11

Invocation and Pledge:          Grant Arinder

Attendance:                                         73.5%

Present — 120 (42 exempt)

Absent — 60 (15 exempt, 12 honorary)

Guests: Member guests were Molly Jackson of Katherine Little, Parker Mullins of Larry Mullins and Kerri Mathews of Garrett Whitehurst. Guests of the club were Ruth Baareman, Reid, Chip and Sandra Stevens, Benedetta Trentarossi, RYE student, and James Carskadon, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • President Zach noted that the Spring Banquet Committee welcomes volunteers to help with the April 17 event.
  • He congratulated Katherine Little for being recognized in the Starkville Daily News’ “Spirit of Oktibbeha” feature.

Starkville Pregnancy Care Center

Ruth Baareman, executive director of the Starkville Pregnancy Care Center, accepted our donation of $350. She said the funds would be used to help underwrite the Silver Ring Thing abstinence event attended by more than 350 teenagers.


The board of directors has accepted with regret the resignation of Melvin Ray.

New Moms Supply Drive

Community Service Chair Carrie-Beth Randall reminded us of the opportunity to support Emerson Family School’s New Moms Program. If you were not able to bring items today, you still may drop them by the GSDP, Volunteer Starkville, MSU Maroon Volunteer Center and the Emerson Family Resource Center and note they are from Rotary.

If you prefer to make a monetary donation, please make check payable to: Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, noting in the memo line – “Donation to Emerson Family Resource Center Moms. “

Proposed Member

Caitlin Rackley has been proposed for membership by Gathian Wells. Rackley is a realtor with ReMax Partners and is active in the Starkville community. Her recommended classification is Real Estate.

RYE Student of the Week

Grant Arinder reminded the club that the RYE Student of the Week is a tool to make potential exchange students aware of the opportunity for international experience. Reid Stevens, a junior at Starkville Academy, is a multi-sport athlete and member of the National Honor Society.

Benedetta’s Photography

Joe Bumgardner presented RYE student Benadetta with a Canon Rebel DSLR camera with zoom lens so that she can take Andrew Lark’s photography class at Starkville High. Youth Exchange Committee Chair Grant Arinder explained, “Right now this is out of Joe’s pocket, so you’re invited to help and take some of that burden away.” Checks may be made to the Starkville Rotary Foundation with the memo Camera Project.

Rotary Classic Rodeo Marks Ten Years

January 11 — The Rotary Classic Rodeo celebrates its 10th anniversary on February 12 and 13 at the Mississippi Horse Park. Our major fund raiser provides the money for our community service.

The Rodeo Committee explained the family-oriented event, its effect on Starkville and how Rotarians make it work. Compliments were paid to Larry Mullins and Loren Zimmerman who started our participation a decade ago. (Loren is the only Rotarian known to actually have ridden a bull.)

The event is scheduled to coincide with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson. With more than 350 contestants, it provides opportunity for additional PRCA points thereby boosting our event with top notch participants.

Contestants in the seven events usually come from at least four countries. The evening shows drawing more than 5,000 spectators are not the only competitive times. Also, a large number of contestants (mainly barrel racing) run in the Saturday morning “Slack.”

Ours is one of few rodeos where contestants receive meal credit at the concession stand. And, free coffee and biscuits are available on Saturday morning.

John Forde, volunteer coordinator, reminded us that the rodeo only succeeds when all Rotarians work at it. Last year, about 75 members staffed the event. All new members of less than two years’ tenure are required to work. Jobs include tickets, concessions, check-in and entrance security. Although the committee needs an idea of how many will work, there is no cut-off date to volunteer.

Marc McGee explained that the addition of concessions to our jobs has been significant in profits. However, that means that we need at least 15 volunteers to cook and serve. Last year, more than 600 boxes of popcorn were moved.

Each member has received tickets to purchase, gift or sell. Roy Ruby requests that anyone not planning to use their tickets donate them to the Starkville Boys and Girls Club.

President Zach noted a significant change is the invitation to five area Rotary Clubs to partner with us in the event. The idea is to expand the reach of our advertising and audience and to share the profit with smaller clubs. Additionally, the invitation fulfills a requirement for the Presidential Citation for clubs to work together.

Columbus and Eupora have accepted the offer and will be sharing in ticket and sponsorship revenues based on their members’ sales.

Rodeo activities include the children’s petting zoo on Saturday, free children’s admission on Friday, and a performance by Nashville singer-songwriter Mark Box, a Choctaw County native.

Rodeo Impact 2015

(Numbers by Trey Breckenridge)

  • More than $22,000 cleared for Rotary community service.
  • Area economic impact $600,000+
  • Revenue                            $70,000
    • 42 sponsors $32,000
    • Tickets $17,000
    • 130 credit transactions $2,100
    • In kind $14,000
    • Concessions $11,000
  • Expenses                           $50,000
    • $35,000 stock contractor

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