July 2, 2007 Rotogram

MISSISSIPPI ’S FOREST RESOURCES

The Mississippi timber harvest in 2006 was worth more than $1.3 billion. Today, Wayne Tucker, director of the Mississippi Institute of Forest Inventory, will report results of recent forest survey work and the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Next week

Mississippi State’s latest national champion, the fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly Challenge-X SUV, will be spotlighted next week. Marshall Molen and Amanda McAlpin of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems will report.

JUNE 25 MEETING

Invocation and Pledge : Bill Simmons

Attendance : There were 108 members present (33 exempt), and 90 (21 exempt, 10 honorary) absent.

Makeups : Ed Clynch and Clyde Pritchard made up attendance at Rotary events.

Guests and Visitors : Guests of members included Jeanna Edwards, Pam Brock and Terry Sholes of Jack Forbus; and, Janet Mullins of Larry Mulllins. Visiting Rotarian Jim Puryear from Augusta, Ga., was a Club member in the mid `60s. District guests included Barbara Travis, Becky and Bob Killelea, Chuck Jordan, Danny Williams, Davis Clark, Eddie Lou and Jim Finger, Jim Stanley, Elizabeth and James Young, Joel and Toni Clements, John Turner, Kay and Leland Steed, Les Fletcher, Lynda Forbus, Mark Dorion, Mike Vance, Roscoe Greene, Sara Foster, Willis Puckett, Steve Anderson and Sharon Clark. Club guests included Skip Descant of the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Diane Wall of the Oktibbeha County Humane Society.

Community Action : The final community service checks of the year were presented to
Diane Wall of the Humane Society and Rotarian Grady Mitchener representing United Way.

Extended Rotary Minute : Noting that he had saved the subject for the final meeting of the year, President Larry announced that the Club has met the “Every Rotarian, Every Year” goal of 100 percent Rotary Foundation sustaining membership. A sustaining member is an individual who contributes $100 or more to the Annual Program Fund.

A year ago, District Governor Mark Doiron suggested that our Club set a 2007 Foundation goal of $18,000, up from $15,000 in 2006. We actually surpassed our goal by 20 percent and gave $21,550. Per capita giving jumped from $84 to $112.83. In 2006, the Rankin Club averaged $171 per member. As District 6820’s second largest group, we outdid the largest club, Downtown Jackson, by a $55 margin.

Changing of the guard

The Rotary Club of Starkville, Mississippi, installed its eighty-fourth president and the seventh district governor from the Club on June 25.

The District 6820 College of Governors met before the luncheon to affirm its support of Jack Forbus as he began his term as DG.

Forbus, introduced by out-going president Larry Mullins, is a 30-year veteran of the Starkville Club. He served as president in 2000.

“Six months ago,” said Mullins, “thinking he had a year-and-a-half to prepare for the job, Jack suddenly became the governor-elect. He’s spent the last half year in a Rotary cram course learning about our district.”

Mullins announced that Forbus, a two-time Paul Harris Fellow, had become a Benefactor. The designation is given to a person who gives $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation Permanent Fund.

Proclaiming that “Rotary exists as an organization to do one thing in the world — and that’s good,” Forbus recounted an encounter with a waitress during the Rotary International meeting in Salt Lake City. Trying to answer her “What is Rotary?” question, he mentioned the PolioPlus campaign. She responded with a counter question, “What is polio?”

“For you folks over thirty, that may sound strange,” said Forbus. “But, I’m proud that she doesn’t know what the disease is because of our successful eradication efforts.”

Forbus noted that his six-month preparation might be a benefit because “I don’t know any better. So, I’ve picked out four things I want to do and they are ongoing Rotary efforts.”

Water, literacy, health and hunger are the focus issues for worldwide projects.

However, Forbus said, “I did not see the need to go to some third world country to battle literacy when we live in one. This state is on the brink of a 40 percent dropout rate.”

“If you can’t read by the third grade, you have little chance to learn,” said Forbus. “In California, if you can’t read by then, they start building jail cells for you. In Mississippi, 80 percent of the prison population is illiterate.”

District 6820 is putting together a 3 to 5 year literacy project chaired by Barbara Travis of the Rankin County Rotary Club. There will a be a menu of 6 to 8 different types of literacy projects for district clubs. From working with two-year-old toddlers to high school dropouts, Rotarians will be challenged to save one child per community per year.

The new district governor reminded the Club this year’s them is “Rotary Shares.” And that means our time, talent, treasury.

Mark Doiron, the out-going district governor, presented Past District Governor Stu Vance a special recognition for his leadership amid the disruption of Hurricane Katrina. He also recognized the Starkville Club with a Service Above Self award for its Katrina work.

Taking a potshot at past DG Les Newman, who sported the red and blue of the “other school in Oxford,” Forbus noted that the recent string of Bulldog governors will continue when Joel Clements of Waynesboro takes the helm next year. Clements, a former Starkville Club member, is the father of Rotarian Joel Jr.

Greenville Rotarian Chuck Jordan was introduced with Clements as district governor nominee.

Starkville Rotarians serving district roles include Larry Box, assistant governor; Nellah Taylor, treasurer; Jeff Donald, membership chair; Cary Hardin, water project chair; and, Larry Mullins, district conference chair.

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