October 20, 2008 Rotogram


This week, MSU Women’s Basketball Coach Sharon Fanning brings her annual preview of the season. Be ready for her quiz when the program ends.

Next week, we welcome Marcus Grant, MSU Men’s Basketball assistant coach, for his season preview.


Invocation and Pledge: Carey Hardin

Attendance: There were 96 members (28 exempt) present, and 106 (27 exempt) absent.

Guests and visitors: Doug Horanburg of Andy Gaston, Ann Lamar and Patty Faver of Sonny Kelly, and Les Potts of Brian Portera. Guests of the Club were Taka Sato, Youth Exchange Student, Claire and Leigh Crawford with Claire’s Bears, Jarrod Reneau, Ambassadorial Cultural Scholar, and Shoshana Brackett with the Starkville Daily News.

Makeups reported: Janette Self and Loren Zimmerman at a board meeting.

Rotary Minute:  In a two-day sweep, several Rotarians led by Omis Avant, presented dictionaries to all 541 third graders in Oktibbeha County’s 5 elementary schools.

“You can’t believe how those kids’ eyes light up when you give them a book and they get to put their name in it,” said Omis. “Each dictionary has a Rotary sticker and 4-Way Test in it.”

Kudos:  President Chip complimented Bill Foster, past club president, past district governor, and retired dean of MSU students, on the honor of the new Colvard Union Ballroom’s being named for him on Oct. 11.

Following Chip’s comment that he couldn’t think of anything but compliments for Bill, Roy Ruby said, “Sarah Foster asked me to hand you this list of negatives on Bill.”

Operation Smile: President Chip presented Claire Crawford, Starkville High senior, with the Club’s support check for her Claire’s Bears project for children being treated for cleft-lip and palate. Our youngest Paul Harris Fellow, inspired by her own journey through cleft-palate surgeries, has raised more than $25,000 and been recognized internationally for this service. She invited Club golfers to the Nov. 8 Swinging for Smiles golf tournament sponsored by the SHS Operation Smile chapter.


Two of our newest members introduced themselves to the Club at September’s last meeting.

Dale Tate is senior vice president of Starkville Bank First. He explained that, at the age of 49, he has been involved with Bank First in some shape, form or fashion since 1960. His daddy ran his hometown bank, Merchants and Farmers of Macon. The MSU grad married his high school sweetheart Debbie Allen. Before moving to Starkville he served as vice chair of the Columbus-Lowndes Link. He maintains Lowndes County connections by serving as scoutmaster Caledonia’s Boy Scout Troop 9.

Dennis Bock, a lifelong Starkville resident, is a Starkville Academy and MSU alumnus. He started his banking career at First Federal in 1989 and has stayed with the institution through its 1995 merger with Bank of Mississippi which now is Bancorp South. His wife Shirley taught 9 years in the Starkville Public Schools System and now is with MSU’s Educational Research Center. They are active in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.


“Our nation is going through some very unstable times…. One thing I do know is that the American family structure has deteriorated…. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, what your economic status is, fatherlessness affects all of us whether you are white, black, Hispanic, Japanese or whatever….Our children are crying out, ‘Will somebody listen; will somebody help?’” — Barbara Yeates, Father’s Child Ministry
“Raise your hand if you have a fond memory of your father,” said Barbara Yeates, co-director of the Father’s Child Ministry. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case with all children, particularly boys.”

The 4-year-old Golden Triangle area ministry benefited from a $2,000 Rotary district simplified grant garnered by our Club this year.

The Nashville native and her husband Ed, both former Mississippi State University student athletes, lead the character-building program that “utilizes community resources to see that fatherless children meet Christ.” Not limited to boys, the ministry serves 8- to 18-year-olds in Starkville, West Point and Columbus.

She stressed, “We’re not here to replace fathers. We are a reference point to let the young people know you have a Father.”

Yeates reported that Rotary funded the literacy efforts of the summer enrichment program that met three times weekly in June. Monday was reading day with a study of the Gospel of John. Wednesday was community service day with projects at a Habitat for Humanity site and Starkville Academy landscaping. Friday was career discovery day with trips to a number of MSU departments and area businesses.

Throughout the year, the ministry works with children in these areas:

  1. Biblical foundations – Saturday devotions and Bible studies.
  2. Camps – Summertime trips around the state.
  3. Evangelical events – Area churches work with the children.
  4. Mentoring – Thirty to forty kids are served every third Saturday; however, there is a great need for more community volunteers. The goal is a single mentor for each child.
  5. Counseling services – Ed Yeates goes to area public schools each week for one-on-one sessions with kids.
  6. Mothers’ support groups – Once a month, single mothers have a chance to share the challenges of raising children.
  7. Fathers’ outreach – Open to any men, the “7 Steps of Effective Fathering” program meets once a month.
  8. Character education – The overall program seeks to help the kids be better individuals through its “Men of Valor” and “Women of Virtue” plans.

Children from Columbus and West Point are bused to Starkville’s Armstrong Middle School every Saturday. Although official meeting hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Yeates said they actually are on site from  7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.


If you incur any expenses on behalf of the Club,  please submit a reimbursement form to Treasurer Nellah Taylor. The form can be downloaded from our Club Web site at starkvillerotary.com/guide/form.doc .

Quarterly membership statements will be mailed to everyone from now on. To ensure prompt payment and as a convenience for members, a direct bank draft option is available.

Attendance is critical for continued membership eligibility and for club accreditation. When you miss a local meeting, please make an effort to make up attendance at another club (The District 6820 club list is on the back of this bulletin). Or, visit the Rotary International Web site and participate in an E-Club (www.rotary.org/en/Members/GeneralInformation/PilotClubsAndE-clubs/Pages/ridefault.aspx).

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