The Louisiana Rotary Club held its Installation of Officers and Recognitions meeting on June 26 at the First Christian Church Fellowship Hall. President Bart Niedner opened the meeting and welcomed the club members to the annual celebration.
Assistant Governor Kim Stevens presented Niedner with the “Every Rotarian; Every Year” award on behalf of Rotary International and District 6060.
This recognizes that every Rotarian in the club has given toward the Rotary Foundation.
Howard Schwadron of the club’s Foundation committee also recognized John Stoeckley, Eric Gearing and Tim Jenkins as Paul Harris Fellows for their contributions to the foundation as individuals.
Attendance is an important part of Rotary and several Rotarians were recognized for their dedication to the club through their attendance. They are Gregg Blaylock, Ben Logan, John Lynn and John Murray (one year); John Stoeckley, Kim Stevens and Bart Niedner (two years); Tim Jenkins, Linda Beer and Randall Cone (four years); Grace Jane Catlett (six years); Cindy Blaylock (11 years); Stan Ehinger and Betty Dolbeare (14 years); Eric Gearing (16 years); Howard Schwadron(17 years);
and Mary Littrell (23 years).
New this year, is an award given at the international level, The New Member Sponsorship Award. Tim Jenkins, Bart Niedner and Bruce Griffith were recognized for having sponsored a new member into the club over the last year.
The 2013-2014 Rotarian of the Year, Linda Beer took the podium to present this year’s recipients. Club members nominate peers based on their contributions to the club over the past year. John Stoeckley and Dottie Murray shared this year’s recognition.
Stoeckley’s nomination recognized that he and his wife Karen came to the rescue of the club by offering to be a host family for the Youth Exchange Student and for his willingness as a local businessman to help promote Rotary.
For many years Murray has served as the chairman for the Reality Day program for local eighth graders. The Club visits with the students to give them a taste of what reality will look like in 10-15 years.
2014-2015 Club Officers were installed by AG Stevens. Taking the oath of office were President Gregg Blaylock, President-Elect Eric Gearing, Secretary-Treasurer Linda Beer and Sergeant-At-Arms John Murray, along with directors Randall Cone, Betty Dolbeare, Tim Jenkins, John Stoeckley and Cindy Blaylock.
Before President Niedner passed the gavel, he provided a brief recap of his year as President. He noted that there were many projects Rotary participated in but was most impressed by the Community Assessment Program Grants. The club successfully applied for two grants in the amount of $1,000 each to match. One was used to purchase new appliances for AVENUES, the home for abused women and children that services Pike County. The other to purchase a shed and tiller for the Interact Club community garden. He was quick to note the huge success of the Interact Group as well. (Interact is a Rotary Club for Teens at LHS). Niedner also took time to thank club members for making his year as president a successful one and singled out Mary Littrell, Grace Jane Catlett, Dottie Murray and Ray Dolbeare for their service in particular. The Rotary Board presented Stan Ehinger with Honorary Member status and presented Betty Dolbeare a Certificate of Appreciation for service to the club as Treasurer for many years.
As Gregg Blaylock took the gavel as President for the coming year, he shared the Theme of International President Gary C.K. Huang “Light Up Rotary.” President Huang is encouraging Rotarians around the world to lead by example and become a light amidst the darkness. Blaylock said his intention is to share the light of Rotary locally with projects to make lives better for the community. Projects large and small will be used to show Pike County that Rotarians indeed do practice ‘service above self’. As a reminder of the theme, Blaylock provided a small flashlight to each Rotarian and asked them to keep it handy as the year proceeds.