Rotary Club of Farragut ‘changes guard,’ reflects on success

With Chris Camp performing her first “ringing the bell” ceremony as new president of The Rotary Club of Farragut, outgoing president David Smoak reflected on club accomplishment for the 2016-17 Rotary year during “Changing of the Guard ceremony” Wednesday, June 28, in Fox Den Country Club.

Special guest Deborah Alexander-Davis, District 6780 governor, installed Camp as new RCF president.

“I’m proud to be a Rotarian, but particularly honored to be president of this club. It’s a very unique club. I think’s it our sense of humor, the fact that we take our mission seriously but not ourselves, and we’re enthusiastic,” Camp said in her first address as president. “We selflessly give and we all seem to like each other and enjoy each other.”

Looking back, Smoak addressed the club for the final time as president.

“I would like to thank everybody for giving me the opportunity to be president this year,” Smoak said. “I’ve had a great time with our club.

“At the end of the year you look back and you realize just all the things we’ve accomplished as a club,” Smoak added.

The Rotary year ended with RCF having 91 members — 11 new members. “Fred Martin and Nancy Bosson did an outstanding job getting more members,” Smoak said.

“Five years ago we had 68 members. We’ve added 23 new members.”

Among 66 clubs in Rotary District 6780 [most of East and Middle Tennessee], “There’s only two other clubs that have added more,” Smoak said.

Saying he “broke the year into different categories,” Smoak looked back while crediting the work of RCF members …

• Education: “We started our first Interact Club at Farragut Middle School. … Nancy Welch has done a great job getting that started up.

“We’ve been so heavily involved with Rotary Youth Exchange,” with a teenager from Finland living in the Farragut area and attending Webb School of Knoxville Upper School in 2016-17. With Amanda DeBord serving as counselor, “We really appreciate all the time you put into that Amanda. Alex Kale from Farragut High School went outbound to Germany. … We appreciate Bill Nichols and all the time he spends with our outbound and inbound students.”

• Service: More than 180 service hours and more than $7,400 in donations.

“Earlier this year we had a Backpack Drive. We got a couple hundred backpacks that we paid for. Then, three or four weeks later, Todd Galanti shows up and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got 400 backpacks at Costco you can come and pick up. Let’s go give these out to the kids.” Beneficiaries were Beaumont and Pond Gap elementary schools and Farragut Primary School.

About annual Flu Shot Saturday, “Mark Bialik has been leading that charge for years and years. We appreciate Mark’s dedication to that. We had tons of volunteers come out for that.”

Mike Singletary was credited as a big contributor to annual Salvation Army bell-ringing fundraiser.

Through Angel Tree, “We were able to provide 50 children with gifts. Jonathan Johnson and Brian Welch both provided a lot of support for us to get that program going.”

Several volunteered and donatored to Sevier County Wildfire recovery.

Concerning Spring Cleanup Day, Chris Thomas and Keith Bryson were credited for “a great job.”

• Rotary Foundation under the leadership of Patty Daughtrey: “We had a major donor added this year, Sam Taylor. We had our Million Dollar Dinner that raised over $3.6 million.” Members attending were Camp, Taylor, Dale Read, Sam Mishu, past president Tom King, past president Bryson, Ray Fisher, Judith Bradbury and Mike Fleenor. “They all pledged between $10,000 and $25,000.”

In all, “This year was a record year. We gave over $30,000 to the Foundation. “

The club added five new Paul Harris Fellows, making 71 Fellows among the 91 club members. Fourteen Paul Harris awards were distributed, with Bialik individually recognized for his service at this meeting,

• Fundraisers: Taylor and Mishu were thanked for their contributions to annual RCF Wine Tasting, Dinner & Silent Auction at FDCC. “We were able to raise over $15,000, the most we’ve ever raised from that event. … Stephanie Myers, all the effort she put in doing that event.”

In light of End Polio Now drive, there were 13 new worldwide cases of polio, Smoak reported: seven in Pakistan, three in Afghanistan and three in Nigeria.

Supporting Honor Air, “We gave $1,800 … to give three veterans a chance to go to Washington, D.C. Rev. [David] Bluford went with them and chaperoned some of those veterans.”

Through the efforts of Galanti and Costco, a $2,000 club donation was made to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

The club won John Powell Memorial Golf Match 5-1 versus Breakfast Club. “That’s something that Ben Harkins and Tom Marsh always put a lot of effort into.”

Farragut Rotary’s District Conference awards included District Governor’s Award and Rotary Serving Humanity Award among several.

Other awards: Chris Thomas, Program Coordination; Glenn Bates, Staci Wilkerson, Camp, Bryson and Read received Distinguished Service; Martin and Bosson, Membership Drive; Nancy Welch, Youth Services; Ron Lawrence and Bluford, Family of Rotary; Daughtrey, Foundation; Becky Duncan and DeBord, International; Brandon Hackett and King, Public Image, and Jim Dodd Jr., Sergeant-at-Arms.

Joan “Mother Rotary” McIntee inducted the other new and returning club officers and introduced all past presidents in attendance.

Davis’ husband, Bobby Davis, is a former 6780 governor who also was a special guest.