- Georgetown Rotarian Presidents shared two minute Memorable Moments during the 2011/2012 Rotary Year -

Gene Davenport
    My memorable moments will relate to two different Rotary years: 2001-2002, when I was Club President and 2004-2005 when I was D5870 Governor. Note: When I joined the club in 1997, our membership was 65. The International President in 2001-2002 was Richard King and he had a grand scheme to grow Rotary to an all-time high level. Our club members were inspired and we grew up to 99 members during that year. Unfortunately, we had significant losses at the end of the year and dropped back down into the high 80’s. The growth challenge remained and we continued to grow such that during Ron Swain’s club president year, we once again arrived at the threshold of 100 membership. This was the Centennial year of Rotary and we celebrated our 100th member, Teri Gooch. Unfortunately, a few years after this achievement, Teri passed away. She is missed. Our club has continued since that time to maintain a level over 100 that makes us the 4th - largest club in District 5870.
    A key memorable moment took place at the District Conference in 2002. I asked Danny Swafford if he would make a presentation on how to grow Rotary. The District Governor at that time, Rex Weaver, Killeen, wanted some young Rotarians on the program to emphasize new generation growth. Danny wrote his remarks and was prepared to deliver them, but had to cancel due to family plans. In his place, Judi Shanklin, past club president, read his speech. It is now my privilege to introduce Danny to give that same presentation 10 years later. Thanks, Danny.

From the District Conference, April 24, 2002
written by Danny Swafford Jr. read by Judy Shanklin at the District Conference. 
    ASK! Family commitments prevent me from being here today, I appreciate the substitution and the ability to share my thoughts on “Why did I become a Rotarian”. It was taken as a compliment to classify me as a young 40 year-old member when our club’s President Gene Davenport sought speakers. Rotary has become an important part of my life, both in the business community and within the framework of my personal goals and anticipated achievements. As many of you, if not all of you, we are busy people. The “M.O.” (Method of Operation) for me, is to be involved, give back, and make a difference. The balance of spiritual growth, family well being, business commitment and community support are important aspects for all of us, specifically those we are associated with in Rotary. The reason I became a Rotarian: I WAS ASKED!
    We have a unique organization founded on basic principles of honesty, integrity, and service. This fundamental process of “what makes a Rotarian” is the right place to be. The internal drive to do what is good and right makes Rotary International the natural avenue of time and effort. The organizational structure, established programs, weekly fellowship, and planned activities makes Rotary something to be proud of and share: The reason I become a Rotarian: I WAS ASKED!
    Why would we, as individual members, NOT want to share this organization and all the natural benefit offered to our communities? Why would we want to hold private the fellowship and activities afforded to us? I am a banker by trade, so I do get personal very quickly: How many guests or prospective new members have you invited to be a part of this outstanding organization? I would encourage each of you to share the joys you have experienced through this group we know as Rotary.
    Why will your club grow, prosper, and extend greater service? YOU SHARED AND ASKED!
    In Service,
    Danny Swafford, Jr.

    I remember my first Rotary Club meeting quite well. I was asked to come speak about the brand-new Peveto Bill (which was a major reworking of the way property taxes were computed. It called for frequent re-evaluations of market value in an effort to make sure everyone was taxed fairly and equally, according to the value of the property). The law was brand new; there was no case law to interpret the bill’s implementation. A number of the members were hostile to the bill, but the group was cordial to me and asked many questions, some of which I could actually answer. I noticed that Thatcher Atkin (Atkin’s Furniture) chain-smoked cigarettes on the right-hand side of the meeting room (the basement of the sanctuary) and Billy Bob Eanes (President of First National Bank) smoked and chewed a cigar to the point that he pretty much consumed it in its entirety. The room had a blue haze by the end of my talk. Soon after, I received an invitation to join the club from Tom Locke, who was later president of the club.
    In the early days of my membership, RI had a longstanding strict rule that each club was to have only one person per classification. We were very inventive, breaking down “lawyer” into many subtle subsets to allow for a multitude of lawyers in the club. I was Lawyer-Criminal, which got a lot of droll comments. We had a club assembly one day and brainstormed on what new classification could we include and recruit to fill. “Veterinarian” was the invariable suggestion (but those guys would never have time to come to a meeting). The average age of the club was well into the 50s and maybe the early 60s. I was just about the youngest member (about 31 or 32) and I commented that I didn’t really know of any good classifications, but that I thought it would be a good idea if the new member knew CPR. You could have heard a pin drop.
We did, eventually, recruit Dr. Stephen Benold and he gave us a practical demonstration of new CPR techniques that we could understand. (Howard, I remember your talk on prostate health. Very humorous and informative at the same time.) Object lesson: Be careful with smart aleck remarks which may be humorous to you, but which others might take more seriously. I was forgiven, eventually.
    Another moment few who were present will forget: One of our members had waited to the last minute to get a program. Scrambling, he found someone who put on seminars to help people reduce “executive stress.” He had never seen the presentation, but it seemed apropos for our club. The day arrived and the member introduced the speaker. The speaker then introduced his assistant, who was a lovely young woman (well endowed) in leotards. She then produced a small trampoline and began to jump up and down, demonstrating how this would relieve our stress. The speaker was selling trampolines!!! We don’t sell things in Rotary (with the occasional author who speaks on his subject of expertise and then is available to autograph his book). Members were rolling their eyes and whispering under their breath. Object lesson: Vet your program ahead of time. It might be better to get the Empty Coke Bottle Award than to introduce an embarrassing program. I wonder if any of the members still have their trampoline. Billy Stubblefield 10/21/2011

    I was president in 1993 -1994; boy, was that an interesting time in our club! It was our turn to go to Mexico and so we went down to.... what’s the name of it? Victoria – por favor, whatever. Tremendous hosts, but we almost had an international incident down there. Judi Shanklin, Sharon McKennen and Bonnie Wolbrueck were down there with Patti and me and some of the others and husbands. And at that time, the Mexican Rotarians did not recognize women at a Rotary function. They (women) had their own club. So they came over and wanted to take our women and we said “no, no, no, no, no”.... so we had a little problem, but a few drinks of tequila and we had it all worked out. We had a great year and we had a lot of fun at our fund raisers. The first golf tournament was held at the Georgetown Country Club. At that time we raised about eight or nine thousand dollars which was a lot of money at that time. We had an ongoing project with our friend Dr. Claude Proctor out here at Southwestern University. He had, with the help of Ned Snead;.....that was a combination to watch those guys work together, come up with a sign language dictionary. How many of you remember that project? That took several years to complete. Yes ma’am. Oh, did you bring one with you, Well lookie here, she’s holding one up,.... so that you know I am telling the truth. Come up with a sign language dictionary. It’s in excess of a dozen languages including sign language and it was well received. So, it was a good year. In ’95-’96 Bill Bryce dressed us up and he gave us all..., where’s Bill. Thank you Bill, I am still wearing it. A beautiful sports coat with Rotary emblems on the cuff, visor. It was a good year.
Don Hewlett 12/2/2011 
    My memorable moment is actually two memorable moments. They are both having to do with programs in this Rotary Club. One was a program presented by Sam Brady, our charter president of our club. The other was a little talk by Harry Gold. We go back seventy years ago and some of us can remember that far back what Georgetown was like back then. Not many of these streets were paved.
    One school, Georgetown Grammar School number one that would go the entire block. The kids would recess and they would draw a big circle in the dirt with a stick and they had marbles and they would put marbles in the circle and they would take turns shooting at them with something called an aggie – a marble made of agate. If you knocked the marble out of the circle you got to keep it and that was the recess for kids at Georgetown Grammar school #1, 70 years ago. One of these kids was better than the others and he really got a lot of marbles. His name was Sam Brady and he was very proud of this fact as you will learn in a moment.
    Another man came to Georgetown named Harry Gold and opened up a store and showed us how to sell clothing. He was so wise in the ways of Georgetown and the economy of Georgetown that he would go to New York and present evidence of our solvency in Georgetown and obtain a loan. And municipal bonds and those proceeds would used to improve Georgetown.
Well, gradually the streets got built and the curbs got guttered and the improvements were made. It was so small seventy years ago then that the kids would go home and walk back to school. Georgetown was not ole town, just Georgetown. Incidentally, we had breakfast, dinner, and supper. Dinner was at noon.
    When Harry Gold came here he told us how to manage Georgetown and how to advertise. If any of you remember, he had a store downtown and a sign that took up half or quarter of a city block and fifteen foot high. That’s static advertising. You don’t have to do anything to it but paint it every now and then.
Sam Brady decided to have a Rotary club. And he got together with some others Fridays after lunch and they formed this club and that’s exactly what they did, that’s where we came from. Sam brought values to this club, which were matched by Harry. Although both were from different worlds. They had things in common.
    There are at least three members of this club who live up to the kind of the people they were. I will let you guess who they are. Just some people live up to these values. Some people cultivate chivalry qualities and fine feelings, which they openly express with the spirit of unaffected kindness. They do this with good and proper behavior; and courteous speech, and decent conduct. These people are brave. They select noble thoughts, noble words, and noble deeds from the realm of possibility. They think those noble thoughts, they speak those noble words and they do those noble deeds; there by making these noble things their possessions for eternity.
    Sam and Harry did that and got the goal for all of us to strive for. Incidentally when Sam spoke to our club, our charter president, he would reach out from under the podium and pull out a big mason jar full about this big, filled with marbles. Those were his trophies from his boyhood. Bill Bryce 12/9/2011

    Some of y’all were probably still in diapers when some of this stuff was going on. But back in the seventies, I have to give you a bit of history here. Back in the seventies my father was past- president of the Houston Club, the Hobby Houston Club. And he said that I should join the Rotary Club because it was the thing to do because my grandfather was past president and a Paul Harris Fellow and he was past president and Paul Harris Fellow and it’s your turn boy. We had 65 members in the club. We met at a hotel across from the Hobby airport and had an annual budget of about $40,000. We sold 400 - $100 tickets for a Lincoln from a dealer that would let us have it for next to nothing, almost. And we gave away four scholarships. Sixty-five hundred dollars per year for four years. So if you got a scholarship from us it was a good bite.
    Had a blast. Business had absolutely gone crazy, the world had gone crazy, whiskey was flowing faster than it ever had flowed before and I was selling as much as I could. Oil ripped up to $35 a barrel and people just lost their minds. My son was a year and a half old and I said, “I am not going to raise my son in Harris County!” So I made the decision and take a 75% pay cut and move to Georgetown. Came up here to Georgetown and said, “Hey, might as well be in Rotary.” I joined the Rotary Club. Went to the first little intimate five group people board to say, “What do you do here in Georgetown?” That’s the thing -we have scholarships. That’s great - what is it? We give four $100 scholarships. I broke out laughing at my first Board meeting and said, “Folks, that’s a good tip for a table of twelve in a nice restaurant. It certainly won’t buy a book much less help somebody.” One gentleman, God rest his soul was one of my mentors in life, patted me on the leg and said, “Son, you’re in Georgetown now, and this is the Georgetown Rotary Club,” and said, “Sit down and shut up. If we need any money, we’ll assess ourselves.” So knowing how I am, I immediately thought about what is the greasiest, nastiest, most dangerous way to raise money, where everybody stinks and sweats like beer when they‘re numb – let’s cook some fish! And I said “Let’s cook some fish”!” Raised $4000 and if any one of y’all suggest we go back to cooking fish instead of our annual auction, I’m going to quit. Larry Bingham 1/13/2012

    All right, when I came here about 1990, I had been a Lion before and had just switched to the Rotary club. Maybe six months or a year before I came here. So, our little Rotary club was about 20 members or something like that. And I walked into the gym over here and I thought that’s a huge club; I bet there’s 40 people there. And I thought, I will never get to know all those people.
    The other thing that happened at that same time – that’s when Polio Plus was first started and that got my attention. Our first fund raiser in this club that I think was dedicated to Polio Plus was the dictionary project. We talked about this a little bit. These dictionaries sold for $19.95 but not too many sold. But, the way the funding happened on that, we needed about $20,000 to print the dictionaries. So, like I said there were about 40 people in attendance. And in one of my first meetings, Andy Anderson, who was here last week, invited us to all kick in $1000 for this and if the project was successful you would get a Paul Harris Fellowship and it was not too successful, you would get a dictionary. And I’ve got some of those dictionaries yet.
    We’ve talked about Sam Brady and as we have club events, we recognize him every year as we recognize people from the community. Sam was a person who almost always, when he had the program, would get up and tell stories. He was the greatest story teller you have ever heard. He didn’t bother to ask for help with his programs. For the most part he just did it himself.
    And so the program that I remember the most that he did - well, we used to have a table in the front that was like the head table that you kind of sat separately from. If you were the President and the speaker and that were really the only people that sat there. He was walking around taking care of business and there was this blossom kind of thing laying there, just wilting at the front of this head table. And everybody kind of looked at him and wondered what it was. It was about May or June of that year. And Sam got up and started talking about what was important to him. What was laying up there was a blue bell he had pulled out that morning. The flower that he believed strongly should be the state flower of Texas. And he talked about that the entire time. And ever since then, for me personally, I notice the blue bells in the late spring much more that I had ever done before. And so, that was one of the significant things in my life. Jim Albers, 1/20/2012 

Centennial Year
    I had the pleasure of serving as President of the Rotary Club of Georgetown in the Centennial Year, 2004-2005. During the Centennial year, we had a unique experience, where the three Rotary Clubs in Georgetown, jointly sponsored a Centennial Project. Our project was the creation of the trail and the Rotary Centennial Heritage Garden off Hutto Road in Georgetown. The three presidents, David Leas of the Sun City Club, John Eagle of the Sun Rise Club, and I collaborated on the project, along with committee members, and club members who raised money to purchase lumber, other materials and plants. We conducted a raffle to raise $25,000, half of which was used for prizes. The top prize was a $10,000 travel voucher, which was won by Bryan Jamison, one of our club members. Unfortunately, the flood of 2006 destroyed all the work that was done on this trail project.
    Also during the Centennial year, we had the good fortune of having one of our members of this club, Gene Davenport, serve as the District Governor of, during the Centennial Year. This was a significant recognition, both for Gene and for our club.
    Glenn Estes, was the President of Rotary International. I had the privilege of meeting Glenn at the District Foundation Dinner in Austin. Glenn recognized and awarded several of us, including Billy Ray Stubblefield, Stephen Benold, O.L. Davis, and me, as Paul Harris Fellows. I learned a few days ago, that Glenn passed away earlier this week.
I suppose that a lesson to be learned is that one day each of us, like Glenn, will pass away and even the service projects that we undertake, may not endure forever, but the principles of our Rotary organization and the motto: “Service Above Self” are enduring principles. I am honored to have served as President of our club during the Centennial Year. Thank You.
Ron Swain, 2/10/2012 

    You know, I wrote a message to the club every week and put it in the bulletin, and I went back and read 40 or some of those messages, and we had an incredible year. I am going to recite the statistics; we had 28 new Paul Harris Fellows. We broke every record for fundraising, and we did, I don’t know, how many projects, and it was a very interesting year.
But, my memorable moment was the entire year, which was nothing but fun, and it began with playing around with Patricia at the beginning of every meeting. See, I told you it was fun! And, the first (or maybe it was the second) meeting, we had the RYLA person and two RYLA students come up. You always wonder if they are going to get through what they have to say, or are they going to mumble, or are they actually going to have some poise. Maggie Johnston was one of our RYLA persons that year. She came up, she took the microphone, and she sang the most beautiful a cappella version of the Lord’s Prayer you could ever imagine! It was an incredible way to begin the year!
    Maggie came back with a show choir later on. I wish every member of the club could have been there because they all ate after the club had left. Martha and I were the only two left from the club; Alicia and the service ladies were there. Maggie organized that group of kids, surrounded us, held hands, and sang a benediction to us. I promise you, there was not a dry eye around when the kids got done with that. It was that way the whole year though, everything about it that was so cool.
And, there was something we tried to do with every penny that we spent. We tried to bring someone into the club to show you where that penny got spent. We went out and swung hammers with Habitat, we planted trees, we took a field trip to the Caring Place, and we had lunch over at the library. It was a brand new library and they were kicking of their summer reading program.
    But, my favorite part of the whole year was when we got the seven kids from across the street from Williams Elementary, and brought them over. I interviewed each of them because, you know, we give those books away, and we see the books but we never get to see the kids actually read them. And those seven kids, I asked each of them a couple of questions, they told us about their favorite books, and it was just a blast to see what we do with those books that we give every year! That was my memorable moment. It was a heck of a lot of fun the whole year! Ken Anderson 2/24/2012

    My name is Tim Harris, and I was the Rotary Club President in 2005-2006. I joined our club in 1990, so as you can see, it took the club 15 years to recognize my superior leadership skills. I think my fondest Rotary moment is the changes we made to our fundraisers around that time. Years before I was President, one of our main fundraisers was a Garage Sale. We would accumulate items, large and small, for the Garage Sale. Then hold our Sale at the Show Barn down in the Park. The last year we had it, I remember us all gathering in the dusty ole barn, setting up tables to sell such exciting items as articles of clothing, used lawn mowers, used tools, hats, little things like that…..., at least, we had the benefit of a nice used car from Mr. Hewlett. As I walked by one table, Sharon McCarty, who was a member of the club back then and is a fine retailer who owns a store now called Wonderful Things, was fighting her way through the dust to sell a lady a sewing thimble. She told the lady it was ten cents, and the lady talked her down to a nickel. At the end of the day, we made around $3000. I said “there has to be a better way raise funds for Rotary”, so we took a proposal to the Board to have a barbeque and auction, and that is what we did. A few years later, they decided I could be President of this club. And I am proud to say that the barbeque and auction has improved each year we have done it, and it is shaping up this year to be the best one yet, under the leadership of Barbara Garland and that other guy.
    In my year as President, we awarded a DAP grant to the Willie Hall Center here in Georgetown, a neighborhood center that does tutoring and early childhood learning. Our $3000 grant funded some learning tools, books, and software. We also did a matching grant with our sister club in Cuidad Victoria for $39,000. It was our turn for that grant money to stay in Georgetown, so we gave it to the Caring Place, to fund racks computers, a walk in cooler, and other equipment that helped them deliver their valuable services to our community. And, we had a successful barbeque and auction that year, and donated that money to PIE and other local charities. This is a great club, with great leadership, and following Dr. Ron Swain as President of this club made my job pretty easy. Thanks to all of you for allowing me to be a part of this fantastic Rotary club. Tim Harris 3/9/2012

    I am sure you remember one of the big highlights of my administration and that was when we had Ciudad Victoria come up. We presented Rock with a $42,000 check for among other things, a brand new Charger tractor that they needed very badly. They had been borrowing tractor equipment from a John Deere dealer. I am even licensed to drive that tractor. I can go out, cut weeds, and do whatever they need to do. And it is real used. In addition, to that they bought a bunch of computer equipment, lap tops, and servers. They made use of our $42,000. That is the last time that the Ciudad Victoria Rotary Club members were here back in 2009. Also, we presented a DAP (District Assistant Program) grant, to our rather new Boys and Girls Clubs. We gave them a bunch of play equipment, a Moonwalk, some giant chess sets and giant checker sets. If you go by there, they will be using it every single day.
    When the folks from Ciudad Victoria members were here, the Southwester Rotaract group presented a $2000 check to the Rotaract of Ciudad Victoria and that was well received by them. We gave a big donation to the Libraries of Love. We gave them a bunch of sanders for their rough cut boards in Africa. They had been sanding by hand until we got these electric sanders for their book shelves. Office Depot donated 200 bookends, which were also needed.
    One of the highlights of the club was Chris Lewis, the son of Jerry Lewis, who came down from California to talk to our club about the Wheel Chair Foundation. We are big time supporters now, but that was the first introduction to us about the Wheel Chair Foundation. Another memorable moment for me was the day we presented an Eagle Scout award to this young man who was in troop 2935. A troop we had just started sponsoring that year and we continue to do so. The boy that we presented the Eagle Scout award is going to be graduating this year and he is going to Texas A&M. So I sent a memo to Randy Mongold. I hope that he is going to be at the auction and sit at the Aggie table. And also you may remember, that it was the first time we had Dean Higginbottom serve as our Santa Claus. That was a memorable time for us. I think Danny had been serving as our Santa Claus up until that time. But, Dean looks like the real, real thing. Kay Trub was presented with a District Award, she received the Roll of Fame Award from the District and Nancy Krenek received the Sam Brady Award that year.
    One of the most significant presentations made during that year involved one of our real Rotarian of this club, Gene Davenport was presented the highest award that Rotary gives to members like this. It is called the Meritorious Award. It is highly sought after. You can seek it, but it is an award that has to be earned. Gene has done so much for the District and for this Club. He is at PETS teaching presidents how to be better presidents in Rotary. With that I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your President for the 08-09, because I really enjoyed it. I encourage you all to get in the chain of progression and become President of this club. It’s a great Club, thank you. Tom Crawford, 3/23/2012.

    Being President was a great thing.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I remember that it was Ken Anderson who explained to me the commitment.  I didn’t really understand it.  One of my first Board meetings as vice president, Ken looked at me and said, “You are vice president this year, president elect next year, and then you are president, and then past president.  You got four years of this.”  That’s when the light came on.   I remember that at that point.  But, it was a great thing.  I remember every minute of it.  
    I really thought about a memorable moment.  The most memorable moment for me occurred two years before I was president.  I came to a rotary meeting and like most of you, I thought, I am going to have lunch and fellowship today.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.  Someone came to me and said President O.L. Davis is not here today and Tom Crawford will run the meeting, but guess what, Tom Crawford is not here today.  So as vice president they said, “Wilson, will you run the meeting?”  Let me tell you, I was nervous.  Like most of you, I had been to many meetings but had never run one.  I knew all the steps but when you get up here in front of the microphone you start forgetting. Which is first, the pledge or the invocation, you know those things are difficult sometimes when you are up here.  I got up here and started winging through it and I thought I did a pretty good job of it.  I stumble a few times.  I sat with our speaker, and forgive me because I don’t remember who it was.  It was a young lady that was going to talk to our club. I briefly introduce her, and at that point, we were not having the host do their classification talk.  The president would introduce the speaker.
    I was sitting right here at the head table looking at our speaker. (Looking at today’s speaker) I probably shouldn’t tell you this story today.  She got up here and started talking at the microphone and then got quiet (head lowered).  I was sitting there thinking, I should do something because this is not normal. She was about grey,.. in the face.  I am not a medical professional, but grey is not a real good color for the human face.  I stood up and walked up here and asked her, “Are you alright?” She kind of looked at me.  Her eyes were starting to sink backwards.  I asked her, “Can I get you some water?”  I learned that from watching television.  That’s what you do when someone doesn’t feel good.  You ask them if they want some water.  She said yes.  So, I started walking over here where the water was.
    About that time, the commotion started.  Luckily, Stephen Benold and Rob Hardy who was a paramedic, emergency management professional.  This is a great place to get sick by the way.  Save it for Rotary!  She dropped to the floor, right here.  We started giving her attention. It turned out, she really just fainted.  But, when that happened, we didn’t know if it was heart failure.  It could have been any number of problems.  You have to take it very seriously.  A little commotion, a little chatter in the audience, and I came back up to the microphone.  Rob, Stephen and somebody else was with her.  She was laying here on the floor.  I am thinking, well maybe we ought to cancel this meeting. My first meeting was going to hap in a hang basket, you know.  Then I thought ringing the bell and four way test with her on the floor is the appropriate thing to do.  I was starting to get really nervous by now.  I have to handle this and I wanted to do the right thing.  So I said, would you please think the four way test, and we are adjourned. Thank you. Wilson Morris 3/3/02012