February 2, 2015
President Jerry opened the meeting and reminded the Club that this month is "World Understanding Month" for Rotary. He read remarks of the Club's original President, James M. Hull, who praised Rotary for preserving the "World's Practical Ideals."
President Jerry then called on Walter Sprouse who led the Club in the pledge to the flag and invocation.
Jita Morrison then introduced our guests and visiting Rotarians, including two guests from the Richmond Academy Interact Club.
President Jerry recognized Regions Bank and Regionss Bank Mortgage for sponsoring last week's CART Challenge that raised $603. This week's challengers are the firm members of the Hull Barrett law firm.
Brad Means then gave the Sunshine Report. He told the members that a Super Bowl ad cost $4.5 million for 30 seconds, but that an ad produced exposure at only 4¢ per viewer. Birthday and anniversary best wishes were also extended to our members celebrating this week.
President Jerry reminded the Club of the February 13 Valentine reception at Augusta Country Club and the need for members attending to RSVP. He also welcomed our new members from last week - Andrew Mize and T. R. Reddy.
Jim Osborne then introduced new member Ian Mercier. Ian is the Chief Operating Office of MCG Foundation which supports the Medical College with some $235 million in assets. Sue Parr introduced new member Janet Allen Jackson, Augusta's new City Administrator. Janet is a native Augustan and returns to Augusta after serving in municipal administration in other Georgia cities. Ian and Janet were welcomed by all in attendance.
Rick Herring then introduced the program for the day, Ann Catherine Murray, speaking on behalf of "Turn Back the Block." Ms. Murray is the wife of our member Jeb Murray, and has a background in historical preservation having been involved in the rehabilitation of Enterprise Mill and also the Houghton School which is the location of Heritage Academy.
"Turn Back the Block" is an effort to rehabilitate properties in the Harrisburg area of Augusta. Harrisburg is located in the core of many of the important city activities and it is important to everyone that properties suffering high vacancies, abandonment and crime activities be eliminated or rehabilitated. "Turn Back the Block" either accepts donations of properties or acquires properties and then renovates or constructs housing for low income owners. Five houses have been renovated and one new house is under construction, and "Turn Back the Block" has acquired other property to be redeveloped.
"Turn Back the Block" makes the homes available at no interest to purchasers who have a steady job, can pay the mortgage and a small down payment, who commit 350 hours to voluntary service, and who undergo homeowner training.
Ms. Murray told the members that they could join in this effort by showing up for Saturday block parties where volunteers help with demolition or construction, by recommending potential owners for homes when they are ready to sell, or by donating building materials. This excellent presentation was well received by the members.
The meeting was then adjourned by the recital of the Four-Way Test.
Upcoming Meeting Topics
2/9/2015 Jerome L. Lyles, Fort Gordon Youth ChalleNGe Academy
2/16/2015 NO MEETING: Presidents Day
2/23/2015 Youth Day (Speech Competition) Youth Day (Tentative)
Inside Challenger: Hull Barrett Law Firm
Outside Challenger: Anonymous
Anne Catharine Murray
Janice A. Jackson
Speaker - Turn Back the Block
Club - New Member Induction
Club - New Member Induction
Richmond County Interact Club
Rick Herring January 15, 2015 Augusta West Rotary
Dee Beaird February 2, 2015 Jan. Board of Dir. Mtg
Tony Lever February 2, 2015 Jan. Board of Dir. Mtg.
Birthdays & Anniversaries