It was a packed house at the September 1st meeting at the Rotary Club of Brandon's weekly meeting at the Loft. Thirty three Rotarians, eight guests and our Assistant District Governor, Mary Boor, were all in the house as the Brandon Rotary recognized the charities they supported this year. After raising over $45,000 through its fundraisers, the Rotary Club of Brandon, which had already handed these charities their checks, got an opportunity to thank them for their service and find out a little more where the dollars were going at the annual charity luncheon.
 
The self proclaimed funniest man in Brandon, Sergeant at Arms Fred Schwabe, got things kicked off by getting the club to sing Happy Birthday to Rotarian Jeff Reynolds who made sure to make note of Fred's stylish and hip glasses. It came to no one's surprise that Jeff led his own Happy Birthday song, and even had the club start again after a poor start. Happy B Day, Jeff! After a very much forgettable rendition of Happy Birthday, there were lots of Happy Dollars with Roger Rivard kicking things off with a Happy $10. Roger just returned from a trip in his RV where he boasted an astounding seven miles to the gallon! Roger visited Gettysburg National Park and highly recommended a visit there for others in the future. Mary Boor kept the $10 Happy Dollar train moving by letting the club know about Brandon '86's Seafood Fest on Saturday, November 7th and our club's free entry to the event for the championship-defending canoe challenge. Past President Craig Oldham, AKA - the bionic collar bone - will be putting a team together to take on all challengers even though he was encouraged by Mary to not be in either the front or the back of the boat! Mary also was happy to see our club so full of life and so vibrant! Susan Thomason was happy that her son-in-law was recovering from a medical issue and wanted us to be mindful of taking care of ourselves on a daily basis and to make sure to get regular check ups. Michael Gottesman was happy that he sold his house, but is adjusting from going to a two-story place to something significantly smaller. Derrell Curry gave a dollar as he was happy that the road blockage on Ronele Drive was NOT a sinkhole. I think we were all happy about that!
 
The also club welcomed several guests. Bob Solano brought his son, Brian, as he made an attempt to be the first Rotarian to have 110% attendance! President Chuck Burgess's guest, Eric Soncrant, finally got to join a lunch meeting after helping with the golf tournament and Wild Game last year. Stewart Collins from Atlas was a guest of Joe Campoamor's for the second time as was Maria Lewis who was a guest of George Annello. Hmmmm... Looks like a couple of community leaders are about to join our club! Let's hope so! Fred Schwabe also welcomed our charity representatives: 
 
Eleanor Saunders- ECHO - was excited about her new role as the Executive Director of the Emergency Care Help Organization. Eleanor thanked the club for its continued support of their efforts to serve those in need in the Greater Brandon area.

George MCGovern- Boy Scouts of America - gave us an update on the Canoe project that the Rotary support is going to and let us know that we were more than welcome to hunt hogs on their property for the Wild Game Night. 

Cheryl Hickman- Women’s Resource Center - thanked the club for its support in helping them take care of women in need across our area. The dollars given to the Women's Resource Center are much needed in getting these women back on their feet.
 
Debbie Meegan - The Outreach Clinic - thanked the entire club for all of their efforts in supporting The Outreach Clinic in reaching more uninsured families in the area. The Outreach Clinic has officially changed their name to better reflect the diverse areas in which they serve.
 
Chuck Burgess - Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center - thanked the club for their support of BSAC's intellectually disabled program, TRIDENT (Training & Recreation for the Intellectually Disabled to Enhance their Natural Talents). Dollars given were also used to assist families that could not afford swim lessons, after school care and summer camp as well as members of the TRIDENT program.
 
Larry Fassett then welcomed Guest Speaker, James Baker, from Mosaic. James discussed some of the areas that Mosaic is moving into and the community impact that the organization continues to have all across Hillsborough County. James then pulled the 50-50 for the week, and the club found out that the answer to the equation of two guys named John + the Ace of Spades = over $300! That's right! After almost 40 straight weeks, Mr. John Sellers pulled the lucky card, and he and John Dwyer left the two happiest Rotarians of the year! I know who I'm sitting next to at the next social.
 
This week the Rotary Club of Brandon welcomes Andrew Warren as its guest speaker and will hear from The Women's Resource Center of Tampa, ECHO and The Senior Care Foundation.
 
Special Dates: We celebrate the anniversaries of Pat & Saree Skidmore who will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary on September 13th and Dick and Ann Eatman who celebrate their 52nd anniversary on September 14th! Happy Anniversary Rotarians!