ImageWhat an awesome weekly club lunch we had at the Rotary Club of Brandon this week! Guest speaker Christine Michaels, Executive Director of the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to give the club an update of all of the  outstanding programs such as the Chamber's Synergy Lunches,

Young Professional Leaders, Leadership Brandon and their paper and digital directory. Christine discussed some of the changes the Chamber is going through to better connect, educate and impact local small and major businesses. Way to go, Sheila Donalson for setting this up for us!

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The club also welcomed Larry Guastella as a guest of Pat Skidmore, Stewart Collins a guest of Joe Campoamor and visiting Brandon South Rotarian Cathy Curry. Special guests Cade Rivard and David Sigler got their last free lunches on their sponsor's dimes as we will be inducting both of these future Rotarians into the Club on Tuesday, July 21st! This is always a special occasion, and the entire Club is looking forward to great contributions from both of these community leaders. John Sellers contributed to the Happy Dollar pot by telling us a little about his vacation, and Joe Campoamor let the club know that our former Rotary Youth Exchange student Maggie Thallinger is staying with the Campoamor family for a month since she will be a bridesmaid in Joe's son's upcoming wedding.

Fred Schwabe provided a great technology joke which was received with both laughter and relief that the joke was not a repeat. Come on Fred, bring the good stuff! Announcements included encouraging our Rotarians to reach out to Mike Meegan during his recover. There is no weekly meeting on Tuesday, August 11th since we will all be gathering at the BOCC meeting for the approval of the Rotary Event Center. The meeting begins at 9:00AM, and Rotarians can meet at Bob Evans at 7:30 for breakfast if they want to carpool to the meeting. Craig will be coordinating and letting everyone know the dates for us to distribute checks to all of the receiving charities from our work this past year. Key upcoming dates for the Club BOD meeting (July 20), Club Assembly (July 28th) and the monthly social at World of Beer (July 30th) located at 2878 Providence Lakes Blvd in Brandon were given to everyone. Don't miss the social as there might, quite possibly, perhaps, could be, maybe, if we're lucky a Tom Odiorne, Chris Papp or Mike Cessna sighting. We're not promising anything, and if they don't show, we know we'll still have a fun time. After all, when will you ever get the opportunity to spend time with John Dwyer, Wayne Strohaker AND Craig Oldham at the same time in the same place?! Wayne, don't answer that!Image

Vince Ferraro, who has dedicated several years of passion, focus and countless hours of hard work in helping to feed the homeless in our community through his work with the I Am Hope Cafe, announced that the Cafe was unfortunately closing. After several attempts at other options, it was decided by their board that this was the only option truly available. Vince thanked the entire club for their support and asked that the club reallocate the funds designated for the cafe back to the club so those resources may be used to assist the other selected charities this year.

As the club knows, the big things we do are most often done in small groups. Every Rotarian should get connected with a committee soon. Our committee chairs will be organizing and planning for a community-impacting year, and they need your help. To sign up, make sure to contact one of the following Rotarians:

Pat Skidmore - Community Service, Roger Rivard - Membership, B. Lee Elam - PR/Marketing, Larry Fassett - Club Admin/Guest Speakers, Scott Carter - Fundraising/Casino Night, John Dwyer - Events/Socials

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Rotarians Celebrating Birthdays, Anniversaries or Club Anniversaries included:

Birthdays: Bill Handley (July 23), Debbie Meegan (July 27)

Anniversaries: Vince & Grace Ferraro - July 21 (48 years), Bland & Erika Eng - July 24 (16 years), Bill & Kathy Handley - July 24 (39 years)

Rotary Anniversaries: Chris Papp - July 23 (2 years), Bill Handley - July 25 (12 years)

After our Tuesday, July 21st meeting where we will induct new members, the Rotary Club of Brandon will conduct its first Club Assembly meeting of the 2015-16 Rotary year with many topics including our proposed Rotary Event Center, budget approval, committee updates and several items that will be discussed needing club approval. Don't miss it!