What a year! The Rotary Club of Brandon celebrated a ton of success on all fronts with raising over $70,000 for local charities, getting the Rotary Event Center started, adding 14 new members to the club, having four great community service projects and making a huge impact on the community throughout the year.
 
Past President Craig Oldham inducted current and new President Chuck Burgess, and in turn, Chuck inducted our club's new officers/directors for the 2016-17 Rotary year. Congrats and thank you for your service to: Dave Brown (President Elect), Debbie Meegan (Secretary), Justin Northcutt (Treasurer), Fred Schwabe (Sergeant at Arms), John Dwyer (Events), Scott Carter (Fundraising), John Gardner (Club Admin), Ryan Burley (Service Projects) and Chris McGuire (Public Relations).
 
The evening began with Emcee Justin Northcutt pinch-hitting for Fred Schwabe who is currently on the Injured Reserve List rehabbing his brand new bionic knee. Kathy Curry kicked off the celebration and awards by bestowing a Paul Harris Fellow award to one of our members that displayed the true heart of Rotary and embodied the spirit of Rotary and Paul Harris. And the Rotarian was.... Debbie Meegan!! Congrats, Debbie and thanks for all that you do for our club.
 
Dinner was next on the agenda with The Tampa Club not disappointing with the main course and dessert spread. Jeff Reynolds took the mic to give everyone an outstanding update to our Rotary Event Center and recognizing all of those Rotarians that have donated funds to its renovation and completion. Jeff then thanked all of the Past Presidents in attendance and introduced the new Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund board - Derrell Curry (President), John Sellers (Vice President), David Magann (Secretary), Roger Rivard (Treasurer), Susan Thomason (Director), Joe Campoamor (Director) and Jeff Reynolds (Director).
 
The festivities got kicked over to President Chuck to recognize all of the officers and directors of the board. He and Past President Craig handed out thank you gifts to each and thanked them for their hard work and service over the past year. Chuck then introduced a new award to be handed out each year as he recognized this year's Rotary Rookie of the Year for his outstanding work throughout the year with our fundraisers, service projects and events. This year's Rotary Rookie of the Year was none other than Cade Rivard. Congrats, Cade!
 
The next award presented went to an outstanding Rotarian who went above and beyond this year. Besides serving his duties as a board member, this Rotarian organized our entire year's guest speakers, helped organize the Steinhatchee fishing trip, worked his tail off at all of our fundraisers, service projects and events and was always available to go the extra mile. The Rotary Service Above Self Award went to Larry Fassett! Way to go, Larry and thanks for being so dependable!
 
This year's President's Award went to a Rotarian that really stepped up in an area in which our club needed some accuracy and accountability. This Rotarian was constantly behind the scenes working for others and even with some adversity outside of Rotary was a true leader. The President's Award went to Justin Northcutt. Thank you, Justin for all you do!
 
It was then time to recognize and celebrate this year's Rotarian of the Year for our club. This person was an unbelievable example of leadership, service, going the extra mile for everyone and always putting the club above all else. His selflessness, dedication to making us great made us all look better every week. He organized all of our events and socials this year, played an integral part of the process on the Rotary Event Center and just plain worked his tail off. Congrats to this year's Rotarian of the Year - John Dwyer! Thank you just doesn't do justice to the appreciation we have for you, John!! Great job!
 
Past President Craig then swore in (or at, we weren't sure) Chuck as this year's president, and Chuck then inducted the new officers and directors for 2016-17 - Dave Brown (President Elect), Debbie Meegan (Secretary), Justin Northcutt (Treasurer), Fred Schwabe (Sergeant at Arms), Roger Rivard (Membership), Scott Carter (Fundraising), John Dwyer (Events), John Gardner (Club Admin), Chris McGuire (Public Relations), Ryan Burley (Service Projects) and Craig Oldham (Past President). 
 
After the new board was sworn in, President Chuck presented a new award that will be given each year in recognition of some of our Rotary Club and community's pioneers. This will keep our club connected with those leaders of the past that worked so hard to pave the way for us today. This year's recipient left an indelible mark in the Brandon community with his service on the Chamber of Commerce, Center Place and other organizations he touched in his decades of impact. This year's Legacy Award went to George Anello. Thank you, George for you constant leadership and example!
 
After this outstanding evening, it was time to have some fun, laugh at ourselves and each other and leave with some happiness. Our year-long journey was documented in pictures with some funny commentary and crowd interaction. The evening was adjourned with a toast to success, and the work for the 2016-17 year is off to the races!