The Rotary Club of Brandon recognized eight local charities this past week in a celebration of its fundraising efforts over the past Rotary year. Over $60,000 was distributed to some of the top grass roots non profits in our area as well as college scholarships to three outstanding, local high school seniors. "This is what we work for our entire Rotary year," said club President, Chuck Burgess. "The Rotary Club of Brandon is all about making a difference in our community, and today we REALLY made a difference!"
 
Charities receiving funds included Rotary's Camp Florida, the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, ECHO, the Outreach Clinic, Family Promise of Greater Brandon, the Boy Scouts, Women's Resource Center of Tampa Bay and the Brandon Rotary Club Charity Fund. From serving the special needs community to providing healthcare to those in need to feeding the homeless and beyond, these charities are so important to the Greater Brandon community. The Rotary Club of Brandon's impact on hundreds of lives will be the end result of all of its efforts.
 
In addition to providing resources to local charities, the Rotary Club of Brandon also provided three major scholarships to some deserving seniors. Jason Reynolds of Jesuit received a $2,500 scholarship toward his education at the University of Virginia, Hannah Pridemore (Newsome High School) received a $1,500 scholarship to Duke University, and Grant Denham (Brandon High School) received a $1,500 scholarship to the University of South Florida. All three seniors are exceptional examples of achieving academic success, leadership in and out of their schools and community impact through volunteerism and service.
 
While giving was the theme of the day, it was only appropriate the future District Governor Dr. Nick Hall spoke to the club regarding his courageous trek from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic on a 1960's bicycle to bring awareness and resources to the Rotary's Polio Plus program. Nick captivated the crowd with his stories of meeting folks along the way, missteps in his journey, how he maintained his focus and composure while riding his bike 15 hours a day and the fulfillment of his journey as he touched the East Coast in St. Augustine capping the 50th anniversary of the same journey he made in the 60's. It was truly a remarkable story with an even more remarkable purpose.
 
The Rotary Club of Brandon will turn its attention to celebrating the hard work of the club this week at its Annual Installation Banquet at the Tampa Club on Thursday, June 2nd starting at 6:00. The new club officers and board members will officially be inducted as will the Charity Fund board and officers. This is a special evening as the baton is handed to the next year's leadership team to continue the long and storied tradition of excellence for which our club is know.
 
The club will also be celebrating the the birthdays of Lee Elam (June 4th) and Bob Solano (June 5th) along with Rudy and Sherri Liddell's 31st wedding anniversary (June 1st)! Congrats!
 
This week's meeting will consist of our monthly Club Assembly with next week's program being run by Immediate Past President Craig Oldham.
 
Upcoming Key Dates in June
2nd - Rotary Installation Banquet
7th - Weekly Meeting
14th - Weekly Meeting
20th - Rotary BOD Meeting
21st - Weekly Meeting
23rd - Monthly Social - Top Golf
28th - Club Assembly