August 4, 2022 - The Center Rotary Club welcomed District Governor Demetress Harrell and Assistant Governor Jayne McCurry to their Tuesday, August 2, 2022 noon meeting at the John D. Windham Civic Center. Club President Cancee Lester gave acknowledgement to additional guests attending: Tammy Hanson and Cindy Eubank, Leadership Shelby County; Deborah Chadwick, Chamber of Commerce President; and Keith Duncan, Workforce Solutions of DET.
The Rotary Club of Center is one of 40 clubs in District 5910’s area and DG Harrell is on the “Imagine” District 5910 Rotary tour which started with the Rotary Club of Rusk before coming to Center.
This year’s theme is “Imagine Rotary” and she highlighted the special aspects of this year and it’s theme, “This year is a year that we’ve never seen before because since Rotary began in 1905 we have the very first female Rotarian International President, my friend, our friend, Mrs. Jennifer Jones. Jennifer likes to acknowledge that it was not because she was a woman but because she was qualified that she got the job. One of the things she reminds me that she had applied three times so she was also persistent. I would like to recognize her theme that was designed by her brother and artist. It represents what our year will look like.”
DG Harrell explained there are about 1.4 million Rotarians around the world. She spoke about the symbolism of the “Imagine Rotary” banner. First, she described the white, which is the most significant color on the banner, “It is to remind us that we need to ensure that we stay a peaceful country and we unite others in a world peace effort to ensure the success of you and I being, not only great citizens, but great Rotarians.”
The next color is purple which represents Polio. She highlighted that last week there was a wild case of Polio that came to the United States, “We always say that we are one plane ride away from the possibility of Polio affecting us. But because of all of your generous work, your continued commitment to Rotary International and your desire to ensure that it never effects us here in Center, Texas - the purple is for Polio. And [Jennifer] believes that this year, as we’ve said, we are this close, we will close the gap and we will eliminate by eradicating polio and that’s thanks to people like you.” The purple dots remind us that we have many areas of focus.
The final element of the banner is the green line which reminds us that we are in need of protecting our environment. DG Harrell shared, “But what I have always seen in the Rotary Club in Center with the many visits that I have made as Assistant Governor and Membership Director is that you all get out and work in your community to ensure that you beautify and increase the visibility of making a vibrant community. I thank you for that.”
She shared a story about her introduction into Rotary, “My Journey began in 1998 when I was asked by Past-District Governor Joe Bird to come to an afternoon lunch. He said, ‘Don’t think you are just going to come and set down and eat lunch and listen to a program; but I want you to become a part of this family. Rotary truly is a family.”
From left: Club President Cancee Lester and District Governor Demetress Harrell
Referencing Center’s Club President, Cancee Lester, DG Harrell said, “I want to thank your president because she did her due diligence. She joined me in the DFW area within icy, slippery road conditions. She joined me with what we like to call P.E.T.S. (President Elect Training Seminar). She came with not only the intention but with the desire to increase membership, grow the foundation and grant opportunities.”
DG Harrell impassioned to the club, “I always like to say that if you are not a Rotarian, it’s because we have not asked. So, don’t ever forget one of the most important jobs for you all to do is ensure you ask your neighbor. And you recognize the quality of work that we do around the world in Rotary.”
The Rotary Club of Center meets every Tuesday at 12-noon at the John D. Windham Civic Center, 146 Express Blvd, Center, Texas 75935. For more information about Rotary, call 936-591-9334.
From left: Rotary Club Treasurer Lawrence Davis, Rotary Club Secretary J.J. Ford, Leadership Shelby County Graduate Cindy Eubank, Rotary Club President Cancee Lester, District 5910 Governor Demetress Harrell, Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Chadwick, and Leadship Shelby County Graduate Tammy Hanson
From left: Assistant Governor Jayne McCurry, President Cancee Lester, Secretary J.J. Ford, and District Governor Demetress Harrell