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Metro meets on Alternate Tuesdays at noon at the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St.
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President Cecilia Arango reminded club members that June is Rotary Fellowships month. Rotary Fellowships are international groups that share a common passion. Being part of a fellowship is a fun way to make friends around the world and explore shared hobbies, professions, and interests. She also announced July 1 is the deadline to pay dues for the coming Rotary year.
 
Service Committee Chair Kristen Crawley reminded members they can still volunteer for Bike Walk Savannah bicyclist and pedestrian counts.
 
Program Committee Chair George Seaborough said details on the June social will be announced soon. 
 
Annual Service Partner Committee Co-Charis Cari Phelps and Chelsea Sawyer announced that Brightside Child and Family Advocacy has been selected as this year’s service partner. Stay tuned for details on service opportunities.
 
Membership Committee Chair Katie Joyner announced Lexi Henigman and Campion Usry are moving through the projective member program.
 
 

Guests

Connor Buchanan was the guest of Cecilia Arango.
Charles Pace was the guest of Zerik Samples.
Lexi Henigman (Prospective Members Program) was the guest of Chelsea Sawyer.
Brendan West was the guest of Katie Joyner.
Aileen Gabbey was the guest of Sarah Smith.
Kelley Waldron’s guest was her son, Charlie.
Opollo Johnson was the guest of Kristen Crawley.
 
 
 

Featured Speaker: Dr. Amy Williams, Savannah Philharmonic

Executive Director Dr. Amy Williams described the changes the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus has undertaken to overcome barriers to participation so that all members of the community can attend concerts, including adjusting pricing, relaxing concert dress codes, and finding additional concert locations. She explained how programs such as Phil the Neighborhood, Phil the Park, Phil the Squares, the On the Road Series, and the Subscription series are aimed at making performances more accessible to communities in our region. Williams also talked about the education initiatives the Philharmonic has launched to build programming which provides all students at every school with equitable access to high-quality music education.
 

Committee Reports

President-Elect Will Gruver reminded club members that May is Youth Services Month and talked about Rotary’s areas of focus. He also discussed preparing for the new Rotary year, which begins in July. He asked members to be on the lookout for the Club Member Satisfaction Survey that is used to plan for the new year at the board retreat. He encouraged everyone to consider joining a committee, and attend the District Assembly on June 18. He also noted that recruiting for the fall fundraiser chair and committee is already underway. Will announced that the Hue Thomas Jr. Georgia Rotary Student Program is returning to Savannah, Oct. 14-16.
 
Program Committee Chair George Seaborough announced the May Social will be held May 24 at 5:30 p.m. at Pinky’s and the Fifth Tuesday social on May 31 in Greene Square
Service credits are also available through purchasing books for the Loop it Up Drive and through participation in the Rotary East beach clean-up on May 21.

Guests 

Kendall Walker
Kate Blair

Annual Service Partner Presentations

Annual Service Partner Committee Co-Chairs Carri Clark and Chelsea Sawyer reported they received a total of 20 qualified applications. Five of these sere invited to present to the Service Committee, which selected the two finalists: Brightside Child & Family Advocacy and Elevate Savannah. Kate Blair of Brightside and Kendall Walker of Elevate each made presentations to the club. Each club member has received a link to vote on the Annual Service Partner via email.
 

Committee Reports

 
President Cecilia Arango announced that May is Youth Service Month. She reported that she, Will Gruver, Jessica Pedigo, and Meagen Burrows attended the District 6920 Conference in Augusta. Rotarians raised $20,250 for Ukraine relief and Metro was once again designated as a Gold Club. The Woodville Tompkins Interact Club also received a Zone 34 Citation. In the Metrotarians in the News segment, she directed members’ attention to a Savannah Morning News story on Josh Yates and Ghost City Pinball.
 
Membership Committee Chair Katie Joyner inducted Kristin King and Brad Patrick into the club.
 
 
On behalf of Service Committee Chair Kristen Crawley, Jordan Chase thanked everyone who volunteered at the April service opportunities with Forsyth Farmers Market Picnic and Over the Moon Diaper Drive. Upcoming service projects include the May 19 Citizen Advocacy Picnic and the May 21 Beach Clean-Up with Rotary Club of Savannah East. Rotarians may also purchase books through the Loop it Up Savannah Book Drive to receive service credit.
 
Program Committee Chair George Seaborough announced upcoming events including the May 17 Club Meeting, where Annual Service Partner finalists will present, the fifth Tuesday social on May 31 in Greene Square, and a social with a date and location to be announced soon.
 
Mackie McIntosh spoke to the club about her experiences as a Chatham County poll worker for the last three years. She emphasized that election processes and equipment and secure and that election officials have developed contingency plans for every possibility. She said working at the polls has been a great experience and she is impressed with the training poll workers receive, the machines, and the expertise of the technicians who maintain the machines.

Guests 

Anna-Maria Perez and Tommy Rushing were the guests of Jeff Brady.

Featured Speaker: Brad Raffensperger

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger talked about his work investigating reports of irregularities following the 2020 election. He talked about the Election Integrity act of 2022, including the photo ID requirements for absentee ballots. He described how he became involved in public service and his path to running for secretary of state. He also discussed his office’s role in professional licensing and emphasized a new law that expedites the issuance of licenses for military spouses who are new to the state.  
 
 

Committee Reports

 
 
President Cecilia Arango reminded members that April is Maternal and Child Health Month and encouraged them to read the story, Healing the Scars of War by Illuia Mendel. In addition, she said the Rotary District in Ukraine and designated Rotary Districts that border Ukraine may apply for grants up to $50,000 from the Disaster Response Fund used to provide relief to refugees. Contributions can be made to the fund here.
 
 
 
Service Committee Chair Kristen Crawley announced two upcoming opportunities, the Diaper Drive for Over the Moon Diapers through April 28 and the Forsyth Farmers Market Farm Picnic on April 24. She also thanked everyone who volunteered at the March service project with Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision. Metro donated $10,000 to Girls on the Run of Coastal Georgia and Lowcountry, this year’s annual service partner.
 
Program Committee Chair George Seaborough previewed two upcoming events, GRSP Student Sofie Bohl’s presentation at the April 19 club meeting and the April 26 Social at Toole Sculpture Works at Roberds Dairy.
 
Service Committee Cochair Cari Clark Phelps reported that 21 Annual Service Partner applications had been received. The committee is now reviewing applications.
 

Member Minute

George Seaborough, III! is executive director of at Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy and an outstanding MetRotarian. He's married to Tyneise and they have a beautiful soon-to-be 7-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old Yorkie. Two cool facts about George:  1) he's a Savannahian with 30 first cousins in the Savannah and Chatham area and 2) still likes to play in the rain. George says he enjoys being a Rotarian because Rotarians believe in service and community. He'd also like to add that within Metro Savannah Rotary Club, you have the ability to develop true friendships.

Guests 

Campion Usry, Brendan West, and Claire Cobb were the guests of Katie Joyner.

Moya Campbell, Rachel White, and Joanne Morton were the guests of George Seaborough.

Opollo Johnson was the guest of Kristen Crawley.


Helen White was the guest of Sarah Smith.

Pitch Powers was the guest of Jason Nielubowicz.

Prospective Member Profile

 
Lexi Henigman is a California native, but lived in New York City for 15 years before coming to Savannah. She earned a B.F.A  in Film and Television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and works as a video editor and director. Lexi is currently working as an editor on Right Over the Edge, a feature documentary about the extremely endangered North Pacific Right Whale. In New York, she was involved with Hour Children, a Queens-based non-profit that helps women and their families during and after incarceration and equips them with tools to build their futures. She lives in Savannah with her husband, Steve.
 

Featured Speaker: Jay Melder

Savannah City Manager Jay Melder talked about the large investments that have been made in the areas of sanitation, streets and sidewalks, drainage and stormwater, utility billing improvements, digital process improvements, and recruitment and personnel. He described these physical and process improvements as, “getting back to basics.” He said the city is also making a “historic” $19 million investment in initiatives to address homelessness and housing.
 
Addressing homelessness is a major focus for the city along with workforce development, quality of life and cultural experiences, waterfront improvements, a transportation sales tax, jobs and poverty reduction, and critical infrastructure needs, Melder said.
 
 
 
From the President
Metro Savannah may not look like your grandfather's Rotary Club, but we're not all that different. We're proud to be members of Rotary International, believe strongly in its mission and traditions, and partner frequently with other clubs in the area.
 
We're just a bit different, and do things a bit differently. We're younger than the average club, and our meetings are twice monthly instead of every week. We fill in the free weeks with monthly service projects and socials. We throw larger events that have become legend.  
 
Want to join us? Visiting Rotarians are welcome to join any of our lunch meetings or events. Others should come as a guest of a friend, colleague or acquaintance who is already a member of Metro. If you're interested in becoming a member after that visit, reach out to your host and they'll explain the membership process to you. 
 
Thanks for checking out Metro.    
 
Cheers,
 
Cecilia Arango
president@metrosavannahrotary.org
Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Treasurer
Secretary
Sergeant-at-Arms
Programs Chair
Membership Chair
Service Chair
Recording Secretary (2-year)
At Large (Assistant Service)
Family of Rotary
GRSP Liaison
Interact Liaison
Disaster Response