Club Infomation
Metro meets on 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 12noon at the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA
Upcoming Events
Our Stories

Committee Reports

President Will Groover kicked off the meeting reminding us that September is Basic Education & Literacy Month as well as encouraging us to engage in our chapter by bringing a guest, directly donating to the Rotary Foundation (click here), or joining the ASP Fundraiser Committee! We welcome District 6920 Governor Heather Kellen as our next speaker, who, along with Lions District 18-N Governor Shellie Smith, are working together to collect food to fill food banks, feed first responders, and serve their communities' food insecurity needs. The two governors are holding a “friendly competition” to see which service organization can donate the most items. Will also mentioned that they are still looking for host families for the weekend of Oct. 14th. 
Our Annual Service Partner Brightside's newest Bright House on Wheaton St. is close to being ready to receive people in need of service. Our final service day at the home is Oct. 1st, 9:00am-12:00pm, with the official ribbon cutting on Oct. 7th at 1:30 PM. 
  • Sondra Tackett a Registered Dietician, was guest of Katie Belthrop
  • Fitz Hale of United Way, guest of Kristen Crawley
  • Brooke Phillips Executive Director of Savannah Downtown Business Association, guest of Julie Wade
  • Wanda Jackson FSA Paralegal, guest of George Seaborough

Featured Speaker: Cristina Gibson, MPH

Cristina has been in public health for 19 years, in the divisions of epidemiology, youth development, and has finally found her passion in health promotion. She is the Chronic Disease Prevention Director for the Coastal Health District, serving all the counties along the coast of Georgia and her branch’s motto is “Make the healthy choice the easy choice.” Her current work involves increasing community assets in the way of opportunities for physical activity, access points to healthy foods, and smoke-free environments. Cristina shared statistics showing the impact of the smoke-free work place and Breatheasy Campaign on Chatham County over the past 22 years, specifically the decline in the death rate.
Unfortunately, vaping is still on the rise, especially among the youth especially with flavors marketed to appeal to younger persons. One in10 middle schoolers are smoking e-cigarettes, and one in four high school students are. Sadly, 63% of JUUL users aged 15-24 do not know that JUUL contains nicotine, and the FDA only began evaluating the chemical makeup ta few months ago (Summer of 2022). 
On a hopeful note, Cristina reported that "Tobacco 21" has been implemented, meaning you must be 21 years or older to purchase any tobacco products now. She also shared the following resources:

Featured Speaker: Zerik Samples

Zerik is the Chief Executive Officer of the Coastal Empire Habitat for Humanity. He hails from Brunswick and has 9 years in non-profit under his belt. District Governer Mike Muldowney told Zerik to visit the Metro club and he's never looked back since!
Habitat for Humanity prides itself on bringing people together and hopes for a world where everyone deserves a decent place to live. With Habitat's focus on shelter, for more than 40 years Habitat has done just this: "Build Homes, Communities and Hope". Habitat wants to be part of a larger solution to help our county and region. In fact, Habitat partnered with Local Farmbag to help building a refrigerated container to store produce longer to keep them from rotting too quickly. 
Habitat is comprised of three major services: Contractors, Homeowner Services, and the ReStore. General Contractors and sight supervisors to teach you how to use the nail gun and do other building tasks. Homeowner services is homeowner education which contributes to building families by offering financial planning, first time homebuyer classes, and owners are required to put in 350 sweat equity hours. The ReStore is a conduit of resources from local furniture stores in which items are too expensive to ship back. 
Since COVID, Habitat has built 5 new homes. They are currently 8 partner families in the homeowner services program, and 5 mortgages were burned. Habitat hosted one CEO build and one women's build. There are developments in process on Darling St., Spivey St., and they received a two-acre donation of land in Garden City. Habitat is always look for volunteers! Mark your calendars for the following upcoming Habitat events and fundraiser: Sept. 27 - Hops for Habitat at Moodright's; Oct. 18 - Sips at the Station benefiting Habitat at Ardsley Station; Dec. 7 - Annual Home for the Holidays Gala 

Committee Reports

President Will Gruver opened the meeting by informing us that September is Rotary International's Basic Education and Literacy month and reminded us to 1) bring a guest, 2) participate in Service with Brightside, and 3) sign up and attend RLI! Rotary Leadership Institute registration for the September 10th session at GA Tech Savannah Campus. Click here to register:
Our Annual Service Partner Brightside's newest Bright House on Wheaton St. is close to being ready to receive people in need of service. Our next service day is September 17th, 9:00am-12:00pm. Please contact Kristen Crawley and Chelsea Sawyer to help plan the ASP Fundraiser!
Sarah Smith announced that St. Andrew's School will be chartering a new Interact Club for middle school students! Member Kelly Waldron, Headmaster is spearheading this project with Metro's help.  
GRSP student Beatriz will be speaking to our club soon - her classes get out at 12:15pm. Oct. 14-16 will be GRSP Weekend here in Savannah.
Mark your calendars: Metro Holiday Party on Tuesday, November 30! 5th Tuesday celebration. Location and time to be announced. 
  • Emily Doherty, Marketing Director with Great Oaks Banks - guest of Cecilia Arango
  • Jason Usry, Marketing Director with WJCL and podcaster - guest of Sarah Smith
  • Bill Kelso, VP of Mission Advancement with Goodwill Southeast Georgia - guest of Cecilia Arango
  • Jason Marshall, COO with Goodwill Southeast Georgia - guest of Cecilia

Rotary Anniversaries

Derek Goldfarb celebrates one year in Metro in September!

Committee Reports

President Elect Jasmine Mills filled in as the pinch hitter for Will and called the meeting to order. She focused on membership and new club development month. Let's all follow her lead and go to bat bringing a guest to our next meeting! Rotary Leadership Institute registration for the September 10th session at GA Tech Savannah Campus. Click here to register:
Our Annual Service Partner Brightside's newest Bright House on Wheaton St. is close to being ready to receive people in need of service. Our next service day is September 17th, 9:00am-12:00pm.
  • Emily Doherty, Marketing Director with Great Oaks Banks, was guest of Cecilia Arango
  • Paul Stevens, guest of George Seaborough

Featured Speaker: Bob Ohrablo

Bob is the president of the Savannah Ghost Pirates Hockey Team and is beyond excited about their presence in Savannah. He is a fellow Rotarian in Jacksonville, FL and is starting his 38th hockey season this fall. The ECHL has 28 teams and the newly formed Savannah team is affiliated with the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Henderson, NV Silver Knights. Opening Day for the Ghost Pirates is November 5th, 2022 and Girls on the Run of Coastal GA will the charity partner for that night. (GOTR was our Annual Service Partner last year.) Bob commended the Enmarket Arena as having the best ice and spoke about the expectation that the players will be engaged in our community on many levels. The mascot was named just after our meeting, after over 4000 naming entries, we official have ourselves Davy (Jones)! When asked about regional and national recruitment, we were told that they are tapping into non-traditional markets and pulling young men from regions that would not be expected, but showing lots of passion and talent (and a propensity for fighting at times...which is completely allowed in the sport of hockey.) At the end of the day, Bob says it's all about having the "hockey mind" which, he says, cannot be taught. It's instinct and a mindset that must be intrinsic to the athlete. 
  • Weekday games: 7:00pm
  • Friday/Saturday games: 7:30pm
  • Sunday games: 3:00pm

Announcements/Committee Reports

President Will Gruver called the meeting to order. He announced the Board of Directors for 2022-2023. Will highlighted that Paul Harris was Rotary International's founder. Fun fact: the very first service project was installing public toilets outside of the Chicago City Hall a century ago. 
Our new GRSP student Beatriz Hashimoto is here after 28 hours of traveling in late July. Meagen Burrows and her husband are hosting and representing Metro of the four clubs hosting Beatriz. She has moved into the dorms at the Armstrong campus of Georgia Southern University. 
Our Annual Service Partner Brightside's newest Bright House on Wheaton St. is close to being ready to receive people in need of service. Metro has helped over two service days on July 30 and Aug. 6 to paint and assemble furniture. There will be more projects coming from our Service Committee...stay tuned! 


Emily Doherty is the Marketing Director with Great Oaks Banks and was guest of Cecilia Arango

Featured Speaker: Whitney Shephard

Our own MetRotarian Whitney Shephard serves beyond our club as our Rotary District 6920 Assistant District Governor, serving the Area including Metro, Rotary Club of Savannah (Downtown), Sunrise Rotary, and Skidaway Island Rotary. 
She embodies the spirit of what being a Rotarian truly means. 6920 is being lead by a dynamic District Governor and great things are happening! Highlights from her remarks: 
  • This year marks the first time Rotary International is being led by a female president, Jennifer E. Jones of Ontario, Canada.
  • Jennifer worked with an Aboriginal artist to create this year's logo to capture the Imagine Rotary theme, with each dot around the circle representing the Seven Areas of Focus.
  • District Governor (6920) Heather Kellen is a Physical Therapist from the Rotary Club of Perry. Her theme this year is to "Dream Big, Serve Big" and is challenging the District to raise a total of $1M roughly equivalent to $333 per member! Read more about these goals on the new District website here
  • Kellen encourages D6920 Rotarians to "cast a line and not a net" to grow our membership. Be intentional in inviting guests and sponsoring members. Seek those who want to be Rotarians, not just members of a Rotary club. 
  • Paul Harris Society, Bequest Society and the RI Foundation can be a part of your legacy as a Rotarian. 
  • The newest 7th Area of Focus is Supporting the Environment in which Global Grants projects can support - the 2018-2019 RI President Barry Rassin from the Bahamas saw first-hand what hurricanes and climate change were doing to his beloved island country. 
  • Rotary is proud to support girls from the local, national and international communities such as Girls on the Run (USA and Canada), Girl Scouts of the USA, and Happy Schools (India)
  • When disaster happens and Ask yourself:
    • What is your purpose and your passion?
    • What is your Rotary dream?
    • How can we partner with other organizations in our community such as the Lions' Club 
  • With 1.4 Millions members worldwide, 47 million volunteer hours, and $333 Million awarded in grants, we should be very proud to be Rotarians!
  • Mark your calendars for two upcoming important dates:
    • Tues., Oct. 4th - District Governor Heather Kellen visiting Metro
    • April 27-30, 2023 - District Conference at Callaway Gardens (Metro is hosting the Friday night event)
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.    
Will Gruver
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Literacy Chair
At Large Director
At Large (Legacy Project)
Programs Chair
Rotary Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Communications Chair
Service Chair
Recording Secretary (2-year)
At Large (Assistant Service)
Family of Rotary
GRSP Liaison
Interact Liaison
Disaster Response