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 Gruver announced that January is Rotary International's Vocational Service Month, in which vocational service means holding ourselves and our businesses to the highest ethical standards. What can you do?
  • Donate to the Rotary Foundation to help us continue to be an EREY club
  • Participate in service projects - Jan. 21 brown bag for the elderly and the canned food drive competition with Lion's Club
  • Register for District 6920 Conference April 27-30 - reach out to Whitney for more details
PRESIDENT-ELECT News & Notes Jasmine "Jazzy J" Mills announced our President-Elect nominee for 2024-2025 is Kristen Crawley. The club voted unanimously to elect her!
LUNCH will increase in price to $15.50 in advance and $17.00 the day of as of January 2023. Please pre-pay in advance (preferred) for accurate food ordering. Reach out to Chris Corey for more details. 
  • ROASTARY Annual Oyster Roast in March - Date TBA - need committee members
  • SAT., FEB. 11, 8am-10am - Metro and Family ONLY ice skating session at the Civic Center - reach out to Julie Wade for more details
  • Read United (formerly Rotary Read-In) is coming up on Friday, February 24. Sign up to read here.
  • Canned Food Drive competition with Lion's Club: Donate up to $75 by March 15 deadline to America's Second Harvest Food Bank here to receive up to 3 service credits. For every $25 donated, you will receive 1 service credit (up to 3 max). You may donate as much as you wish and every dollar will help us win the contest!  Email to get service credit for your donations. 
  • Preston Johnson Speech Contest (with Woodville-Tompkins Interact Club) - Need 4-5 volunteers who would like to judge the Preston Johnson Speech contest in February (date TBA). Contact Sarah Smith ( or 912-944.7012) if you are interested.
FOUNDATION Josh mentioned that over half of our club have donation to the Rotary Foundation! 32 members have not donated yet so please do so before Josh has to remind you to. There are 9 members who are not registered on My Rotary - it's very easy to register here
MEMBERSHIP Katie announced that the membership committee will host an orientation meeting sometime in February with orientation in March - stay tuned for more!
PROGRAMS/SOCIAL Send your programs and social ideas to George Seaborough for 2023!
  • Joel Goodman, The Fiduciary Group - guest of Michael McLeod
  • Scott McGhie, The Fiduciary Group - guest of Michael McLeod
  • Jessica Gilstrap, Supreme Lending - guest of Emily Salzer
  • Melaney Crees, Co-Axe Studio - guest of Leigh Acevedo
  • Emily Doherty, Great Oaks Bank - guest of Suzanne Kirk

FEATURED SPEAKER: Derek Mallow - East Savannah United

Jeff Kole, Board Chair of the newly formed East Savannah United and the owner of Kole Management Company, introduced Executive Director Derek Mallow. Derek is no stranger to Metro Rotary and also serves as State Senator District 2. He was born and raised in Savannah and is a proud Jenkins High School Warrior. He is also an Eagle Scout. Derek is a son of East Savannah and thus, he has great passion in this new initiative. East Savannah United started as a Neighborhood Revitalization project for Hitch Village and Blackshear Neighborhoods. The organization is following the model of Purpose Built Communities and focusing on mixed income housing, reducing poverty, and "cradle to college" to promote equity in education for all students. Derek considers himself a "Community Quarterback". East Savannah United is focusing on these three main areas: Housing, Wellness, and Education. This approach can truly transform neighborhoods. 
Near the edge of these neighborhoods are great facilities such as Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club, DFCS, Curtis V. Cooper, and the Formey Early Learning Center. East Savannah United approached the Housing Authority and asked for 9 acres of land on Wheaton St. behind Randy's BBQ to create their own Early Learning Center. They engaged the Chamber of Commerce to lobby the city and county to put up funds, half of each from SPLOST. YMCA and Goodwill have agreed to add their own programs to the Early Learning Center and both have launched capital campaigns. East Savannah United needs to raise $8.25 Million to open the Early Learning Center. It will serve 140 kids ages 6 weeks to 3 years old, and will include a children's library. The Economic Development Impact on this new initiative will be quite sizable! 


Committee Reports

President Elect Jasmine Mills kicked off the meeting and reminded everyone to send your EREY receipts to Josh Yates- $50 or more paid via the Rotary website-
LUNCH will increase in price to $15.50 in advance and $17.00 the day of (if food is still available) as of January 2023. Please pre-pay in advance (preferred) for accurate food ordering. Reach out to Chris Corey for more details. 
  • Check website for upcoming volunteer slots
  • Brown Bag for the Elderly with Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia at 8am on January 21st. Two shifts available: 8:00-9:30, 9:30-11:00. Children welcome.
  • Lisa Colbert with Downtown Rotary and United Way presented on Rotary Reading and the literacy efforts. Read United is the name of this effort- Friday Feb. 24th is Read United Way with a goal of reaching thousands of students. Link to sign up to follow.
  • Send programing or social ideas to George for next year.
PROGRAMS/SOCIAL Send your programs and social ideas to George for 2023. 
  • David & Marie Crawford from Circleville, OH Rotary Club and they presented us a flag.
  • Cheri Dean (Savannah West) and Judge Lisa Colbert (Savannah Rotary.)


Featured Speaker: Lisa Goodman- Wilderness Southeast

Lisa Goodman is the Donor Relations Manager for Wilderness Southeast (WiSE), a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to developing an awareness, appreciation, and understanding of the natural world. Their mission is to Explore, Discover, and Understand the world around us. Founded in 1973 by Joyce & Dick Murlelss & John Crawford. One of the first organizations to offer ego-tourism starting with 3-7 day long expeditions to Central and South America. Now they offer programs throughout South Georgia led by educators, including Wassaw, Black Water Paddle (Ebenezer Creek), Salt Marsh Adventures (Butter Bean Beach), Alligators & Friends (re-opening soon!) and Costal Birding. Their signature program is “Fish Gotta Swim” which is an immersive program for Title One schools consisting of 8 sessions (5 in class & 3 trips) and is funded by their other programing. They serve around 900 students each year. Stay tuned for their 50th Anniversary Event!


Jasmine Mills gave a shout out to Josh for easily explaining the Rotary website for donations.
Erika Morrow announced that Habitat for Humanity raised $112,000 at their first gala!
Jamie Arkins announced her new job as a Recruiter for Thomas & Hutton and bragged on Cecilia Arango for the lightening speed in which she generated a text message opt-in for our Club

Committee Reports

President Will Gruver  reminded announced that December is Rotary International's Disease Prevention & Treatment Month. Take care of your health and others. Here are some things you can do during the holiday season:
  • Spend time with family
  • Ponder ideas for the second half of the Rotary year (Jan. 1-June 30)
  • Donate to the Rotary International Foundation
  • Register for the District Conference in Callaway Gardens April 27-30
LUNCH will increase in price to $15.50 in advance and $17.00 the day of (if food is still available) as of January 2023. Please pre-pay in advance (preferred) for accurate food ordering. Reach out to Chris Corey for more details. 
FOOD DRIVE Joseph Marshall of the Lion's Club of Savannah spoke about the food drive that Rotary and Lion's Clubs are partnering in friendly competition on. Food costs have gone up 13% in homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are “food insecure” and we will be collecting food for the next year. Sarah Smith is our point of contact for this challenge. 
SERVICE Kathleen Anderson announced that our club will participate in the America's Second Harvest Brown Bag for the Elderly at 8am on January 21st. Two shifts available: 8:00-9:30, 9:30-11:00. Children welcome.
INTERACT Speaking opportunities to address the St. Andrews Middle School program. Contact Kelly Waldron or Sarah Smith.  
PROGRAMS/SOCIAL Send your programs and social ideas to George for 2023. 
  • Beth Whalen (guest of Sarah Smith) - SCCPSS Teacher of the Year, Charles Ellis Montessori Academy
  • Kels Bonham (guest of Ro Patrick) - co-owner of Transform Savannah Athletic Club/personal training
  • David Slatinsky (guest of Florence Slatinsky) - member of downtown Rotary Club/Alliant Insurance Services
  • Joseph Marshall (guest of Jamie Arkins) - Secretary of the Lion's Club of Savannah/McIntosh Realty Team realtor - he spoke about the food drive competition between Rotary Clubs of District 6920 and Lion's Clubs in their district


Featured Speaker: Michael Sarhatt, Director - Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team

Michael is the Director of the Chatham County Counter Narcotics Team. He started by stating we are in the middle of an opioid epidemic. We are not at critical mass status yet in Chatham County and Mike’s here to ensure we do not get there. 

What is Fentanyl? Natural (heroine) vs. synthetic (oxy, Fentanyl). Methamphetamines physically alter your brain to the point that you can’t say no. This epidemic is a disease. Certain people are more susceptible...despite many of us having been prescribed in the past, we didn’t become addicted. Sadly, some people get addicted after one pill. Even after 14 months without using, the brain is not healed. That's why so many people relapse. Here are some of the cold, hard facts:

  • A fatal dose of fentanyl is miniscule.  
  • Heroine went from 3-5% to 25% pure; hence, the need for stronger drugs. 
  • Big pharma started “pill mills” which got people addicted quicker, but restricted access to meds on the weekends, hence turning to the streets. Heroine is cheaper than pills so they go that route. At this point it still wasn’t an epidemic until Fentanyl came on the scene. 
  • Incarceration, rehab, and re-integration back into the community often leads to the person dying.  
  • Stamps and dyes are bought from China and they are re-creating the pill with a Pill Press.  
  • #1 cause of death between 19-45 years. Nation wide: 78,000 OD Deaths in 2020, 107,000 in 2021. 72 call-outs in 2022 in Chatham, and we only have 2 detectives. 85% are fentanyl.
Quick treatments if you come in contact with fentanyl? NARCAN is a nasal spray available at all pharmacies. 

Michael is currently working with the DA’s office on 5 felony murder cases. He runs the Healing Hearts Family Support Group at the Circle of Recovery Peer Center at 2423 Abercorn St For Families that have lost a loved one to an Opioid Death. Contact 912-652-3930 for more information. 

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