A Note from the President
At last Tuesday's meeting, we confronted difficult issues for our community, our nation, and the world. We heard about a promising collaboration in the Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) that can shape our legacy – our children. Whether families are living with gun violence, abuse, loss of loved ones, crime, or other trauma, community initiatives like the MARC can promote achievement and quality of life for all of Savannah. We will keep you all aware of opportunities to assist the MARC.
Rotary Clubs across the globe work to build relationships, improve lives, and create a better world. Like all worthy causes, the work starts with us as individuals, families, and neighborhoods, which builds to global impact through our international organization. If you have an idea or a concern, please reach out to a Board member.
I am deeply thankful for the response this week. I am touched by your stories. If you would like to join a small gathering as a first step, please send me a note. If you need/want a space to share, to think, to listen, even to rant or joke, you belong here. No obligations or expectations.
In Service,
(Pictured:  Judge LeRoy Burke III, Jonas Subaar, Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert, and Nick Deffley)
MARC Collaborative
Last Tuesday's word-of-the day was "punitive".  Every time this word was mentioned (I lost count after five), I'd just imagine the scene in Pee-Wee's Playhouse where all the characters scream real loud and wave their arms in the air when the "secret word" (ahem, punitive) was mentioned.  It's because the word "punitive" means "inflicting or intended as punishment" and that is most definitely NOT what the MARC is about. Did you know that children and youth in the Savannah/Chatham community who are taken into custody for low-risk behavior are placed into the same Juvenile Justice system as those who committed high-risk offenses?  Imagine a kid stealing a candy bar treated the same way as a child who broke into someone's home.  This system has a direct impact on key health indicators, including educational status, employment opportunity, economic mobility, family and social cohesion, and mental, physical, and emotional health. 
So, what's the solution?  Speakers Judge LeRoy Burke III (Chatham County Juvenile Court Presiding Judge), Judge Lisa Goldwire Colbert (Chatham County Juvenile Court Judge), and Nick Deffley (City of Savannah Director of Sustainability) spoke to us about this community-wide collaboration called MARC (by the way, this is a temporary name until they come up with something better).   MARC (short for Multi-Agency Resource Center) is a collaborative effort between the city, county, law enforcement agencies, the juvenile court system, healthcare and social service providers, and school system that offers a community-wide program to help our troubled children in our communities.  As Judge Burke mentioned, MARC targets "the kids we're mad at, not scared of."  These are kids that don't pose a high risk to society, committing minor offenses such as truancy, underage drinking, or running away from home. This facility diverts at-risk youth from the juvenile system into appropriate and meaningful services that will lead to better outcomes for youth, their families, and the community.  MARC's aspiration is to shift the juvenile system away from punishment and towards prevention, responding to youth at risk through assessment, services, and referrals. 
The next steps for MARC include finalizing MOUs with service providers, hiring a director, forming a Youth Advisory Council, developing and finalizing data sharing process.  A soft opening will take place some time in October at their location on 2203 Abercorn Street.  Once open, youth can come in on their own, with family, or be referred by police, juvenile court, or the school system.
Thanks to our Metrotarians who volunteered their time pulling tires out of the marsh on Sept. 29th for our first service opportunity with annual service partner, the Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK)!  This event took place at Fire Station 10 in Coffee Bluff.
Look out for sign-up emails for the following upcoming service projects:
Cheers to our Metrotarians who attended our Metro Social on Sept 25th at the newest distillery in town, Savannah Spirits Distilling Company, located on the corner of Whitaker Street and W. State Street!
We need a new home!  We have to be out of the Civic Center permanently by the end of the year and we need your help to secure a new home!
If you have ideas for a new meeting space, please get in touch with Lee Beckmann at lbeckmann@gaports.com or 912-964-3909. 
Here's what you can do to help us get ready:
  1. Contact the place you are going to suggest.  Ask the following questions:
    • Can you seat up to 60 people?
    • Are there already tables and chairs?  Is there a fee for set-up?
    • How's parking?  Is it bike accessible?
    • Is there WiFi?  A projector?
    • Can we use our own caterer?  If not, what are the menu options and costs?  Is there a vegetarian option?  We feed 20-30 people per meeting and there are at least 5 vegetarians.  If we have to use their caterer, when do they need the order?  
  2. Provide a location name and contact information