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.