Committee Reports 

President Jessica Pedigo announced that the Metro Mania Showdown Series was a success, raising $15,317.91 and fully funding the requests made by Bike Walk Savannah and Urban Hope. She thanked everyone who volunteered, bought tickets, or sponsored events.
Service Committee Chair Jordan Chase thanked everyone who volunteered at Emmaus House on Jan. 9. The next service opportunity is Jan. 18 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at P.A.C.K. District Governor Steve Barnes will join the volunteers.
Program Committee Chair Daniel Weiner announced Wayne Ashford of the Ashford Tea Co. will be the speaker at the Jan. 19 meeting.
Foundation and Grants Committee Chair Patrick Phelps reported we are at 60% on foundation donations and getting closer to our Every Rotarian Every Year contribution goal. Donations of at least $50 are appreciated and can be made here. If you are not in a financial position to make a donation, please contact Jessica Pedigo. A fund has been established to make donations on behalf of members who are not able to do so.


Kylie Carrico was the guest of Julie Wade.
Fitz Hale was the guest of Jordan Chase.
Katie Balthrop is in the New Member Program and also attended the meeting.

Guest/Prospective Member Reminder

Metro Rotary welcomes all guests to club meetings, socials and service projects! Please introduce your guests and, if on Zoom, make sure they turn their cameras on so we can actually meet them. If your guest is interested in potential membership, please let Cari Phelps (Membership Chair) know as soon as possible. There is a vetting process for membership so everyone must go through the proper steps in order to be approved for the New Member Program. The process includes being listed in Rotary Repeats (including a headshot, preferably, their name, employer/job, and two sponsors), attending at least three meetings (including one Service Project) and submitting an application to the Membership Committee for approval. As a member of Metro, if you have a conflict with a potential new member, whether professional, personal, or otherwise, please notify the Membership Chair (Cari) or President (Jessica).

Featured Speakers: Katrina Bostick, Kate Blair, and Julie Wade

Katrina Bostick of Family Promise, Kate Blair of CASA Savannah, and Julie Wade of Park Place Outreach talked about their work and the realities faced by people living in poverty. The three nonprofit leaders have been collaborating and working to improve conditions in the community in different capacities. Members were reminded that conversations about poverty in Savannah must include discussion of racial equity and generational wealth. In addition, the myth that people choose to live on public assistance and can do so comfortably is a myth rooted in racism. 
They talked about the struggles of families living at or below the poverty line, and how difficult it is for them to stay housed and cover other expenses while working at minimum wage jobs. The loss of employment will throw people into poverty and right now almost 36% of working families with full time jobs or multiple part time jobs are living under the poverty line. The situation is made worse by systemic and structural racism, predatory lending, people who are unbanked or underbanked, high housing costs, undiagnosed mental health issues, substance use disorders, high childcare costs, and low wages. 
Those interested donating to these organizations and others working to improve conditions should make unrestricted donations, which allow nonprofits to be more responsive to changing conditions. View their PowerPoint presentation for more information.

Membership Moment: Patton Dugas

Patton shared things fellow members probably know about him and other facts they may not. Patton is market president for Truist Bank in Savannah. Before he moved to Savannah and became a banker, he founded an audio/video contracting business that allowed him to "hang out with a bunch of musicians and roadies." He described himself as a "reformed hippie" who had long hair and wore flip flops. He shared a story of attending an event shortly after arriving in Savannah and being mistaken for Robert McCorkle.