Committee Reports

President Will Gruver called the meeting to order. This was his first meeting as president (Immediate Past President Cecilia Arango covered on July 5 when Will's flight was delayed). He showed the "not a walking stick" he received from the district governor at the Presidents Elect Training Seminar to do the "digging" and to do the work of Rotary. 
Campion Usry was inducted into the club. He is is vice president of Coastal Medical Billing and previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantryman and martial arts instructor. He earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from Charleston Southern University. He moved to Savannah 18 months ago and is married with two children. He was a charter board member and secretary of the Summerville Evening Rotary Club.


Mary Francis Kidd with Klarna (Swedish company) was the guest of Erika Morrow.
Jason Usry with WJCL (and a screenwriter) was the guest of Sarah Smith.
Jake Wood of the Rotary Club of Columbus, Ga, attended the meeting. He is in town aiding in implementing a new chapter of House of Heroes in Savannah (a non-profit founded in Columbus).

Rotary Anniversaries

Highlights: Jamie Arkins, Kristen Crawley, and Jeff Brady have been members for 10 years.

Featured Speaker: Joe Marchese

Joe Marchese is the owner of Marchese Construction and co-founder of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS). Highlights from his remarks: 
  • He's an advocate for inclusion — he wears two different socks every day.
  • 11 homeless vets will move into 35 tiny houses at 75 Dundee St. (Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless)
  • Daughter Ella Marchese (16 years old) is an orange belt in karate and has down syndrome. She's now in a special needs cheerleading group.
  • Dr. Ben Spitalnick encouraged Joe to start LDSS along with the Husseys, the Bogardis, and the Fields.
  • He advocates for one person at a time
  • LDSS Camp Buddy - directed by Molly Marchese at St. Andrews School this year
  • LDSS Buddy Walk (founded by Marjorie Young, another strong Rotarian in our community) - usually every October
  • LDSS Night of Champions - every May - to award differently abled individuals and their employers who employ them - very inspiration evening and no family can be turned away if they cannot afford to attend - save the day May 12, 2023 at Savannah Convention Center
  • Our area needs a transportation company solely devoted to getting these devoted employees to their jobs every day
  • He shared wonderful stories of Jason Thompson, who drives a sweeper scrubber, and Mikey Holton, who is a "para pro" at South Effingham Elementary School, and the difference they make at their jobs and in their co-workers 'and students' lives.