At its banquet to install 2014 officers, the Rotary Club of Tarpon Springs named Julie Russell its Rotarian of the Year for 2013.
Russell, with husband Jack and their daughter and son-in-law, has owned and managed Rusty Bellies Waterfront Restaurant in Tarpon Springs for eight years, yet has always found time to help the club when needed.
A Rotary Club member for 2 1/2 years, Russell has consistently contributed her time and resources to help the club achieve its goal of putting service above self. She provided chilled shrimp on ice for the February fundraiser, volunteered at the annual triathlon in September and provided a venue for the May spaghetti dinner fundraiser.
Earlier this year, she was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow, an expression of appreciation by the Rotary Foundation trustees for an individual, or in whose name, a gift of $1,000 is given to conduct the work of the foundation.
When asked how she found the time and money to provide so much support, Russell said, "Rotary has given me far more than anything that I have done since I became a member."
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The Belleair Rotary Club's installation of officers and awards banquet took place June 29 at the Belleair Country Club.
Ana Maria Schweitzer, outgoing club president, spoke about the successes Belleair Rotary had last year, highlighting the successful Wine & Tapas event that grossed $28,500.
Charles "Chuck" Holloway, president for the 2013-14 term, will focus the club's energy and attention on identifying appropriate local service projects, expanding fundraising events, increasing enrollment with quality membership, completing the work begun by Schweitzer to make all members of the club Paul Harris Fellows and expanding opportunities for socializing among members.
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Herb Brown, former president of Rotary International, was a guest at the recent installation dinner of the Rotary Club of Clearwater Beach, where he installed the club's 2013-14 board.
The club's new president is Nick Ekonomides, a Clearwater Beach lawyer who specializes in business, corporate and real estate law. Other board members include Skip Katz, Alexandra Everest, John Funk, Hilmer Beckers and Adam Bottie.
Brown became a Rotary member in 1945 after returning from World War II and moved to Clearwater after his chain of discount stores merged with Eckerd Drugs in 1970. From 1995 to 1996, he led the Rotary International organization, a global business and professional humanitarian organization with approximately 1.2 million members worldwide.
During the installation dinner, Brown shared details of his encounters with famous figures during his years of service in Rotary, including his interaction with Nelson Mandela, who introduced him to media representatives who highlighted the need for polio immunizations in Africa. Because of the media exposure, millions of immunizations were provided using local Rotarians and volunteers.