Johnnie Johnson—Moving Families Initiative

Posted by on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 in Blog

President Sara Pantin called the Rotary meeting to order at noon. She invited Tom Anderson to the front to lead the Pledges of Allegiance to the United States and Texas flags. Mike Capps then gave a Thanksgiving Invocation that included our consideration of the 4-Way Test, God and our Country. Scott Rider delivered the Rotary 4-Way Test. David Palmer and Vera Keric welcomed all members and visitors at the top of the stairs; and Carl Noble introduced our guests, which included a Rotarian from Seattle who may have been here for our chicken fried steak!

President Sara then presented three Paul Harris Fellow Awards: Past President John Braziel PHF+2; Jeff Evins PHF+1 in honor of his daughter, Lauren; and Sharon Golden for her first PHF.

Past President Dick Brown then spoke of the fun time had at the last Wine Tasting and said we have another chance to enjoy this fellowship at the next wine tasting at his house on Friday, Dec. 1st.

Margaret Curtis took the microphone to solicit volunteers for the Books For Me Project at Pecan Springs
Elementary. Please consider signing up for this event on Dec. 11 –15th. It will just take an hour of your time.

Laraine Lasdon introduced Samira Farahani as the recipient of a Rotary Peace Fellowship for 3-months
in Bangkok, Thailand. Samira is one of only 100 recipients of this scholarship IN THE WORLD this year. She will participate in intensive workshops covering topics such as “dispute resolution” in hope of helping to bring peace to the world.

Chris Soileau invited us all to the next Happy Hour on Thursday, December 7 in the Renaissance Hotel at the Arboretum. Meet at the bar. This will be a great gathering place for all those living north of downtown!

President Sara then made the announcements for the Dec. 12th RCA Holiday Party and the Dec. 19th Helping Hand Home for Children’s Annual Christmas Party.

Rich Fikani started the Thank Goodness Basket in which: Roger Williamson announced he had been awarded a 4-Yr. contract with NASA (right up his galaxy!); Don Grillo congratulated Samira on her award; Mike O’Krent showed us his recently published book “A Conversation You’ll Never Forget” now available on Amazon; David Palmer was just thankful for sitting adjacent to Roger Williamson since this might result in an intelligence transfer to him; Rick Ravel gave thanks for a successful marriage of his stepson in Las Vegas with the help of a Rabbi and Elvis himself!; and John Fox announced his membership in RCA dates back to 1977.

After Fellowship, Louis Williams gave a heartfelt introduction to our luncheon speaker Johnnie Johnson, referencing his years of professional and personal friendship with Johnnie.

Johnnie then gave a nice presentation on his work to better the lives of children under the age of 19 years old who are confronted with the challenges of being uprooted and relocated for various reasons. He started the Moving Families Initiative to carry on with this work.

He was inspired by his mother, his youth coaches and school teachers to find a way to improve these kids’ educations, life skills, and specifically their extracurricular activities…things that were so meaningful to him as a youth. He hopes his organization can ease their stress of moving from one home to another and can help kids focus on activities that will improve their physical and emotional needs during such times. In short, he hopes to pass on his mother’s vision of spreading love, respect, dignity and a personal legacy that he feels all people deserve.

President Sara recognized Reggie Nisbett (Greater Texas Water) and Mark Johnson (IBC Bank) then
adjourned the meeting. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

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