Kimberly Gdula — RCA’s Scholarship Awards Program

Posted by on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019 in Blog

Reported by Ann Marie Ellis

Four-Way Test CoinPresident Julia Benkoski called the meeting to order at noon.  Michael Abelson led the pledges and Caroline Valentine gave the invocation.  Nick Hesselsweet led us in reciting the “FOUR WAY TEST.”  David Palmer and Gary Gerstenhaber were greeters.  Dr. Russell Gana, our host, introduced today’s guests.

Tom Anderson presented our 2019-20 Global Grant Scholarship Recipient, Ms. Sarah Fischer, who thanked RCA for the generous support she’ll be receiving.  Ms. Fischer was a double major in International Relations and Journalism, with minors in French and Middle Eastern Studies.  She will be using her $30,000 Global Grant Scholarship to pay for tuition and some expenses at the London School of Economics, as she works toward a Masters Degree in Economics.  Her focus will be the effects of poverty—especially on women, and promising practices for ameliorating poverty.

Peter Pfeiffer thanked members for participating in his wine party (which was a lot of fun), and provided us with one (no, maybe two) minutes of why he’s a Rotarian.  Peter has a very interesting background: as a UT grad student, he was involved in the design of an energy modeling system that led to the Energy Star Program.

Tillery Castillo reminded members of the Spring Membership Party at the home of President Julia and Harold Benkoski, 2300 Barton Creek Blvd, #3 Austin, on Saturday, 18 May from 4-6 pm.  Bring family, significant others, prospective members and your favorite libation to share.

President Julia reminded members of the Downtown Austin Breakfast meeting on Wednesday, May 8th at 7 am at Magnolia Cafe.  She also relayed information from Rise Against Hunger: the 32,616 meals that we packed in February have been shipped to Nicaragua and Cambodia.  President Julia reminded members about RCA’s Blood Drive at St. David’s Church on May 14thMary Reynolds is the contact person for this important opportunity.  She also told members, who had not been able to attend the District Conference at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio over the weekend, that Ronney and Mary Reynolds received Rotary International’s very prestigious Arch Klumpf Society Award; Sherry Workman received the District’s highest recognition, the Hall of Fame Award; and Jennifer Olsen received a District Foundation Service Award.  What terrific recognition!

May 7th Awards




Kimberly Gdula presented the 2019-20 scholarship award recipients and their RCA sponsor/named fund donors.  She highlighted the backgrounds of these truly outstanding high school students—many of whom have overcome adversity to achieve stellar accomplishments.  She also acknowledged the generosity of scholarship donors and the work of the Scholarship Committee.

Sylvia Holmes invited members to share thanks with the Club, and five members contributed to the “Thank Goodness Basket” (Rick Ravel, Gaines Bagby, Ellen Hunt, Richard Payton and Tom Kenney).

Karen S. AstonPresident Julia previewed our next speakers/programs: On May 14, Coach Karen Aston, UT Women’s Basketball Coach will speak; and on May 21, Derek Tinker and Bill Hays from Switch Energy Alliance will be our speakers.

President Julia thanked our featured sponsors for the day: Andy Swanson (Centric Commercial) and Bill Koen (Joe Koen & Son Jewelers).

President Julia ended the meeting with a Pearl of Wisdom:

Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

–Dr. Seuss

The meeting was adjourned at 1 pm.

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