Recognize Good, with Scholley Bebenick and Joel Coffman

Posted by on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 in Blog

Reported by Jacqueline Sinex

President Dale Lowe began the meeting. David Menchaca led the group in pledges. Pat Beckham read the invocation, and Justin Deming led the Four Way Test. Chris Forrest and Myron Burse greeted and announced visitors and guests.

A new member Mary Van Haneghan was inducted to the club, beside her sponsor Jacqueline Sinex.


The group was excited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of women in Rotary. Past President Ron Mullen and Past President Mary Bird Bowman presented the history and personal stories of women joining Rotary around the world and in our local Austin club. Several dynamic women were recognized in the audience as the first women to join Rotary Club of Austin. This included Caroline Henderson, Mary Bird Bowman, Sylvia Whitlock and more. Sara Pantin shared comments about her personal journey as a female Rotarian.

Next, US Chair of US-Russia Peace Exchange Charles Heberle along with Laraine Lasdon spoke about the US-Russia Peace program opportunities. Laraine was honored with a pin to recognize her as the ICC rep for our district.

During the Thank Goodness Basket, presented by Michael Portman, several members shared gratitude. Sara Pantin thanked her sponsor Sherry Workman; Sherry Workman recognized Rotary as a “highlight in her life”; Ellen Hunt thanked Laraine Lasdon as her sponsor; Melissa Muchinthaller (guest) expressed her gratitude for the Camp Enterprise program, which her son had the opportunity to attend and which made a wonderful impression on his life; Michelle Hayman thanked her sponsor Vicky Lindsay and announced an upcoming concert by Williamson Country Orchestra; Lee Yeakel thanked the club for its support and celebration of his recent portrait and career recognition; Rick Ravel expressed thanks for the 80th anniversary of the family business; Kathleen (badge 77) thanked Al Golden for introducing her to Rotary.

Past President Harold Ingersoll introduced guest speaker Scholley Bebenick of Recognize Good. Scholley specifically focuses on the Ethics in Business program at the organization.

Scholley’s involvement in Recognize Good began about 4 years ago. The organization is mostly funded by the founder and select sponsors, so they do not often fundraise or ask for donations. Instead, the goal is to seek out individuals, business and service organizations who are doing positive impactful things for the community. Recognize Good programs include Legends (awards for individuals), the Light House Program, Ethics in Business & Community program and Ethics in Youth Education program.


In the Legends program, several dynamic persons have been recognized. They have given approximately 63 awards to date. Examples are a man who donated blood regularly for 57 years consecutively, and a woman who volunteered with Red Cross for 70 years. Nominations take place every year, and they partner with students at Concordia University to conduct interviews and verify the finalists. Recognitions are presented at City Hall.

Recognize Good is currently present in the Greater Austin area.

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