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Highlands Rotary installs new president, board

HIGHLANDS– It was a festive occasion last Saturday night, even themed the “Fiesta,” as the Highlands Rotary club installed their new officers and board for the 2007-2008 term.
The event was held at the Baytown Boat Club on Clear Lake Road in Highlands. Almost 100 Rotarians, family and friends attended the event.
The incoming president is Charlie Ward, and the retiring president is Johnny Gaeke. The emcee for the evening was Weston Cotten.
In addition to the local Rotarians, there were delegations from the Houston District 5890, and other local clubs. A special feature of the evening was a photography session with Portraits of Texas, who costumed and photographed everyone attending in a Fiesta pose, and then presented them with a complimentary print on the spot.

In a summary of his last year, Johnny Gaeke reviewed the projects that the club had accomplished. These included smoke alarms installed throughout homes in Highlands; support financially and with work sessions for the Highlands Heritage Museum & Preservation Project; fresh water project in Central America; 6 pallets of books donated to readers in South Africa; new scoreboard for Highlands Little League park; hosting an exchange student, Goran Peterson from Germany; membership growth of 3 new members and 3 prospects; continuing support of the Stratford Library, the Boy Scout troop, and the Food Pantry; and the expansion of the scholarship program, so that this year 15 scholarships were awarded, for a total of $20,000.
Perfect Attendance awards were presented by Gaeke, with the highest honor to Weston Cotten with 21 years. A special “Service Above Self” award was given to past president Steve Miller.
Speakers from District 5890 included Frank Parilla, on Youth programs such as Interact; Phyllis Slava on the Youth Exchange program; and Linda Reyes on the Ambassadorial Scholarship program.
The installation of officers and board was conducted by Judge Mike Parrott, who recounted his first involvement with Highlands was in 1975 with Commissioner Jim Fonteno and Chester Stasney.
New Officers are President Charlie Ward; President Elect Patricia Scott; Secretary Michelle Lomazoff; Treasurer Jeremy Rosenkranz; and Sergeant-at-Arms Aaron Cole.
Board members include Membership-Robert Woodall; Public Relations/Programs-Gil Hoffman; Service projects-Johnny Gaeke; Foundation Chair-Steve Miller; and directors Weston Cotten, Raymond Gonzales, and Sam Al-Rasheed.
Charlie Ward then spoke about his plans for the upcoming term. His projects include gift cards and recognition for our veterans, young and old; helping feed veterans on the 4th of July in Crosby; hosting an exchange student from Taiwan; developing new Interact high school clubs, at Crosby HS, Goose Creek 3rd HS, and continuing support for the Interact club at Chinquapin; continuation of the scholarship program; support for the Refurio Infantile orphanage in Mexico; benefit events such as the new Washer Tournament, and the annual Chili Feast. Ward noted that the success of the Chili Feast has helped the Highlands Rotary gain recognition throughout Houston, by donating the highest amount of money per capita to the Rotary foundation of any of the 57 clubs in the district.
Ward thanked the Henderson cooking team, Portraits of Texas, and the music program for helping the banquet’s success.
The evening closed with remarks from Weston Cotten and the 4 Way Test recited by all, led by Steve Miller.