Rotary installs new officers; adds new members

HIGHLANDS – The Rotary Club of Highlands entered their 75th year with an installation of new officers, and welcome to 3 new members. An installation banquet was held at Woodall’s business facility on Thompson Road, catered by Daniel’s Meat Market.

Outgoing president Andy Scott gave a talk to the group about accomplishments in the last year, including a successful Chili Feast and Washer Tournament. The chili feast is the main fund raiser for the club, resulting this year in 21 scholarships totaling $37,500.

Andy went on to detail other club project from the last year. These include Partners in Education, donation of 8 bicycles to students with perfect attendance, and cookies for 800 kids on their birthdays.

The club participated in National Night Out at the Community Center, Share Your Christmas (gifts for needy families), hot chocolate served at Santa’s arrival in December, and served hot lunch to senior citizens.

The club built a ramp for a limited mobility senior, along with the Masonic Lodge.

The club participated in international projects, hosting an exchange student, Edouardo, from Belgium, and a water project for Haiti in partnership with the North Shore Rotary club.

A benefit for veterans was held at Connie’s bar in Channelview, with $7500 raised in veteran Tony Irwin’s name, and for a number of other scholarships.

The club supported community projects with donations, including the Navigation Center for the homeless, the Crosby Rodeo, the Crosby 200th Anniversary celebration, Bras for the Cause, the Harris County Seniors program, and the Bay Area Family Homeless Shelter.

Finally, Andy was able to report that the club added 4 new members in the year, with several more prospects.

After she was sworn in as the new president, Denise Smith gave a summary of her goals for the club in the next year.

These include increasing membership, and making the club more visible to the community for its service projects.

She plans on continuing current projects, including and expanding lunches for senior citizens, with 4 planned for the year.

She and Diana Weaver will arrange a blood drive for the community, as we have held in the past.

Mountbatten House will get the attention of the club, with refresh work projects for the landscaping and the outdoor pavilion on the grounds.

Along with Connie Russell, Denise will schedule a project to honor and help veterans.

In conjunction with the Highlands Elementary School, the club will continue the Buddy Bench project, and in addition look into creating an outdoor education space, perhaps with grant money from the Rotary International.

Highlands Rotary sponsors a club for high school students known as Interact, at Goose Creek Memorial high school. The club will be working with a new liaison this year, Eric Harris, a teacher who himself was an Interact and Rotaract member. The club conducts community projects similar to the main Rotary club, and helps with their projects such as the Chili Feast. Another project they have in mind is participating in this year’s Relay for Life, honoring Cancer survivors.

In closing, Denise said that she want everyone to have some fun, and remember the Commitment to Community that drives the projects of the club. She wants to “Create Some Hope” for those that need it. She invites anyone else in the community that would like to participate, to contact her about joining the club. She can be reached at

At the dinner, the following officers were installled: President, Denise Smith Vice-President, GayLynn Milliorn Treasurer, Sheila McDonald Parker Secretary, Diana Weaver Sgt. At Arms, Robert Woodall Foundation Chair, Tricia Scott Membership Chair, Weston Cotten Service Project Chair, Martha Sutton Partners in Education Chair, Andy Scott Veterans Committee Chair, Connie Russell Scholarship Chair, Dr. Larry White.