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Posts tagged as “Highlands Rotary”

Rotary Club celebrates 70th anniversary

Judge Joe Stephens presents Rotary Club president Denise Smith with a proclamation congratulating the club on its 70th Anniversary.

The Highlands Rotary Club marked a milestone this year, by reaching its 70th anniversary of its founding.

The club held a combined Christmas party and 70th Anniversary celebration last Sunday, at the Monument Inn.

Almost a hundred past and present members and their families attended the gala event.

Led by club president Denise Smith, the program included an oral history of the club from its beginning, and vintage and recent photographs depicting the activities and history of the club and many of its members. The photos were presented by Gilbert Hoffman, who acknowledged that Alton Neatherlin, publisher of the Highlands Star and a past president of the club, had published most of the vintage photos in the newspaper.

Weston Cotten introduced guests, and acknowledged several clubs whose members were present, and a large number of past presidents of the Highlands club. There were also a number of District 5890 officers present.

A special award was presented by Johnny Gaeke to club member Chester Stasney, for his 51 years of membership, which included club president in 1972-73. Gaeke thanked Stasney for mentoring him when he joined the club.

The highest honor in Rotary is to become a Paul Harris Fellow, and Past District Governor Bill Palko presented this award to three members, Johnny Gaeke, Chuck Radney, and Carol Radney. In addition, past member and past president Richard Robinson presented his wife Pat with the same Paul Harris Award.


Santa’s arrival in Highlands delights kids

The Pavilion in the Railroad Park on San Jacinto Street was the scene for Santa and the two Highlands queens to greet children, have a picture taken, and learn what is on their list.

HIGHLANDS – Santa arrived on a Fire Truck last Tuesday night, to mark the start of the Christmas season.

Hundreds of children and their parents lined up in the park, to get a chance to talk with Santa, and have their picture taken.

The Santa event is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, with the help of the Highlands Horizons, the Rotary Club, and many other volunteers.

Present with Santa were Miss Highlands, Kaitlyn Rolin, and Jr. Miss Highlands, Payton Radle.



Members of the Highlands Rotary Club display one of the raffle prizes in the 44th Annual Chili Feast, scheduled for next Feb. 2. Winner of the raffle has a choice of this car, a 2019 Camaro, or a 2019 Chevrolet Equinox. Cars are courtesy of Turner Chevrolet in Crosby. The first prize winner has a choice of color and model. There are 19 other prizes in the raffle. Highlanders look forward each year to a delicious bowl of Chester’s Chili, and a day of socializing with friends. Rotarians now have Chili Feast tickets available, at $100 each. See page 6 for more details.

Highlands Rotary receives District Award

District Governor Carmen Cuneo presents Highlands Rotary President Denise Smith with a Certificate recognizing the club for 100% participation in Rotary Foundation’s Giving for the End of Polio Now Fund. The club also presented a check for $300 toward the Rotary 2019 Conference for Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Constable Eagleton at Highlands Rotary

Constable Sherman Eagleton presents his command staff at the Highlands Rotary luncheon last week. Each deputy outlined his responsibilities for public safety and crime fighting in the Constable Pct. 3 area.

HIGHLANDS – Constable Eagleton met with the Highlands Rotary club, last week, to present information about his department and public safety concerns in the Highlands area.

Eagleton brought with him seven members of his command staff, to answer questions in their particular area. Included were chief deputy Kirk Bonsal, and Lt. Warden of the Environmental division.

Eagleton is enlarging his department’s capabilities, with federal funds secured after Hurricane Harvey in the amount of $3.5 million dollars. For high water rescues, he has added 10 Hummers, several boats, an airboat, and three deuce high water trucks. He said that during Harvey, his department made 5000 rescues.

He has also added quite a few deputies to his staff. When he took over in 2016, there were 122 officers and there are now 170.


Washer Tournament scores big win

1ST PLACE TEAM was cleverly named 2017 CHAMPS, and they repeated this year. Above, Michael Harrell and Justin Graves.

HIGHLANDS – It seemed so easy, toss those four metal washers into those three little holes. But over 20 teams vied all afternoon last Saturday, to come out a winner in this 12th Annual Highlands Rotary Club Washer Tournament.

And it was easy for one team, named 2017 CHAMPS. Michael Harrell and Justin Graves led everyone in scoring. Second place was won by the LONE STAR team, consisting of Jeff Sparks and Willie Hutchison. Third place was captured by the BRONCOS, a father and son team of Robert Carter and Little Rob Carter.

Certificates and cash prizes were awarded to these champions.

Also competing were many Rotarians, and a special trophy is reserved for that team scoring the highest. This year is was won by team DOUBLE D, with David and Terri Denny.

The tournament is a fundraiser for Rotary International, that uses the money to fight polio, and returns a portion for community projects. Chair persons Patricia Scott and Denise Smith reported that about $8200 was raised for this charity.

There was also a raffle, a silent auction, and a live auction.


Rotary’s annual Washer Tournament set Sep. 15

Champion washer throwers last year included Daryl Reuter (left) of the 2nd place Reuter Boys team, and Justin Graves (right) of the 1st place Flying Saucer team. Almost 50 teams, or 100 throwers, competed in the all-day tourney.

HIGHLANDS – The Rotary Club is all set to hold their 12th annual 3-Hole Washer Board Charity Tournament, on Saturday, September 12th.

The event is open to the public, as well as all Rotarians. It will be held at Charlie’s Ice House, 906 N. Main Street. 2 person teams must register by 1:30 that day, and the cost to play is $50. Awards include trophies and cash prizes, and competition is fierce.

Rotary is also looking for sponsors, individuals or companies. Sponsorships vary from $100 to $500.

Monies raised by the tournament go to the Rotary International Foundation, to be used for fighting polio, and half of the money is returned for a community project.

Rotary meets JP candidate Lucia Bates

Lucia Bates

HIGHLANDS – This year’s general election, set for November 6, will see a change in the Justice of the Peace in Baytown’s Pct. 3 Position 2. This is the position currently held by Judge Don Coffey.

Marketing Executive Lucia Bates, a life-long resident of the North Shore area, will become the next JP in that jurisdiction, since she is running with no opponent on the Republican ticket.

Bates spoke about her life and qualifications at a recent luncheon held by the Highlands Rotary Club. Rotary has had a special relationship with all the JP’s in recent years, Tony Polumbo, Mike Parrott, Don Coffey, and Joe Stephens. It was only natural that they wanted to meet and greet the next JP, Lucia Bates.

She spoke having been born in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, and moving to the U.S. as a child. She originally worked for GTE in Baytown, so she knows the area well. After that, she moved into advertising and marketing, first for the Houston Chronicle, and later for Houston Community Newspapers. She currently has her own business, LB Marketing Solutions. In many of these positions, she has won awards for outstanding performance.

Bates said her motivation to be a judge came from her passion to give back to the community. Her resume is full of public service positions, as a Rotary director, Chair of the North Channel Chamber, president of her HOA, and former board members of the YMCA, Pilot Club, Top Ladies of Distinction, Advisory Panel to LyondellEquistar, and much more.


12th Annual Rotary Washer Tournament Sept. 15th

Team competition at the Rotary
Washer Tournament last year.

HIGHLANDS – The Washer throwing tournament, held every year at Charlie’s Ice House, has become a city-wide mustdo for many District 5890 Rotarians, as well as local folks from the greater Highlands area. Proceeds from this charity event are sent to the national Rotary program Polio Plus, which has almost eliminated this dread disease from the whole world. Highlands Rotarians are able to give one of the highest contributions, per capita, of any club in the world due to this event.

The Public is invited to participate. It will be held Saturday, September 12 from 2pm to 6pm at Charlie’s Ice House, 906 N. Main St. in Highlands. (more…)

Renowned surgeon talks at Highlands Rotary Club

Dr. Joseph Agris

HIGHLANDS – Dr. Joseph Agris is a plastic surgeon, known all over the world for his volunteer work reconstructing bodies damaged by war.

He is even better known in Houston, as the doctor who accompanied Marvin Zindler to Central America to reconstruct cleft palates on children.

Agris is a surgeon affiliated with Methodist Hospital and Texas Childrens Hospital. He is also an author of four books about his travel and medical relief work in 36 countries, including Nicaraugua, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Highlands Rotary was thrilled to hear some of the stories Dr. Agris told, about his adventures around the world as part of this work. As he told his story, the audience could picture the scenes almost like a movie. In fact, he mixed his own story of healing, with tales of danger and in trigue. He told about a trip through the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan, how he made friends with local tribesmen, perhaps Al-Qaida, and they introduced him to Osama bin Laden, in a cave in Bora Bora near the pass. Bin Laden was with his “senior” wife and their kids. Dr. Agris performed some medical work on this group of tribesmen, but said he was not sure he would leave this encounter alive.

The Khyber Pass is a famous route also known as the “Silk Route,” a trading passage from China to Europe that has been used throughout history.

For the humanitarian work that Dr. Agris has performed in his 40 year medical career, he was presented with the highest civilian award the U.S. bestows, the Medal of Freedom. The presentation was made by President George H. W. Bush in Washington.

Dr. Agris is a Rotarian with the Houston club, and is also head of the Agris-Zindler Foundation. This charity funds polio work, and the AgrisZindler Childrens Foundation, which continues his humanitarian surgery work on children.


Rotary awards $30,500 in scholarships

Scholarship Recipients proudly display their award certificates after Monday night’s Scholarship Banquet. Also at left if the keynote speaker, Richard Cantu assistant director of the East Aldine District and president-elect of the Aldine Education Foundation; and at right, Rotary Scholarship committee chairman Dr. Larry White. 13 of the 17 recipients were present at the ceremonies at the San Jacinto Community Center, with the others either away at college, or receiving other awards the same night.

HIGHLANDS – Monday night was the Rotary Club Annual Scholarship Banquet, held at the San Jacinto Community Center.

Receiving scholarships were 17 students, who attended along with their families. The scholarships totaled $30,500 and these funds were a result of the Chili Feast held each February. Scholarships were in the amount of $1500 except for four special awards named for individuals as memorials. These were $2500 apiece.

The keynote speaker was Richard Cantu, a candidate for Harris County Board of Education. He is also the president-elect of the Aldine Education Foundation, which awards over $60,000 in educational support; and he is assistant executive director of the East Aldine Management District. Cantu also is a board member or affiliated with over two dozen other public service organizations, many of them supportive of educational opportunities.

His keynote talk centered on a personal journey, from an ordinary students at Jeff Davis High School, including “running with a bad crowd,” to learning to accept a challenge and eventually ending up student body president. He said much of that revelation came about when he was awarded a small $400 scholarship by a teacher that recognized his potential. His turnabout was because he realized that “someone believed in me” and he told the students that he believed the them, as did the Rotary Club giving them scholarships. (more…)