By CHRISSY SMITH
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL — With the theme “Service Above Self,” the Rotary Club of Slidell District 6840 held its 50th annual installation and recognition banquet last week at Pinewood Country Club.
Don Bryan served as the master of ceremonies and talked about why it’s so important to be a Rotarian.
“Serving and giving are front and center of the Rotary Club. There are bookends of life — being born and then dying. It’s the dash in between that matters, and Rotary makes me feel good about the ‘dash’ in my life,” Bryan said.
Bill Newton served as the president of Rotary of Slidell for the 2011-2012 year. While in office, membership participation increased from 38 percent to 58 percent. He handed out the Rotarian of the Year award to Tracy Clanton.
“Tracy went above and beyond on helping us get all our records together. She was there to help with anything that was needed this year,” Newton said.
Clanton, while receiving her award, said thanks for the honor, fighting back tears.
The Bill Lowrey Service Above Self Paul Harris award was given to Allen Little who started the local business Chateau Bleu years ago. He has been in over 80 productions at the Slidell Little Theatre and was a big help to the city of Slidell after Hurricane Katrina. He donated food from his freezer, woke up at 3 a.m. to cook breakfast for those who didn’t have food, cooked over 300 breakfasts and dinner and over 400 lunches.
“I love Slidell, and I love you people. Thank you for this terrific honor,” Little said after accepting his award.
Interact Club awards were also given at the event. Christina Gorman, Janeese Washington, Jenny Kern, Brianna Davis and Julie Hurn all received Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Interact scholarship awards were given to Bria Trosclair from Slidell High, and Lewis Jones from Salmen. Trosclair received a $1,000 scholarship, while Jones was given a $1,500 scholarship.
The 2012-2013 officers who were installed were: Ron Davis, President; Mike Donn, President Elect; Jay Rose, Vice President; Barbara Doyle, Secretary; Al Hamauei, Treasurer; and Bill Newton, Past President.
The 2012-2013 directors were Ray Canada, Joe Harvin, Vicky Magas, Tracy Clanton, Mark Frost, Emille Weathers and Joe Anderson (advisor). The Adhoc Members are Al Tomsic and Dick Graham.
Davis said he was honored to be the next Rotary of Slidell president.
“I am really excited about our board. I think you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, so I think this is going to be great. I want to challenge everybody to make a difference,” Davis said.