Destin Rotary installs new board

Special to The Log
Jeanne Dailey passed the gavel to incoming president Jason Belcher.

The Rotary Club of Destin recently held its annual banquet and awards ceremony at Rutherford’s 465. Outgoing President Jeanne Dailey presented recognition awards to fellow Rotarians for their board and committee service under her leadership.

“My goal during my presidency was to energize the club with engaged members while having fun … all to make a profound impact on our community,” said Dailey. “I can proudly say that Destin Rotarians rallied to exceed that goal, including our club’s first ever District 6940 grant award, first ever Peace Fellow, Food for Thought Destin Pantry project and immunized over 500 children to receive the oral polio vaccine for the Polio Plus Fund.”

Under Dailey’s leadership, The Rotary Club of Destin contributed over $51,000 to support local charitable organizations fitting the club’s mission (Boys and Girls Club, Crop Drop, Food For Thought, Harvest House and Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation’s All Kinds of Art program), Destin Rotary Scholarship Foundation and Endowed Northwest Florida State College Scholarships as well as international humanitarian projects (Rotary International Foundation, Rotary Polio Plus Fund and international service projects with the South Walton Rotary Club and Destin Middle School Interact Club).

The evening’s recognition awards went to Christian Carlee as Rookie of the Year and Jason Belcher was named Rotarian of the Year. Each year, an outstanding member of the community is honored to receive the club’s Service Above Self award. This year’s recipient, Jon Kazek of DKM Custom Homes, earned this special recognition for his generous contributions and labor of love on the Rotary Club of Destin’s community project, Food For Thought Destin Pantry.

Also in attendance were scholarship recipients Samantha Coughlin and Rebekah Sue Stepp. Additionally, LaRae Harris attended after returning recently from a year in Sophron, Hungary, through a student exchange program sponsored by The Rotary Club of Destin.

Incoming President Jason Belcher delivered his vision for the upcoming year.

“I first came to Rotary because a good friend invited me,” Belcher said. “Rotary seemed to be a place where nice people and community leaders came together to enjoy good fellowship. However, I quickly learned that what makes Rotary special is service. Serving others brings out the best in most people and attracts the best folks to an organization.

“Rotary, and especially the Rotary Club of Destin, strives to help make Destin a better community,” he added. “We do this through service. ... Participating in Rotary allows me and my fellow club members to put others above ourselves, and to have some fun while we do so!”

Jerry Miller officiated in the installation ceremony of the 2016-2017 Board of Directors, which includes Belcher, president; Alan Jowers, president elect; John Toombs, secretary; Bill Lindsley, treasurer; Greg Kisela, sergeant-at-arms; Jeanne Dailey, past president; Christian Carlee, club service; Sean O’Shea, community service; Bob Perry, membership; Dion Moniz, international service; Bruce Craul, program director; Marcia Hull, public relations; and Bob Hafner, scholarship fund.

The Destin Rotary Club received its charter in 1979 and today maintains a membership of 52 active members representing a diverse group of professional men and women united worldwide to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build peace and goodwill in the world. The Destin Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. at Rutherford’s in Regatta Bay.