Service Above Self
Covington, LA Rotary Club


Thursday, August 28, 2014
Club Web Site
Editor:   Janie Boyer
If you have any comments or questions, email the editor.

Future Speakers
Sep 2 2014
Donald Bryan, Past District Governor
"Thed Rotary Foundation"
Sep 9 2014
No meeting
Sep 16 2014
Sep 23 2014
No Meeting
Sep 30 2014
Alternate event TBD
Oct 7 2014
Oct 14 2014
No meeting
Oct 21 2014
Oct 28 2014
Special Meeting
"Friends Forever"
Nov 4 2014
Nov 11 2014
No meeting
Nov 18 2014
Nov 25 2014
No meeting


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Covington Rotary Returns to Downtown Covington
by Van Sant, Elizabeth


Beginning Tuesday, September 2, the Covington Rotary Club will return to Downtown Covington.  Beginning at 11:45am, Covington Rotarians, guests, and prospective members are invited to join us for fellowship at The Seiler Bar.  While we have thoroughly enjoyed our time and our meals at Dakota Restaurant, we have felt separated from our home base in the Covington community.

We will hold our regular meetings with guest speakers on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month, with fellowship beginning at 11:45 and the meetings beginning promptly at noon and ending promptly at 1pm, with fellowship encouraged among those whose schedules allow them to linger a while in good company.

All professionals in the Covington community are invited to attend a meeting; those who feel aligned with the Rotarian ideals of business ethics, philanthropy and Service Above Self are encouraged to meet with a member or our Membership Chair to discuss what it means to become a Rotarian.  We hope that the return to Downtown will help us increase our membership, visibility, and impact on our local community, our community partners, and the world.

This is just one facet of the renewed Covington Rotary Club to get excited about!  We hope current, past, and future members will visit us soon and join us in our Community, Club, Vocational, Youth, and International Service.


Making our Foundation Stronger
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

Susan Bonnett of the Northshore Community Foundation is our speaker on Tuesday, August 19.  While she is our presenter, this is also a meeting about how we can participate in the NCF to strengthen our own Covington Rotary Foundation.  We have been successful over the years in always raising enough money to provide for Feeding the Needy, our scholarships, and our support of local and international family health, relief and peace-keeping initiatives.  However, we have not necessarily capitalized on our own resources to plan for the future.  This meeting is intended to spark discussion within the club as to the best way to bolster our Foundation and partner with other agencies to maximize our capacity to do good.

This meeting will also serve as a reminder that our own District Governor, Brian Hall, has asked us to increase our donations to the Rotary Foundation, which has a 4 Star Rating (the highest possible) by the Charity Navigator.  By becoming Sustaining Members of the Rotary Foundation ($100 each fiscal year), we have a direct and measurable impact on the health of communities here and abroad.

Please come today ready to increase the impact of the Covington Rotary Foundation and the Rotary Foundation.  Remember to find out if your company or that of your spouse has a matching program.

Covington Rotary Celebrates Our Youth
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

ImageThis Tuesday, please plan to arrive EARLY to Dakota so you get a good seat!

We will have updates from our 3 returning Covington Rotary Scholarship recipients, Mariena, Dakota, and Alexis.

Our 3 RYLA scholars, Gabrielle, Dominick, and Taylor, will present on the highlights of their week with other RYLA scholars from across District 6840.

We will meet our Youth Exchange Student from Brazil, Joara, who will begin her year at Covington High this week...and we might even get a visit from Slidell's Exchange Student from Taiwan, Lily, who will begin classes at Northshore High.

All of these young people have been recognized among their peers as current and future leaders...and all of them have received a vote of confidence and investment from the membership of the Covington Rotary Club.  This meeting is both a celebration of these young people and a renewal of our commitment to Rotary's Fifth Avenue of Service: New Generations.

Month 1 Countdown!
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

Congratulations, Covington Rotarians!  We had 3 events so far this Rotary Year: A visit from DG Brian Hall, a service project that was also a fellowship event and a fundraiser (and lots of fun), and a presentation about Group Study Exchange from local Gifted and Honors English teacher Ren Agena.

July is not over yet...on Tuesday, July 22 at 11:30 we will hold our first Board Meeting of the 2014-2015 year.  We have a full agenda and all members are welcome to attend.  Contact Club President Lauren Coudrain with your interest, as the meeting will take place off-site for a change of pace.  At this meeting we will address details of the many service projects commitments we have made including how to ensure that every member assume a role in getting them all off the ground.  One of the reasons for reducing lunch meetings was to create time for all members to plan and participate in more opportunities for service.

This year we will not hold monthly Business Meetings.  Instead, we will hold a Club Assembly in every month that has a 5th Tuesday.  July 29 is the 5th Tuesday.  We will therefore hold our first Club Assembly.  At that meeting we will have complete financial information, committee reports, project and funding updates, and hold any vote required by our Club By-Laws.  The agenda will be distributed in advance of that meeting and we will facilitate on-line voting where appropriate.  It is our hope that all members will attend every Club Assembly and understand that participation in the Club Assembly is the right and the privilege of every member.  Without your active participation, progress slows and new initiatives are made more difficult.  Please plan to attend.  Again, this meeting will take place off-site and will be catered.  RSVP directly to President Lauren Coudrain (you can use the link under her name on this page).

Service and Fellowship on July 12
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

Use the Events link to the right to register to assist the Covington Rotary Club in this fun service and fellowship project.

The City of Covington is holding a special lagniappe Rockin the Rails at the Covington Trailhead on Saturday, July 12 from 5-8pm featuring Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Serenaders.  We have been asked to provide our world-renowned beer pulling services to support this event as part of the Louisiana Leadership program.  The event is family-friendly, but beer-pullers need to be 18 or older.


Next Meeting July 15 12-1pm
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

Join us on July 15 when our speakers will be Brad Marchese and Ren Agena, members of the recently-returned Group Study Exchange Team to Serbia-Montenegro.

Brad teaches Spanish at St. Paul's School where he also coaches the rugby and soccer teams.

Ren teaches Gifted English and Language Arts at William Pitcher Jr. High.

Both were selected to represent Covington Rotary and District 6840 as members of the 4-person + Rotarian leader Group Study Exchange team to District 2843.  They spent 4 weeks visiting Rotary clubs and doing vocational exchanges with teaching colleagues throughout Serbia and Montenegro.

The Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for young business and professional men and women in their initial years of professional life. Rotary districts in different countries are paired to send and receive professional study groups of four to six non-Rotarian team members and one Rotarian team leader to travel for four to six weeks, staying in the homes of Rotarians when
Launched in 1965, this dynamic program has built a successful track record at the personal, community, and international level. With good planning, a goal-driven itinerary, and active participation of dedicated Rotarians, a GSE can be an exceptional educational experience for both the visiting GSE team and local Rotarians.

by Van Sant, Elizabeth

July 1 begins the new Rotary Year worldwide.  The new RI President is Gary Huang, from Taiwan.  Read more about him and his plans for the year in the latest issue of The Rotarian magazine, delivered to your home in late June.  Coincidentally, Covington's Outbound Exchange student, Ethan, will be hosted in President Huang's home district, D3480.  Perhaps the new Covington Rotary Club banner will make its way into the RI President's hands!

Within District 6840, our very own Brian Hall becomes District Governor!  His very first official act as DG is to make his very first club Covington!  We hope to have a full house at Dakota's on July 1 to welcome Brian and to be the very first Rotarians to hear his call to action and to be among the first to act...we hope to lead the district in membership growth, foundation giving, and innovative programs.  All members are encouraged to show their support of Covington's first DG by bringing to the July 1 meeting a commitment to making this club stronger and to increasing our impact on the community and the world.  A check made out to either the Covington Rotary Foundation or the Rotary Foundation would be an excellent tribute to Brian's year!

And at the club level, we have locally-gown Lauren Coudrain as President for 2014-2015.  Lauren has been studying up on the plans that both the RI President Gary Huang and DG Brian Hall have been making, and putting them in the context of our own club and community.  Starting July 1, the Covington Club will begin its path toward being The Service Club.  We will reduce our lunch meetings to the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month and supplement with increased opportunities for fellowship, service, and community impact.

The first of these fellowship and service events is Saturday, July 12 at the Covington Trailhead.  The Covington Rotary Club will run the beer booth at a special music event featuring Don Vappie, a world-renowned banjo player and musician who makes Covington his home.  This event is in conjunction with a leadership initiative sponsored in part by the City of Covington.  We have a wonderful opportunity to combine fellowship and community service while strengthening our partnership with the City ... and it's a fundraiser, too!  A great way to start the year.

Our second July lunch meeting, on July 15, will feature Ren Agena and Bran Marchese, two Covington teachers, from William Pitcher and St. Paul's School, respectively, who represented the Covington Club as members of the Group Study Exchange team from D6840 to Serbia-Montenegro.  You can see pictures of their vocational and international fellowship exchange on their facebook page and in the recent District newsletter.  Group Study Exchange is primarily a vocational program that exchange teams of 4 professionals between Rotary districts in different countries with the goal of exposing the young professionals to their peers to see first-hand how obstacles are overcome and challenges are met by their counterparts.  Ideally, when they return home, all of the participants are able to apply this broader appreciation of their professions in their local contexts.  An additional permanent impact of GSE is the important international friendships that begin in the course of the program.  This is just one of the ways Rotary actively creates opportunities for international goodwill and friendship, thus actively increasing possibilities for world peace.

On July 29, we will hold the first of our quarterly Club Assemblies.  Others will follow in October, January, and April.  The purpose of the assemblies is to devote a full hour to the business of the club; to hear reports from the various committees, and to discuss in greater depth club initiatives.  Because we will no longer hold monthly business meetings, all club members are encouraged to pay close attention to information posted on this site and in the president's e-mail bulletins.  Items for discussion should be sent to the club president or specific committee chair well in advance of the Club Assembly.  The Board will continue to meet on a monthly basis and all club members are invited to attend those meetings.

On August 5, our three RYLA scholarship winners will present jointly on their experience at RYLA.  All club members are invited to sit in on any of the sessions of RYLA, which will be help from July  21-25 in Poplarville, MS.  Information is available on the district website under District Programs => RYLA.  And, to make this meeting about the New Generations of Rotary even more exciting, our very first exchange student, Joara, from Brazil, will also be at this meeting to meet Covington Rotarians.

+++Remember, that one of the reasons we will have fewer lunches is to allow for more of your Rotary time to be spent in service and fellowship rather than eating lunch and listening to speakers.  It is the hope of the club leadership that you will redouble your efforts to create a large audience for our speakers and to help create a larger impact in our service and fundraising projects.+++

January News
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make 2013 Feeding the Needy such a success.  We had over 200 volunteers between Dec 23rd and 25th to do all of the work of preparing the boxes, recycling all of the packaging, creating the maps, and delivering the Christmas packages.  Donations to the Covington Rotary Foundation are still being accepted on this site.

January Calendar:

See our speakers list on this page; please check the duty roster, Rotarians, to see if you are scheduled as the Greeter or Raffle ticket seller...the 50-50 raffle pot is over $200, so selling tickets is easy and the odds of winning are increasing as there are fewer cards left in the deck each week.

January 11 is the Mid-Year Check-Up.  President Sean Bourgois and President-Elect Lauren Coudrain are practicing the Covington Rotary Rap -- a 2-minute recap of all we have done this year.  Register via this link to get your front-row seats: MID-YEAR REGISTRATION  Also at the Jan 11 meeting at Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, MS, is the first ever District 6840 Rotary Youth Exchange Training and Information Session.  Our students, the RYE committee, and host families will be there.  This is likely to be your only opportunity to hear the BIG PICTURE of Rotary Youth Exchange -- one of the flagship programs of Rotary on a global scale.  Covington will host our own student in the 2014-2015 school year, and we are sponsoring D6840's first outbound student in over 10 years.  (That's a big deal.)  You can register for this via the link above.

January 14 we are not having a club meeting -- instead, we are holding our first in a series of 4 Membership Orientation sessions at the offices of The Coudrain Group.  Please register via the link you receive by e-mail so we know who is coming.  If you cannot attend that meeting at 6:30pm, please attend the meeting of another Rotary Club in our district.  Strengthening ties with members of other clubs is good for us all and you'd be surprised what you can learn about Rotary and its possibilities just by going 20 minutes outside of Covington.  Bogalusa, Slidell, Mandeville, Hammond, Franklinton, Ponchatoula...they all have clubs.

The January District 6840 Newsletter is available HERE

February dates to keep in mind:

February 11 -- SERVICE PROJECT at Covington Food Bank.  No lunch meeting this day.  Eric Dunavant will circulate details.  Our club will also present this year's donation to the Covington Food Bank on this occasion.  We hope you can make it.

February 22 -- FELLOWSHIP EVENT to watch the Covington evening Olympia Parade.  This will be a family-friendly event.  Details will be circulated once they are confirmed.

District 6840 Newsletter
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

D6840 Dec 2013 Newsletter

Nomination Period for 2014-2015 Officers Open
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

 As called for in the Club By-Laws: 

Article 5 Meetings

Section 1 – Annual Meeting. An annual meeting of this club shall be held on the last Tuesday of

November in each year, at which time the election of officers and directors to serve for the

ensuing year shall take place. 

If you would like to serve as a Club Officer, or would like to nominate a fellow Rotarian to a leadership position, please alert Immediate Past President Chuck Rich.  A Quorum of the membership is equal to one-third of the total membership on the date of this meeting.  Nominations should be received by November 5th.  Currently, Lauren Coudrain is serving as President-Elect and will become Club President in 2014-2015 upon the membership's confirmation.  Every member of the Covington Rotary Club in good standing is eligible and encouraged to stand for office.

Note that, in order to ensure Club Leadership acts in accordance with District and RI guidelines, and as a demonstration of commitment to the leadership role, President-Elect and Secretary-Elect are required to participate in the PETS training seminar in March, 2014 and are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to participate in the District's Rotary Leadership Institute.  The first session of the RLI will be held in Slidell on November 9.  The Covington Rotary Club has included in its current budget (approved by the membership) the cost of 2 club members to attend RLI and PETS.

October and November Calendar
by Van Sant, Elizabeth

Welcome to Covington Rotary!!

Members, please check your calendars and sign up for one of our upcoming events.  These are scheduled to allow for greater fellowship and service (and fun) than a regular lunch meeting with a guest speaker allow.  Participation in any of these events counts toward attendance and also replaces the 5th Tuesday this month for which we will not hold a lunch meeting.

Potential members and guests, we would love to have you join us at any of these events; please use the links above or e-mail for complete information.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17 -- Fellowship and Fundraising at the Covington Trailhead

Covington Rotary is responsible for pouring the beer and taking money.  We need a team of 4 from 5-7:30 with another couple of people who can arrive at 4:30 or stay until 8.  Sign up using the link above.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26 -- Fellowship and Fun with Mandeville Rotary

We are entering the Chili-Cook Off at the Madisonville Ball Fields.  This is a family-friendly event. $5 for a bottomless bowl of chili.  We could use some help cooking and serving (be there by 9am), but mainly we'd like a crowd there to support our team and Northlake-Mandeville's efforts.  Sign up using the link above.  Details on the Northlake-Mandeville website and fb pages.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 28 -- Fellowship and Fun with Friends Forever

We are one of the few clubs who will have the chance to host the Friends Forever teens from Northern Ireland.  Please sign up using the link above and bring your whole family.  D6840 exchange students will also be there.  Rotarians from other clubs are hoping to receive an invitation, but first we need to know how many are coming from Covington.  Covington Rotarians will be asked to contribute a dish, desserts, or drinks to the family picnic.

FEEDING THE NEEDY service opportunities November and December

Please clear your calendars to help at the Covington Food Bank on a Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday morning from 8:45 in the 2 weeks prior to Thanksgiving and the 2 weeks after Thanksgiving.  If every member can do one shift and bring along a friend and/or a potential new member, we will have this covered.  John Baldwin will coordinate this effort until we reactivate the volunteer sign-up on this site.  This is an important phase of the Christmas dinner project, as this is when we identify the families in need of assistance.  (Looking ahead, we will also need some help at the call center and of course on December 23, 24, and 25.) 

Our final meetings in October will take place at Dakota.  We have a speaker with the Parkview Pipeline project on October 15, and an importantbusiness meeting on October 22.  Please find the e-mail from Sam and send your thoughts if you won't be able to come to the Business Meeting.  We always hope for 100% attendance and participation in the discussions.  Business meetings are your opportunity as members to get current on the plans and projects (and any changes) of the current Board; in the words of Mike Rotary in you or are you in Rotary?  Your active participation in all aspects of this Club are important.

Feeding the Needy 2013

Each year, the Covington Rotary Club, with the assistance of hundreds of community volunteers and donors, leads FEEDING THE NEEDY, a project designed to address the closure of school cafeterias during the long Winter Break and other individuals and families who are in need.

Donate Now     Volunteer Now



 Each year, the Covington Rotary Club, with the assistance of hundreds of community volunteers and donors, leads FEEDING THE NEEDY, a project designed to address the closure of school cafeterias during the long Winter Break and other individuals and families who are in need.

 Feeding the Needy provides a complete Christmas meal for families in the Covington area and throughout ST Tammany Parish who are in need. Volunteers from all over the area come together on December 23rd and 24th to prepare Christmas meal boxes to feed a family of four that include: a 12-14 pound cooked turkey with 6 side dishes and dessert. The families need only to heat the food and it is ready to serve as a substantial Christmas Day meal with plenty of extra to help on the days between Christmas and the New Year.

 The program began in 2002 in close cooperation with the Covington Food Bank, and that year helped to feed over 300 people. Since then the program has grown in scope and reach and in 2011, Feeding the Needy provided 1300 boxes to families in Covington and across St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. In 2005, given the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, Feeding the Needy also responded to the demand for single meals to individuals displaced by the storm.

 Feeding the Needy relies heavily on donations from local individuals, business, and foundations and the volunteer efforts of individuals, congregations and service organizations in addition to members of the Covington Rotary Club. Because of this wonderful support and strong partnerships, Feeding the Needy is able to operate with ZERO administrative costs.

 Donations are accepted year round and checks can be made out to The Covington Rotary Foundation, a 501(c)3 foundation with the corresponding tax status or Click Here to Donate Online. Click Here to Volunteer Online.  Please mail checks to PO Box 541 Covington, LA 70433