Clear Lake Chatter: Rotary Honors Keep Rolling In

Past President Marylin Musial presents a Random Act of Kindness check to Jenny Doe, as several Rotarians look on at Bay Oaks Country Club. They are, from left, Wayne Musial, District Governor Scott Rainey, Marylin Musial, incoming President Raymond Moore, Jennifer Simons, President-Elect Walt Huff and outgoing President Mike Porterfield.


Incoming Space Center Rotary President Raymond Moore, right, presents outgoing President Mike Porterfield with a beautiful crystal gavel as a thank you from club members for his long hours of work this past year.

By Mary Alys Cherry

IT’S BEEN A very good year for Space Center Rotary, you might say. And, if you did, it would be an understatement. The honors just keep pouring in for the Clear Lake Club. They include:

  • Past President Scott Rainey being elected District Governor of the 63 Rotary clubs in District 5890 for the coming year;
  • Space Center Rotary being recognized for its hard work by the million-member Rotary International with outgoing President Mike Porterfield presented a “President’s Citation with Distinction;”
  • The club being recognized as Large Club of the Year in Rotary District 5890.

And all the while trying to dodge the coronavirus the last third of the year by holding ZOOM meetings instead of their friendly weekly luncheons at Bay Oaks Country Club in Clear Lake.

A half dozen or so members, wearing masks, gathered at Bay Oaks in early July so incoming President Raymond Moore could present Mike a crystal gavel as a thank you from the club for all his hard work this past year. And, recognize President-Elect Walt Huff, their Rotarian of the Year, and Delia Stephens, named the club’s Director of the Year.

In addition, Past President Marylin Musial and her husband, Wayne, also a member, brought a special guest, Jenny Doe, who the club had chosen to help with its 8th Random Act of Kindness this Rotary year. Jenny’s husband drowned and she and her four children have been having financial difficulties. So much so they have been living in their car. Marylin had met her during Space Center Rotary’s Early Act First Knight program for students at Whitcomb Elementary School in Clear Lake and recommended the club help the young family get back on their feet with a $1,000 donation. She was most appreciative and promised to help others as soon as she can get back on her feet.

New Rotary District 5890 Governor Scott Rainey and his wife, Martha, prepare for the induction.

Scott Rainey inducted as Rotary district governor

NEVER IN HIS wildest dreams last year would Scott Rainey have pictured himself being inducted as Rotary District 5890 governor in a virtual ceremony. Yet, in today’s upside down world, that’s exactly what happened with some 200 Rotarians from all over the district joining the ceremony via Zoom Thursday, July 9 to celebrate the past year and install the new district officers for Rotary Year 2020-2021. But, as we have all quickly learned, that’s what happens when COVID-19 moves in and shuts down a community.

Dr. Greg Smith, a member of Scott’s Rotary Club of Space Center, was the emcee, and Past Rotary International Director and Treasurer Andy Smallwood of the Hobby Area Rotary, was the installing officer. Current Rotary International Director Suzi Howe, also a Space Center Rotary member, shared insight for the current year, and Past Rotary International President Ron Burton of The Rotary Club of Norman, Okla., also attended the installation, which included

  • Scott Rainey, The Rotary Club of Space Center, installed as the District Governor for the year 2020-2021.
  • Michelle Bohreer, The Rotary Club of Houston Skyline, installed as District Governor Elect.
  • Mindi Snyder, The Rotary Club of El Campo, installed as the District Governor Nominee.

Terri Steinkamp, left, and Jordan Quillen.

BOWA Gala theme will be ‘A Black and White Affair’

BAY OAKS Women’s Association board members are already busy making plans for their 2020 gala, “A Black and White Affair.”

Terri Steinkamp is serving as chairman of the event with Jordan Quillen as co-chairman, and both are keeping their fingers crossed that the coronavirus pandemic will be mostly a thing of the past by the time the crowd begins arriving for the elegant evening Saturday, Nov. 14 at Bay Oaks Country Club.

The fun begins at 6:15 p.m. with music by the Main Street Variety Band. Dress is black tie. Terri, who served as co-chairman of last year’s BOWA gala, is planning a delightful menu, plus a casino.

It is one of three galas on the November calendar. Another is the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation Gala Friday, Nov. 20 honoring retired Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa at the Downtown Hyatt Regency Hotel and the Clear Creek Education Foundation Gala honoring several outstanding individuals Saturday, Nov. 7, at Space Center Houston.

Kelsey McNeil, left, and Deborah Laine.

CCEF goes virtual to outwit coronavirus

IT TAKES SOME ingenuity to outwit COVID-19, but the folks over at the Clear Creek Education Foundation managed to this summer.

For many months, they had been planning to have their 14th annual “I Love CCISD” Fashion Show fundraiser in July, and along came the coronavirus, shutting down anything that draws a crowd. And then, CCEF Executive Director Deborah Laine and Communications Director Kelsey McNeil had a brainstorm. – why not have a virtual event and call it “I LOVE CCISD….Supporting Teachers, Our Children’s First Responders?”

 The online event last 48 hours, raising $10,000 through the silent auction, raffle, donations and Tshirt sales, with many sponsors and donors continuing their support, Deborah said, adding that the event raised a total of $33,000 to support the teachers and students through innovative programs in the Clear Creek School District.

“We were blessed that our community sponsors supported us through the transition and enabled us to move forward with our virtual event.  It’s a great testament to the love and support we receive from so many in the CCISD community,” Deborah continued.  Proceeds will support teacher grants for the new school year that provide innovative learning materials to CCISD students, beyond what CCISD provides.”

CCEF was thrilled with the amount of social media buzz generated, with more than 10,000 people reached online, resulting in more than 45% of winning bidders identified as new donors, Kelsey adds.  During the virtual event, over 40 items were up for grabs in a silent auction format. Twenty-two specialty baskets were personally designed and created by teachers and staff at CCISD schools in support of the original CCEF Fashion Show. Other items received from community partners were featured as well. Guests registered on the online bidding platform and had fun bidding against their friends virtually.

This was my first virtual fundraising event, and CCEF did a great job of promoting the event in advance, providing detailed information and pictures of baskets, and keeping the enthusiasm going for the event with reminders and notifications,” said MRI Technologies CEO Deborah Kropp.  “Thank you CCEF for your efforts to support our teachers and our children’s education during these challenging times!”  In addition to the auction items, CCEF sold raffle tickets for a beautiful David Yurman necklace, donated by Lewis Jewelers. “Congratulations to Lori Schubert, with Ron Carter Cadillac Hyundai, for having the lucky winning ticket!” Deborah and Kelsey added.

“CCEF is very grateful for the continued support of the community as well as the event sponsors, Deborah said. “This event would not have been possible without these wonderful businesses and individuals: Mercedes-Benz of Clear Lake, Chemical Process and Production, UTMB Health, Elite Care 24 Hour Emergency, Amoco Federal Credit Union, Beacon Federal Credit Union, Memorial Hermann, Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, Ron Carter Cadillac Hyundai, Service Steel Warehouse Co, Rob and Jill Kaale, Jay and Carrie Cunningham, Ann Hammond, Houston Methodist Clear Lake Hospital, Nicholas and Kari Long, Elaine Rister, Plant Process Equipment Inc., Ron Carter Autoland-Alvin, Texan Bank, South Shore Harbor Resort and Conference Center, The Mackay Family and Women Who Wish.”

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