On the last day of the 2021-2022 Rotary year, the Derby-Shelton Rotary Club celebrated an extraordinary year under the incredible leadership of Julie Blakeman before passing the gavel of leadership to incoming President Betsey Doane who assumes the position on July 1. It was truly a memorable evening at Brownson Country Club as Julie marked the end of her year with the presentation of some light-hearted, but well-deserved awards to a number of Rotarians while thanking the full membership of the Club for their support during the year. She also recounted the events of the year in a poem that she wrote for the occasion. She received several standing ovations throughout the evening from the members who acknowledged her efforts which saw the Club come roaring out of the Covid era with an exceptional number of events and achievements. Assistant District Governor Jen Champagne presented her with a unique recognition from District Governor Jeff Krausse for the special leadership shown by Julie. Jen also announced that Julie will be taking on a new leadership role as an Assistant District Governor for District 7980 for 2022-2023.
Julie also surprised everyone when she presented Billy Hannon with a Paul Harris Award in recognition of all the work that he has done on behalf of Rotary this and every year. Billy is not a Rotarian but is the husband of Linda Holmes-Hannon, a past president herself and the leader of this year’s successful Flags for Heroes event.
Secretary Jeff Forte then presented Julie with her past president’s pin and badge as well as her plaque with gavel. Noting that Julie had declined acceptance of the past president’s chair in an effort to save the Club money, Jeff proceeded to present her with a vastly different, but remarkably interesting “chair” – see pictures below!
Then it was time for Betsey Doane to take over. Escorted to the podium by another past president, Tom Wilson, Betsey was administered the oath of office by AG Jen. She gave a moving speech about the changes in the world and within Rotary and pledged to work to increase membership by adapting to those new changes and opportunities. She then introduced her cabinet for the upcoming year.
Some pictures from the evening: