New officers installed, Rotarians of the Year named at banquet

Past District 6200 Gov. Clarence Prudhomme, far left, installed the 2014-15 officers and directors at the club’s installation banquet Tuesday night. They were, from left, President-Elect Pat Miers, Secretary Melinda Malmay, Treasurer Troy Breaux, Debbie Spallino (who will be helping out with treasurer duties this year) and Directors Kirk Schexnider, Becky Lamm, Jill Signorelli and Suzy Webb. (Photo by JC Webb)

From left, Clarence Prudhomme installs 2014-15 President Mary Zaunbrecher. (Photo by JC Webb)

From left, 2013-14 Rotary Club of Crowley President Scott Schumacher and Secretary M’Elise Trahan present the co-Rotarians of the Year Mary Zaunbrecher and Troy Breaux with their awards as well as tokens of the club’s appreciation during the club’s 94th Installation Banquet. Noting that it was impossible to choose just one, Schumacher chose two Rotarians of the Year this year. (Photo by JC Webb)

As the evening drew to a close, the night’s biggest honor – Rotarian of the Year – was still awaited.

“This was a tough call,” said Scott Schumacher, president of the Rotary Club of Crowley for 2013-14. “Each and every one of us has participated in this club and we’ve all contributed to our community.

“So how do you pick one special person? M’Elise and I couldn’t pick one special person, we had to pick two.”

Schumacher called upon M’Elise Trahan, who served as secretary for the past club year, to help with the decision. Finally they came to two names.

“We would like to call up a couple of really dedicated people that really contributed a lot,” said Schumacher. “We would like to call up Mary (Zaunbrecher) and Troy (Breaux).”

It was part of a sentiment that rang supreme at the Rotary Club of Crowley’s 94th Installation Banquet. The club and all its members were grateful for each other’s dedication to a successful year and going above and beyond to make it happen.

While at the Town Club Tuesday night, the Crowley Rotarians welcomed their new officers for the 2014-15 club year and awarded special recognitions for the 2013-14 year.

The night began with Schumacher, however, joking about his absences over the year with a “Where’s Waldo” game. The photo slide show included not only the sights he saw this year, but some of the Rotary Club of Crowley’s projects, as well as his trip to the Rotary offices in Illinois.

Schumacher took the opportunity, though, to thank those who picked up the reins in his absence.

As the night continued, Schumacher called upon Clarence Prudhomme, past District 6200 governor, to install the new president and then the remaining officers.

Zaunbrecher, president for the 2014-15 year, was the first to be installed followed by the remaining officers and directors: Pat Miers, president-elect; Melinda Malmay, secretary; Troy Breaux and Debbie Spallino, treasury team; Mike McBride, sergeant at arms; and Becky Lamm, Jill Signorelli, Brent Benson, Suzy Webb and Kirk Schexnider, directors.

Trahan also presented the club members with perfect attendance with certificates. Ranging from six months for Georgie Petitjean and Sprague Williams, who were inducted into the club in January and have attended every meeting since, to a year for Isabella delaHoussaye, Gerald Dill, Johnny John, Becky Lamm, Van Landry, Barbara Miers and Pat Miers; two years for Sandy Melancon, Peggy Sandidge and Trahan; three years for Dr. Bo McNeely and Vicki Ramos; four years for Mary Zaunbrecher; and six years for Rev. James Proctor; all the way to 12 years for Elliot Doré; 14 years for Dr. Ezora Proctor and Breaux; and 19 years for Paul Broussard.

Awards of appreciation were presented by Schumacher to those who help keep each meeting going as planned, from Webb and McBride’s work on the bulletin every week to Carolyn Barousse’s work on the programs and Amy Thibodeaux’s work on the vocational addresses each week.

The night ended with a “short speech” by Zaunbrecher, who explained nothing would change under her, but she thanked the club for having confidence in her and welcomed all its members’ ideas to continue to build the club’s successes.

“I’ve been in this club for, I think, five years now and I can’t tell you how much I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent with each of you,” said Zaunbrecher.

The Rotary Club of Crowley will hold its first regular meeting of the new club year Tuesday, July 1.

Jeannine LeJeune is the online editor for the Crowley Post-Signal. She can be reached at jeannine.lejeune@crowleytoday.com or 337-783-3450.

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