Schexnayder, Sandidge honored at Rotary banquet

The end of one year and beginning of another occurred Tuesday night as the Rotary Club of Crowley held its installation banquet.

Replacing its weekly meeting with a more formal affair, the club gathered at the Town Club to recognize key individuals that helped the year become a success.

Highlighting the evening was the announcement of the Humanitarian and Rotarian of the year awards.

Now Past-President Clay Lejeune quickly pointed out that he could not just choose one Rotarian of the Year so decided to split the award. He added that even narrowing the field down to two individuals was extremely difficult as it could have gone to any number of the Rotarians this year.

“It took me a long time to comb through these people and decide who would be labeled who I thought was most deserving so I decided to split it up into two,” said Lejeune.

In the end, however, he chose Peggy Sandidge as Humanitarian of the Year and Kirk Schenxayder as Rotarian of the Year.

“There is one Rotarian who has only been with us a few years,” said Lejeune of Sandidge. “She came in and has made such a tremendous mark on Rotary.”

“As I was looking back on those people who were always there,” he said of Schexnayder, “when it came to getting other non-Rotarians involved, few could answer the call and excel.”

Lejeune also recognized the individuals who helped make his year as president run smoothly and successfully.

“I was just a figure head, in actuality it was so many of you that made this year great,” he said. “They made my year easier.”

Lejeune took the time to recognize his fellow officers, Mary Zaunbrecher, who served as secretary in 2012-13 and became president-elect Tuesday night, and Troy Breaux, the club’s treasurer.

Lejeune also recognized Rotarians Scott Privat, Amy Thibodeaux and Suzy Webb for their help throughout the year.

Throughout the evening, Lejeune showed his gratitude to all the Rotarians for all the hard work they had put forth in the club year. He encouraged the younger and newer members to give the presidency a try if they were ever asked.

“It focuses you,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience.

The club members applauded their year by acknowledging the chairman and chairwomen of the five committees – Privat (Club Service), Melinda Malmay (Community Service), Thibodeaux (Vocational Service), Sandy Melancon (International Service) and Adrianne Vidrine (New Generation Service).

Also acknowledged were those awarded for their perfect attendance. While several made perfect attendance for this year, many others have multiple years, including the highest, Paul Broussard at 18 years.

Recognized as perfect attendees were Chris Brammer, Dwayne Fulton, Becky Lamm, Lejeune, Melancon, Vicki Ramos, Sandidge, M’elise Trahan, Dr. Thomas “Bo” McNeely, Rev. James Proctor, Dr. Ezora Proctor, Elliot Doré, Breaux, Zaunbrecher and Broussard.

Dr. Ezora Proctor also served as installing officer as she welcomed the newest officers and directors.

New officers for the 2013-14 year are Scott Schumacher, president; Zaunbrecher, president-elect; Trahan, secretary; Breaux, treasurer; and Mike McBride, sergeant-at-arms.

Directors for the year include Melancon and Sandidge (2013-14), Lamm and Jill Signorelli (2013-15) and Pat Miers and Brent Benson (2013-16).

The night concluded with closing remarks from the new president, but Schumacher sought to look at those remarks in a different light.

“I have one correction to the program. Those of you with a pen, please mark out ‘closing’ and replace it with ‘beginning,’ because this is a new beginning,” he said

Shumacher pointed out how lucky his timing was as he showed off the Rotary logo and motto for the year, “Engage Rotary, Change Lives.” He remarked that he had been blessed with a “wonderful staff” and that the city and parish have much to be grateful for and he knows Rotary contributes a lot to the area.

“We are blessed to have this wonderful club,” he said.

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