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Rotary Installs New President, Board

The Rotary Club of Alexandria installed its 83rd president on July 13 as Gayle Spur was formally presented the club gavel at the Induction Day meeting at Belle Haven Country Club.

"I am looking forward to continuing the success the club has seen under Drew's guidance," Spur said after being congratulated by outgoing president Drew Carroll. "The Rotary theme this year is 'Building Communities, Bridging Continents' and we will continue to make a difference in communities worldwide in disease prevention, maternal and child health and literacy projects."

In his final remarks as president, Carroll highlighted the club's many achievements, including the Summer Relief Day at Alexandria Hospital, the Open World Team hosting of a team of professionals from Ukraine, Christmas giving at the Ladray Hi-Rise and Annie B. Rose House, the Breast Cancer Walk and the club's signature fund-raising event, Taste for Giving. Taste for Giving revenues, combined with funds from the club's Alexandria Day Nursery and Children's Home Foundation, enabled the organization to award grants to 25 Alexandria nonprofits last month.

Other officers inducted at the meeting were: Stuart Matthews, sergeant-at-arms; Peter Knetemann, secretary; Lee Duncan, treasurer; Ray Petniunas, vice president, and John Woods, vice president.

New directors include Gordon Peyton, Karen Hughes, Daniel Fannon, Thomas C. Roberts, Jr. and Edward Stark.

Outgoing district governor Horace McCormack was in attendance to thank the Alexandria club for its generosity in donating more than $115,000 to the Rotary International Foundation and spoke about what it means to be a Rotarian.

"It is truly an honor to serve in this organization," McCormack said. "How we think about mankind, how we reach out to support mankind — that is what we are about."

A retail marketing executive and graduate of Stephens College and Florida State University, Spur ended her first meeting as president with a quote from Mohandas Gandhi: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

Spur is the third woman to lead the Alexandria club, following Katherine Morrison in 1999 and Loretta Sebastian Willis in 2003.