Brandon \By De’ger Saner
Brandon ‘86 Rotary Club held its annual charity check presentations and gave over $25,000 to eight charities in December, which included $10,000 for Brandon Outreach Clinic, a matching grant partnering with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.
“This gift was made at the request of the Brandon ‘86 Rotary Club,” wrote Susan B. Towler, Blue Cross and Blue Shield vice president of Community Affairs in her letter to the Brandon Outreach Clinic. “When we were informed of the grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida for the Outreach Clinic, the board voted to match the grant request up to the maximum award,” said Brandon ’86 Rotary President-elect Becky Jordan. “We are proud to support all of our charities.”
Representing Brandon Outreach Clinic, Director Debbie Meegan and Dr. Stephen Parks received the $10,000 check and thanked Brandon ‘86 Rotary Club for its support. Parks went on to address all the charities present at the meeting and said, “I feel as if Brandon ‘86 and all the charities here today are partners working to better this community. I am honored to be here with all the other charities.”
“We saw about 1,800 patients and provided over 4,200 prescriptions in 2007,” Parks said. “Debbie Meegan deserves much credit here because she runs the clinic with the passion to help people desperate for medical care, and groups like Brandon ‘86 help us keep it going.”
Other charity organizations that received checks included the I Am Hope Café, which fed over 11,000 people this year, Carefly, a group of pilots who fly patients to destinations where they can get medical help for free, Young Life, an organization which reaches out to hundreds of middle and high school students in need or in trouble, Campo Family YMCA of Brandon, which continuously runs charitable programs for the needy, ECHO, an organization which feeds the hungry in overwhelming numbers, Every Day Blessings, an adoption agency which helps less fortunate families and kids, and the New Horizons non-profit group, which continues to build or repair homes for families in need.
“Last month we got 60 percent [increase in] new people who came to ask for help,” said Stacy Efaw of ECHO. “With all the food donations, we did not turn one person away because of people like the ones in this room.”
Chartered in 1987 Brandon ’86 Rotary Club meets every Friday at 7 a.m. at Buckhorn Springs Golf & Country Club located at 2721 S. Miller Rd. in Valrico.
Rotary International is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Call 664-6881 for more info.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!