Parent-sibling Rotarians (from left to right) Todd Allen and his stepfather, Joe Owen; Patrick W. Skidmore II; Joe Campoamor and his father, Joe Campoamor Jr.; and Kimberly Solano and her father, Bob Solano. (Photo credit: Linda Chion.)

Well into its sixth decade, the Rotary Club of Brandon celebrates its growing base of legacy and family members, who give life and meaning to the Rotary International motto, “Service above self.”

Count among them past President Pat Skidmore and his son, Patrick W. Skidmore II, the club’s outgoing president. Skidmore and his son represent the first parent and child to hold the president position for the Brandon club.

Never was it a question for the younger Skidmore whether he would be a Rotarian or not, as it seemed to be the natural order of things since both his namesake father and the man who arranged for his adoption were members of the Rotary Club of Brandon.

“I kind of always thought I would follow in my dad’s footsteps, kind of do it in his honor a little bit, too,” Skidmore II said. “There’s never been a year that I’ve not been around Rotary. In fact, B. Lee Elam, an attorney in this club, handled mine and my brother’s adoption, so I’ve really been around Rotary my whole life.”

In all, there are at least eight longtime Rotarians who in turn have welcomed their children into life as Rotarians, which gives testament to the longevity of the club itself. The Rotary Club of Brandon was officially chartered by the Rotary Club of Ybor City on November 11, 1961, and to date has reportedly donated more than $3 million to area charities.

In addition to the Skidmores, the club’s parent-child couplings include Roger Rivard and his son, Cade; Joe Campoamor Jr. and his son, Joe; Bob Solano and his daughter, Kimberly, and son, Brian; John Dwyer and his son, Nicholas; and Wayne Strohaker and his son, James. In addition, Ryan Burley is a Rotarian sibling, albeit his father, Mitch, is a member of the Brandon ’86 Rotary Club.

Not always has it been the father who brings in the son or daughter, however. Rotarian Todd Allen said his stepbrother, Michael Owen, brought him into the Rotary Club of Brandon. In turn, Allen said he encouraged his stepfather, Joe Owen, to join the club.

Indeed, legacy is huge for the Brandon club, as well as promoting the community-minded spirit of the club to attract new members. Skidmore said it is a fitting tribute that Elam has been named the grand marshal for the Greater Brandon Fourth of July Parade. The Rotary Club of Brandon meets at 3007 S. Kings Ave. in Brandon.

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