Club Information

Metro Savannah
Meetings are every 1st and 3rd Tuesday at 11:45 a.m.
The Creators' Foundry
415 W Boundary St.
Savannah, GA  31401
United States
District Site
Venue Map
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Speakers
Sep 06, 2016
Sep 20, 2016
Michelle Hetager
Student Leadership Program
Oct 18, 2016
Jenny Woodruff
Rotary Foundation
Past Speakers
Aug 16, 2016
Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman
Ogeechee Riverkeeper
Aug 02, 2016
Fresh Air Home
Metro's 2016-2017 Annual Service Partner
Jul 19, 2016
Club Assembly
Club commitees, volunteer opportunities, roles and responsibilities
Jul 05, 2016
Meg Heap
Chatham District Attorney
Jun 21, 2016
Ben Freakley
Tormenta FC, Statesboro's First Minor League Sports Team!
Jun 07, 2016
Ty Donaldson
Maven Makers - Savannah's Makerspace
Member Birthdays:
  • Devon Smyth
    August 21
  • Lee Beckmann
    August 24
  • Ben Barksdale
    August 30
  • Emmy Burch
    Spencer Burch
    August 2
Join Date:
  • Ben Barksdale
    August 21, 2012
    4 years
  • Denise Grabowski
    August 21, 2012
    4 years
  • Jessica Thomas
    August 21, 2012
    4 years
Our Stories
No it's not a horror movie filming in Savannah, it's the first thing many people think of when they think of the Ogeechee River. 
Last Tuesday, Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman, Watershed Outreach Coordinator, highlighted several of the ways the Ogeechee Riverkeeper (ORK) is fulfilling it's mission protect the Ogeechee, Canoochee, and Coastal Rivers.
  •  Start 'em young. Jesse educates children on the importance of not throwing trash and toxic liquids into the streets. It ends up in storm drains and directly into our tributaries, creeks, streams, rivers, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Throw a party (Metro believes there should be beer but perhaps only after paddling). ORK participates in events and festivals such as Savannah's Earth Day Festival, the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, News & Views events in communities along the Ogeechee and Canoochee Rivers, and fundraisers such as the annual Oysters for the Ogeechee in November. ORK sponsors Adopt-A-Stream programs as well as area waterway clean-ups. ORK also hosts monthly Paddle Trip series along portions of the Ogeechee every 4th Saturday of the month March through October!
  • Get some bang for your buck. ORK uses grant and fish kill settlement money to fund projects such a septic tank records map, a macroinvertebrates bug study (in conjunction with UGA), a comprehensive land use map (that our own GIS gurus Whitney Shephard and Jeanine Roach are involved in), and an oral history project of the Ogeechee River. 
The Ogeechee is a pristine and beautiful blackwater river and Ogeechee Riverkeeper wants to keep it that way. 

Carter Eagle, the Grants Development Chair for Fresh Air Home, spoke to Metro about our new 2016-17 Service Partner. It really sounds like the perfect match. 
Here are 8 things you need to know:
  1. The program was started in 1897 by Nina Pape who wanted to make sure all children experience the joy of a day at the beach.
  2. The camp serves about 400 children, ages 4-11, per summer through four 10-day sessions.
  3. That means Fresh Air has served roughly 18,400 children since its inception.
  4. The kids do arts and crafts, music, talent shows, field trips, and hit the beach twice a day.
  5. They also get 3 square meals a day, and a week-plus of unconditional love.  
  6. The current campus occupies an entire block between 9th and 10th streets.
  7. It was built in 1929 so it needs constant upgrades (our "big check" will go towards new floors in the rec area) and maintenance (our monthly service projects).
  8. Our first service project with Fresh Air is August 28. Sign up on the website. Details below:
Date: Aug 27, 2016 at 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Fresh Air Home
View Map 900 Butler Ave 
Tybee Island, GA 31328
United States

Join us for our first project at Fresh Air Home, our new 2016-17 annual service partner. This event is family friendly. We will be painting, cleaning, and hauling, so dress appropriately. We can assign tasks based on age but recommend not bringing children under the age of five.

After the work is done, join us for some fun in the sun picnic style. We will have access to the property and beach so bring a picnic lunch, bathing suit, towels, etc. We will have access to their refrigerators if you need to keep anything cool. 

Parking is available on property but space is limited (lot on the left side of the property) so carpool if you can or park on Butler when we run out of spots. 

We hope to see you there!




The Sacred Presidential Robary fits! And continuity of our governing body is secured. Congratulations to Patton Dugas, who was seated as the 6th President in Metro's history on July 19.
And a big wet Thank You to Suzanne Kirk, who led our Club to glory over the past year. 
It was a wonderful Club Assembly, and everyone left very optimistic about the Club's new leadership and overall direction. Here's to a great Rotary Year!
Patton Dugas is a commercial banker with SunTrust Bank. He has served other institutions in SBA, special assets, construction & development, and disaster assistance lending. An entrepreneur at heart, he began in business by co-founding an audiovisual contracting firm while attending college.
Raised in Macon, Ga., Patton earned a B.B.A. in Finance from UGA. He serves in board positions with Chatham County Resource Protection Commission, Savannah Community Foundation, Metropolitan Savannah Rotary, Savannah CFO Council, March of Dimes, Clean Coast. He serves as a non-lawyer member of the State Bar of Georgia Unlicensed Practice of Law Committee.  He was named a Generation Next Rising Star by Savannah Magazine.  He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Southeast Georgia.  He resides in Savannah with his wife, Mary, and two daughters.

Metro Rotarians have spoken: In a super tight vote, Tybee Island-based Fresh Air Home narrowly edged out two other finalists, and more than a dozen applicants overall, to become our 2016-17 Service Partner.  
Metro raises roughly $10,000 for its annual service partner, and supports the nonprofit through various volunteer activities. 
So who is Fresh Air Home?
The Fresh Air Home, located on Tybee off Butler Avenue, has been in existence since 1939. The nonprofit offers a beach camp, overnight experience to at-risk children ages 4-11 from Chatham and surrounding counties.
The camp provides each child with all that they need. They must only bring a bathing suit and tennis shoes. While the children are with Fresh Air, they experience the beach twice daily, field trips, picnics, arts/crafts, music, outdoor sports, talent shows, square dances and movies.
What will Metro be doing?
Money we raise will in part be used to replace the wooden floors in the main building, pictured above. Metro Rotarians will work on projects throughout the campus, including building shelving units, painting nursery furniture and dining room tables, enhancing playground equipment and the ball field, and lots of painting.

L-R: President-Elect Patton Dugas is pictured with Membership Chair Michael McLeod, Julie Wade who sponsored Suzy Wallace,
Clint Murphy who sponsored Ben Senger, and David Harris (sponsored by Jenny Woodruff).
Metro inducted three new members during the June 7 meeting. They are Suzy Wallace, Ben Senger,
anchor/reporter with WSAV, and David Harris, Director of the Lucas Theatre for the Arts.
Welcome to the club!
Spencer Burch, Allison Marrero, Katie Joyner and Anne M. Kuhlke Lee have joined the 90 day new member program
and will be inducted upon completion.

Eleven brave Metro members and family members (plus a team from Gulfstream) braved scorching heat, ants, and Jessica Pedigo's incessant ranting to 
help the Savannah Tree Foundation weed, mulch and prune trees at Mother Matilda Beasley Park.
It was sorta awesome because we did great work and got on tv, but no one is insterested in doing another outdoor service project until fall.

Thousands of Rotarians from around the world will descend upon Atlanta June 10-14, 2017 for the Rotary International Convention and Centennial Celebration of the Rotary Foundation! Convention and Hotel registration begins May 28 and goes up in price over the next year. Take advantage of the discounted prices beginning May 28. Find out more by watching this short video here. Metro will mostly likely organize group transportation and lodging. More to come on that. For now, we hope you will mark your calendars, register early, and plan to be in Atlanta June 10-14, 2017!
Registration fees:
May 28 - June 6, 2016..............$265.00
June 7 - Dec. 15, 2016.............$340.00
Dec. 16, 2016-March 31, 2017..$425.00
On Site Registration.................$490.00


Members of the Metro Savannah Rotary Club presented a check for $12,606.31 to Farm Truck 912 on May 1 to help the program continue to deliver farm-fresh produce to neighborhoods across Savannah. 

The check presentation came during the Forsyth Farmers' Market's annual Farm Picnic, held at the Old Dairy Farm on Savannah's eastside. 

Farm Truck 912, an initiative of the Forsyth Farmers' Market, delivers the farmers' market experience and fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables via weekly stops in low-income neighborhoods. Members of Metro Savannah Rotary have been volunteering with the Farm Truck throughout the past year, and raising money to support its operations.  

"Metropolitan Savannah Rotary is proud to have partnered with Farm Truck 912 to help get this program rolling," said Metro Savannah Rotary President Suzanne Kirk. "The Farm Truck is a great extension of the Forsyth Farmer's Market and a huge benefit to the Savannah community, which is why our Metro Savannah Rotary members voted them our annual service partner." 

Each year Metro Savannah Rotary selects a non-profit as its service partner, which becomes the focus of the Club's volunteer and fund-raising efforts, though the Club continues to volunteer with other nonprofits on a monthly basis. Over the past year Metro Savannah Rotary completed 17 service projects, volunteering more than 400 hours with worthy causes across the community. 

"Service above self is the foundation of Rotary International, and is at the core of Metro Savannah's mission," Kirk said. "We're grateful for the support, generosity, and sweat equity provided by our members and thrilled to award over $12,000 to Farm Truck 912."


Metro inducted two new awesome members during the April 5 Meeting. They are Patrick Bentley, a Project Manager at the Savannah Economic Development Authority, and Jeff Harris, Vice President of Human Resources & Auxiliary Operations at SCAD.
Congratulations Patrick and Jeff, and welcome to the Club!

Metro at Work and Play

At the Metropolitan Savannah Rotary Club, we believe in giving back to our community, and having fun while doing it. Last year Club members volunteered more than 400 hours at 14 different service projects across Savannah, and raised nearly $10,000 to build and maintain a community garden for our 2014 service partner, Greenbriar Children's Home.
Monthly social outings have taken us everywhere from Savannah Sand Gnats baseball games to tricycle races at a local brewery.
At Metropolitan Savannah Rotary, we work hard and we play hard, and while we're at it try to better understand the community in which we live.
From the President
We like to say over here at Metro Savannah that we're not your father's Rotary Club. That's not a knock on any other club -- we are proud to be members of Rotary International, believe strongly in its mission and traditions, and partner frequently with other clubs in the area. We're just a bit different, and do things a bit differently.
Most Metro Rotarians -- though certainly not all of us -- are under the age of 50. We have volunteer projects at least every month. We also have really fun monthly socials, throw club events that have become legend, and seek out speakers who can shed light on our world and challenge our way of thinking.
Interested in joining us? We'd love to have you, though you must be invited by a friend or colleague who is already a member of Metro Savannah Rotary. Join them for one of our bi-monthly meetings. If it looks like a good fit, we'll explain the membership process to you.
Thanks for checking out our Club. We hope to see you soon.    
President Patton Dugas
Club Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Service Chair
Foundation Chair
Membership Chair
Communications Chair
Sergeant at Arms
Convention & Conference Chair