- 2014 - February - 11th -

Funchess honored for 20 years of service with Rotary

By Max Marbut, Staff Writer

The first day Miriam Funchess welcomed members of the Rotary Club of Jacksonville to their weekly meeting was July 12, 1993.

The club recognized Funchess Monday for her more than 20 years of service and wished her well on her retirement.

Guy Marvin was the club’s president when Funchess took over the day-to-day management of the organization. He said when her predecessor decided to retire, the club had not developed an operations manual.

“Neither Miriam nor I had the slightest idea what we were doing,” he said.

But over the next 20 years, Funchess learned how to keep the club and its philanthropic and service programs progressing and succeeding, he said.

“Miriam probably knows more about Rotary than anyone else in this part of the country and maybe the world,” said Marvin.

Howard Dale, who was the club’s president in its centennial year in 2012, said Funchess was a key player in raising $500,000 from 21 clubs in Rotary District 6970 to provide a mobile health clinic for St. Vincent’s Healthcare.

“She was a big part of why our centennial celebration was such a success,” he said.

“I have spent the last 29 years watching everything you do in this club,” said Funchess.

She said in her tenure, the club donated $2 million to local charities and also contributed millions of dollars to the Rotary International Foundation.

“You make the difference in people’s lives, which made me want to get up early and come to work every day. It has been an inspiration,” Funchess said.

District Gov.-elect Percy Rosenbloom read a proclamation from Rotary International President Ron Burton and President-elect Gary C.K. Huang recognizing Funchess for her service. Downtown Rotary president Bill mason presented two round-trip airline tickets to anywhere in the world to Funchess and her husband, Al.

Funchess is succeeded as executive director of the 256-member club by Cherri Coombs Ohmer.


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