Beahon passes the gavel

Rotarians try to live by their organization's "Four-Way Test."

"Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?"

Outgoing Club President Mary Ann Beahon

When Fulton Rotary President Mary Ann Beahon passes the gavel of the presidency to new president Jennifer Books at tonight's installation dinner, those qualities will be on the minds of every person attending.

Her year at the helm is over, but her activity is not.

"I will still be active," she said. "I am the 'public image' chair for the district — District 6080 — and membership chair for our club. I've never been secretary or treasurer, but I chaired committees and then was president-elect last year."

The installation dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour, followed by chow time at 6:30 p.m. and the program at 7 p.m. The event will be at Aldridge Lounge at William Woods University in Fulton.

While Beahon joined Fulton Rotary in 2010, her association goes back further.

"My husband (Mike) had been a member since we moved back to Missouri in 1995," she said. "My daughter was also a member; she joined when she graduated from college in 2003. I felt two Beahons in the club were enough."

When Mike was about to became president of Fulton Rotary in July 2010, he asked for his wife's assistance. She agreed as their daughter had moved away by then.

"So it was time for a second one (Beahon)," she said.

When Mike Beahon passed away, fellow Rotarians comforted Mary Ann — something she will always appreciate, she said. It's the people of Fulton Rotary and the service they do that keep her involved.

"When Mike died three years ago, Rotarians were so supportive that if I hadn't already been so whole-heartedly committed at that time, I would have become so," she said.

During her childhood back in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, her parents also taught her the value of community service.

"My dad was on the city council and Boy Scout Council, and my mom was on the Girl Scout Council. And United Way, and a bunch of things," Beahon said. "They taught me that you get so much, you should give back. Rotary gives me an opportunity to do that."

Beahon has collected a two-page memo of accomplishments Fulton Rotary members have achieved in the last year. One example: Membership has grown with 20 new members — eight of whom are age 40 or under.

"Fifteen percent of the club is now under 40," she said. "Women's membership in the U.S. runs about 25 percent, but our club is currently 52 percent women. Our officers for the coming year are all women — not that we didn't ask the men to step up."

Also in the past year, two corporate members joined: Dollar General and Presbyterian Manor, and an Evening Satellite Club also started, including people who find evening meetings more accessible.

Fulton's Rotary also donated $2,650 to PolioPlus, $9,335 to The Rotary Foundation, and even donated colored pencils and vol