The Donaldsonville Rotary Club reelects president

Logan Ridenour
Seated: (from left) Vice President Robyn Penn-Delaney, President Juanita C. Pearley; Standing: (from left) Chaplin Louis "Boo" Leblanc, Assistant District Governor Gasper Chifici who performed the swearing in of officers, and Treasurer Dave Leblanc. Not pictured is Foundation Chairman Matt Leblanc.

While the Donaldsonville Rotary Club celebrates its 80th Anniversary this year, they also celebrated the reelection of their club president, Juanita Pearley.

Since 1939 the Donaldsonville Rotary Club has been dedicated to serving their community, alongside the thousands of other rotary clubs throughout the world.

The international mission of Rotary is to "provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through our fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders." Since the original rotary club's founding in 1905, more leaders like Pearley have found themselves positively contributing to the community.

Women have only been allowed within Rotary since 1989. And the significance of being in a leadership role within an organization that is predominantly male is not lost on Pearley. "I'm a woman. A black woman." Pearley said.

"It has always been seen as the old white men club. So it's wonderful being a woman, and being in charge."

Her philosophy on contributing is that if you have the capabilities and resources, just tackle what needs to be done. "Just do it. You don't have to wait for someone to do it," Pearley said.

She says the purpose of the rotary club is to assist others in need. "For instance, with the flood of 2016, rotary gave mattresses and furniture. We refurnished a whole fire department . . . so it's part of giving back to the community and that's what we do," Pearley said. 

Pearley has also served as the American Legion President and the President of the Louisiana Clerical Association. Among her other contributions to the community is her "Around the Town" column she contributes to The Donaldsonville Chief.

She urges anyone interested in the Rotary Club to "Come and learn and see that the perception is way different from what it has been."