Donaldsonville Rotary Club installs officers, new president

Michael Tortorich
The Donaldsonville Rotary Club installed officers for the 2020-2021 year during the July 2 meeting at the Elks Lodge on Railroad Avenue. Shown top row, from left, are: Jeffrey Henry, Malcolm Dugas, David LeBlanc; second row: Matthew LeBlanc, Chuck LeBlanc, Dave Dubreuil, Sonny Graugnard; bottom row: Robyn Penn Delaney, Louis "Boo" LeBlanc, and Juanita Pearley. The framed photo shows the charter members of the club in 1939. Photos by Michael Tortorich

Outgoing president Juanita Pearley handed the gavel to newly elected president Robyn Penn Delaney during the Rotary Club of Donaldsonville’s July 2 meeting.

Matthew LeBlanc swears in Juanita Pearley, who served as president of the club over the last two years.

Pearley, who serves as the executive director of the Donaldsonville Area Chamber of Commerce, was president of the local club for the past two years. 

Pearley said the group has plans to continue to serve the community through its projects, especially as so many have been impacted by the pandemic.

“It’s not going to be just one or two projects,” she said. “And it will be in all areas. We are now moving into addressing health this year, and helping the fire department. I feel confident the Donaldsonville club will complete everything we need to do.”

Member Matthew LeBlanc addressed the club and installed the officers.

“I think you did a fine job,” LeBlanc said to the outgoing president. “And I think everyone here would agree.”

LeBlanc went on to say he feels it has been a privilege to be a part of the club, and it has opened many opportunities.

“One chapter is closed but it’s not the end,” he said. “Mrs. Robyn has some big shoes to fill.”

Delaney thanked the members for the opportunity to serve as president of the club.

“On behalf of myself and Juanita, we appreciate the vote of confidence,” Delaney said.

Member Malcolm Dugas acknowledged that having women lead the club shows Rotary “has come a long way.”

According to Rotary’s web site, women were not admitted into clubs until 1989. By June 1990, there were about 20,200 female Rotarians. And midway through 2016, the number of women in the club worldwide surpassed 250,000.

Robyn Penn Delaney, who represents the Donaldsonville area on the Ascension Parish School Board, is sworn in July 2 as the 2020-2021 president of the Donaldsonville Rotary Club.