Posted on Jul 23, 2018
L-R: Hattiesburg Rotary President, Jamey Mitchell; Rotary Programs Chair, Erin Granberry; J.A. President, Kim Wingo, and J.A. Finance Co-Chair, Danielle Silkmon.
President Jamey Mitchell presided over today’s meeting. Mark Killingsworth gave today’s invocation and Mike Ratliff led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Thanks to Leanne Cross and Stephen Utroska who served as our greeters today. Wes Brooks, filling in for Brandon Hodges reported that we have no visiting Rotarians and no visitors today.
Mike Ratliff announced that a meeting of the 100th Celebration Committee has been called for next week. The group will meet immediately after the membership meeting concludes.
Jamey noted that District Governor Kim Thompson will be our guest next week. He encouraged full attendance to hear what the new DG has in store for the coming year.
Erin Granberry then introduced today’s guest speaker, Kim Wingo. Kim is currently the President of the Junior Auxiliary of Hattiesburg. She also serves as the Associate Director of Recruiting, Outreach and Student Programs in the School of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Southern Mississippi.
Kim noted that the Junior Auxiliary has been meeting the needs of women and children in our community for the past 75 years. Five women got together in 1940 with the intention of creating an organization that could help the women and children who were suffering from the Great Depression. The Junior Auxiliary was chartered in 1941. Today the organization has 100 members giving more than 5,000 service hours to our community each year serving more than 2,000. In addition, the organization has 475 past members that continue to provide support and services. Some of the group’s projects include:
Wardrobe Warehouse—coats and sweaters are collected throughout the year and then given away to anyone in need.
Bags of Hope supplies people who find themselves in difficult situations with bags filled with personal and encouraging items. This program is expanding to include bags of diapers and bags of school supplies.
Civitan Camp Carnival is a part of the two-week Abbie Rogers Civitan Camp. Members provide campers with a carnival experience which provides enjoyment to them and at the same time give the camp counselors a break. They also provide a Rock-A-Bye service where a member will spend the night with a special needs child, again giving the counselor a break.
During the organization’s Special Olympics Carnival, members provide activities for the athletes between their events. The Special Olympics is held three times annually.
Crown Club is a program that supports young women’s growth through community service. It is a group of 10th – 12th-grade high school girls who basically have formed their own organization with about 50 members already.
The Family Affair project assists families by providing basic needs and services until the family can become self-sufficient. They are offered interview training, resume writing training, parenting skills, and money management skills.
Danielle Silkman who accompanied Kim then spoke about the organization’s annual fundraiser which is coming up in November. The annual Charity Ball generates about $80,000 for the organization each year. This year it will be held at the Bottling Company on November 9th. The theme this year is Under the Big Top. Food, music, and an online auction will highlight this year’s event. Sponsors are needed.
To learn more about the Charity Ball or Junior Auxiliary, visit their website at or email
With no other business to discuss, the meeting was adjourned by Paula with our motto, “Service Above Self.”