From left, John Funk and Adam Bettie present Herb Brown with a certificate of appreciation.
CLEARWATER – Herb Brown, former president of Rotary International, recently attended a luncheon of the Rotary Club of Clearwater Beach.
Brown was presented with a certificate of appreciation from Adam Bettie, president, and John Funk, fundraising chair for the club. The certification was in honor of Brown’s donation of a parking lot across from Coachman Park, which is used during events held at the park to raise funds for the club’s volunteer activities.
Brown led the Rotary International organization from 1995 to 1996, and his personal philosophy exemplifies the Rotary motto, “service above all.” He has been a member of Rotary since 1945 after returning from WW II. He moved to Clearwater after his chain of discount stores merged with Eckerd Drugs in 1970.
Brown spoke of his encounters with famous figures during his years of service in Rotary. He had personal audiences with Pope John Paul, Nelson Mandela, and Mother Teresa. The Pope questioned Brown about the humanitarian works of Rotary International, particularly the eradication of polio. Mother Teresa spoke to Brown of the needs of the poor throughout the world and thanked Rotary for their international humanitarian efforts.
Brown also said that Mandela helped introduce Brown to media representatives who highlighted the need for polio immunizations. Due to this exposure, millions of immunizations were provided using local Rotarians and volunteers.
The Clearwater Beach Rotary Club meets each Thursday, 12:15 p.m., at Shepherd’s Beach Resort, 619 S. Gulfview Blvd.