Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rotarians Share Holiday Cheer

Take a look at how Rotary Clubs around District 6910 are making a difference...Rotary Serving Humanity.

North Oconee Rotary Club Provides Meals

Our club just provided 100 Christmas meals to ACTS--Area Churches Together Serving. These meals were distributed on Tuesday, December 20th to local families in need. This is the food bank that serves Oconee County. Our club is small in number--just 24 members but big in giving!!

Submitted by Kay Keller - North Oconee Rotary Club, President

Rotary Club of Cherokee County Provides Trees and Food

The Rotary Club of Cherokee County added Christmas Cheer to its weekly MUST Ministries bread delivery. Publix of Towne Lake generously contributes bread each week to MUST Ministries through The Rotary Club of Cherokee County. This season The Club delivered fourteen self lit Christmas Trees to MUST for those in need of Christmas Cheer.  

MUST Ministries is a non-profit, faith-based organization helping people in our community break the cycle of poverty and homelessness. MUST provides basic necessities such as food, clothes and housing, free of charge.

George Lopos presents MUST Thrift Store Operations Manager Dale Cooper with one of boxed trees.

Submitted by George Lopos - Rotary Club of Cherokee County, Public Image Chair

Braselton Rotarians Spread Holiday Cheer

When it’s holiday time in Braselton, which is hosting a year-long Centennial Celebration to mark the 1916 official chartering of the town, the Rotary Club of Braselton kicks it into high gear for the community.

Rotary Reverse Raffle
The Rotary Children’s Christmas Raffle, an idea that has grown in its 11th year history, was held Nov. 4 at The Venue at Friendship Springs, marking a change in location as well as an expansion of the fundraising raffle.

Martha Martin, the club’s 2005-2006 President, suggested to her successor Steve Clark that a reverse raffle similar to that of another organization in which she was involved could make a great signature event for the club and that is what the reverse raffle has become with $50,000 netted this year to purchase Christmas for hand-selected children and host a special holiday party for those children, their families and others. Proceeds also support other youth-related community needs including scholarships, the Interact Club at Mill Creek High School and the Georgia Rotary Student Program.

The club is also donating a total of $9,000 toward computers for Foothills Education Charter School’s Jackson County Campus, due in part to a Rotary District 6910 matching grant and a private donation of $3,000.

Initially for the raffle, Rotarians sold 300 raffle tickets at $100 each to bring in $30,000, and the person whose ticket number was drawn last would win $10,000. The remaining proceeds would be used to host a raffle party and purchase Christmas for hand-selected children.

At the party, 300 numbered ping pong balls would go into the cage with numbers drawn during a several hours-long party when barbecue and other eats and treats are enjoyed. The first number drawn got their $100 back.

This year, there were 500 numbered balls, and Stonewall’s BBQ catered the event which also included door prizes and a silent auction and two live auctions of travel opportunities: a Highlands, N.C., chateau stay and a trip to Italy. Happy winners!

The Rotary Reverse Raffle has become an evening of fun and fundraising. At the raffle event, periodic checks and balances are done. When there are only 10 remaining balls, an audit is conducted, knowing the end is near. When it’s down to five, phone calls are made to determine if those five agree to split the $10,000. If not, the drawing continues.

On many occasions, the pot has been split as was the case again this year with the reverse raffle winners agreeing to share the $10,000 top prize. Congratulations to Tommy Zilahi, Joe Hicks, Teresa King, Gail Hail and Sharon Bryan.

Braselton Tree-Lighting Night
Alvin and the Chipmunks made a return appearance to the Braselton tree-lighting event in the new Town Green on Nov. 12 wearing new costumes to entertain delighted children of all ages who also saw many groups performing holiday dance and musical numbers before Santa made his special appearance. The jolly old elf helped light the Christmas tree and, magically, snow began to fall (thanks to the efforts of the West Jackson Fire Department).
At the tree lighting, Rotarians and volunteers handed children bags containing an apple and orange and a couple of pieces of hard candy. Rotarians had prepared the town-supplied bags with town candy and fruit donated by Whole Foods Market distribution center in Braselton.
In the early days of the Braselton Brothers Department Store, times were hard in the rural area and the celebration of Christmas reflected the meager living families were able to make during the time. The Braselton Brothers annually hosted a holiday kickoff in the store parking lot with Santa Claus and other fun to be entertained and holiday arrivals inside the store could be showcased. Each child and senior received a fruit bag – and, for some, that was their Christmas gift for the season. That tradition is carried on, explained Rotarian Martha Martin.

Running Elves 5K and fun run
The Running Elves 5K and fun run, planned as an annual fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Braselton, was held Nov. 19 with more than 100 ­­registering to participate in support of the club’s charitable and community service efforts which include a Christmas party and holiday love for 100-plus area children, Rotary scholarships for high school graduates and support for local schools.
The race began and ended at Braselton’s new Town Green.
The top three schools with the most participation received financial support of $750, $500 and $250, while the Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County also was presented a check to further the clubs’ support of youth.
West Jackson Elementary had the most runner/walker participation, followed by Mill Creek High School and Jackson County Comprehensive High School.
“Rotarians are happy to support our schools,” said President Chad Bingham, who noted that Foothills Education Charter Schools was the beneficiary of support from Rotary which included $6,000-plus to go toward computers for the use of students at the East Jackson Comprehensive High School location thanks to a matching grant from Rotary District 6910.
The top Running Elves 5K finishers were 14-year-old Paul Pollock of Buford winning the 5K with a time of 17:31.8 with Crystal Hamilton of Jefferson as the female winner with a time of 23:24.1. Hamilton was the 10th-place overall finisher. Overall fourth-place finisher was Hoschton’s Brayden Stewart, 11, with a time of 20:23.1.
Second overall finisher was Gary Willie, followed by Gage McKay, Stewart, Nathaniel Hutchison, Ben Wiley, Joshua Smith and Steven Smith. Brice Branton, 11, of Hoschton, was the No. 9 finisher and the youngest of the top finishers.
The club had been sponsoring the Run the Vineyard 5K for the past several years, however, the Chateau Elan Vineyard Run for Hope, benefiting the Gwinnett Children’s Shelter, was a schedule conflict so Rotarians took advantage of its being Braselton’s Centennial Celebration and provided a 5K and fun run on the morning of the town’s Celebrate the Holidays in Braselton festival and parade. The festival moved to the new Town Green this year.
With the race change of venue and holiday time frame, Aimee Souto, Rotary 5K chairman and club treasurer, and her committee selected the Running Elves theme which carried through with the logo, mile markers, Christmas ornaments as award medals and an elf costume contest. Prizes went to the best dressed female elf, best dressed male elf and best dressed elf family. They were judged by Rotary President Chad Bingham.
Rotarian Shawna Anderson of Anderson Physical Therapy Associates provided hot cocoa and cookies. Representatives of the Jackson County Boys & Girls Clubs manned the water station at the 5K’s halfway point.
Sponsors of the event, in addition to Anderson Physical Therapy Associates, were Fit Body Boot Camp of Braselton, Colbie & Co., the Braselton Visitors Bureau Authority, Dental Care of Braselton, Funari Realty, Howard Hardaway State Farm of Braselton, Wilco Printing, Anytime Fitness and Georgia Transmission.   Whole Foods Market distribution center in Braselton provided bananas for the runners.
Runners Fit Race Works of Braselton was in charge of results. Final results posted here.

On Nov. 19, Alvin and the Chipmunks were back to participate in the Braselton "Celebrate the Holidays" parade which featured Rotarian Martha Martin, a former Braselton Brothers Department Store employee and Jackson County's first Woman of the Year, as emcee alongside Robbie Bettis, who owns and operates Braselton Antique Mall, located in the former Braselton Brothers Store building in historic downtown Braselton.
The crowd lining the parade route along Highway 53 ­­­loved the Chipmunks thanks to the antics of Rotarians Michele Rasmussen, Monica Jackson and Tundi Massey Jones whose daughter, Makinley, helped a Rotary elf toss out candy. President Chad Bingham and driver Don Carroll, husband of immediate past president Leigh Carroll, tossed out candy, under the supervision of Makinley’s grandmother, Julie.

Children’s Christmas Party
In December, Rotarians will host a party with pizza, burgers, cookies and more for the children matched with Rotarians by Jackson County Holiday Connection. The kids and their families are invited to be entertained by face-painters, a magician as well as Alvin and the Chipmunks. The special guest of the evening will be Santa.
While children are entertained and Santa is busy, Rotarians, as special elves, assist family members in getting bags of holiday cheer for the children, a ham donated by Polaris Aviation, Higher Grounds Coffee House and Two Ladies in the Attic and a food box for the family into their vehicles.

Community support, including individuals shopping and wrapping gifts, makes this signature project a true giving experience. West Jackson Elementary School provides the venue for the party gathering.

During Dec. 13's annual Braselton Rotary Club's Christmas Party for Children, President Chad Bingham presented a check for $2,500 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County with Executive Director and Chief Professional Officer Michael Williams, a Braselton Rotary Club member, accepting the donation. The Rotary Club has a long history of supporting the organization and sponsored construction of the kitchen at the Jefferson club. Rotarian Paul Maney also assisted in the presentation.

Children enjoyed pizza, burgers and cookies, activities including a magician and face-painting and then got to visit with Santa Claus.

Rotarian Tracy Woodall helped serve up pizza and burgers to children and families selected through Jackson County Family Connection to be assisted during Christmas. In addition to clothing and toy gifts secretly wrapped up, the families received food boxes and a ham and gift box from Polaris Aviation.

The Interact Club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Braselton, accepted a $500 check to go to the Mill Creek High School Care Account for school families. The donation represents the school’s second-place finish in number of participants in the Rotary Club’s recent Running Elves 5K and Fun Run held in downtown Braselton prior to the town’s Christmas parade. Rotarian Carolyn Smith coordinates with the Interact Club at the school. Interact President Madeline Gann accepted the check from Rotary President Chad Bingham.

Submitted by LeAnne Akin - Rotary Club of Braselton, Public Image Chair


For the third year in a row, the Rotary Clubs of Area 16 in District 6910 (Canton, Jasper, Woodstock, Cherokee County, and Towne Lake) came together for a joint sponsorship of a light display at the now-preeminent holiday light show in Cherokee County to benefit one of the leading nonprofit organizations in the community.  This year, for the second year in a row, the Rotary Clubs' holiday light display was an illuminated Rotary Wheel to support the Anna Crawford Children's Center's major annual fundraiser, the Holiday Lights of Hope.  

Anna Crawford helps children who have been victimized by sexual abuse by providing counseling and a forensic interview venue to avoid the multiple interviews and depositions that re-victimize sexually abused children going through the criminal justice system.  The five Rotary clubs contribute not only their funds but also their sweat equity, each volunteering during one night of the two-week outdoor holiday light display to help run the event.  The Rotary Wheel was fabricated by the metallurgy class at Cherokee High School exclusively for the Holiday Lights of Hope and serves as an emblematic representation of Rotary's presence in the Cherokee County community.

Submitted by Peter Gleichman - Rotary Club of Canton, Public Relations Chair

Monday, December 19, 2016

Rotary District 6910 Governor Message - Dec 2016

Can you believe we are halfway through the Rotary year? It is simply amazing to consider all the good that the clubs in District 6910 have accomplished so far this year. Having visited now with every club in the district, I can affirm that lives and communities are being changed by Rotarians throughout the 59 counties which our district encompasses. 

My fellow District Governor, Fred Heitman, serves District 6780 in Tennessee. That district includes the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area that suffered terribly during the tragic wild fires. District Governor Fred has been posting daily updates on their district website. The five area Rotary clubs have manned and staffed a support center serving as many as 3000 people daily. The need is still great for dollars and volunteer hours. If you are interested in helping, monetarily or otherwise, please visit Rotary District 6780 for a daily update as to their most critical needs. Having celebrated husband David's birthday in Gatlinburg the weekend after Thanksgiving, we left just hours prior to Gatlinburg's evacuation, not dreaming of the devastation that was about to take place. We love the Great Smoky Mountains and her people, and hope to get up there during the holiday season to volunteer at the Boyd's Bear site.

This was taken as we left Gatlinburg around 11 am the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend.

Here in District 6910, we currently have 631 Rotarians registered for  Atlanta's Rotary International Convention with a total of over 33,000 already registered from around the world. This convention will offer not only entertaining events, but also very informative breakout sessions, not to mention riveting world class speakers during the general sessions. You don't want to miss it. We are anticipating a need for approximately 1500 volunteers. If you're not yet registered, I hope you will register soon and also sign up as a volunteer, as communications to volunteers will begin early 2017. Volunteers can serve as little as a four hour shift and will receive a commemorative hat and vest with the Atlanta convention logo.  

I would be remiss if I didn't remind you of our District 6910 goal to reach 100 Paul Harris Society members this Rotary year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Our Rotary Foundation. To make your gift to The Rotary Foundation in this calendar year, please visit Rotary.  It is super easy with a credit card, and it will make you feel good, doing good in the world (and in your own community with a gift to The Annual Fund).

Finally, I am excited to share Rotary's recent announcement that husband David Stovall was recently selected as one of eight director-nominees who will be elected at the 2017 Rotary International Convention in Atlanta. How ironic that just as my year of service as district governor culminates in Atlanta, David's journey of serving as a Rotary International Director during 2018-2020 will be beginning. We are very grateful and honored to have this opportunity.

David and I wish for you and your family a happy and safe holiday season and a Happy New Year. 

Yours in Rotary,

Kim Waters
District Governor

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gainesville/Hall Rotarians Join in on Peace Project

Nearly 300 Rotarians from three clubs (Rotary Club of Gainesville, Rotary Club of Hall County and the Rotary Club of South Hall) joined together more than three years ago to honor their Public Safety Community by Donating / Dedicating and Celebrating our Public Service Community.

The vision was brought to the three clubs by Past District Governor Dianne Cammarata and Past District Governor Lona Pope after visiting the Rotary Club of Canton and viewing their wonderful Memorial for Public Safety. After reviewing and visiting all the tributes and monuments in our community, we realized we have never honored this special group of men and women who put on their uniforms, badges and credentials to Serve and Protect the people.

All three clubs approved the project and gave the seed money to begin the journey. Along with a Rotary Foundation funded Rotary District 6910 grant of $2,500 applied for by the Rotary Club of Hall County, we were ready to begin. A local artist and fellow Rotarian, Jane Hemmer was commissioned to design and sculpt along with Kevin Chambers, KLC Studios Owner & sculptor from Atlanta, the medallion that is the center piece to our tribute. The people on the medallion are actual pictures of public safety people to include the Sheriff’s Department, 911, Operator, Fire and Police. Around the Medallion….the words “Service Above Self”.  As well, we wanted to personalize the project by selling personalized bricks to honor the Public Safety Community. Over 425 bricks were sold to parents, friends and neighbors of Public Safety. These bricks will circle the granite piece with a pool of water cascading and surrounding the monument. The business community wanted to be included in honoring this special group and purchased a limited edition of 10 benches to add $27,000 to the project.

While this project was moving along the City of Gainesville gave the Rotarians a wonderful area to display the tribute (in Roosevelt Square where President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited twice after the 1936 tornadoes). The city council felt the area was tired and needed refreshing. They began the process of budgeting a renewal of Roosevelt Square which put our project on the back burner for about a year in order to move through the process. In the end our little $90,000 project spurred the renewal of a $900,000 project for our entire community to enjoy!

IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE…Thursday, December 8, 2016 will be the long awaited Celebration / Dedication of this wonderful long awaited project and we couldn’t be any prouder! And the timing couldn’t be any better than to honor this group of Public Servants that epitomize the Rotary Motto…”SERVICE ABOVE SELF”.

More pictures to follow of the celebration in later edition of Rotations.

-Submitted by Past District Governor Lona Pope, Rotary Club of Hall County

Monday, November 28, 2016

Calling All Singers in Rotary District 6910

The Rotary World Choir is Calling All Singers!

In 2010 in District 6900 then District Governor Roy Strickland created a district choir to sing at the "District Super Conference" as he called it. I remember it well because I had the pleasure of singing with them. The choir was a large group of enthusiastic singers from throughout our district. You can listen to a patriotic medley sung by the choir on YouTube at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQDfj1YHyQo

The International Fellowship of Rotarian Musicians (IFRM) forms the Rotary World Choir each year to sing during the Interfaith Service on the opening day of the Rotary International Convention. This coming year in Atlanta to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Foundation, IFRM is determined to have at least 100 voices in the choir. The choir is open to all Rotarians from around the world. This year in Seoul we had singers from Japan, Australia, India, Korea, England and the USA. As a member of IFRM I invite you to join the Rotary World Choir and sing during the Convention in Atlanta. This is a great way to participate in the convention and meet people from around the world. You will get a new perspective on the international aspect of Rotary. And of course you know you like to sing! With the experience we have in Georgia with creating a choir, I am optimistic that with your help we can make this happen.

Register here to be a part of the choir and visit The International Fellow of Rotarian Musicians for more information.

If you want any more information please contact me, Barry Oxford, via e-mail at barry@turbodata.net. I’d love to hear from you if you register.

PDG District 6540 and Rotary World Choir Director Judy Walker with Barry Oxford of Rotary Club of Carrollton - Dawnbreakers on the Circular Quay in Sydney Australia where the Rotary World Choir sang during the convention in 2014

-Submitted by Barry Oxford - Rotary Club of Carrollton-Dawnbreakers

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rotary District 6910 Governor Message - Nov 2016

In November, we not only focus on The Rotary Foundation as a theme, we focus on gratitude. We have so much for which to be thankful. I am thankful to have the opportunity to serve as your District Governor in this year in which we celebrate our Rotary Foundation's Centennial and its accomplishments all year long. 

I hope that your club is celebrating the Centennial and that you have had a special program on The Rotary Foundation in November. If your club hasn't decided on how best to celebrate the Centennial, here are some ideas. Many of you have heard me talk about this video, A Century of Doing Good.  A brief summary of all our Rotary Foundation has done over the past 100 years, I think it's one of Rotary's best. 

If you haven't yet registered for the Rotary International Convention to be held 10-14 June 2017, please register today. If you register by 15 December, you'll still receive the special early registration discount of $340. There are many convention events that you will not want to miss. And we have the opportunity to show the world our southern hospitality as volunteers.

In honor of The Rotary Foundation's Centennial, we are working toward raising $300 million this Rotary year. Many in Rotary District 6910 have made special gifts, in honor of and commemorating our Centennial. Not only did we recently receive our first Arch Klumph Society gift (story here), we have received a number of other special gifts and bequests to The Rotary Foundation. Please consider a special gift to The Rotary Foundation in your year-end planning. Your gift not only helps us achieve this goal, it helps to ensure another century of doing good in the world. If you'd like to be a part of our Million Dollar Dinner with President John Germ as the keynote speaker, an outright or bequest gift of at least $10,000 will secure you an invitation. I thank you for your ongoing support of our Rotary Foundation and for your consideration in future giving.

For a look at one example of a project recently funded by our Rotary Foundation, take a look at this video. Second language education was the focus of a Rotary Vocational Training Team Exchange between our Rotary District 6910 and District 1820 in Germany. A visit to Rotary Showcase will let you see the good work Rotary clubs are doing locally and globally. Thank you to Rotary 6910 clubs who have taken the time to ensure their good work is featured here on Rotary Showcase for the world to see. You can search by 'District' to see the good work that clubs in our district are doing. 

Congratulations to the newest clubs who have achieved 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club. Here's the latest list of clubs who have achieved this outstanding recognition. If your club would like help as to how to achieve this level of recognition, please contact me or Bill St. Clair, our District Foundation Chair. The three districts in Georgia are all working to achieve 100% Paul Harris Fellow clubs in Georgia prior to the world coming to Atlanta in celebration of The Foundation's Centennial. 

At the bottom of this message, you'll find the approved verbiage for updates in our District 6910 Policy Manual that received recent preliminary approval by our District 6910 board. If no objections are filed by December 23, 2016, these changes will be brought again before the board for board enactment and approval at next board meeting.

I wish for you and your family a Happy and safe Thanksgiving.  Thank you for all you do.

Yours in Rotary,

District Governor

Changes to the District Policy Manual may be made by:
the board may make changes by motion of any board member at any called board meeting,
whether regular or special, provided that notice by publication to the clubs first occurs in the
district newsletter “Rotations” followed by a thirty (30) day grace period for clubs to comment
and/or object, and if no objections are filed with the Board at the end of the thirty (30) day grace
period, said grace period measured from date of publication of the District newsletter, then the
proposed change may then be enacted by the board. All proposed amendments to the District
Policy Manual shall be filed with the Board at least forty-five (45) days prior to a District
Conference or Board Meeting so that publication to the clubs may occur in a timely manner. In
the event that any provision of this Policy Manual is now or hereafter in conflict with any
requirements of Rotary International, the requirement of Rotary International shall prevail, and
this Policy Manual shall be deemed to be amended accordingly.
1. Annual District Assembly (previously referred to as LEADS) is now referred to as District
2. Reference to “Planning Guide for Effective Rotary Clubs” and “Club Failure to Function” is
removed from policy manual due to these goals and club ratings now being tracked at
Rotary Club Central.
3. District Trainer role is modified in Policy Manual to exclude that of any responsibility related
to Rotary Leadership Institute.
4. Rotary Foundation Seminar and Membership Development Seminar are currently referred to
individually. Recommend combining to a seminar that involves training and updates on
membership development, Rotary Foundation and Public Image with purposes of each
remaining same.
5. References and paragraph related to District 6910 PETS are removed from Policy Manual.
District 6910 Presidents-Elect to attend Georgia PETS.
6. Amend policy manual to reflect current Council on Legislation (COL) annual cycles and
amend the process electing the District 6910 COL representative to reflect that of Rotary
International being the Nominating Committee as the that committee responsible for
choosing the COL Representative from those qualified candidates proposed by the clubs.
7. Family of Rotary Committee responsibilities are removed from that of District Chaplain.
8. District Conference should be held at any time during the Rotary year.
9. Theme months in policy manual to be corrected to correspond with current Rotary theme
10. The Rotary Foundation Chair may serve two three year terms, renewing up to a 3 year term
after serving an initial term.
11. District Grants Allocation Committee to be a standing committee, to include District
Governor, District Governor-Elect, District Rotary Foundation Chair, and three committee
members of District Foundation Committee (recommended District Grant Chair, Vice-Chair
and District Grant Coordinator), and top two per capita giving clubs. Final decision as to
allocation to be District Governor’s.
12. Global Grant Allocation Committee to be a standing committee to include District
Governor, District Governor Elect and District Rotary Foundation Chair with final authority
being that of District Governor.
13. Delete references to Group Study Exchange and Ambassadorial Scholarships as those are
no longer Rotary Foundation supported programs.
14. Delete reference to “District Simplified Grants, Individual Grants and Health, Hunger and
Humanity Grants (3H).”
15. District Conference Chair to appoint a District Conference Treasurer to present District
Conference Budget to District Governor at least ninety (90) days preceding conference.

16. District 6910 “Rotarian Sponsor” Pin provisions are removed from Policy Manual

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Johns Creek Rotarians Work on Water Project

Our service project to the Dominican Republic’s eastern Third World villages (Bateys) that service the sugar cane fields, inhabited by Haitian immigrants, saw us team up with Johns Creek Baptist Church to complete the construction of a water house. In a few months the water house will house a state-of-art reverse osmosis water purification system that will provide clean water for three villages. Right now none of these villages have access to clean water in their batey/village. Lives will be changed, some may be saved, due to the work of Rotary. Sue Kay, Lynn Carlson, Dr. Allen Bowns and Dr. Richard Meaders did amazing work in pursuit of our project’s goals. 

- Submitted by Pamela Boles - President, Rotary Club of Johns Creek

Monday, November 7, 2016

Rotary Club Sponsors Shoes 4 Kids Event

The Rotary Club of Greene and Putnam Counties sponsored their third “Shoes 4 Kids” event which provided back-to-school shoes for 67 Lake Oconee Youth Alliance students. The event provided a unique, and in many incidences, a first time opportunity for the children to experience shopping, selecting and purchasing a pair of shoes, socks, and a backpack.  It was held at The Shoe Carnival in Augusta, who opened the store exclusively for the event and offered additional discounts.This project was aligned with the Youth Alliance core focus of providing enrichment experiences to the underserved youth of Greene and Putnam counties.  

If smiles and exclamations of excitement were a measure of success, the event truly exceeded the Rotary Club’s mission of instilling an “uplifted spirit” for the students as they enter the classroom for the new school year. Comments from parents and guardians reflected sincere appreciation and gratitude, as for some youth, this may have been the only pair of shoes they will have for school.  “The Rotary Club of Greene and Putnam Counties has always been a pillar of support for our communities.  Once again, the membership stepped up to provide this great experience for these children” stated Pastor Avis Williams, Pastor of Community Transformation, Lake Oconee Community Church.

Thanks to Steve Parnell, Manager, Augusta Shoe Carnival for opening the store early and providing goody bags to the children.  Bruce Humphries, Manager, Greensboro Publix, also donated snacks and drinks for all. Jodi Hudson, Greensboro McDonalds, provided sausage biscuits. The Rotary Club thanks them all!

- Submitted by Laura Dent-Public Relations Chair, The Rotary Club of Greene and Putnam Counties

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

District 6910 Governor for 2019-20 Selected

Don Martin with Rotary Club of Jasper has been selected by the Rotary District 6910 Nominating Committee to serve as District Governor for the 2019-20 Rotary year.

District Governor Designate Nominee (DGND) Don Martin joined the Rotary Club of Jasper in January of 2007 and after serving as the Administrative Chair from 2009-2011, served as President for the 2011-2012 Rotary Year. Don also served the club as the Audio-Visual Chair from 2012-2015 and the Public Image Chair in 2015-2016.

At the District Level, Don is currently serving as an Assistant Governor for Area 16 and served on the Board of Directors from 2014-2016. Many of you will have seen Don operating the audiovisual equipment at District Conferences and training events as he served as the AV Lead and then Committee Chair from 2012 to 2016.

Don is a graduate of the Rotary Leadership Institute, The Discussion Leader Course and the Graduate Course in the Foundation; he has served as a Discussion Leader since 2013 and as the District 6910 Faculty Chair since 2014.  In July of 2017 Don will assume the role of RLI District Chair.  

Don was recognized with The Rotary Foundation District Service Award in 2013, and a special District 6910 Service Award in 2014.

As a strong believer of the importance of the Rotary Foundation as a key element of the Rotary experience, Don is a Benefactor, a Paul Harris Fellow +4, and a member of the Paul Harris Society.  Don is also a Will Watt Fellow of the Georgia Rotary Student Program.

Don is a native of Memphis, TN and holds degrees from the University of Memphis, Georgia State and Mercer.  Don is currently an Associate Broker specializing in residential real estate with Torrey Mountain Properties.  Prior to returning to real estate 10 years ago, Don served 28 years of Active & Reserve duty with the United States Army before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1998.  His terminal assignment was as the Chief of the Transportation and Services Division, G-4, Headquarters, United States Army Reserve Command at Fort McPherson.  Following his retirement, Don was a Project Manager for the Anteon Corporation (now part of General Dynamics) until 2006.

Don is married to the former Regina Carol Cates of Vancleave, MS and they have lived in Bent Tree just outside Jasper since their marriage in 1999.  Regina is also an active Rotarian, serving as the Chair of the GRSP Cookbook project for 2014-2017 and will serve as President of the Jasper club in 2017-2018.  Regina is a retired educator, a superior quilter and an outstanding RV parking ground guide.

Both Don and Regina are Elders at the Fellowship Presbyterian Church (where they met in1994).  Don sings in the choir and Regina is Co-Director.  

Don is a longtime member of the National Defense Transportation Association, where he served in various leadership positions including President of the Atlanta Chapter, State Vice President and as the NDTA Southeastern Vice President in 2002.  Don is a life member of the Reserve Officer’s Association and the Military Order of World Wars.

In the Jasper area Don served on the Board of Directors for Pickens County for 3 years and as the Chair of the Business Council for 4 years.  Don has served in several leadership positions, including President, in the Pickens County Board of Realtors and was the Realtor of the Year in 2011.  Don is a Life Member of the Circle of Excellence of the Pickens County Board of Realtors.

For many years Don was an occasional actor and Board Member of the local little theater group in Jasper - somewhat whimsically named The Tater Patch Players.  Don served on the Board of Directors of the Jasper Muse from 2013-2016.  Both organizations are 501-c-3 charities that brought music and theater opportunities to Pickens County and North Georgia.

Don has served on the Board of the Hope House, an emergency children’s shelter founded and supported by the Rotary Club of Jasper.  Don also serves on the Jasper Community Action Team of the FERST Foundation, which is another project brought to Pickens County by Rotary and provides a free book monthly to nearly 1000 children from birth to kindergarten.  

With whatever time is left over, Don enjoys golf, reading and travelling with Regina in their motor home.  And, of course, all things Rotary.

-Submitted by Kim Waters, District Governor

The challenge period ends 12 November 2016.  14.020.8. Challenging Candidates. Any club in the district which has been in existence for at least one year as of the beginning of that year may also propose a challenging candidate for governor-nominee provided this club has previously suggested such candidate to the nominating committee. A club in existence for less than one year as of the beginning of that year may propose a challenging candidate provided such candidate is a member of that club and the challenging candidate must have been duly suggested to the nominating committee. The name of the challenging candidate shall be submitted pursuant to a resolution by the club adopted at a regular meeting. The club must file the resolution with the governor by the date determined by the governor. Such date shall be not more than 14 days after publication of the announcement of the selection for governor-nominee by the governor.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Rotary 6910 Receives First Arch Klumph Society Gift

Named after the sixth president of Rotary, the Arch Klumph Society (AKS) was established to acknowledge and recognize The Rotary Foundation's highest tier of donors - those who have contributed $250,000 or more during their lifetime. Arch Klumph was the 1916-17 Rotary president and addressed the 1917 convention in Atlanta with the idea of an endowment for "doing good in the world." This vision was the beginning of The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International. Since the first donation of $26.50 in 1917, the Foundation has received gifts totaling more than $1 billion.

During a dinner with President John Germ and wife Judy at Little Bacch in Atlanta on World Polio Day, several Rotarians informally spoke about the importance of ending polio and the importance of continued emphasis on PolioPlus, the polio eradication campaign that is a fund of the Rotary Foundation. Earlier in the day, top global health experts and Rotary's polio ambassadors gathered at the headquarters of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to hail progress made by Rotary and its partners, verifying polio is on the brink of eradication. 

After the informal remarks on polio, Tommy Bagwell ended the dinner with a surprise AKS gift to The Rotary Foundation. In celebration of the Foundation's 100 year anniversary, Tommy Bagwell, the charter president of The Rotary Club of Forsyth County, and his wife Chantal, presented a gift to Rotary International President John Germ, welcoming President John and Judy to Atlanta, where Rotarians from all over the world will gather in June for Rotary's International Convention to celebrate the Foundation's Centennial. Prior to this gift, Rotary District 6910 never had an Arch Klumph Society member or gift of this magnanimity. 

Tommy addressed the small group, talking of his earlier years in Rotary, serving as Charter President of the first Rotary club in Forsyth County in 1975. He said that although he hadn't been as involved as others in Rotary leadership, he always supported the mission and was appreciative of those individuals and their service. Having been recognized in the past as a Major Donor of The Rotary Foundation, he humbly quoted Kahlil Gibran On Giving,  "You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." When I, on behalf of the Rotary Foundation's trustees and Rotary District 6910, thanked Tommy and wife Chantal, for the generous gift, his selfless reply was, "Thank you for your service." Tommy and Chantal Bagwell are the epitome of altruism - they care about the welfare of other people and act to help them.

Rotary International President John Germ with Tommy and Chantal Bagwell, Rotary Club of Forsyth County, and District 6910's first Arch Klump Society (AKS) members.

RI President John Germ pins Tommy Bagwell, Rotary Club of Forsyth County, with AKS pin.

RI President John Germ with Tommy Bagwell after presentation of AKS gift and pinning.

- Submitted by Kim Waters, Rotary District 6910 Governor

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Braselton Rotary Club Provides Relief for Louisiana Flood Victims

Braselton Rotary President Chad Bingham and the club's liaison to the Mill Creek High School Interact Club, Carolyn Smith, assisted Interact members in loading the donations collected at the school to be delivered to Baton Rouge and Youngsville, Louisiana, after the recent disastrous flooding.

Mill Creek High School Interact Club members sort the items collected during a school-wide drive to help victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana. Jon Howell of the Jefferson Rotary Club and Chad Bingham of the Braselton Rotary Club loaded the donations of much-needed cases of water and clothing, toiletries and other items collected by the Jefferson Club. Ryan Jerrald of Ace Comfort Heating and Air, who donated his time to the relief effort trip, and Braselton Rotary Club president Chad Bingham loaded up Jerrald's trailer at one of the donated Premier Storage units.

Braselton Rotarians and Boys & Girls Clubs of Jackson County volunteers help to load one of the four trucks and trailers bound for Louisiana packed with relief aid donated by four Rotary Clubs, the Mill Creek Interact Club, West Jackson Elementary School, Jackson County Comprehensive High, local businesses and individual families. 

Donations were staged at two units at Premier Storage in Flowery Branch and then loaded into four trucks with trailers for the delivery ride to Louisiana on Sept. 26.  For Braselton Rotarians, it was all hands on deck for this "Act of Kindness" project to aid victims of the recent Louisiana floods.

Arrival at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank found the four drivers, Chad Bingham, Ronnie Jones, Blair Marshall and Ryan Sherrold greeted by thankful Rotarians and volunteers helping with the relief effort.

The Georgia delivery team with representatives at the First Baptist Church of Youngsville, which served as a relief station for local families.

The gratitude of having in-person delivery of much-needed items including bottled water and food as well as clothing and toiletries was overwhelming. Braselton Rotary President Chad Bingham said, "They appreciated it so much more than us just writing a check."   

Donations were staged at two units at Premier Storage in Flowery Branch and then loaded into four trucks with trailers for the delivery ride to Louisiana on September 26.

For Braselton Rotarians, it was all hands on deck for this "Act of Kindness" project to aid victims of the recent Louisiana floods. 

Rotarians Michael Williams and John Wheeler with Rotarians at Work shirts.
- Submitted by LeAnne Akin, Public Relations Chair, Rotary Club of Braselton

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rotary Christmas Bike Gift Program Gets Early Start

Rotarian Bill Newell, right, chairman of the Jefferson club’s Christmas Bike Gift program, introduced Lee Fox, left, with Club President Sam McDuffie, center.

Lee Fox, who owns State Street Bikes in Commerce, last year refurbished donated used bicycles for the club to give to needy children at Christmas. Club President Sam McDuffie welcomed Fox, who also oversaw a trail project in Commerce

 In introducing Fox, Dr. Newell said data on youth obesity rates indicate that today’s youngsters generally are likely to have shorter life spans than their parents, due to being so overweight and not exercising.

 Last year, the club and Fox refurbished or bought 30 bicycles to give children at Christmas, Dr. Newell said. The club hopes to exceed that level this year. Fox provides parts at cost for older bikes in need of repair and doesn’t charge for labor.

 Donations of good, used bicycles in need of some repair or painting are now being accepted at Fox’s store and by Jefferson Rotary Club members. Larger bikes for teens are a special need. The club is also accepting cash donations for the purchase of new bikes or for parts.

-Submitted by Tommy Toles, Rotary Club of Jefferson

Monday, October 17, 2016

Rotary District 6910 Governor Message - Oct 2016

What are you and your club doing to celebrate World Polio Day?  Rotary International and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be joining together for the 4th Annual World Polio Day event on Monday, 24 October. More than 50,000 viewers around the world will join together in viewing the live stream event. We will be joined by celebrities and experts to share our progress on the road to polio eradication. If you haven't yet made a plan, consider joining up together in a club member's home to watch the live streaming event at endpolio.org. Share the live-stream and educate your social media network about the campaign to #endpolio.

Spearheading the most successful global health partnership in history with the launch of PolioPlus in 1985, we have nearly eradicated polio, one of the world's most feared diseases, from the face of the earth. Polio remains endemic in only three countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. For up-to-date statistics on polio, updated weekly, visit PolioEradication.org. Committed to supporting PolioPlus, our Rotary District 6910 recently made a contribution of $38,450 from our Rotary Foundation District Designated Fund to PolioPlus. Based on funding requirements to continue this campaign of eradicating polio through 2019, a funding gap of $1.24 billion exists. Therefore, it is vital we continue to support this campaign. Many clubs have fundraisers specifically designated for PolioPlus. Not only does this raise needed funds, it raises awareness of our PolioPlus fund and lets our communities know that we as Rotarians are a vital part of the EndPolio campaign.

Rotary Club of Gwinnett Mosaic is a 25 member club committed to EndPolio.
Their bowling fundraiser "Bowlio" raised a total of $14,511 for Polio Plus.  
We have not seen a case of polio in India since 2011, yet the government still holds National Immunization Days (NID) twice a year as it is still important, especially in high risk areas, that children continue to receive immunizations. The goal is that each child under five receive two drops of oral vaccine. The scale of this is extraordinary with more than 172 million children vaccinators who visit more than 209 million homes in every city, town and village across the country. Since becoming involved in Rotary, I have always wanted to be involved in NID. In February, David and I will have the opportunity to visit India as part of a team of Rotarians participating in this NID. If you are interested in going as a part of this team, please email me, to let me know. The tentative departure date is 29 Jan 2017 returning 8 Feb 2017.

I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all the District 6910 Rotarians who so generously support our Rotary Foundation. The good work we do in our communities and around the world is only limited by the amount we give to The Rotary Foundation, which allows us to 'do good in the world.'

In celebration of our Rotary Foundation's Centennial, more and more clubs in Rotary District 6910 are achieving 100% Paul Harris Fellow Clubs. If your club is not there yet and you'd like ideas on how to accomplish this outstanding achievement, please contact our Rotary District Foundation Chair, Bill St. Clair. I would like to thank Bill St. Clair, our District Rotary Foundation Chair for helping clubs all around the district achieve this, the donors and the clubs who have achieved 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club. Thank you for your support of our Rotary Foundation. Congratulations to these clubs:

We will celebrate 100 years of The Rotary Foundation in Atlanta at The Rotary International Convention, kicking it off with a Million Dollar Dinner on 9 June. I hope to see you there. Contact Rich Panyik for more information on the Million Dollar Dinner (you don't have to give a million dollars to be invited, but we'd love it if you did). Volunteer opportunities are now open at the convention website. I hope you'll get registered for the convention and also as a volunteer as we hope to show a record number of Rotarians what southern hospitality is all about.

Polio eradication is our #1 external goal. With membership our #1 internal goal, here's an membership update:  We are the number one district in Georgia year to date in membership growth with 23 new members as of 30 September. But this means we are behind if we are to accomplish our goal of at least net 200 member growth by 30 June. I hope you'll be thinking about who you can bring into Rotary this year. Thank you for all you do to keep our organization relevant and a vital part of our communities and the world, Rotary Serving Humanity.

Rotary District 6910 Governor