Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hall County Rotarians Partner in Fundraiser to Feed Hungry in North Georgia

In partnership with the Gainesville (GA) Housing Authority, the Rotary Club of Hall County, Georgia visited the Georgia Mountain Food Bank on July 29, 2016, to paint decorative bowls that will be kiln fired and exchanged for donation at the 2016 food bank fundraiser to feed the North Georgia area hungry.  The event will be held in September at the First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Georgia. This project is one of the Georgia Mountain Food Bank's most popular projects.

The Georgia Mountain Food Bank's mission is to address hunger, health and quality of life by serving those in need throughout the entire North Georgia Region.  The food bank provides a vital link between sources of food supplies and hardworking community-based partner agencies, like our Rotary Club, who help get the food into the hands of families and individuals who need it. 

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Hall County annually contribute to the food bank’s fundraiser by offering beautifully decorated hand-painted bowls to be exchanged for funds in the event. Other bowls are collected from some of Georgia's most well-known personalities and those who are very talented, but not yet famous. 

Partners with the Gainesville (GA) Housing Authority also proudly provided youth whose groups were representatives of the Harrison Square Apartments, Atlanta Street Apartments and Melrose Apartments to assist in the bowl-painting project.  These young people are indicative of the emerging leaders within public housing.  They were selected for their outstanding influence among their peers. Each actively takes part in mentoring others in the community, by volunteering and promoting peace and education. 

For more information on the GHA, visit their website at:   Gainesville Housing Authority.

You may also learn more about the Empty Bowl Luncheon by visiting the website of the Georgia Mountain Food bank at:  Georgia Mountain Food Bank.

The Rotary Club of Hall County invites you to also drop by our website for information on future events:  The Rotary Club of Hall County.

District Governor Kim Waters shows how it's done.

-  Submitted by Hall County Rotary Club President Ralph Taylor


Athens Mayor Nancy Denson, a member of the Classic City of Athens Rotary Club, presented United States Marine Sergeant Ryan Pass with the Key to The City at the June 20th Classic City Rotary Club meeting. 

Sgt. Pass received the Bronze Star for bravery in the line of duty in Iraq.  His unit was pinned down by gunfire when two of his marines were hit.  He was able to continue returning fire while getting both of his fellow marines to safety and thus they were transported for medical assistance.  They both recovered from their wounds.

Sgt. Pass is a native Athenian and graduated from high school in Athens.  Many of his family members were in attendance, as well as his best friend growing up and his best friend’s family.  Mayor Denson also read a proclamation naming June 14, 2016, as Sergeant Ryan Pass Day in Athens.   Sgt. Pass is currently stationed at Camp Pendleton in California.

Athens Mayor and Rotarian Nancy Denson
with US Marine Sergeant Ryan Pass


Outgoing President Gerry Gutenstein presents Jim Brownlee with the “Rotarian of the Year” Award for his outstanding involvement, dedication, and success at guiding the Club to 100% participation in its PolioPlus Foundation Program.

The Lake Chatuge-Hiawassee Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris.

Please see our Facebook page for more information.

Outgoing President Gerry Gutenstein and Jim Brownlee


At RLI, we teach LEADERS about ROTARY.

As Rotarians, you are all leaders, some in your community, some in your profession, and some in life in general…
At RLI, our purpose is to give you the necessary tools and skills to be better Rotarians. As in every endeavor, the more you know about anything, the more interesting it becomes. Rotary is most assuredly one of those areas that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. RLI can make that possible for you. Graduates of RLI are more likely to remain in, and be a bigger part of Rotary, than any other demographic.




Answering a call to action, 80 Canton Rotarians, friends, family, and members of the community came together to make 2,500 lunches for the MUSTMinistries summer lunch program on June 14. Ranging in age from 5 to 85, in just 75 minutes energetic and industrious members of the Canton Rotary Club, Cherokee Rotary Community Corps, Cherokee County YMCA, and other community organizations put together brown bag lunches for 1,000 Cherokee County children for 2 days or more.

MUST Ministries' need for summer lunches is overwhelming and growing every year -- this summer MUST will make and deliver over 7,000 lunches every weekday for 10 weeks in 7 counties (Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, Bartow, Pickens, North Fulton, and Gwinnett). In Cherokee County alone, 12,633 children are on free or reduced lunch in their schools during the school year.  MUST Ministries helps feed these children lunch throughout the summer.
The Canton Rotary Club and other  community organizations come together to serve
the children of their community by preparing thousands of lunches.

The abundant fruits of their labor, and a job well done!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Conyers Rotary Club Honored Students in May

Conyers Rotary Club Celebrates the Youth in their Community

Rotary Club of South Hall County - 80's 5K Run - August 20th

3rd Annual South Hall Rotary 5K
Saturday, August 20, 9 am Start
Flowery Branch Depot
5517 Main Street, Flowery Branch, GA

“Come dressed in your favorite 80’s Gear”

Officially timed race                 

Online registration    

$25 registration fee/ Run Walk
$25 registration fee/ Phantom Runner

Online registration ends August 19th, 2016

Proceeds benefit:
Boys/Girls Clubs of Hall County
University of North Georgia
Scholarship Fund
Other local charities

For more information please contact Sean Childers at: sean.childers.ke6b@statefarm.com

Madison County Rotary Club's "Over 80 Crew"


“Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”   These words of wisdom came from Satchel Paige, but they are demonstrated every week by six Rotarians in Madison County, Georgia who have reached and surpassed eighty years young.  Most people decide to retire and rest a bit as they grow older, but these guys don’t grow older; they grow busier.  Almost every week, they meet with younger Rotarians as they build a ramp for someone in the community who needs assistance to leave or enter their home.  Sometimes the recipient of the ramp has just left the hospital unable to return home until a ramp made it possible.  Other times, a person has not been able to leave their home for weeks or even months without a ramp.  Sometimes these guys build ramps for elderly persons, and other times it goes to a person much younger than themselves.  And they are thankful for their over 80 health.

Using an auger for digging post holes can be an arduous task for a young man, but this group of “Over Eighty Ramp Builders” rarely hands off the hard work to the younger men.  A ramp crew varies each time from anywhere between five to fifteen men, and the age range is between about 25 to 85, but it is a rare ramp that is built without these six.  They build long ramps, and they build short ramps.  They build ramps for people who ask for them and for those that someone else in the community tells them about.  They build ramps for those who can afford the materials and ramps for those who can’t.  But most of the six who have passed the 80 mark were there at the beginning in 1996 when the first one was built - twenty years ago.

Roy Gandy, of the “Over 80 crew,” still organizes the program, having done it for twenty years.  Also a member of the noble “Over 80 crew,” Jerry Bond reconnoiters the recipients’   homes to ascertain the best location to build the ramp.  Jerry Coutant joined the group a couple of years later and has stayed with it every year as has Jim Jeffer, despite health issues.   James Adams has been a part of the group since 2001.  Roy Seagraves has been a Rotarian for only four years, but he started off with a bang, joining the ramp builders his first week as a Rotarian. 

What will happen to the program when these fellows are no longer able to build a ramp?  Well, several younger Rotarians are helping now and getting ready to step into these very honorable shoes.  But they need not get in a hurry.  No one sees any of the “Over 80 Crew” slowing down yet.

Members of the Over 80 Crew

Jim Jeffer
James Adams

Classic City of Athens Rotary Club Honored by Clarke County School District

Classic City of Athens Rotary Club Honored
Impact Awards and Volunteer of the Year Awards

The Clarke County School District has announced the recipients of its 6th annual Impact Awards and 2nd annual Volunteer of the Year Award. Impact Award-winning organizations and the Volunteer of the Year have made significant, lasting and ongoing contributions to the students of the Clarke County School District. Honorees will all be recognized at the June 9 Board of Education meeting, to be held at 6 p.m. at the Athens Community Career Academy. 

“The Impact Award recipients and Volunteer of the Year have made significant contributions to our students and employees, and they are most deserving of this recognition,” said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue. “We are very appreciative of all of our nearly 400 community partners and the hundreds of individuals who spend time volunteering in our schools, and this recognition is one way for us to let individuals and organizations know they are making a real difference in our community.” 

Organizations to be honored with an Impact Award are:

Classic City Rotary Club
For the last four years, the Classic City Rotary Club has partnered with J.J. Harris Elementary School. Club members have volunteered to plant trees, spread mulch and volunteer in other capacities as needed. Two years ago, club members recognized that the school grounds lacked shaded areas for students to engage in outdoor learning. After extensive planning efforts, governmental approval and coordination the school district, the Classic City Rotary Club secured funds and volunteers to build two outdoor classroom shelters. Teachers and students are now able to engage in outdoor learning in a safe, sheltered space. Another significant contribution the Rotary makes annually to the school is allowing four students to speak at their yearly luncheon. Each year, 5th grade students are challenged to write an essay about one of the principles of Rotary and teachers choose one representative from their class and those students then attend the Rotary luncheon as guest speakers. Students are not only given a voice, but an audience to hear what they are passionate about. The Classic City Rotary Club has impacted the J.J. Harris school family in many ways for many years.

Courtney Davis, President of The Classic City Club, Xernona Thomas, Principal of JJ Harris Elementary School and Sarah Morang, President-Elect of the Classic City Rotary Club

Rotary's CART FUND Grant Recipient

Friday, July 15, 2016

First Week of Governor Visits in Rotary District 6910

Wearing my Rotary Serving Humanity theme jacket and scarf.  Each Rotary International president chooses a theme jacket and scarf that each district governor wears during the official visit.

As district governor, I am tasked with visiting each of our 73 clubs in Rotary District 6910, an area encompassing 49 counties in North Georgia, roughly the area above I-20.  I made my first club visits this past week. What I find most fascinating is the unique club culture of each individual club. Each club I attended this past week has quite a history, ranging in age from the 27 year club at Social Circle to the 78 year old club at Calhoun and Cartersville's 92 year old Rotary club.

The Rotary Club of Social Circle meets at the historic Magnolia Manor, a private events venue,  in downtown Social Circle.
The Rotary Club of Social Circle had a special treat in store for me as I had the honor of inducting a new member,  Tyrone Oliver, Social Circle's Police Chief.

New member, Chief Tyrone Oliver, was pinned with sponsor Paul Posner and President Farren Elliott next to him.

The Rotary Club of Social Circle meets on Mondays at noon in a beautiful historic building called Magnolia Manor in downtown Social Circle. The club's signature project and fundraiser is the annual community fair held each October. The club's focus centers on pre-school literacy and scholarships for graduating seniors. Making a difference in the lives of children, one book at a time, the club supports Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. Since the club's inception in 1989, the club has contributed $42,000 to The Rotary Foundation. The club has provided over $127,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors which have been used to attend technical schools, universities and universities. The club ended its 2015-16 Rotary year with 19 members. Per capita giving to the Rotary Foundation in 2015-16 was $65 with total giving in 2015-16 of $1,369.  In honor of our Rotary Foundation Centennial, the club is aiming for an increase in giving to our Annual Fund in 2016-17 with a goal of $2,000. The club also supports the Georgia Rotary Student Program with a student at Georgia Gwinnett College this year. Charter Member Anne Peppers was honored during my visit for serving as club treasurer for 25 years. With many of Anne's family in attendance, club member Harold Dally, the Social Circle Mayor, proclaimed 11 July as Anne Peppers day in the City of Social Circle.   

With Rotary Club of Social Circle Club President Farren Elliott.

Charter member Rebecca Dally cuts the red velvet cake emblazoned with a Rotary gear in honor of fellow Charter member Anne Peppers for her 25 years of service as club treasurer.

Mayor Harold Dally presents his fellow club member, Anne Peppers, a plaque commemorating July 11 as Anne Peppers Day in Social Circle.

One of our district's oldest clubs is The Rotary Club of Cartersville, chartered in 1924.  The club is doing a great job promoting #100ActsofGood in honor of our Foundation's Centennial on its Facebook page. Very active with youth - Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts,  both Pack 24 and Boy Scouts of America Troop 24 were chartered as community outreach programs of the club.  The club also recognizes Star Students and Star Teachers from area high schools at club meetings. The club ended the 2015-16 year with 41 members and $95 per capita giving to The Rotary Foundation. The Rotary Club of Cartersville has donated just over $184,000 to our Rotary Foundation since its inception.  The club meets at Cartersville Country Club, overlooking a scenic golf course, at noon on Wednesdays.  

With Cartersville Rotary Club President John Agnew

The Rotary Club of Calhoun, chartered in 1938, has several 'legacy' Rotarians. Jim Matthews, a member since 1991 and the club's Rotary Foundation chair, is the son and grandson of Rotarians in that club. President John King has a goal of task of sponsoring Jim's son which would make four generations of Rotarians in that club.  Past President Jim Lay had a uncle who was in the club, James G. Lay; Phillip Beamer's father, James Beamer, was in the club. What a Rotary legacy in those families!  

The Rotarians of Calhoun are making a big difference in the lives of others in helping the homeless and getting involved in the lives of local youth. The club sponsors two Interact clubs, two Rotaract clubs and focuses on projects that serve the community's youth. President John has done a great job seeing that the club's goals are entered at Rotary Club Central.  The club's 2016-17 goal is to increase membership from 29 to 32 members. The club is a strong supporter of The Rotary Foundation at $124 per capita and a 2016-17 goal of increased giving to our Annual Fund. The club's giving in 2015-16 included a substantial $75,000 gift to The Rotary Foundation by the Paul Whittemore estate.  Paul was active in the club for many years and a past President. Active in traditional media and social media, Lillian Towe, the club's Public Relations Chair, regularly posts to the Club Facebook page, The club meets in historic downtown Calhoun at Velo Vineyards.  I was fortunate to have husband David drive me to this meeting.  He kept saying, "This doesn't look like an area of vineyards!"  Not an actual vineyard, but an event space in beautiful Downtown Calhoun and the home of Rotary Club of Calhoun. The club will hold its 3rd Annual Open Invitation Golf Tournament on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 at Fields Ferry Golf Course in Calhoun.  If you're interested in more information, contact Joe Kauffman at 706-624-5325 or 270-217-5372.  Not only did the Rotary Club of Calhoun present me with a lovely quilt depicting area scenes, the club presented a check for $100 to The Rotary Foundation's PolioPlus fund which becomes $300 when matched with the Gates Foundation challenge match.  The Rotary Club of Calhoun meets on Thursdays at 12:15 pm at Velo Vineyards in downtown Calhoun.

With President John King

Coming soon to a club near you...

Kim Waters
District 6910 Governor, 2016-17

Monday, July 11, 2016

Multi-District Rotary Foundation Grant Project in Jamaica

Every project starts with an idea.  The Rotary District Governors of Zones 33/34 came up with an idea a couple years ago to get together in Jamaica with a Centennial project to begin their year of service together as District Governors of Rotary International in Zones 33 & 34. Further, the idea involved Rotary International President John Germ accompanying them, and ceremoneously inducting them as governors for their respective districts while there.  

This idea ultimately became two projects.  One of which involved presenting a cataract surgery machine to Cornwall Regional Hospital, a 10 story, 400-bed public hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica. This public hospital is the only hospital outside of Kingston providing specialist services treating approximately 500,000 Jamaicans annually.  The US$80,000 cataract machine project was a multi-district global grant project funded jointly by The Rotary Foundation. Twenty-one district governors of Zones 33/34 were in attendance for the presentation.

Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica

Rotary International President John Germ and District 7020 Governor Haresh Ramchandani (our hero for hosting and planning the event) is shown with the plaque that honors recently deceased George Tyson, a classmate from District 7610, with District Governors of Zones 33/34.  Shown here are District Governors Dan Semanza (our hero for writing the grant), Chris Runion, Lance Young, John Scibal, Cliff Hutton, Roger Champion, Tom Smith, Jon Spillman, Pam Lightsey, Eric Gordon, Gary Dills, Ladd Waldo, Mike Chapman, Marshall Butler, Sandee Brooks, Joyce Gunter, Kim Waters and Jim Finley.

The late George Tyson of District 7610
The cataract surgery machine

The District Governors then got involved in a hands-on project at Granville Child Care Facility (aka Granville Girls Home).  This home had 57 girls in residence on the day of our visit, with the youngest of these children, just 10 years old.  The girls here have experienced varying degrees of trauma in their lives, including sexual abuse, neglect and exposure to violence, domestic and otherwise.  Two very young girls looked to be fairly far along in their pregnancies.  The girls are most receptive to counseling in a setting such as that envisioned by local Rotarians in a Peace Garden.  The Peace Garden project was funded by area Rotary Clubs with members working alongside the Rotary International President John Germ and Zones 33/34 District Governors with spouses and some of their children too, installing the Peace Garden.

Edie Ray, spouse of District 6900 Governor Raymond Ray, shovels, while her husband, Raymond, talks with Rotary Past District Governor Gary Gunter (spouse of District Governor Joyce Gunter) as District Governor Ladd Waldo also does the work preparing the Peace Garden.

Zone 34 Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator David Stovall, spouse of District 6910 Governor Kim Waters.
District Governor Mike Chapman does some heavy lifting with Assistant Rotary Coordinator Jeremy Hurst of the Grand Cayman Islands.
As President John Germ said when he saw this, "Now that's what it's all about."  Emily Butler, daughter of District Governor Marshall Butler and Karen, befriended two of the girls at the home.

Rotary International President John Germ shovels dirt with Shya Ramchandani, daughter of District 7020 Governor Haresh Ramchandani and Vindu.
President John Germ plants the final palm in the garden, a 'peace palm', with District 6910 Governor Kim Waters overlooking.

President John Germ, with wife Judy, in the Peace Garden, surrounded by Rotarians.

A multi-club meeting in Montego Bay started the weekend with these four area clubs sharing the good work of their area projects. President John Germ at sat the head table with four area club Presidents and District 7020 Governor Haresh Ramchandani.  Club Presidents at the head table were from the Rotary Clubs of Falmouth, Montego Bay, Rotary Montego Bay Sunrise and Montego Bay East.  Area Rotaract members also joined in the meeting as well.

Rotaract Club Vice-President Deidre Ann Brown with District 6910 Governor Kim Waters and Rotaract President Nekesha Dandy of the Rotaract Club of University of West Indies-WJC
A Rotaract leader, Paul Thompson. addresses the meeting, with President John Germ at the head table along with the presidents of the Rotary Club of Falmouth Club President Claude Thompson and District 7020 Governor Haresh Ramchandani.

The weekend culminated with an Installation Banquet.  Not only were the District Governors of Zones 33/34 installed, over a dozen Caribbean club presidents were inducted as well.  President John Germ inducted the District Governors, while Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator David Stovall and Assistant Rotary Coordinator Jeremy Hurst inducted and then presented the club presidents to Rotary International President John Germ.

As District 7020 Governor Elect Robert Leger, a surgeon from Haiti said, 'Seeing this machine at the hospital brought tears to my eyes knowing of the lives that would be changed by this.' Fittingly, District Governor Elect Robert and wife Rosa of Haiti were later presented and honored with Major Donor Recognition by Rotary Foundation Trustee Barry Rassin of Nassau, Bahamas and Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, David Stovall.
District 7020 Governor Elect Robert Leger and wife Rosa were recognized as Major Donors of The Rotary Foundation during the banquet.

This installation of district governors with a multi-district project collaboration amongst a class of governors with the participation of a Rotary International President is the first of its kind in the history of Rotary.  Truly, Rotary Serving Humanity.