Rotary International is a world-wide member organization, connecting leaders to exchange ideas and take action, in their local communities and around the world. Rotary started an initiative to end polio and has been successful in eliminating polio in 99.9% of the world as of 2016. Rotary District 6910 is comprised of 73 clubs in North Georgia, USA.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Madison County Rotary Club's "Over 80 Crew"
THE NEW TWENTY
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.
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
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.
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