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