Displaying 1-10 of 186 results.
July 30, 2016

RCNA Rotary Moment

Record FODAC Collection Day!

On Saturday, July 30, 2016 the Rotary Club of North Atlanta (RCNA) had a fantastic turn out for a used medical gear drive benefiting FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children). Chris Brand, President and CEO of FODAC (and Stone Mountain Rotarian), noted that we collectively achieved a record pick-up of items valued over $130K. These items will be "recycled" to other medically needy people.

We had seven (7) Rotary Clubs, one Rotaract Club and FODAC represented and providing a total of 46 people who participated in this day of service! Many thanks to the North Atlanta Rotaract Club, and the Rotary Clubs of Brookhaven, South DeKalb, Tucker, Sylhet Sunshine (of Bangladesh), Stone Mountain, Duluth and North Atlanta.

June 30, 2016

RCNA Rotary Moment

Kingston Handley Receives Merit Scholarship

Kingston Handley, the top RCNA scholarship recipient in FY2014-15, received his second scholarship from the RCNA program at the RCNA Recognition and Installation Dinner held on June 30th. Handley achieved a 3.91 GPA for his first year of college and will continue on this next year at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

May 19, 2016

Rotary Fellowship Aces First Tennis Championship Held in the U.S.

11th Rotary World Tennis Championship

From the June 2016 issue of The Rotarian

Eugene McNease had competed in world championship tournaments of the International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians in such illustrious cities as Vienna; Barcelona, Spain; and Salerno, Italy. So he felt a bit brash when he proposed that the first one in the United States be held in Thomasville, Ga., population 18,700. But the retired Social Security Administration executive and self-appointed ambassador for Rotary loves the charm of his historic hometown, and he was convinced the friends he had made in the fellowship would appreciate the city as he does and enjoy its Southern hospitality.

As it turned out, he knew his friends well.

“I love the place. I want to live here,” says Daniela Macias, a member of the Rotary Club of Quitilipi, Argentina, who attended the weeklong tournament last August with her 13-year-old son, Mariano.

The 44 competitors had traveled from nine countries, including Italy, Romania, and Paraguay, and from U.S. states as far away as Connecticut. They arrived to play tennis, but they came as much for the fellowship and camaraderie.

“Where else in Rotary can you spend an entire week with other Rotarians from around the world and make friends whom you see year after year?” says McNease, the tennis fellowship’s vice chairman. “Even the international conventions are only five days.” When the day’s matches were finished, the players and their family members remained courtside late into the evenings, playing tennis pickup games with gusto and laughing and enjoying one another’s company.

The southern Georgia site exposed the international visitors to a slice of American culture overlooked by most tour packages. Véh Balázs, a member of the Rotary Club of Veszprém, Hungary, joined a tour of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, one of several excursions to regional cultural sites such as a plantation and a state park with alligators and other wildlife. He remarked on Thomasville’s cleanliness, its old mansions, and the oak trees with hanging Spanish moss that canopy some streets. “It’s slow and relaxed. People are so friendly,” he says.

Most of the international visitors and their spouses spoke excellent English, making communication easy. But the players were creative in finding ways to overcome any language barriers. Jim Lowry of the Rotary Club of Moultrie, Ga., used an app on his cellphone that translated English to Portuguese to communicate with his doubles partner, Claudemar Andrioli from the Rotary Club of Matão-Terra da Saudade, Brazil.

“I’d speak into the phone and then he’d speak into the phone,” says Lowry, laughing.

The week wrapped up with a gala on Saturday, just in time for some of the players to move on to New York City to watch the U.S. Open at the beginning of September.

According to Thomasville Rotarian Joe Brown, who organized the cultural experiences for attendees, the tournament raised more than $25,000 through sponsorships and fees. That money supported the event and will benefit The Rotary Foundation and the Georgia Rotary Student Program, an initiative founded by Thomasville native Will Watt that provides scholarships to students from around the world to study for a year at Georgia colleges and universities, with Rotarian families providing local support.

The championship tournament was the fellowship’s 11th. Since the group’s founding in 2004, its tournaments, including the championships, have raised more than $300,000 for Rotary projects, according to fellowship Chair Mladen Novaković. The group has grown quickly, to 1,494 members from 72 countries.

Reflecting on the week, tournament director McNease waxes on about the fellowship experience.

“This fellowship deal, it’s a part of Rotary that 90 percent of Rotarians know nothing about and don’t have an idea of what they’re missing,” he says. “It’s an unbelievable opportunity. There’s nothing better than being hosted in a foreign country by fellow Rotarians with whom you have a connection not only through tennis but through friendship. They show you what the real country is, what the real food is, the real average, everyday events and life.”

The avid tennis player is already looking forward to the 2016 world championship in August – at a Black Sea resort in Albena, Bulgaria, where Russian czars once vacationed.

May 18, 2016

Wheel of Rotary

Volume LXVII, Number 47

PROGRAM this Wednesday, May 18 will be brought to us by Larry Brack and will feature his Rotarianne, Holly Brack, to speak about the AARP Foundation.

PROGRAM last week was brought to us by Ted Beason and featured the Hon. Louis "Lou" Dekmar, Chief of Public Safety for the City of LaGrange. Chief Dekmar not only works incredibly hard to build up LaGrange, he is one of those people whose work and influence brings an international reputation to LaGrange. Lou will be President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 2017. The International Association of Chiefs of Police [IACP] works to advance the science and art of police work by promoting improved administrative, technical, and operational practices in law enforcement and promoting their use in police work. It also creates cooperation and information exchange among police administrators, and the exchange of information and experience among police administrators throughout the world. It encourages recruitment and training of qualified persons and encourages high professional standards of performance and conduct. This is a worldwide organization composed of representatives from over 123 nations, with over 25,000 members, and is a sort of partner agency of such organizations as the United Nations, the FBI, and Interpol. The IACP helped to develop and/or promote many tools currently used by law enforcement agencies, like fingerprinting, uniform crime reporting, and academies for state and local police, as well as many of the procedures used by the F. B. I. and similar agencies. After Ted Beason's impressive introduction, Lou displayed his customary modesty by saying "if you see a turtle on top of a fence post, you know he did not get there by himself...he had help," by way of saying that he credits the support of the community, our faith-based community, the city leaders, and his force of men and women who serve our city in the police and firefighting divisions. He also mentioned several citizens who have worked, often hand-in-hand with the police, to improve our town. One was Wanda Walker, who he referred to as the "Mother Theresa of LaGrange," for her leadership in the faith based community, especially in the area of mental health. He told us that mental illness accounts for a remarkable number of crimes, especially from undiagnosed people. LaGrange Police work with several social agencies and faith-based groups on this issue, getting people who need help more than punishment. He mentioned our own Yvonne Lopez and Ark Refuge for their invaluable work and how the LPD work with Judge Key in youth offender intervention. His department works hard to protect and serve as they field about 60,000 calls a year for which 90% of them they are able to handle without an arrest. There are also over 2,000 accidents a year they have to deal with and they are working to increase technology to help with that and street violence. Mainly, the use of cameras, which really help when there as been an accident at a major intersection. He told us in the Q. and A. later that the intersection of Commerce Avenue and New Franklin Road is our worst one. Cameras also help identify "fleeing vehicles" after a reported crime. Being proactive, rather than just reactive, has been a hallmark of our police in his years as Chief. In 1996, even before it became a widely known problem, they began gang-related issue training, training local faculty how to recognize signs of it. Recently, local gangs have become more of a problem because they have begun to affiliate with national gangs but because of our police department's awareness, it has resulted in more gang related arrests in LaGrange than in Atlanta, which helps head off the increase. He gave us the statistics that show being proactive is reducing the incidence of gang activity and is reducing assaults and violent crime. The City Council and Mayor are helping by providing additional positions and a decent pay scale. In fact, other cities have been complaining that LaGrange's pay makes it hard for them to attract good officers, but he credits that with why LaGrange can attract and retain the best quality police. He has a goal of making our police more reflective of the population, with increased minority and women on the force. Their Community Outreach programs, also a proactive measure, are a model for others too. All our high schools and middle schools now have a School Resource Officer, which often is able to defuse a situation before it escalates. On a recent talk to us, we heard that LaGrange was determined to be the 49th safest cities in Georgia (out of 535 incorporated cities in Georgia) and now we have been rated the 35th safest. Even though our city has grown 20% over the past 20 years, at the same time, violent crime has decreased 51% and property crime is down 30%. As always, we enjoyed Lou's presentation, which reinforced our conviction that LaGrange is a better place to live than anywhere because we have people like Lou Dekmar. He even wore his blue uniform, at Ted's request.

There was a lot going on last week, and yours truly missed all of it except Chief Dekmar's program. We were running late because we had to go to Diverse Power first to register for the Annual Meeting, and get our copy of their newest publication, a cookbook called Place and Plate. It is the latest, superb work by local author Jackie Smith Kennedy. Fortunately, we had our own Regenia Andrews on alert to glean information for us and we were able to get some from President George Henry, too. They are, therefore, responsible for our being able to report the rest of last week's activities.

Judy Ferguson and our Rotary Youth Challenge Program awarded our 2016 Rotary Youth Challenge Fellowships last week, using the new guidelines. As announced, we are now awarding to entering middle schoolers, one at each of our county middle schools. The awardees were: Kenzavian Patrick from West Point Elementary, who will attend Long Cane Middle School. His parents, Kevin and Renisha Patrick, were with him as was Jan Franks, of West Point Elementary, and West Point Elementary counselor, Alisha Lyles. Next was Javier Ferguson who attends Callaway Elementary and is a resident of Pineland Sheriffs' Group Home and will go to Callaway Middle School. With him was Britt Wood, a counselor at Pineland as well as a teacher at Callaway Elementary, and Lula Neal from Pineland. Next was Karlee Carwell from Ethel Kight Elementary who will attend Gardner Newman Middle School. With her were Ethel Kight principal, Candace McGhee.

Guests and visitors last week, in addition to those mention in the Youth Challenge Presentations, thanks to Regenia Andrews and Barbara Henigin for getting it to us, were: Jason Peden, guest of Ken Mils, Jean Smith, guest and Rotarianne of Ellis Smith; First Lady Helen Henry, guest and Rotarianne of President George Henry; Velisa Reed, guest of George Stefenelli; Curtis Hart, guest of D Lindner; Thelon Hamby, Visiting Rotarian from Downtown Columbus, but formerly a member of our club; and Jeremy Andrews of the Troup County News.

Executive Secretary Barbara Henigin presented Immediate Past President Dan McAlexander a copy of the pictorial yearbook for our 2014-2015 Rotary yearbook and a copy to go with our manuscript collection at the Troup County Archives.

We had a letter from Manuel Nieto, District governor of District 4400 in Ecuador thanking us for the $1,157 we sent for earthquake relief to their district, a project suggested by Ted Beason and supported by our board and members who donated.

Remember to respond ASAP to Patty Youngblood's letters to get our club the treasured designation as a Hundred Percent Paul Harris Club. Some got letters detailing how they can become Paul Harris Fellows and other letters were to those who have excess points they could donate to help others become Paul Harris Fellows.

Susan Ferguson and the Membership Committee are working with plans to help increase our attendance records. As part of this, our Barbara Henigin has sent all members an email detailing how easy it is to do a make up these days, and reminding us that we have two weeks before and two weeks after a missed meeting to earn a make up.

BIll Martin and our Rotary Club of LaGrange Foundation made its 2016 Charitable Grants last week too. $1,000 Grants went to: Twin Cedars for its Darkness 2 Light Training, which they will offer to all Rotarians; Boys and Girls Club for their Brainjogging Program; West Georgia Health Foundation for preventative education through their Community Cancer Clinic; CAFI (Community Action For Improvement) for their Brainjogging Program; and LaGrange Chapter of American Red Cross for Home Fire Prevention education. $500 awards went to: Georgia chapter of ALS Association for research and patient support; and LaGrange Symphony Orchestra for its youth program education initiatives. This is $6,000 well spent.

Betty Lester, Rotarianne of Louis Lester, asks that we announce that LaGrange Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) are having a flag drive. The goal is to take in American flags that have reached a condition where they are no longer a fitting emblem for proper disposal. A flag should never be thrown away. The proper and respectful disposal for flags that have become tattered, faded, or too worn to fly as the valiant symbol of our great country is burning, in respectful ceremony. For this purpose, the D.A.R. is asking all who have such flags to turn them in to D.A.R. members (call Regent Kathren Moon Fogg 706 884-4453, leave a message if she does not answer) or to our own Jeff and Mary Higgins' LaGrange Chapel of Higgins Funeral Home. Higgins Funeral Home can respectfully and properly dispose of them in cremation services for veterans. The D.A.R. will hold a proper disposal ceremony on June 14 (Flag Day).

"All the Rotary News that Fits, We Print”

Reported by your Bulletin Editor, Clark Johnson.

May 5, 2016

North Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

Presented by the Rotary Club of North Fulton

The North Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Breakfast will be held May 5, 2016, coinciding with the National Day of Prayer. Join other business, governmental and non-profit leaders as we experience an incredible celebration of the power of prayer in our personal lives.

• Keynote Address given by Shepherd Center co-founder ALANA SHEPHERD • Musical performances • Inspiration from spiritual leaders of diverse faiths

This event is held at the Metropolitan Club located on 5895 Windward Parkway Alpharetta, 30005. Doors open at 7 am and the program runs from 7:30 - 9:00 am. For more information please contact Bo Wagner at or visit our website at

May 5, 2016

North Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

Presented by the Rotary Club of North Fulton

The North Atlanta Interfaith Prayer Breakfast will be held May 5, 2016, coinciding with the National Day of Prayer. Join other business, governmental and non-profit leaders as we experience an incredible celebration of the power of prayer in our personal lives.

• Keynote Address given by Shepherd Center co-founder ALANA SHEPHERD • Musical performances • Inspiration from spiritual leaders of diverse faiths

Doors open at 7:00 a.m. ● Program begins at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 9:00 a.m. The Metropolitan Club ● 5895 Windward Parkway, Alpharetta, GA, 30005

Please contact Bo Wagner at 404-325-0291, or visit our website at

May 4, 2016

Wheel of Rotary

Volume LXVII, Number 45

PROGRAM this Wednesday, May 4th, will be brought to us by Larry Brack and will feature Thomas Sims, Sports Agent.

PROGRAM last week was brought to us by President George Henry and was a Club Assembly of enormous interest as well as celebration. The celebration came first as President George announced all the wonderful awards we won at the district conference in Hilton Head the previous weekend. Keep in mind that the 69 clubs in our district compete for awards based on club size. We are in Category IV, which is the one for the largest clubs. We just barely qualify for this category whereas some of the others have four and five times the membership we do, and a concomitant amount of greater resources as well. Our House of Friendship Club Display won First Runner UP (which we believe is second place). We won BEST Senior Project (that's first place) and Best Membership Growth for the entire district (15 new members) and Most Improved Club. How they quantify that last one we have no clue for we didn't realize we even had room for improvement but, it's an award, so we won't quibble about why they gave it to us, even if it does seem a bit insulting. Our members and Rotary family who attended the Conference were: George and Helen Henry, Shirley and Jim Pennebaker, Jake and Liz Jones, David and Betsy Fowler, and Barbara Henigin and Neil Corry. They were fortunate enough to meet incoming International Rotary President John Germ. Because he is from nearby Chattanooga, Jake, our incoming president, hopes we may be able to get him to our club sometime. The District Governor this coming year will be Raymond Ray from Griffin, Georgia. President George also announced that there may be a dues increase from the District over the next few years, as announced at Conference and also there will be an emphasis on membership retention as well as recruitment and public information. Jake Jones reported that polio will still be our main priority as "We're THIS CLOSE" and actually hope we can make it a reality within this year. The last bastions of the disease are a few pockets where they are convinced the vaccine is a western plot to poison their children. Our club has been involved with polio long before it became a major Rotary International focus due to our relationship with Franklin D. Roosevelt, who actually spoke to our club at the Hotel Colonial in 1929 before he was President. Jake told us that when we do have polio whipped, we will focus on Human Trafficking and School Bullying. Jake said our incoming International President is a dynamic guy, easily related with and "from our own backyard." He reminded us that the International Convention in 2016 will be in Atlanta, also in our own backyard, and may be the best chance any of us will have to go to one for awhile. The last time it was in Atlanta was 1970 and the time before that 1917. The 2017 Convention will be special as it not only marks the 100th anniversary of the first time it was held in Atlanta but it also marks the 100th anniversary of the Rotary International Foundation, as it was founded in 1917 at the Atlanta Convention. David Fowler, our incoming President-elect, also reported. This was his second District Conference, and he told us it was not only a great retreat but an enjoyable way to get immersed in Rotary ("Drink the Rotary Kool-Aid," we think he said). The next part of the Assembly was presented by Judy Freeman who spearheaded a committee to investigate the sustainability of and detailed very specific improvements for the Rotary Youth Challenge Program, which we have been involved with (and won District Awards for) since 2009 when Fred Jones and Bill Price presented it to us. The program was designed to help children stay in school and graduate from high school with a clean conduct record. The original plan was to identify children entering first grade and make a contract with their parents that the parents would be involved in seeing their child maintain passing grades and good conduct until they graduated from high school and we would set aside $1,000 in their names to be given to them with all the interest over the 12 years towards college expenses when they successfully graduated. We have awarded an average of 4 per year based on how much we could raise with our golf scramble. One problem has been keeping track with these children. We have currently 28 young people in the program and some $37,000 in the fund. Some of the issues are that, first we are not sure it is completely legal for us to give the money directly to the awardee. Solution will be to give the money to the college or post-secondary school the child attends. Character and citizenship promotion aspect was not defined and we have now done that, with the C average as the academic goal and not becoming a parent as just part of the good conduct part. Tracking the student over 11 years may be simplified by changing the awards from 1st grade to 5th and having Rotarians get involved as Champions (mentors). Rotarian volunteers will be assigned one child and family and make contact monthly with the child and parent(s) at the Boys and Girls Club (never at the child's home), which has offered to give free membership to any child we select for the program. The first training session for volunteer mentors will be May 12. Part of the mentoring will involve issuing praises to the student as they make good grades, etc., (the Champion will be able to check the student's records online) and help with life skills. We will also partner with LaGrange College and their Servant Scholars program to help these young people with their "Learn to Serve and Serve to Learn" Camp. It is also recommended that we only award 3 per year, one to a child going to each of the Middle Schools. This changes the commitment from 12 to 7 years. Ways to help will be joining the Champion's Program (mentors) and helping with the Golf Scramble that funds the program. Champions only make a one year commitment but it is hoped they might want to stay with their assigned child through to the end. Thanks go to Judy and her committee that have worked so diligently to modify for sustainability this excellent program. Speaking of the golf scramble that funds these grants, Cathy Smith, this year's golf scramble chair, announced we raised at least $5,000 this year with our scramble. Congratulations to her and the awesome committee and all who participated in this. Regenia Andrews gave us a demonstration of how to use our website, which began last year under President Dan Alexander. The address is The home page has tabs for various things one can do.. Use your individual login information that Barbara Henigin sent everyone. The site has information on our club and a calendar that if you hover over the week, it tells you the speaker planned, and she posts this weekly missive on there too. (If that's going to happen, someone ought to proofread the thing before posting it, and perhaps, if there are enough details on there we can eliminate the bulletin as an obsolete dinasaur). She also asks that once in the system, would everyone please update their personal information. There are other important resources on this website. For one, there is a place to look up make-up places all over the world, places to get email address and phone numbers for all our members. There were wallet size cards on the tables last week for everyone, with the Four Way Test on one side and the Object of Rotary on the other. Everyone should put them in their wallet. Ours is going next to the card we have been carrying for several years called "What's Rotary?" These were given to every club member by our late, beloved and greatly missed former member, Dewey McKenzie so anytime anyone ever asked us that question, we had a simple and quick answer at our fingertips. Dewey himself was "Mr. Rotary," serving 17 years as Secretary and President in 1973-74, who's Rotarianne, Betty, is still one of our treasured Rotariannes Emeritae. Their son, our own Ray McKenzie, just celebrated his 37th year in our club this week.

Ted Beason's suggestion that we consider providing financial assistance to a Rotary Club in Ecuador following the country’s tragic earthquake resulted in a contact made through Rotary International by our President George Henry. Our Board has approved a contribution of $500 from the Club through the Rotary Club of LaGrange Foundation. A local Rotary Club in Ecuador will direct the funds towards projects that provide safe water. You can make an individual contribution that will be tax deductible to the Rotary Club of LaGrange Foundation with a notation for the Ecuador Project. One can drop off a check at Ken Miles office at 133 Main Street or bring a check to Rotary next week. Ken plans to send the funds to our neighbors in the southern hemisphere next Wednesday afternoon.

Guests and visitors last week included: Lonnie Rogers, guest of Susan Ferguson, Edna Foster, and President George Henry (guess each one will divvy up $5.00?) and Jelisa Reed, guest of George Stefenelli.

"All the Rotary News that Fits, We Print”

Reported by your Bulletin Editor, Clark Johnson.

April 27, 2016

Wheel of Rotary

Volume LXVII, Number 44

PROGRAM this Wednesday, April 27, will be brought to us by President George Henry and will feature a regular Club Assembly. Come hear about how the District Conference went and our exiting plans to come, especially an overhaul of our Rotary Youth Challenge Grant program.

PROGRAM last week was brought to us by Mike Angstadt and featured Dave Moody, who was is a graduate of Morehouse and currently Secretary of the Downtown Atlanta Rotary Club as well as CEO of Moody Construction Company. He is on the Host Committee for the 2017 Rotary International Convention that will be held in Atlanta and said he expected to see a lot of us there. He and his wife, Carla, have two children. He came to Morehouse to play football and study architecture. He said the clincher to get him to come to Morehouse, as opposed to Kent State, was that they took him for lunch at Spelman College when he visited! He even drove a MARTA bus one summer. Dave was instrumental in developing the documentary "Breaking the Silence" about child abuse. Dave told us how important it is to get the word out to victims that they are not at fault and explained it as one who knows from experience. He recounted his own life's journey as a victim at age 9 and how it was not spoken of, but that his parents suspected something and his mother said "don't you let anyone touch you" after it had happened and that made him feel like it had been his fault for "letting" it happen. He told us that to let us know how easy it is to say the wrong thing and to illustrate why it is important that people get trained to detect and prevent. Victims are often silent because they have the erroneous guilty idea that t is their fault. Fortunately, his family moved from Chicago to Detroit and away from the perpetrator. He reminded us that 80% of perpetrators are someone the family knows. In his case it was teenage son of their babysitter. In 1991 he received an award from President Bush and after returning home, a relative of his wife, Carla, was abused and when they got the news, the hidden secret from all those 26 years past exploded and he told her about it. He began to have panic attacks. The first one he thought was a heart attack, but when he did not die waiting for the medics, he realized it probably wasn't. Another hit him in a conference and he barely made it home. The potential for trauma so long after is why it is imperative to catch it early so treatment can begin. His faith helped him, his wife standing beside him, and his s seeking treatment all got him through it. At first he could not speak about it but he now has reached the point where he can and does so that it might help someone else. He also has a website to offer information to those in trouble to help them find help. He said people need professional help but that other survivor stories help. He said it has been 20 years since his last attack but one never knows. At first, he did not want to talk about teh panic attacks either as people tend to think of those who suffer them as weak. Parents of victims who speak out also need help getting over the guilt that they somehow let it happen.

Prior to introducing the program, Mike Angstadt gave us a vocational talk. He said he was born up north but got to Georgia as soon as possible. He has a Masters in Psychology from State University of West Georgia. He taught awhile and then did psychological assessments before starting an outdoor therapeutic center in 1983 for children, on 600 acres, for children who had been abused. After 17 years with that he went with Twin Cedars in 1995 and has taken it from a good idea with $600,000 in debt to the multi-state facility that offers 25 different programs for children, including forensic interviews, in cases where sexual abuse is suspected, often two a day. In 2014 they spearheaded a program called Darkness to Light to teach people to recognize signs of child abuse. They have trained some 1,700 adults so far and want to do far more. Working with the Troup County School System and our own Dr. Cole Pugh, they hope to get all Troup County school personnel, faculty and staff, trained. He said his Rotarianne, Jan, and their four daughters are the main aspect of his life, and that's as it should be. He told us how he met Dave Moody as the segue into the introduction.

Guests and Visitors last week with thanks to Edna Foster for getting it to us, were: Benidict Awo, guest of George Stefenelli; Sheri Cody and Dr. Brett Murphy-Dawson, both guests of Mike Angstadt; Carla Moody, Rotarianne of the speaker; Robert Prater, Meriwether Rotarian, guest of Charis Acree; and Colin Martin, Columbus Rotarian.

Thanks go out to Jake Jones who started taking notes for us because we had run out to our car to get something and the meeting started without us.

Announcements last week:
Cathy Smith reminded us about the golf scramble-fund raiser we are holding (tomorrow as we write, but perhaps already happened as you read this)

Bill Martin reminded us of the grant opp from our own Club Foundation, and that the deadline is April 27.

Debbie Jones reminded us of our Elder Financial Prevention Video that is available to use for groups for those who want it.

Happy Dollars last week: Raylene Carter contributed to remind us of the Youth Symphony Concert next Monday, April 25, at 7 p.m. Callaway Auditorium of LaGrange College, and the wonderful work our Dan McAlexander's Rotarianne, Celeste Myall, does with them. They will have an orchestra of 93! Ed Biggs contributed to remind everyone of the May 7th performance of Bel Canto and to say how much he enjoyed the Symphony this week especially the excellent bassoonist. Joe Ragland added to invite everyone to come to the two performances of the "Living Last Supper" being produced by sister churches First Methodist and Warren Temple Methodist. One performance was to be Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at First Methodist and the other will be Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m. at Warren Temple. Joe and our own Jim Thornton are participants.

"All the Rotary News that Fits, We Print”

Reported by your Bulletin Editor, Clark Johnson.

April 20, 2016

Wheel of Rotary

Volume LXVII, Number 43

Wheel of Rotary


PROGRAM this Wednesday, April 20th will be brought to us by Mike Angstadt and will feature David Moody to talk about child abuse issues.

Our meeting last week opened with a moment of silence to remember Jim Boyd and Jim Doerr.

PROGRAM last week was brought to us by Bobby Carmichael and featured Phillip Hodges, Brooks Palmerton, and Owen Jones to speak about Multiple Sclerosis. Bobby himself was part of the program. He told us about the Bike MS fund raiser that brings over 1,000 participants each year has changed its course with it's destination now being Downtown LaGrange. Phillip, a UGA grad and retired CPA, has MS and told us, first, about the national M S Society that raise money to fund research and to help people with MS go about their lives as best they can. There are 38 chapters across the U. S. and one is in Georgia. Phillip does a lot of pro bono work for them, especially in his field of expertise. They raise between 200 and 250 million a year and spend half on services to people and a fourth on research. He also told us about the disease, how it affects the central nervous system, is of unknown origin, hits twice as many women as men, could be genetic but could have an environmental aspect as it is found with less frequency the closer to the equator one gets, so Vitamin D may have an impact. It attacks the fatty coating around the nerves. Some early onset symptoms were so similar to other problems that it may be easy to misdiagnose, but, we think we heard him say that an MRI can tell quickly if there is MS or not. There is no cure now but there are some drugs that slow the progression and over time advances have been significant. It can often be accompanied by depression, and it often affects employ-ability. It can strike anytime but most commonly is in the mid-twenties. Brooks Palmerton, who was once a student of yours truly's Rotarianne, Deborah, at West Side Magnet School, is very fond of and familiar with LaGrange, was instrumental in bringing the Bike MS to LaGrange. He gave us the history of how it started in Minnesota in 1981 and was so successful that other chapters started one and in 1985 it became the official fund-raiser nationwide. The ride last year raised over $100 million with 100,000 participants. The rides vary in length and participants can go all the way or part. The one this year will be October 1 and 2, 2016. Starting from Blalock Lakes near Newnan, it will come to LaGrange over three varying routes: 30, 60, and 100 miles long. LaFayette Square is the destination and a giant celebration will be held on Main Street, and over 1,100 bikers are expected. The first arrivals will get here about 10 a.m. They will camp overnight, mostly on the green at Sweetland, but many will stay in hotels, and all will shop and eat in our restaurants, so let's welcome these people when October rolls around. Sunday, October 2, there will be a service on the Square at 8 a.m. and they will ride back to Blalock Lakes. They do need volunteers to help, so ask Bobby if you are interested. Businesses interested could also get involved by having a team or being sponsors. To check it out, sponsorship, history, or participation, google Bike MS and there will be a website with tabs to answer everything one wants to know.

Bill Martin, our indefatigable spokesman for the Walter Murphy Fellowships AND the Rotary Club of LaGrange Foundation had his second hat on when he asked us to remind everyone that our Foundation has $3,000 grants available to charitable organizations that we already support and another $1,000 for those we may never have helped. Requests for grants must be written, state the amount requested (minimum of $500) and describe what the funds will go towards. Nothing can be for operating expenses. Email proposals to Bill Martin at THE DEADLINE is April 27, 2016. All applicants must be 501c3 organizations and fall within the Rotary International's 6 areas of focus. these are: Education & literacy; disease prevention & treatment; maternal & child health; economic development; water & sanitation; and peace a& conflict prevention.

Ed Biggs led us in singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" last week.

Guests and Visitors last week were: Jim Pace, a candidate for U. S. Congress in our district, and Evan Karanovich, both guests of Randy Nix; Mekos Denson, new Director of the Boys & Girls Club of West Georgia, guest of Shirley Pennebaker; and Joe Young, a Columbus Rotarian, guest of Jake Jones.

Ann Bledsoe announced another Serving Seniors project, April 19 (tomorrow as we write this, probably today as you read it) at Vernon Woods but open to all seniors or people who have seniors on preventing elderly Financial abuse. There are three chances to attend: 1, 2, and 3 p.m. It will count as a make-up if you attend and ti will benefit even non-seniors.

Cathy Smith reminded us of our Golf Scramble April 21, 2016 at Highland Country Club which is our major fund-raiser that supports the Youth Challenge Grants we award annually. There are still raffle tickets to sell as part of it and they can still find room for teams and/or sponsors.

THOSE needing a photograph for our online directory or those wanting to update theirs, remember our own Lee Cathey, our devoted, resident photographer, will be on hand this Wednesday April 20, 2016, before the meeting as he was last week.

Happy Dollars came from Raylene Carter to honor the LSO's season ending concert and her first full year as Director on April 19. Jeff Brown added to remind us of the study on local demographics put together by our own Kendall Butler and her husband and company that was held last Thursday (but it was the day before when he announced it). Mike Angstadt added to celebrate that two of his daughters will soon present him with two more grandchildren. Richard Ennis announced the upcoming Young Life Nugget Eating Contest, Monday at Chick Fil A (guess that has happened by now, too) Jennifer Shook contributed announced the Young Singers' concert, also last Sunday, at New Community Church. Oron Trotter donated to celebrate Jim Doerr having been his sponsor into Rotary and told a wonderful Jim Doerr story.

"All the Rotary News that Fits, We Print”

Reported by your Bulletin Editor, Clark Johnson.

April 13, 2016

Wheel of Rotary

Volume LXVII, Number 42

Wheel of Rotary


PROGRAM this Wednesday, April 13, will be brought to us by Bobby Carmichael and will feature Phillip Hodges, Treasurer for National MS Society, Georgia Chapter.

PROGRAM last Wednesday was brought to us by Bobby Carmichael and featured our own, the Hon. James C. Thornton, Mayor of LaGrange. Bobby reminded us how much time, above and beyond the call of duty (as well as money) that our mayor spends on the job in neglect of his own business and family, even. He joins a long line of LaGrange leaders, especially mayors, who are perfect ambassadors for our city, articulate and sophisticated, and a compassionate and ethical person so devoted to our city that he vouchsafed a popular movement to push him into a campaign for Congress because LaGrange is his main love. Jim is, himself, a perfect example of a LaGrange born and raised product. Jim with his customary modesty asserted that he has loved his two years as mayor, and that the city is constantly on his mind, but that he does have much help from so many and then he went on to give us so many examples of this assertion. He pointed out our city, unlike almost any other, operates without a City Property Tax. He said the City's main goal is to provide service to their "customers," i.e. our citizens. The city is in good shape from decades of good leadership and the best solution to problems being not to hide them but bring them out in the open and get solutions. He also, rather than wanting to give us just a staid look at stats and figures, presented the most novel "State of the City" address we've ever heard. He called on four other people to tell us about some well-known and some little-known aspects of what has and is going on around our fair city. Chief Lou Dekmar, a very familiar and popular leader, Chief of Public Safety (Police and Fire) told us of the progress we are making with gangs, and the assistance we are getting with not only more personnel but technology as well and unmanned aerial devices. He noted that we have had gangs for a long time, the problem is they have begun to associate with national gangs. Being pro-active has helped: trying to find why gangs are attractive to our youth and giving them better alternatives. We have gone from 49th to 35th safest city and we're aiming at number 1. Meg Kelsey, (Rotarianne of our own Brant Kelsey) who has stepped so admirably into the role of City Manager (she was already the extremely effective Assistant City Manager) at the unexpected passing of Tom Hall, told us about the creation of a Youth Council, inspired by a local student, Emily Flowers, and their launch by studying those in other places, setting the meetings, and credentials for meetings and how they will continue to recruit eligible participants who will learn civic leadership and other valuable life skills as well as represent the voice of our youth and bring a connection to those they represent. They will have a mission statement, and operate on social media and have "Town Hall" meetings at LHS. City engagement with our youth is essential if we want them to make their lives here. Dr. Robert Tucker, a key proponent in the creation of Calumet Village spoke to us of the importance of neighborhoods. People living closest to each other are best suited to help plan for what will be beneficial for them. He told us of the plans and dreams Calumet Villagers have for their area and how they hope to make theirs a model for neighborhoods all over, not just in LaGrange. The aspects most important to them are monitoring crime, having walk-able sidewalks, being able to promote job training and education starting with pre-natal and pre-Kindergarten in their sections, and rehabilitate and create sustainable housing. What a worthy set of goals, and could almost be based on LaGrange's D.A.S.H. program founded by Ricky Wolfe, which we still feel was among the most important initiatives in our town of the past 50 years. Dr. Tucker said a very important aspect has been tremendous partnerships they have established with the city and the police and others. He said our own George Henry connected him with Georgia Conservancy to help get "blue prints" for a successful community. He said the transformation they have in mind is not merely physical but the mindset of people and it has to come from them working together it is not something the government can do for them. Last but not least, he had Susan Bowie (daughter-in-law of our own Sondra Bowie) to speak about a plan in developmental stages to circulate a green-space, non-motorized, throughout our city that will connect all our neighborhoods as it winds about our municipality. She is as enthusiastic as her mother-in-law and deftly inspired us with her vision for this project which is connected with Path Foundation, a non-profit agency that has helped build similar paths in other towns. The path will be 8 to 12 feet wide, open to pedestrians and cyclists, families, and individuals. They are low maintenance, preserve green spaces, and increase real estate values as well as providing health benefits, and a boost to economic development as well as neighborhood revitalization, and it is free to users. Our Jim summed up after and told us he appreciates the opportunity to serve the city he loves. We have to add, this City appreciates his devotion.

Jake Jones thanked the 9 members of our club who traveled to the Iron Works in Columbus the weekend previous for District Training sessions.

President George Henry thanked Susan Ferguson and ten members of her committee who met with all our seven newest members for a Member Orientation Session.

He also reminded us it is NOT too late to register for District 6900 Conference the last weekend of April, at Hilton Head Island.

Cathy Smith said we have 12 teams and need a few more for the Golf Scramble, and still have a few opening for Hole Sponsors. There are still raffle tickets available too.

President George also reminded us that the next two weeks, those needing a picture to go with their profile on our club page can get it done before the meeting thanks to our own Lee Cathey. AS many as can should try to take care of it this week.

Happy Dollars came from Yvonne Lopez to celebrate that the assessment for the new adult literacy program received flying colors. Barbara Henigin tossed in an I.O.U. to celebrate that the Community Interact Club we sponsor packed 120 bags for Vernon Woods for Mother's and Father's Day. Sandra Taylor added $1 because Kaye Minchew's book on FDR has come off the press. Jerry Fulks added $5 to celebrate the finalization of the merger/purchase of West Georgia Health by WellStar and said the only real visible difference will be the signage. They are calling it WellStar: West Georgia Medical Center. [Seems they conducted a survey and found that West Georgia Medical Center was the most popular local name]. [Certainly, this is a great deal for WellStar and they will not want to make many drastic changes because prudence dictates "if it works, don't fix it" as we already had a facility ranked in the top 100!] Edna Foster (speaking of signage) added to celebrate that after their roof repairs, C. A. F. I. has been able to replace the sign on their building which names the building for Richard English, one of our most devoted public servants. Jake Jones contributed $5 to thank members of his incoming board who went to training and that two of his friends were with us, and both running for public office: Bill Hunnicutt and Matt Brass.

Jake Behr and Sonny & Judy Boggus would have us remind y'all of the 3DJourney April 25, 2016 at LaGrange College. A free series of seminars this year focusing on Cuba. the coming lecture will be about Ideology and Cuban Schools by Dr. Don Livingston. Turner Hall, park behind Sunny Gables and catch the shuttle. Afterwards, those wishing may have lunch (Dutch treat) at Pitts dining Hall. PLEASE make a reservation at 706 880-8244 or a

This coming Friday, April 15, 2016 at 4 p.m., the Legacy Museum will dedicate the addition to our permanent gallery of the original 1929 clockworks of Callaway Monument by Seth Thomas, followed by a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting to open our newest exhibit in our small gallery on the 100th Anniversary of Hills & Dales. We won't keep you long and it'll be a nice distraction from getting your last minute taxes done. Our own Carleton Wood, Executive Director of Hills & Dales Estate, was instrumental in producing this exhibit, and it features 1916 photographs from when the home opened and one of the original pieces of furniture, a large chest with the hand painted scenes of the Fall of Trebizond (last bastion of the Byzantine Empire) in 1461.

This Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be the Second Annual Hillside Art, Music, and Food Festival on Jefferson Street.

Jeff Brown asked us that we let everyone know about a presentation created by our won Kendall Butler's company, of an in-depth study of Troup County's economy that includes job creation, population, construction, spending habits locally, apartment renting vs home ownership, and other aspects. It will be Thursday April 21, 2016 at Highland Country Club, reception 5:30, program begins 6 p.m. Free to the public but space is limited, so reserve a spot by emailing

What a sorrow-filled week for our club and our community, as we suffered a double loss in only three days. The first shock came Friday afternoon as many of us stood with fellow townsfolk at Boyd Park for the grand ribbon cutting and opening of Sweetland Amphitheatre and the renovated pavilion of Boyd Park, we learned the heart-breaking intelligence that our cherished Jim Boyd, who was to appear and cut the ribbon for the opening, had gone from our number to a reunion with his precious Annette only an hour before. We shall remember all our days the wonderful work Jim and Annette did founding the Sweetland of Liberty Fourth of July Parade for Youth, bringing the Georgia Special Olympics to LaGrange for three years, active parts in the LaGrange International Friendship Exchange and our Sister City initiatives, pillars of the Presbyterian Church, and so many other contributions to our area. Boyd Park and Sweetland will carry their memory on into the ages long after we join them and our own memories cease to serve. Jim was a member of our club from 1998. He was, to date, one of only two who have received the Rotarian of the Year Award from our club (2000 and 2008). We were scarcely able to absorb the first sad news when we heard the incredulous and unhappy word that our revered Jim Doerr had also forsaken the mortal coil for a reunion with his beloved Kay. Jim was our second longest tenured member, joining in 1967, and a longtime support of the Presbyterian Church as well as one of our best physicians and surgeons, a key part of Clark Holder Clinic serving 18 years as Chief of Surgery at West Georgia Medical Center. Though unable to come to meetings for several years now, Jim was a staunch devotee of Rotary and would not relinquish his association with us. A vast time will pass us by before we fully understand the enormous void these two men's passing has left in our club and our community.

Guests and Visitors last week with thanks to Regenia Andrews for handing us the list, were: Curtis Hart, guest of D Lindner; Page Estes, guest of Dave Marler; Bill Hunnicutt, guest of Jake Jones; Matt Brass, Visiting Rotarian from Newnan; Mark Mitchell, LaGrange City Councilman, and Leigh Threadgill, both club guests; and, besides those who were part of the program, Tyler Jones of Lagrange Daily News, and Jeremy Andrews of Troup County news, club guests.

"All the Rotary News that Fits, We Print”

Reported by your Bulletin Editor, Clark Johnson.