The Saturday night celebration at this year's Rotary District Conference recognized the District's top service projects … as voted on by you, our District Rotarians. All the nominated clubs deserve our applause - for service performed to make a difference in our communities and around the world.
Best Service Project Awards (based on voting by the Rotarians in our District) …
- Cairo - Power Lunch
- Emory Clifton - Philippines Shoe Distribution
- Johns Creek North Fulton - Shine the Light
- North Atlanta - FODAC
- Vinings Cumberland - Planting for Health
- Dougherty County - Education Van
- Alpharetta - MedReturn
- LaGrange - Jungle Adventure
The Service Project winners were determined based on the votes of the Rotarians in our District. Every Rotarian had the opportunity to vote. A total of 186 people from 47 clubs voted. You could not vote in any Flight/Category where your own club was nominated. In two cases the winner won by less than five votes. Our ten biggest clubs account for about 50% of our members and accounted for about 50% of the votes. To my eye, there was a tendency for voters to prefer community projects over International projects (though the Philippines project won) and to prefer under dogs. Neither of the two clubs that had two projects nominated won, so maybe their votes got split? Someone wondered if there was any north/south bias, with the northern clubs more likely to vote for northern projects. If so, it wasn't obvious in the voting. In any event, all 24 nominees were terrific. The videos that Ryan put together really showcased the work and made us all proud to be District 6900 Rotarians.
Here's a brief summary of all 24 projects that were nominated
Rotary Club of Atlanta Airport: ROTARY DAY OF DREAMING AND INSPIRATION
A Rotary Day of Dreaming and Inspiration is to build
the community and create a close environment. Our initial goal was to provide
300 pairs of shoes to kids in the community of Hapeville and the Tri-Cities
area. However, we were blessed to catch a deal through our partners to purchase
450 pairs of shoes and socks and 175 meal boxes, as well. Our event was
well-attended because we partnered with a local festival “Happy Days - Local
Motion” which is a weekend long event that re-unites the community residents
with businesses. We were able to provide approximately 390 kids with a pair of
shoes/socks, along with approximately 150 meal boxes to the families.
Rotary Club of Cairo: POWER LUNCH
This year will be completing our 10th year with
Power Lunch. Power Lunch is a mentoring program that we carry out at a local,
underprivileged elementary school. The school has an extremely high ESOL rate.
Each school year the school faculty picks 15-20
students to participate in the year-long program. They’re nominated because
they’ve fallen behind on reading and other factors. The students must show
improvement in reading, academics, behavior, and other areas to remain in the
Rotary Club of South DeKalb: TEACHING
OUR YOUTH ABOUT HEALTHY LIVING
The Rotary Club of South DeKalb provided a Botanist
and garden supplies to teach the youth at the Lucious Sanders Recreation Center
how to plant, grow and harvest their own fruits and vegetables. The students
learned important factors in the environment such as soil composition and pest
control, along with how to properly space their plants for optimum growth. The
program also provided them with the tools to continue to eat healthily, since
many of these kids had never tried a variety of vegetables.
Rotary Club Of Johns Creek North Fulton: SHINE
Shine The Light focuses on ending human trafficking
by bringing awareness and education to middle and high school students, their
parents and educators. The focus of our efforts is through the empowerment of
our relationship with local schools and our Interact clubs in North Fulton
County. This is a pilot program which we plan to expand to other clubs in
subsequent years. It is a five phase project.
Rotary Club of North Cobb: MOUNTAIN
TOP BOYS HOME COOKOUT
North Cobb Rotary supports Mountain Top Boys Home, a
home that supports young men who, by no fault of their own, have been referred
there by the Georgia Department of Family and Child Services. The Home provides
shelter and a safe environment for these young men. Each year, our club
provides food and volunteers to help host their annual cookout, where members
of the community are invited to come and see all the good work they do. The
event builds awareness of the budgetary needs that are not covered by the
state. Our club provided pork, hamburgers, and all the fixings, along with 10
volunteers to ensure the success of the day. Our club also provided a grant of
$750. Beyond the cookout, many members of our club serve on the board and
support the Mountain Top Boys home throughout the year.
Rotary Club of Lake Spivey / Clayton County: HUMAN
The club partnered with Clayton County to be the
first county in the state of Georgia to hang Human Trafficking Awareness
posters in all of Clayton’s middle and high schools. Awareness and prevention
is the key, and many young people get trapped into an initial deceptive web and
are taken into this horrific form of slavery because they are naive and
trusting. The club is also partnering with Gigi’s House, a home
which will house, counsel, and school human trafficking victims to help them
escape this devastating life style.
Rotary Club Of Dougherty County: NEW MEMBERS - SMALL PROJECTS
The Dougherty County Rotary Club’s new members
elected to initiate several small projects throughout the year to support local
needs in our community. The new members would meet and select a project to
present to the club during a regular scheduled meeting. This allowed more club
participation and an opportunity to provide support for so many in need.
Rotary Club of Carrollton: ROTARY
The Rotary Club of Carrollton launched its first
fundraiser in more than a decade. With the help of roughly 30+ Rotarians from
our club and a handful of Dawnbreakers and Rotaract members, the car giveaway
was a huge success. Tickets were sold for $100 with only 800 printed from
August to October 24th. We utilized an End Polio Now event where we hosted live
music and refreshments at the Carrollton Amphitheater and completed the drawing
at the end. We raised $63,000 in ticket sales with a net of $31,000. All money
will be used for local projects and non-profit partnerships.
Rotary Club of Vinings Cumberland: PLANTING
FOR HEALTH AT THE GOOD SAMARITAN HEALTH CENTER’S URBAN FARM
The Good Samaritan Health Center provides access to
quality healthcare like regular check-ups and exams, prenatal care, dental
visits, health education and counseling to individuals and families in Atlanta
who have the least access to healthcare and are at the highest risk of having
serious health issues remain undiagnosed and untreated. Many of those at the
greatest risk of nutritional diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes lack access to
healthy food options.
Rotary Club Of Alpharetta: MEDRETURN
BOXES - DRUG TAKE-BACK
Opioid addiction is a leading cause of death, not
only in teens and young adults, but neighbors, co-workers, and friends. An
addiction can innocently result from a common surgery. The drugs are highly effective
at reducing pain, but highly addictive and commonly over-prescribed. Following
a well-publicized gathering addressing the opioid crisis in North Fulton,
Alpharetta Rotary stepped forward by purchasing 7 MedReturn boxes, and
collaborating with the City of Alpharetta to have one placed at every fire
station, and at Police Headquarters. Drugs can be deposited in these safe-boxes
24-hours a day, no questions asked.
Rotary Club of Peachtree City: SOUNS
PUERTO RICO AND PEACHTREE CITY LITERACY PROJECT
One of the Projects that we are most proud of is a
basic literacy program called Souns (sounds). Through Souns, tens of thousands
of children are learning basic literacy skills across languages and continents
thanks to Rotary. Currently, we are completing a $40,000 grant to implement
Souns in 200 Head Start classrooms in Puerto Rico. The measurable impact on
children has been huge and we now have a grant for $163,000 for 815 more
classrooms in Puerto Rico.
Rotary Club of Roswell: HELPING
Roswell Rotarians continue their commitment to bring
hope to rural southern Honduras through a Global Grant. The grant’s objective
is to provide a water distribution system to approximately 1,900 people (380
families) in the communities of El Resbaloso and Piedras Blancas in the
Goascoran municipality. Due to the hot and dry conditions, these communities
currently spend about one-third of their very modest income buying water.
Rotary Club of South DeKalb: READING
Chapel Hill Elementary is a Title I school located
in South DeKalb that was adopted by the South DeKalb Rotary Club as a Community
Partner. We decided as a Club to take our Reading to Students to the next
level. With that ideal in mind, we donated 275 books to the school’s library so
that the students could have more books to take home to help with their
Rotary Club of Emory-Clifton: DISTRIBUTION
OF SHOES TO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES
The Shoe for Healthy Youth Project lasted for three
days where volunteers traveled from Puerto Princesa City to remote rural areas
inhabited mostly by indigenous people. There were 1400 shoes distributed, from
pre-school to sixth graders. Volunteers, administrators and teachers assisted
in shoe fitting, distribution, and feeding. Juice, cookies, boiled eggs and
sandwiches were served. Providing slippers/shoes help prevent children from
acquiring illness, especially parasitic diseases. Recipients were thrilled to
receive these gift of love and kindness! We are scheduled to conduct a similar
project in July to reach other schools in the area.
Rotary Club of Milton: RISE
AGAINST HUNGER MEAL PACKING EVENT
The Rotary Club of Milton hosted a meal packing
event to provide meals to children in developing countries. By targeting
hunger, specifically by partnering with school feeding programs, we can help
combat the world’s most challenging issues: disease, poverty, education, gender
inequality, child labor and economic decline. The meals from this event went to
Swaziland, a country devastated by severe drought.
Rotary Club Of North Atlanta: FODAC
North Atlanta Rotary led this community-wide
collection of home health medical equipment and supplies for recycle and
refurbishment by Friend of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC). This service
project, held on July 22, 2017 was accomplished in collaboration with 46
volunteers from several area Rotary Clubs, North Atlanta Rotaract Club, the
57th Squadron Restaurant and FODAC.
Rotary Club of East Cobb: ROTARY
PARTNERS WITH WHEELER HIGH SCHOOL TO LAUNCH AVID PROGRAM
July 31st 2017, the East Cobb Rotary launched a
partnership with Wheeler High School to jump start their new AVID program. The purpose of AVID (Advancement Via Individual
Determination) is to prepare high-potential students for a rigorous high school
curriculum in an effort to make them college and career ready. With the help of
East Cobb Rotary, Wheeler High School was able to launch this program in 2017
for 9th and 10th grade students. The students applied and were interviewed
prior to being admitted to the program.
Rotary Club of Brookhaven: SAS
GOLF TOURNAMENT SUPPORT THE SHARE PROGRAM AT THE SHEPHERD CENTER
The SHARE (Shaping Hope and Recovery Excellence)
Military Initiative began in 2008 to provide a continuum of rehabilitation care
for soldiers who have sustained a traumatic brain injury while serving the US
on active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. Since SHARE’s inception, the program has
served more than 200 individuals from all service branches. The program
typically treats 8-12 wounded warriors at a time.
Rotary Club Of Marietta Metro: COBB
CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA
During the past 8 years the Rotary Club of Marietta
Metro has embraced the Christmas holiday season with our primary service
project—our Cobb Christmas Program. This program serves the approximately
17,000 children and families in Cobb County that live in poverty. Food and toys
are gathered or purchased and then distributed during a designated weekend in
December. In December 2017 the Club contributed more than $500.00 in toys and cash.
Rotary Club of Dougherty County: EDUCATION
OUTREACH - VAN PURCHASE WITH WRAP
Members of the Dougherty County Rotary have charged
themselves to support educational enrichment programs with support of The Parks
and Zoo at Chehaw, www.chehaw.org. Chehaw, whose funds have been cut 3%
annually, provides educational programs to K-12 schools in sixteen Southwest
Georgia Counties. The van utilized to transport staff and animals has reached
the end of its useful life and the programs are at risk of being discontinued.
We have committed to purchase a new van to show our support for the valuable
educational support provided by Chehaw.
Rotary Club of Albany: MEALS ON WHEELS
The Albany Rotary Club delivers Meals on Wheels for
the SWGA Council on Aging that serve the elderly and under privileged senior
citizens who might not have a warm meal each day. Every active member is
scheduled to participate. We deliver six meals, two days per week and two club
volunteers per day.
Rotary Club Of Roswell: REMEMBERING THOSE WHO SERVE
Roswell Rotary honors the men and women who have
served their country in the Armed Forces and the victims of the 911 attack through three separate events …
Memorial Day: Approximately 6,000 people gathered on the greens at City Hall
for the 20th annual ceremony,
Honor Air: Our 9th annual trip to Washington DC honoring veterans who served
in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, an
911 Ceremony: Remembering the victims of the worst
terrorist attack in American history.
Rotary Club of Atlanta: HONDURAS
In March 2017, a group of 50 Rotarians and business
leaders joined the Rotary Club of Atlanta and Bob Hope’s Wilderness Team to
work on several projects in the Agalta Valley of Honduras. The team is
returning to Honduras in March 2018.
Rotary Club of LaGrange: A
JUNGLE ADVENTURE: LITERACY IN TROUP COUNTY
The Rotary Club is committed to making reading and
books priorities for all of our Troup County young students. Through our Pre-K
Book program we provide books for all of the county’s Pre-K students and through
our Rotary Readers we also schedule additional times to go into classrooms to
read to the students. This year with a $6,000 District Grant and $1,000 in Club
funds we partnered with the Troup School System to help create a vehicle that
actually is able to bring books and literary experiences into neighborhoods
that have limited access to such advantages, the Jungle Bus.