The Rotary Club of Hinesville received a visit from Rotary District 6920 Gov. Ted Thompson at its weekly meeting Tuesday.
Thompson and his wife, Charolette, were treated to a traditional German dinner at Zum Rosenhof restaurant in downtown Hinesville on Monday evening. Thompson joked that although a power outage occurred during the meal, “We’d already received our food, so we continued without missing a beat.”
Tuesday morning, the governor and his wife were given an exclusive tour of Fort Stewart that included Warriors Walk, live weapons and vehicle simulators and the Liberty Wing at Winn Army Community Hospital.
According to the Rotary District 6920 website, Thompson is a central Florida native and University of Florida alum. He and Charolette were married in 1967, the same year that Thompson joined the Army. He served for three years before starting a wholesale plant nursery in Apopka, Florida.
The Thompsons moved to Sandersville, Georgia, after retiring in 2005, and have both been heavily involved in Rotary and other community groups, according to the website.
In his address to the Hinesville Rotary chapter, Thompson spoke about what it means to be a Rotarian.
“For me, Rotary is a life-changing experience,” he said. “Rotary is an international service organization that puts the needs of others before ourselves — that’s as simple as I can state it. And, I can also add, it promotes international fellowship, goodwill and understanding.”
Thompson also spoke about the work that Rotary is doing to combat polio across the world.
“Last year, 1.3 billion doses of polio vaccine were given to 429 million children in 70 countries,” Thompson said. He later clarified this point by noting that in some cases, children have received the polio vaccine 10 or more times, because the virus mutates at such a rapid rate.
Thompson also spoke about Rotary’s humanitarian and educational programs, which involve scholarships and vocational training and district and global grants.
In other business, Hinesville Rotary Club President Brigitte Shanken presented Rotary service coins to Col. Kirk Eggleston, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Streeper, Fort Stewart Community Relations Specialist Pat Young and Fort Stewart Public Communications Chief Kevin Larson for their facilitation of Thompson’s tour.
Shanken also reminded club members about Rotary’s upcoming fishing tournamen on Sept. 20.