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Hinesville Rotary reviews successful year
Rotary and honorees
Hinesville Rotary Club members gather with Liberty County deputies and FPCA Interact Club members, who were honored at a recent meeting.

The Rotary Club of Hinesville was recognized with several service awards at the recent Rotary District 6920 Conference on Jekyll Island.

With 62 clubs in the district, Hinesville was the only one to sweep all the district honors, which included banners for New Generations/Youth Programing, Friendship Builder, Humanitarian and Public Image and Celebration Citation Service. Also, 18 club members received awards, the most individual awards given.

Members earning celebration citations were Brigitte Shanken, Brooke Childers, Indira Donegan, Chris Ellison, Joe Ford, Shannon Hickey, Roger Hutchinson, Hasit Patel, David Peer, Michelle Ricketson, Marcus Sack, Carla Schreihofer, Jimmy Shanken, Leigh Smiley, Barbara Martin VanDuser, Teresa Winn, Karen Bell and Jack Standard. 

Top honors also were presented to club President Carla Schreihofer. She received the Change Maker Award, recognizing her leadership, and achievements in New Generations/Youth Programing, Friendship Builder, Humanitarian and Public Image Service.

The club also received the best Facebook award banner as well as the Zone 34, public image award and presidential citation. The local group’s two Interact Clubs, Bradwell Institute and First Presbyterian Christian Academy, also won honors at the conference. 

The year’s Rotary Club’s theme was “Making a Difference.” 

Twelve club members started the year by attending District Assembly in Dublin to learn more about Rotary and be more engaged.

The club grew by adding nine members. Programs added this year included a public servant of the month honor, providing the honoree, their family and supervisor with lunch and a certificate of appreciation. The club held its first STEAM fair, a suggestion from District Governor Hamsa Thota. His vision was to identify a problem and solve it.  

That was when Schreihofer, began work with the club’s Interact and Rotaract clubs. One youth identified the need for more STEM/STEAM. So Shannon Hickey put together Hinesville’s first STEAM fair, hosted at the Georgia Southern Liberty Campus. Club entrepreneurs set up a booth and showcased their professions to participants.

Rotary pinning
2017-18 Hinesville Rotary Club President Carla Schreihofer pins member Barbara Martin VanDuser during an All Clubs Rotary Celebration with her Celebration Citation Pin.

Developing leaders

Another initiative was having Interact members and past presidents run periodic meetings. Schreihofer said it was to develop future and honor past leaders.

Several club vocational trips let members tour local facilities, learning, interacting and experiencing Liberty County. Members also participated socially, where friends, families and club members came together for an evening. Club participants attended the Hinesville Veterans Day Parade, providing snacks to participants and honoring veterans. The club hosted its fourth annual fishing tournament, yielding nearly $14,000. Title sponsor was Lance’s Concrete, Lance Mueller. Proceeds help support community projects, including the STEAM fair, scholarships, summer camp for young people, and bringing an international student to the USA.

Club members partnered with MAP International, a non-profit that provides medicine and health supplies to people worldwide. The club increased its awareness and dedication to the foundation by increasing pledges to the Rotary Foundation, awarding new and additional Paul Harris Fellows, and bequest members. Foundation chairwoman and club member Indira Rice Donegan reported monthly about the campaign.

Bradwell Institute’s advisor Rebecca Woods hosted another Polio Pennies for Polio Drive, raising over $1,250, with matching funds by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the local money raised will become $3,750. The club also set another record by increasing CART Contributions by 20 percent. CART is a weekly initiative raising coins for Alzheimer’s research. All funds collect directly to researchers.

Members for the first time donated to the international organization by giving to the Rose Bowl Parade Float, as well as planted trees locally, an initiative by president of Rotary International Ian Riseley. The club also supported two grants abroad. Member and assistant governor Brigitte Shanken spent 32 days abroad in India. She saw the work Rotary does in the world, immunizing children against Polio, experiencing the culture and being and friendship ambassador for the Hinesville club. In April, her hosts became the Hinesville club’s guests. 

Schreihofer said she set out 15 months ago with her board to accomplish for her club to be the best. She aimed at being more visible, being better community friends, adding service opportunities and “making a difference”, locally and globally. 

On June 26, Schreihofer turned the reigns of the 41-year-old club to Jack Standard.

Schreihofer said she will continue to serve the club and lead a district membership committee for the next three years.

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