Hinesville’s Rotary club celebrated its 40th anniversary, inducted the 2017-18 board and acknowledged accomplishments of the past year at its annual induction meeting June 26 at LaQuinta Inn.
“It’s been an exciting year. We got a lot accomplished,” outgoing President Michelle Ricketson said. “One of the things that happened this year, after a lot of conversation, was that we were able to help support the start of a community Rotaract club...and we are really excite about that.”
The new members of Rotaract were officially sworn in at the meeting. Rotaract brings together adults ages 18-30 to take action in their communities, develop leadership and professional skills, and have fun. Rotary clubs sponsor them, but Rotaract members manage and fund their clubs independently, according to Rotary’s website.
The Hinesville Rotary was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellows Club.
The fellowship acknowledges individuals who contribute, or who have contributions made in their name, $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International.
Ricketson said the Hinesville Rotary’s third annual fishing tournament was the club’s most successful to date. The club raised more than $12,000.
Hinesville Rotary also served more children and foster children at the annual Brown-Dodd Christmas party.
“We bought presents as a club for more than 50 children,” Ricketson said.
The club hosted a community meeting with the college presidents after Georgia Southern University announced it would merge with Armstrong State University.
Club members helped feed a village in India and received nearly 2,100 jars for their local peanut butter and jelly drive. They also met with and learned about Liberty Regional Medical Center and the Midcoast Regional Airport.
Rotary also celebrated the Hinesville Chapter’s 40th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of Rotary International by having members attend the International Convention in Atlanta.
The Bradwell Institute and First Presbyterian Christian Academy Interact Clubs raised funds in the efforts to end polio.
Club members created the Robert Stokes Scholarship. The scholarship honors the late community activist, Robert Lee Stokes.
Stokes worked for Georgia Power for 38 years and was active in several local organizations. He started taking classes in air conditioning repair with the goal of helping the elderly upon his retirement.
Stokes passed away just before he graduated technical school. The scholarship awards $500 to local students going into the HVAC trade.
Rotary gave out its first $500 scholarship this year which turned into $1,500 when local organizations chipped in to match the initial award.
Ricketson said the local Rotary also updated club bylaws and approved a new constitution.
New Rotary member Leah Poole, chief executive officer of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, was inducted.
Before the club adjourned Ricketson introduced the incoming 2017-18 board, which consists of President Carla Schreihofer; President-Elect Jack Standard, Immediate Past President Ricketson; Secretary Teresa Winn; Treasurer Barbara Martin; Sergeant-at-Arms Brook Ann Childers; Membership and Orientation Chairwoman Leigh Smiley; Director Doug Harn and Director Shannon Hickey.