The Hinesville Rotary Club on Tuesday heard a presentation from Charlestine Hutchison, a Long County teacher and president of Hodari Hope Inc., a local nonprofit organization.
According to materials handed out by Hutchison, Hodari Hope’s mission is “to provide a safe place for at-risk youth as well as to provide them with the tools needed to become successful adults in the future.”
Hutchison, a Hinesville resident, said that she has heard from community parents who “are very frustrated with the lack of youth activities.”
“I want to serve underserved youth,” she said. “I want to give them the experience of a middle-class family.”
Hutchison said that her vision for Hodari Hope includes academic support opportunities as well as fine-arts programs, such as dance, drama and music. She also envisions providing health and nutrition education, drug-awareness training and job-placement services.
Aside from educating the club on Hodari Hope’s presence and mission, Hutchison said she was seeking donations to help fund a talent show to be held Nov. 15. She said she plans to do the talent shows quarterly in an effort to raise awareness and money for her organization.
Hutchison said Hodari Hope Inc. still is in the process of acquiring 501-c-3 status.
Following Hutchison’s presentation, club member Jeff Ricketson updated the group on its inaugural fishing tournament, held last Saturday. Ricketson said the tournament netted $6,600, and that the Hinesville Rotary’s fundraising goals had been met for the year.
“This is certainly something we can build on next year,” he said.
Club members also heard from state Sen. Buddy Carter, who is running for Georgia’s 1st Congressional District seat.
Carter briefly reminded the group of the November elections, which are just over a month away. He also said that because there are three candidates running for governor, that race could end up in a run-off.
“Georgia is one of only nine states that requires 50 percent-plus-one,” Carter said, noting that if a gubernatorial candidate fails to reach that mark Nov. 4, there will be a runoff in January.
Carter also took the opportunity to thank his supporters and acknowledge the 1st District’s outgoing representative, Jack Kingston.
“I’ve always said there are only two ways to run — unopposed or scared, and we’re running scared,” Carter joked. “But we’re running hard.”
Next week’s guest speaker will be Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes.
The Hinesville Rotary Club meets at 12:30 p.m. every Tuesday at the La Quinta Inn and Suites on East Oglethorpe Highway.