Bulletins are designed and printed for each weekly meeting. They are attached to our weekly e-blast prior to our Tuesday meeting and the front page (highlighting the program) is posted to social media.
File is kept with all bulletins; however, several are included herein as a sampling.
Americus Rotary Club provided five (5) scholarships to Janet's Planet Online Astronaut Academy for students ages 7-14. This is interactive and online camp was offered through the Rylander Theater and took place July 20-24 (4 hours daily). Each day featured a Mission, Science Lesson, Special Guest from the Science Community and Hands-On Activity (all supporting STEM/STEAM instruction) ! The scholarship covered ALL children in the household and supported STEM/STEAM curriculum & learning.
The Rotary Club of Americus honored local STAR Students and Teachers from Americus-Sumter County High School (ASCHS), Furlow Charter School, and Southland Academy. On July 14, the club hosted STAR Student Joyabhishek “Joy” Charles and STAR teacher Ms. Phoenicia Cummings from Americus-Sumter High School, and Moses Simmons and Mrs. Liz Noler, STAR Student and Teacher from Furlow Charter School. Joy will be studying Biochemistry/Pre-Med at Georgia Tech and when asked about his choice of STAR Teacher, exclaimed “Ms. Cummings is one of the most influential teachers I have had. She helped reignite a passion for learning math, and she continually emphasized the importance of maintaining a growth mindset, something that I know I will treasure in the years to come”. Moses Simmons will be at Georgia Southwestern State University in the fall, but plans to transfer to Georgia Tech to study Mechanical Engineering. His STAR Teacher, Mrs. Liz Noler, who has since moved out of state, was able to join virtually and described her surprise when receiving the honor after having been gone for over two years. “It was a joy to teach Moses for three years,” said Noler, “He was always eager to learn and his characteristics of intelligence and competitiveness bring him rightfully to this this award. I am excited to see what the future holds for him!”
According to recent health assessment, statistics show the Colon Cancer Incidence Rate for Sumter County to be higher than Georgia or US Counties and in the 2nd worst quartile (data source: National Cancer Institute). In the past, there have been large health fairs where resources could be shared with those who had transportation to and from the venue. The challenge is to get the education and screenings, along with other critical supports, to residents of critical neighborhoods where poor health outcomes and lack of resources intersect.The original plan was to mobilize health fair resources and screenings in vulnerable neighborhoods through Healthy Sumter Block Parties. These events will be set up in areas of need and will include fun, food and music in addition to health screenings, including distribution of colon cancer fecal immunochemical test (FIT), a screening test for colon cancer which tests for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer.
Collaborated with a number of businesses, organizations and entities to provide a massive school supply distribution opportunity for students in Sumter County using a drive-through design to ensure safety and social distancing. We were able to distribute 350 book bags and over 500 bags of supplies and masks to students.
Donation to End Human Trafficking Now presented to Dave McCleary following his program on the topic.
The Rotary Club of Americus partnered with the City of Americus for National Clean Up Day September 19, 2020. Rotarians and other community volunteers enjoy fellowship while volunteering their Saturday morning to pick up trash in the community and put a little polish on their town. Rotary will supply vests, gloves, trash bags, and coolers of water for all volunteers.
Rotary Club donated to the War on Addiction in Kirk Driskell's name
In honor of DG Kirk Driskell, the Americus Rotary Club and Cordele Rotary Club gathered at Lake Blackshear (halfway between both communities) for a joint social. It was a great time of fellowship and an opportunity to get to know more members from our neighboring club.
As with many non-profit organizations, the Americus Junior Service League exists to serve and does so much to focus on maternal and child health in our community, as well as, many other needs. It's huge fundraiser, of which Rotary Club of Americus takes part, was cancelled due to the pandemic, but that was all the more reason for the club to continue its support for this organization whose members adopt an attitude of service.
The First Annual Peace Day Celebration was the brain-child of Rotarian Laura Bauer, Executive Director of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to further Mattie's message of hope and peace by providing access to the message, promoting understanding of the message and motivating people to action in sharing the message.
In a project made possible through the collaboration of Rotary Districts 6900 and 6910, the Rotary Club of Americus was able to procure a truckload of 1,156 USDA Farmers-to-Families boxes at no charge and distribute to needy families in Sumter County. We were notified about the opportunity on Tuesday, 10/13/2020 and worked to partner with Harvest of Hope Food Pantry, Georgia Cold Storage and a number of other entities, as well as, coordinated volunteers for a massive distribution event on Thursday, 10/22/2020.
The Rotary Club of Americus hosts a Community Networking & Recruitment event each October. Leaders from a cross-section of the local community are invited to join local Rotarians to learn more about Rotary and the impact it has on local, district, national and global scales.
Rotary Club of Americus sponsors its Rotary Tree each year for the Parade of Trees in downtown Americus. This year's tree promoted #PeopleOfAction and the "Together We ...." Rotary branded materials obtained through the Brand Center on the Rotary.org website. We used pictures taken during service opportunities and events to coincide with the Rotary branded pictures which touched on all Areas of Focus. The tree was on display from the Holiday Open House downtown until the end of the year.
December 7th marked the anniversary of the sacrifice of fallen officers Nick Smarr and Jody Smith who were both killed in the line of duty near the GSW campus. The Americus Rotary Club thought it fitting to support the foundation which was set up in memory of these two best friends and officers. The Smarr and Smith Foundation honors the relationship between law enforcement professionals and the people in the community they serve. Out of the Americus tragedy of December 7, 2016, this foundation was established to insure officers have the gear, training and education they need, while cultivating rich relationships and strong community through engagement opportunities for residents and officers to enjoy as neighbors. President Angela Smith presents check to Jessi Simmons, President of the Board of Directors for the Smarr and Smith Foundation for $1,500 to help purchase protective gear for law enforcement officers.
The Rotary Club of Americus turned sponsorship of an event (that had to be cancelled) into grocery gift cards for five needy families identified through the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. The cards were combined with a gift basket and presented to families during the holidays.
Rotarians volunteered their time and made significant donations towards the Wreaths Across America. The mission of the Wreaths Across America organization is to remember our fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve, and teach our children the value of freedom. Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, the Rotary Club of Americus volunteers to lay wreaths on the graves of veterans at Andersonville National Cemetery, and donates funds to purchase wreaths.
The Rotary Club of Americus compiled three large baskets of snacks and delivered to Phoebe Sumter Medical Center's Covid and Critical Care Unit, Emergency Room, and Oncology departments for healthcare heroes serving on the front lines of the pandemic. These front line workers were at the front line serving patients during the second surge of the virus spread following the holidays.
Through an opportunity made possible through FODAC and the Center for Non-profits, the Rotary Club of Americus was able to procure 1,500 3-ply masks, 4,000 KN95 masks, 70 12.2 oz sanitizers and 216 3.38 sanitizers.
Past President Rene Smith traveled to Atlanta to pick up from the warehouse and brought items back to be separated and prepped for distribution to Magnolia Manor, the Americus Homeless Shelter, the Sumter Free Clinic and more.
In a project made possible through the collaboration of Rotary Districts 6900 and 6910, the Rotary Club of Americus was able to procure another truckload of over 1,100 USDA Farmers-to-Families boxes at no charge and distribute to needy families in Sumter County.
Throughout the week of February 22-26, 2021, the Rotary Club of Americus took part in awareness activities to end human trafficking. From daily social media posts (including video interview with Dave McCleary attached), to a youth awareness event coordinated by two Rotarians and led by Rotarian and Sheriff Eric Bryant, and ending with "Shine A Light On Slavery Day" where we encouraged people to wear red X's on their hands and post about it.There were tables and information, along with volunteers set up at numerous places around town - three restaurants downtown (during breakfast, lunch and dinner), in front of the public safety building, and on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University.
The Rotary Club of Americus continues it support of scholarships established and named for two lifelong members of its club, the late J. Willis Shiver and the late E.H. Kinnebrew, Sr. Both scholarships, established at Georgia Southwestern State University for students in free enterprise, honor the memories of Mr. Willis and Mr. Kinnebrew who each started successful business in Americus, Georgia which continue to flourish as a product of the American free enterprise system.
In its annual show of support for SGTC GOAL, the Rotary Club of Americus presented a check to this year's winner Dawn Ammons, a cosmetology student, who was selected from a field of 17 GOAL nominees representing South Georgia Technical College. From the outstanding group of students, the judges selected Ammons, the college's GOAL Winner, to serve as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. Ammons will now prepare for regional competition in April and, if chosen as a finalist, will represent South Georgia Technical College at the state level.
As the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccinations began to expand, the need for volunteers to assist at the community vaccination sites grew as well. As local Rotarians became fully vaccinated, they worked in a number of capacities, from registration and paperwork, providing directions/logistics, and greeting those arriving for shots.
The Rotary Club of Americus will host a "Spring into Action" Meal Packing event on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University on Wednesday, April 14. Rotarians and GSW students will work together to pack 10,152 meals to be distributed worldwide!
Rotary Club of Americus will host a luncheon on May 18 to honor recipients of the Rotary "Service Above Self" National Medal of Honor. The club will present medals to the Police Officer of the Year, Deputy of the Year and two Firefighters of the Year (one each from Americus Fire Department and Sumter County Fire Department).
Rotarians and members of the 20/40 Young Entrepreneur group join together to provide mock interviews to high school seniors within the Sumter County School System. Normally, these interviews are held in person with the students arriving in business attire; however, this year, we are having to transition to virtual interviews as the Sumter County School System is still virtual. Interviewers are provided a profile sheet from which to ask questions and then provide critique to each student to help refine their skills and better prepare them for interviews with colleges and/or employers.
COVID-19 created a devastating impact on the historic (Rotarian-built) Rylander Theatre as its entire season was cancelled and funding lost. This, plus costly roof repairs have taken any supplemental monies, impacting the purchase of a new digital projector to replace the antiquated system. This would provide outreach for students (local and statewide) and could grow the local economy with opportunities for movie nights, screenings, etc. This will not only support eduction, but will also grow our local economy as well (hitting two areas of focus).
The Rotary Club of Americus is honored to be the host club for the 2020 District 6900 Rotary Youth Leadership Awards to be held June 20th-24th at Georgia Southwestern State University. (Note: The projected number of volunteers and hours are estimated from the actual values in 2019)