Rotary Club of Rome-Seven Hills


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Welcome to the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club!

Rome-Seven Hills

Service Among and Beyond the Seven Hills of Rome

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Coosa Country Club
110 Branham Avenue SW
Rome, GA  30161
United States
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Home Page Stories

by Elizabeth Davis WLAQ

Acts of heroism by law enforcement officers were honored with the 2014 Respect for Law Officers of the Year Awards during the regular meeting of the Seven Hills Rotary Club at the Coosa Country Club on Tuesday afternoon. 

Respect for Law originated with Optimist International in 1965.  Members of the Rome Noon Optimist Club have worked together with other clubs in recent years to present the program locally, according to Chief Tom Caldwell with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, co-chair of the Respect for Law program.  Clubs involved with the effort include the Rome Noon Optimist Club, the Seven Hills Rotary Club, the Kiwanis Club of Rome and the Rome Lion’s Club.

This year’s honorees and their departments are as follows:

Correctional Officer Phillip Skeen, Floyd County Prison

PFC Chad Matthews, Floyd County Police Department

Investigator Jeff Richerson, Rome Police Department

Deputy Sheriff Matt Maddox, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office

TFC Doug Shamblin, Georgia State Patrol

In addition to the awards, a special presentation was made at the Respect for Law program to celebrate the Floyd County Police Department’s 100 years of service to the community.  The presentation featured a brief history of the FCPD



Greater Rome may not have seen the last of Swedish Rotary exchange student Tilda Sander.

She told members of the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club Tuesday that she has received a scholarship offer from Berry College and is now waiting for her application to the Swedish School of Economics in Stockholm before making a decision regarding her future.

Tilda Sander


Follow this link to a Rome News Tribune article on the Charter ceremony for Seven Hills Rotary on May 5, 1997

Subject: Israel Rotary-Chief Elaine Snow recently traveled to Israel and by an amazing coincidence met up with Rome Rotarians Jan Fergerson and Rick Buice in Jerusalem. on their first night in Jerusalem.

 Andrew Tisinger, a senior at Bremen High School and, Robin Campbell, STAR teacher. Dr.Allene MAgill, Executive Director of PAGE made the presentation
by Lauren Jones, staff writerRn T.Com
Donna Carver (far left) speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)
Donna Carver (far left) speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)
Donna Carver speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)

Donna Carver speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)


It was lunchtime when Donna Carver and her 10-year-old daughter pulled up at a low-income site in Floyd County in a torrential rain.

Nearly 60 children had gathered in that downpour July 5, no doubt wondering whether or not they would eat that day, but when Carver pulled up in the van with a Floyd County seal on it, the children began jumping up and down, cheering.

“Mom, why are they so happy?” Carver said her daughter asked her.

“Because they’re hungry, and we’re bringing them food,” she replied.

Carver, director of school nutrition for Floyd County Schools, spoke to Seven Hills Rotary Club members Tuesday at Coosa Country Club about the Summer Feeding Program. Carver spearheaded the initiative three years ago after hearing that her Bartow County counterpart was serving 5,000 lunches each day during the summer. She said she thought to herself, “If there are that many hungry children there, how many are there in Floyd County?”

Carver explained that this summer in Floyd County, the Summer Feeding Program feeds about 3,000 children a day.

Read more: - Nutrition director Floyd County Schools summer program feeds 3 000 daily



Members of the Boys and Girls Club of West Rome joined Rotarians and officials of the Club when a dozen new computers were dedicated at the Club's facilities Thursday, March 28. The computer equipment was provided by a District Simplified Grant co-sponsored by Rome Rotary and Rome Seven Hills Rotary.

  "In order to qualify for the grant, both local clubs worked together," said C. Bruce Watterson, assistant governor for Region XVII of Rotary District 6910. "District funds and funding from the local clubs paved the way for the equipment to be installed in the West Rome site. Previously, Rome Seven Hills Rotary purchased computers and outfitted the library and computer facility in South Rome Boys and Girls Club through funds earned at a basketball tournament."

  Pete McDonald of the Rome Club and Bill Byars of the Rome Seven Hills Club were on hand to celebrate with the members of the Boys and Girls Club Board. "Watching the excitement in the eyes of the young people made it all worthwhile," Byars said. "Great things happen when clubs like Rotary pool their efforts."

  McDonald added, "It has been a few years since the clubs have teamed on a grant project like this one, but the benefit to the students will be a lasting and memorable one."



Rome Seven Hills Rotary announced the projected pledge total and net proceeds from tickets sales for the Holiday Festival Tournament will total $34,000. See photos

           December 16-20, 2013
at Georgia Highlands College and Berry College
The lameduck Congressional session focused on avoiding the fiscal cliff is a great time to re-evaluate the role of government, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, told members of the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday.

“The $16 trillion debt is the elephant in the room,” he said.

Graves said the federal government continues to spend more than it takes in and taxes can’t cover the whole difference.

“To me, this isn’t difficult to fix,” he said. “We need to cut spending.”

He said everyone’s proposals should be put on the table, regardless of political party, and be judged by a simple, four-part litmus test.

“Does it create private sector jobs; does it expand the economy; does it empower taxpayers or government; and is it constitutional,” he said.

Graves said the national media puts undue pressure on Congress when it slaps a label like “fiscal cliff” or “Countdown to the Shutdown” on negotiations — pressure that could force hasty decisions.

Still, he called the automatic triggers set to go off in January “disturbing,” and predicted a battle in the remaining weeks of 2012. He shared his take on the elements that, combined, could shake the U.S. economy.

Read more: - Graves Spending cuts are key in Congress

by Kevin Myrick, Staff Writer Rn T.Com
RN-T columnist Lee Walburn speaks to Rotarians on Tuesday. (Kevin Myrick, RN-T)
RN-T columnist Lee Walburn speaks to Rotarians on Tuesday. (Kevin Myrick, RN-T)
Rome News-Tribune's Saturday columnist Lee Walburn has enjoyed an already storied career with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a baseball writer and editor of the Sunday magazine and in public relations with the Atlanta Braves. He’s interviewed celebrities and politicians and shared stories with some of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game.

But of all people Walburn has met and the places he’s gone, he told Seven Hills Rotarians Tuesday during their weekly meeting about some of his favorites. Among the names he mentioned were Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron and his longtime friend Lewis Grizzard.

Before the lunch meeting was over, he had members laughing at his stories, like when he interviewed Dolly Parton.

“I saw Dolly once without her wig on,” Walburn said. “And she told me one time it didn’t bother her that people characterized her as a dumb blonde. She said ‘I know I’m not dumb and I know I’m not blonde’.”

Walburn also talked about his friendship with writer Pat Conroy, who he has also had the occasion to edit his writing.

“I can tell you that he’s helped turn a lot of editors 50 shades of gray,” Walburn said. “And he had some great opening lines.”

But of all the stories he told to Rotarians about his past exploits, interviews and stories, Walburn said he felt that his time with Hank Aaron was the most memorable.

He said during his time with the Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1972 as Public Relations Director, he had the opportunity to get to know the ballplayer well.

And throughout his historic season of breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, he said he never got to know a better man despite the constant hate mail and death threats he received that year.

“He was the shyest superstar I’ve ever met,” Walburn said. “All he would ever do to acknowledge the applause of his fans was a quick tip of the hat.”

These days, Walburn spends his time in Rome and works on his column.

He said that coming back into writing was “like being unembalmed.” He said he was asked recently if he was enjoying “writing anything that occurs to you.”

“It’s fun, but the occurring is hell,” Walburn said.

Read more: - RN T columnist talks about meeting Dolly Parton Hank Aaron

Ed Watters was named as the recepient of the 2012 Lee Arendale Award for Vocational Excellence at the Image

Vikings football coach preparing for challenge
by Kevin Myrick, Staff Writer Rn T.Com

Berry College Vikings football head coach Tony Kunczewski has been in the job for three months, but already he’s making a bold prediction. “I’m not a lot for making guarantees or stuff like that o...

Read more: - Rome and Floyd County, Georgia news, sports, business, videos and more

Local officers honored by civic groups
by Brittany Hannah, Staff Writer Rn T.Com
For the first time ever, three of Rome’s civic groups came together in one meeting to honor members of local law enforcement at the Coosa Country Club on Tuesday.

The Kiwanis Club, Seven Hills Rotary Club and the Noon Optimist Club hosted a joint meeting to present “Respect for Law” awards to members of several agencies who were

nominated by colleagues for their service and dedication to the community.

All three clubs share a common mission to make Floyd County strong, safe and prosperous, according to Seven Hills Rotary Club President Bill Byars. He commended the perseverance of the officers who work hard on a daily basis to protect the peace of the community.

Read more: - Local officers honored by civic groups

Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club President Bill Byars (far left) and Alan Horne (far right), former club president, stand with Rome High freshman Matt Stevens (second from left to right), sophomore Jay Horton, junior Lauren Tutt and senior Bersy Dominguez after awarding them with certificates for their winning stories in the Rotary Club’s Laws of Life essay contest at the Tuesday’s meeting at Coosa Country Club. (Brittany Hannah /

Those who are looking to the utility companies to come up with answers about how to keep the lights on in Georgia can expect some big changes in power generation in the state.

Among the changes are the first nuclear reactors to be built in the U.S. since the infamous Three Mile Island incident.

Along with that, natural gas-powered power generation plants in Atlanta are coming online. So for Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond manager Tracy Hawkins, it’s an exciting time to be in the utilities business.

“There are all kinds of things that can be applied to the smart grid,” Hawkins said. “But what we did at Southern Company is we took it beyond the grid.”

Hawkins spoke to the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday, talking up Southern Co.’s strategy of smart energy.

Read more: - Georgia Power speaker Power changing in state


My host families and I have a running joke. Every weekend I return back to Rome they ask me how my weekend was. My answer? “BEST. WEEKEND. EVER”. It’s a mathematical anomaly how each and every one of the weekends I’ve spent since arriving in Georgia could be the best-weekend-ever - but they are.


Since arriving in Rome, Georgia I have been fortunate enough to do some amazing things. I have spent a Saturday in Atlanta with 23 other GRSP students watching some of the best bands at Music Midtown festival (Coldplay, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant etc). I have been to cities (Thomasville, Athens, Young Harris, Savannah, Kennesaw, Ellijay) all over Georgia just about each and every weekend only to spend them with GRSPs and passionate Rotarians.


I have learned to tailgate (like a pro!) and support Georgia and to yell “GO DAWGS” in huge packed stadiums. I am convinced that I bring the DAWGS good luck having been in the stadium when they won against Florida and Georgia Tech. I might just have to come back next year! I have been fortunate enough to land the lottery with my host families. I've been to Florida 3 times, Lake Mentone, the PGA golf tour in Atlanta and very many more things are sure to come! I got to celebrate my very first halloween, dressing up as a mime for halloween and being the oldest Trick-or-Treater in the neighbourhood? I also ate so much at Thanksgiving that the I passed out on the couch by 7.30pm!


One of the highlights of my year so far has been speaking at the United Nations in New York at the Rotary UN Day, which is a one-day conference that aims to showcase how Rotary International and the UN work together to solve major world issues. Andrea Tirone (a former Ambassadorial scholar in Durban) and I spoke about Rotary Youth Exchange, the Ambassadorial Scholarship and Rotaract, highlighting the projects Rotaract Durban Berea has done. Our speech went really well and it was truly a dream come true for me.


As for New York. I LOVE IT! The cabs, the street vendors, the fire escapes, Central Park,  the atmosphere. I was lucky enough to be in NY for the UN Day, and lucky enough to go there before Christmas. 3 GRSP girls (from Sweden, Denmark and Wales) and I got in a car nicknamed ‘Mia the Kia’ and drove for 22 hours north up to Boston where another dream of mine came true. Harvard! We spent 2 days in Boston where we met up with the GRSP boys from New Zealand, Brazil, Denmark and Nigeria and had the most insane amount of fun. We carried on traveling with the boys when we got to NY where we spent a week making movie-style memories; ice-skating in Central Park, going to stand up comedy, up the Empire State Building, tracing Bob Dylan’s steps in Greenwich Village, karaoking in Chinatown, being amazed by Times Square and living the New York dream. On our road trip down we spent 2 nights in Washington and saw all the sites, Library of Congress, the White House, Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial, JFK’s grave. It was the BEST. ROAD TRIP. EVER. :)


I honestly cannot believe that it has been 5 months already and I only have 4 and a half left! This has truly been the most incredible experience and I can't wait to see what the next 4 months bring. I have to say a big thank you to each and every rotarian who has made this possible for me. Thank you!




In an underprivileged child’s sparse bedroom in Georgia’s Greene County, there were no toys or video games. There was only a collection of donated books, but the child valued them above all and read them repeatedly.

Tera Cochran recounted this story at the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday at the Coosa Country Club to illustrate the feedback her fellow volunteers receive from parents whose children benefit from receiving books and other materials encouraging reading from the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. Rome Seven Hills Rotary provides monthly book subscriptions for 65 children in Rome and Floyd County.

Read more: - Literacy program coordinator advocates early learning

Joyce Perdue-Smith, chairman of The Fairview and E.S. Brown Heritage Corp., told Seven Hills Rotarians on Tuesday, Nov. 29, she hoped the community can pull together the funds and manpower needed to bring the Fairview School back from the past.

Her journey with the project began when she started her own research on her family’s history with the school.

“I became very interested in the school when I came back to do some research on my dad’s professional career,” Perdue-Smith said. “He got his first principalship at the Fairview School in 1952. From there I started researching the school records at the Board of Education.”

Perdue-Smith pulled together the research and found alumni in the area to help bring the school back from the kudzu that had consumed it.

The project, however, is in need of funds — it’s facing a projected cost of $250,000, which includes the cost to purchase the land and building — to help it continue forward. But Perdue-Smith also hopes that items needed for cleanup like a Bobcat and volunteer muscle power will help get the school back to the way it was.

“We need people who can help us clean off the property, and that’s our most urgent need at the moment,” she said.

Alumni Ted Barnett also told Rotarians on Tuesday the project was worthy of their support because of what the school represented to those who learned inside its walls.

“It’s more than just a building,” Barnett said. “It’s a place where kids grew up. And respect didn’t start at school, it started at home. And they taught us that whatever you’ve done, to put your heart into it.”

Read more: - Historic Cave Spring school lost in kudzu making a comeback


November 8, 1980, Buck Belue threw a pass to Lindsay Scott late in the fourth quarter and the UGA Bulldogs went on to be National Champions. Lindsay Scott and Robbie Burns visited the Rome Seven Hills Rotary joint meeting with the Rome Bulldog Club on the 31st anniversary of 'The Play.' Robbie's book, Belue to Scott is now in a fourth printing. Lindsay's advice after all these years-"when you do what you're supposed to do-good things happen."




 Students share speeches at Rotary Club meeting

by Lydia Senn, staff writer
Jade Samaniego (left), a junior at Model, and Rebecca Curtis, a senior at Pepperell, won the Seven Hill Rotary speech contest Tuesday. Jeremy Baker, a senior at Pepperell, also won but was not present. (Lydia Senn / Rome News-Tribune)
Jade Samaniego (left), a junior at Model, and Rebecca Curtis, a senior at Pepperell, won the Seven Hill Rotary speech contest Tuesday. Jeremy Baker, a senior at Pepperell, also won but was not present. (Lydia Senn / Rome News-Tribune)
From cyber bullying to the debate over GPS in teenagers’ cell phones to the power of words, no topic was off limits in the Seven Hills Rotary Club essay contest.

Three high school students from Pepperell High School were awarded Tuesday as part of the “4-Way Test Essay Contest.”

Read more: - Students share speeches at Rotary Club meeting




There’s a new Georgia Rotary Student Program recipient in town, and she intends to make the most out of her time in Rome during her year of study.

Micaela De Freitas — who hails all the way from South Africa — told Rotarians  during their weekly luncheon that she is committed to helping out the organization as much as she can.

De Freitas is a junior who, before coming to the United States, attended the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, a large, bustling seacoast city in eastern South Africa.

She said her time in Rome so far has been a “bit of a culture shock.”

“It’s very small, but it’s very beautiful,” she said. “Downtown is absolutely gorgeous; it’s like a little Southern movie.”

Back in Durban, De Freitas is majoring in linguistics, English and politics. Beside being a student, she also ran a Rotaract Club that has raised money and helped to repaint a school in neighboring Mozambique.

Rotoract is a Rotary-sponsored organization for young men and women with chapters all over the globe.

Once De Freitas finishes her year of studies at Shorter, she’ll return back home to South Africa where she hopes to pursue a career in international relations “focusing very specifically on development.”

She said she wants to work in “underdeveloped countries focusing on how to use creativity and design method or way to effect change.”

For now, De Freitas is just happy to have been given the opportunity to study at Shorter University.

“I’m grateful for this year and this opportunity to learn about American culture,” she said.

Read more: - 2011 GRSP student Micaela De Freitas speaks to Rome Rotary

The stock market is an unpredictable and emotional business to be in, Mike Crego told the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday.

Coupled with influential economic and psychological factors, the market has been “volatile,” said Crego, senior vice president of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors.

“We feel like this volatility is going to continue to be a factor for investors for years to come,” he said.

He referenced last week’s risky financial environment, mapping out the different factors that came into play.

“The S&P credit downgrade … was a huge factor, the timing of it more so than anything else,” said Crego. “We thought is was coming, but we didn’t expect it to be last week.”

He continued to expand on other factors that have affected the market.

“The debt negotiations and the lack of commitment in Washington to really be serious about addressing this issue probably weighed on investors’ minds,” he said. “The Greek and European debt crisis is a factor as well.”

But Crego remained optimistic, pointing to low interest rates, good productivity and rising inventory numbers. During this unpredictable time, he advised investors to stay diversified, balanced and patient.

“We feel like the best way to address the unpredictability of the financial market is to have a disciplined, diversified portfolio that includes exposure to stocks, bonds, perhaps gold and real estate,” he said. “Have plenty of acuity for short-term emergencies and stay with a diversification mix that meets your objectives.”

Crego ended his presentation with valuable advice to the younger generation.

“Don’t spend more than you make, invest as early as possible and stay disciplined,” he said. “If you do those three things as a young person, you can really set yourself up for a good financial future.” -

As more employers and employees grapple with rising health insurance costs, Teresa Fagan, director of Occupational Health at Redmond Regional Medical Center, said that there are some reasons to be optimistic.

Speaking to the Seven Hill Rotary Club on Tuesday, Fagan said there are some opportunities to rein in costs and provide better service.

“It’s one of the most exciting times I’ve seen,” Fagan said. “There are a lot of challenges out there, but there are huge opportunities and a lot of flexibility to bring health care to the work site and to do things that really make an impact and a change in people’s lives.”

In her presentation, Fagan referenced the Fieldale Farms Corp., as a “benchmark for Georgia.”

The company has been able to keep employee health insurance premium increases well below average for the State of Georgia and the nation

Read more: - Redmond’s Occupational Health director speaks to the Seven Hills Rotary Club

Donald Dowless has been a busy man since he began his tenure as Shorter University’s new president in June.

He has a laundry list of tasks that need to be completed so Shorter University can continue to grow. But one element of the University’s mission that Dowless believes he can contribute to the most is the spiritual growth of students.

Dowless told the Seven Hills Rotary Tuesday that this was one area where he’d be focusing his attention and said “I believe that God has given us an ability, ...and it is to be used for his glory

Read more: - Shorter president sees need for more space

“We’ll go behind dumpsters, stores, under bridges, anywhere we think the homeless might be. If you’re just a breathing body on American soil, we don’t care if you’re here legally or illegally, you get counted.”

Noting that the census paints a portrait of American life, U.S. Census Bureau Information Services Specialist Genora F. Barber told the Seven Hills Rotary Club that census conductors go above and beyond to get an accurate count.

She spoke at length about the American Community Survey, which gives a general glimpse of a region’s social, economic, housing and demographic characteristics.

“The American Community Survey is going to give you the data you want, especially about your community when it comes time to make pertinent decisions,” Barber said. “Whether you need a new bus stop, a park or an addition to your school, that information will come out.”

Read more: - Rotarians told Census counters take job seriously



Floyd County Commission Chairman Eddie Lumsden visited the Seven Hills Rotary Club meeting Tuesday to talk about an important issue coming up for Georgia voters: regional transportation sales tax funding.

Specifically, Lumsden’s presentation explained the process by which local governments will get road construction money, if the 1-cent tax is approved in a 2012 election. The potential wish list is still a work in progress.

“We are in the final phase of the process,” said Lums­den. “We have a meeting scheduled for (today) for the executive committee of the regional roundtable. That meeting’s primary purpose is to bring the constrained list to a final form.”

Lumsden said he thinks the idea makes sense. “It seems to me the facts are pretty straightforward. The state has said this is the way that we’re going to do transportation funding as we go forward, and you can either participate in it and reap the benefits or not participate in it and there will be some consequences,” he said

Read more: - Commission chair Region road funding important to county



The program at the June 21 meeting of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club was a suitable end to the Rotary year, with information on past, present and future Rotary events, as explained by Past District Governor of Dist. 6900, Robert Hall.

PDG Robert explained the connection between The Rotary Foundation and our personal lives, from its establishment to the current day, with the end of polio now in sight. We are genuinely, just that close... but as the law of diminishing returns tells us, closing the gap to the complete elimination of Polio will take extraordinary effort and participation of all Rotarians. We must remain focused on this task.

I am proud to say that we also inducted our first honorary member, Interact Club advisor Eric Turner, who is the teen unit director at the Boys and Girls Club. Interact is of course, one element of New Generations, and with the New Generations comes the future of Rotary and of our world.


The June 14 meeting of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club took members to the South Rome unit of the Boys and Girls Club to see the kids who are out on summer break from school. After a brief introduction from the new Chief Professional Officer JR Davis, more books were donated to the Seven Hills Rotary Library. Next, the members ate lunch with the under 12's and then toured the facility to see how our support is put to good use. A good time was had by all, especially the children and teens, who were excellent hosts for the visit.


The Tuesday, June 7 meeting of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club included a visit from Georgia House District 13 representative Katie Dempsey. She provided members with an update on legislation occurring during the recently ended legislative session, an update which spanned the range of alcohol sales to the newly-signed immigration bill.

On alcohol sales, Ms. Dempsey took issue with the amount of coverage the issue had received in the press, to the detriment of other issues.

"If you paid attention to the media, you would think that is all we did this year," she said.

Dempsey said it doesn't matter what her opinion on alcohol sales is, it should be up to the people to decide if they want it in their community.

On immigration, Ms. Demspsey said she had given her full support to the bill signed last month by Gov. Nathan Deal, even cosponsoring the legislation and serving on a special immigration reform study committee last year.

The new law authorizes law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of suspects, detain them if they are in the country illegally and penalizes people who knowingly transport or harbor illegal immigrants. It also makes presenting false documents or information when applying for a job a felony.

Ms. Dempsey took care to point out that the bill does not give officers the right to request documentation from anyone who looks like an undocumented worker or illegal resident. She clarified that a suspect must be in the midst of a crime for an officer to request his status as a citizen.

Photo courtesy of Rome-News Tribune. Read more: - Dempsey covers immigration alcohol sales at Rotary Club meeting


Bruce Watterson and I arrived in New Orleans for the Rotary International Convention on what was to be "Rapture Saturday," May 21, and appropriately, we went to join the heathens on Bourbon Street for a long drink that evening.

The convention started in earnest on Sunday, with 19,000 attendees from all over the world listening as RI President Ray Klinginsmith kicked off the event with speeches and musical entertainment in between. Monday found us traipsing through the "House Of Friendship" convention hall viewing over 200 booths full of information set up by Rotary-related fellowships, clubs, and vendors. Tuesday took us to workshops held by the leadership of Rotary where we were able to debate the future of Rotary with incoming RI President Kalyan Banerjee and hear Bill Gates discuss his own commitment to End Polio Now. Wednesday came all too quickly and it was time to return to Rome.

What sticks out most about the trip? Without a doubt, the intense level of international fellowship that we experienced, whether doing something as simple as exchanging pins with fellow club presidents from Ghana, or helping French Rotarians contact their former GSE team members visiting from the tsunami-stricken area of Japan. We should all be looking forward to 2017 when the RI Convention returns to the USA, and this time in our own back yard of Atlanta.

Click on the photo of Bruce for a closer view, and read more and see more about the conventions at


The Tuesday, May 24 meeting of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club tingled with excitement about an announcement as the CEO of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce came to speak to the club. 


The day before, a Development of Regional Impact filing had been made with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs detailing "Project River" a $130 million investment as a warehouse/distribution complex at the new North Floyd Industrial Park at Ga. 53 and Ga. 140 in Shannon.

Hodge said the project, a 1.4 million-square-foot facility, will be four times the size of Mount Berry Square mall and is highly competitive, so will remain a mystery for a little longer.

Hodge said the chamber, along with community leaders, has made valiant efforts to bring in industry and maintain the industry the county already has.  “It is important to take care of the ones who brought you to the dance,” he said.

Read more: - Al Hodge speaks at Rotary mum on ‘Project River’

Read more: - "County files DRI report for major industrial prospect"

Read more: - Project River could generate 1 4 million in local tax revenue


The May 17 program was a heartwarming presentation by Charles Smith of MELD for Young Dads, a support group for fathers aged 16 to 25 that offers classes and support, and more importantly, local Roman Jai Dowdy, the winner of the national father of the year honor from the Committed Father’s Alliance, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes fatherhood programs.

Charles Smith, the director of MELD, nominated Dowdy for the award. He said that when he heard about the national honor, Dowdy was the first man he thought of.

Gloria Dickson, head of the Committed Father’s Alliance, said that when she read about Dowdy she knew he was the perfect recipient for the award.

“He was so committed to being a part of his children’s lives,” she said.

Dowdy will be flown to Washington, D.C., for the National Partnership for Community Leadership conference in June.

For more information about MELD, contact Charles Smith, site coordinator, at

Read more: - Rome man wins national father of the year award

Photo courtesy of the Rome News-Tribune 


From the Rome News-Tribune: 
Almost one year ago, CNN FitNation Challenge participant Nina Lovel couldn’t run 90 seconds without getting winded. Now, many blisters and bruises later, she is able to run six miles, ride a bicycle with little strain and perform strenuous swimming exercises.

“I was inspired by one of my friends and I thought if she can do it I can do it,” stated Lovel. “It’s amazing how far I’ve come.”

Lovel, who is a resident of Rome, spoke to the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday, May 10, about her journey with the FitNation Challenge as she prepares for the New York City Triathlon in August.

“It was the first time I met with the other five competitors in Atlanta that I realized the impact of what I was about to do,” she said.

The New York City Triathlon entails a 0.9-mile swim in the Hudson River, a 25-mile bicycle ride through Manhattan and a 6.2-mile run in Central Park.

Lovel said the FitNation team from CNN has been very supportive. She has been provided with a bike, a wet suit and a uniform.

She also said she is getting much help from the community, including Berry College and her trainer John Dickens.

“I really want to thank everyone locally for helping me the ways they have,” she said. “It’s really nice to have everyone cheering me on.”

Lovel said that 12 of her family and friends are planning to fly to New York for support. She is now training one and a half to two hours a day, seven days a week for the triathlon.

“I try to be my best even when I’m at my worst,” she stated.

Read more: - Roman Nina Lovel ‘amazed’ at triathlon training progress

The Tuesday, May 3 meeting of the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club was marked with a festive mood as club members learned of the awards that our club received at the recently held District 6910 Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. 

Out of 70 clubs overall in the district and out of 21 "large size" (50+ member) clubs in the district, the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club was recognized with a Gold Award by the District Governor.  The Gold Award is the highest award offered by the district governor and is reserved for clubs that have excelled in all areas of the five avenues of service.  We were one of only 22 clubs in the district and one of only 11 clubs in the large club category to receive this award. 

Our club was also recognized by Rotary International's president, receiving the Presidential Citation With Distinction, one of only 11 within the district and one of only 7 clubs within the large club category to receive this recognition.   The Presidential Citation With Distinction is the highest award offered by the president of Rotary International and is reserved for clubs that have excelled in all areas of the five avenues of service. 

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the participation of every member of the club on some level.  Special thanks go out to all members who played a role in the leadership of the club this year as a member of the board or head of a committee.

Although we have reached the end of the period of measurement by the district and international organization for our efforts, two months remain before the start of the new Rotary year on July 1.  We will be using this time to work on areas that are outside the realm of recognition by the district governor or RI president, helping those who have suffered at the hand of the recent tornado-related destruction and making plans for another great year under incoming president Bill Byars.


From the Rome News-Tribune:
Violent crimes against children are a top priority for longtime Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan.

Keenan told the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday, April 19, that his child sexual exploitation investigation unit is one of the best in the nation. For two years in a row, he said, Georgia has been No. 1 in the nation in arrests for distribution of child pornography. "It's not that we're any worse than any other state. We just dang don't put up with it!" he exclaimed.

Keenan told the civic leaders that while the overall crime rate is down across the nation, the level of violence is up. "We're routinely seeing this across the state of Georgia," Keenan said. He explained that 2011 is already shaping up as one of the worst years ever for violent crimes involving the assault and murder of police officers in Georgia.

He also lauded local law enforcers. "I don't know if you appreciate how good your law enforcement agencies are in Floyd County, but I do," said Keenan, who singled out Rome Police Chief Elaine Snow, Floyd County Police Chief Bill Shiflett and Floyd County Sheriff Tim Burkhalter as being among the top in the state. Keenan also called Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson one of the finest prosecutors in the state.

"I would hate to have her after me," Keenan said. "She's going to press the envelope to bring people to justice."

Read more: - Increase of violent crime worries GBI chief

It's hard to believe a puppet show would bring tears to the eyes of adults, but Shannon Bond and her "friend" Hermina Bell did just that during the Tuesday, April 5 meeting of the Seven Hills Rotary club.

Bond was one of three Rotary speakers who shared what local organizations are doing to help abused children in Floyd County as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

She contracts with Harbor House and other organizations to take her message to about 2,000 students during the course of a year to discuss the "no touch rule." The rule states "no one should touch our private parts except for us to be clean and healthy."

"We introduce it like a rule. You don't play with matches, you don't do drugs, you don't steal and you don't break the touching rule," Bond said. Bond and Hermina speak to students in kindergarten, third grade and fifth grade. She reminds the students that they are powerful, and if they encounter someone who breaks the no touch rule they are to say no, run and tell someone.

"We tell them that people are waiting to rescue them should something happen," Bond said.

But it is the telling part that many of the children struggle with. One fact that impacted Rotary members the most was that the children believe if they don't tell an adult it is their fault.

"They think if they tell later they will get in trouble," Bond said.

Bond said one child who encountered sexual abuse told the school counselor and credited the no touch rule.

"She said, "I knew I wasn't alone. I knew it wasn't my fault, and I knew I was powerful,'" Bond said.

Read more: - Child advocate shares puppet show on child abuse prevention

Jessica Alexander, a senior at Rome High School won third place in the Georgia State Law of Life contest, an international essay contest sponsored locally by the Seven Hills Rotary Club. Four students from Rome were honored for their essays during the April 12 meeting, one from each grade level: Rome High freshman Cole Abbott, sophomore Nathan Tan and junior David Dickson.

Each student picked a wise saying or quote that applies to their own life and wrote an essay about it. Alexander chose the Talmud passage about kindness. She said she learned this lesson growing up in the Open Door Home. She described her own life as being thrown around from foster home to relatives to a mother who abused drugs and was in and out of jail. Alexander is now in the care of foster parents she said love and support her. Her foster parents, Cindy and Leon Haygood, were there to support her as she read her essay.

Read more: - Students share their life lessons with Seven Hills Rotary Club Jessica Alexander wins an essay contest with her entry about kindness

Members of the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club, Mark Tunnell, Bruce Watterson, and John Head, watch Keith Powers, a die corrector, set up a die to form the shape of an aluminum log during a vocational tour of the Profile Extrusion Company on Tuesday. "There is so much about manufacturing that the average Rome citizen doesn't know," said Watterson. "I drive by this plant frequently, so it is neat to get in off the street and see the inside." (Ellie Mahon,

Profile Extrusion's Rome plant has three presses capable of producing 45 million pounds of aluminum extrusions each year. The newest press, the 2700 Ton 8 press, is one of the most technologically advanced presses available for aluminum extrusions using a state-of-the-art quenching system to cool the aluminum more quickly.

Special thanks to David Newby, General Manager of Profile Extrusion and his staff for their hospitality.

Read more: - Photo slideshows showcasing Rome and Floyd County, Georgia

Dear Friends and Supporters of Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy:

Unknown to us, late last week, the Georgia House struck a major blow to our partnership with the Department of Human Services - a partnership begun in 2011 that provides books to the home monthly of the lowest income children in the State. They are attempting to redirect the funding in 2012 for over 37,000 Foster Care and subsidized care children who have just started receiving books designed to provide the building blocks for vocabulary and reading proficiency during the critical 0-5 brain development years. We must ensure that these children have an equal opportunity to arrive at Kindergarten ready to learn to read to read to learn by third grade. These funds were included in the Governor's original budget proposal for FY2012.

We need your help immediately to inform the members of the Senate Appropriations Human Development Sub Committee, other Appropriation Chairs and Senate Leadership that we need the funds restored in their budget proposal to continue this partnership. Click below for more details.

Reprinted from the Rome News-Tribune:
Seven Hills Rotarians learned about the plight of orphans in Uganda during their meeting on Tuesday, March 22.

Berry College student Brin Enterkin was the guest speaker at the meeting. She spoke about the Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project, an organization she started a year and a half ago.

While visiting the small landlocked East African nation, Enterkin, at the time a Berry College freshman, visited an orphanage and she said it left an impression on her that she could not forget.

"My heart broke," she said. "I couldn't forget the children. I knew that I had to help them in some way. I decided to come back to the U.S. and help provide a future for them."

So Enterkin started SOUP, which now provides 300 Ugandan children (most of whom are orphans) with food, school tuition, health care and clothing.

The 20-year-old said SOUP's funding comes from local fundraisers as well as SOUP's sponsorship program.

We provide houses for the children and we take care of all their physiological needs," Enterkin said. "This is not some big glorious thing we're doing. But it's important. When you can see the faces of the children that need someone to care for them, then you know that it's important."

Visit online at or e-mail for additional information about the Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project.

Read more: - Berry student helping orphans in Africa

The March 8 meeting focused on Polio as Past District Governor Joe Whittemore came to tell about his experiences with the start of the Polio Plus program, and his own experiences as a polio patient. PDG Joe's story as a young boy who managed to become a patient at the same Warm Springs, GA hospital where President Roosevelt was treated was as touching and as human a connection to polio as we could imagine.

PDG Joe's visit was topped off by a completion of two donations towards the Polio Plus program: First, the final $500 of the $3000 pledged by Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club for this year was presented to PDG Joe by club president Alan Horne. Then, Interact Advisor Eric Turner presented a check for $71.56 which was money raised by the Seven Hills Interact Club members during their Purple Pinky campaign at the Seven Hills Rotary Basketball Classic.

The March 1, 2011 meeting was marked by a recognition and award luncheon for the professors and students of Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Morgan Fowler, left, who aspires to be an FBI agent, was named the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Georgia Occupational Award of Leadershp (GOAL) winner. Fowler is a criminal justice major representing the GNTC Gordon County campus. Fowler will serve as an ambassador for the technical college and represent GNTC in statewide competition.

Bea Stitzer, an instructor in the Early Childhood Education program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Gordon County campus was named the college's Rick Perkins Faculty of the Year Award recipient Tuesday

The GOAL program was initiated 40 years ago to spotlight excellence in technical education. GNTC President Craig McDaniel said that across GNTC's network of campuses, 31 students were nominated for the GOAL award this year.

Other finalists for the GOAL award at GNTC this year were Janoah Hill, vascular technology, Floyd campus, nominated by Leif Penrose; Misty Ledford, early childhood care and education, Gordon campus, nominated by Bea Stitzer; and Laura Rankin, radiologic technology, Floyd campus, nominated by Diane Mance.

Read more: - GOAL winner seeks career with FBI

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta updated members of the Seven Hills Rotary Club at the Tuesday Feb. 27 meeting on the budget situation along with immigration and tort reform.

Gingrey said Congress has spent more than 100 hours debating HR 1, which would provide funding for the federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2011. The Marietta Republican said that when the new Republican majority took control in January, they dedicated themselves to cutting unnecessary federal spending.

"We had a recommendation of cutting something like $60 billion over the remaining seven months of the federal fiscal year," Gingrey said.

In addition to the $60 billion, the Republican majority added cuts including the prohibition of funding for a health care czar or climate change czar, and restoring the federal prohibition on funding abortion and needle exchange programs.

Gingrey, an honorary Rotarian himself, also helped take care of some Rotary business by awarding blue badges to three members of the club: Alice Herring, Eric Labbe and David Tomlin. He jokingly reassured all three that his skills as a doctor would help save them from being accidentally pinned in the wrong place as he attached the new badge. See the photo and tell us if you agree.

Read more about Congressman Gingrey's comments, his visit to Rome and his tour of the new cancer center at

At the Feb. 8 meeting, Seven Hills Rotarians were introduced to two recent red badge members, John Countryman and Stacy Norton. John and Stacy told of their backgrounds and interests, and their motivations for joining Rotary.

Longtime member Nina Lovel had a surprise announcement. She informed club members that she had been selected by CNN Dr. Sanjay Gupta's health show as one member of the 2011 "Six Pack" that are training to run their first ever triathlon on August 7, alongside CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The group met for the first time at CNN's World Headquarters in Atlanta during the first weekend of February. See more details at and see Nina's interview at

The meeting ended with a report by club president Alan Horne on progress toward goals and explanations of what remains to be accomplished for the year ending June 30, 2011. As a club, we are on track in most areas, but increasing membership remains the most difficult goal to achieve.

Mike Finnegan, representing Providence Preparatory Academy spoke to Seven Hills Rotarians during the Feb. 1 program. Providence Preparatory Academy is a unique educational model, a University Model School, which is designed to bring together the best attributes of traditional public and private schools as well as home study and integrate them into one model. Providence Prep plans to open in the fall of 2011 for grades K-7 and then add higher level grades on later as the school matures. The school would be on the campus of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 1818 Kingston Road. Children will attend class part of the week and are home-schooled the rest.

Photo courtesy of Rome News - Tribune. Read more: - Finnegan to Rotary Providence Prep a go for this fall

Members of the Boys & Girls Club turned out together with Seven Hills Rotarians, Seven Hills Interact members and the rest of the community to see the 13th Annual Seven Hills Rotary Basketball Classic at the Berry College Cage Center on Monday, Jan. 24. The weekly meeting was held at the game. Throughout the evening, Interact Club members conducted a Purple Pinkie Campaign to raise money spread awareness about polio eradication efforts and PolioPlus. During the break between the men's and women's games, Rotarians got out on the floor to present representatives of the Boys & Girls Club with a giant check in the amount of $10,000. The credit for the success of the evening goes to all Seven Hills Rotarians who participated, but especially to Brooke Brinson and Ed Watters for their fantastic work in organizing the fundraiser.

Interested in the game results? See the following:

Women's Game:

Men's Game:

The Jan. 18, 2011 club meeting took on an intense air as coaches from the mens and women's basketball teams at Berry College & Shorter University took the podium in the annual press conference in the run up to the Seven Hills Rotary Basketball Classic.

Shorter University and Berry College will renew its rivalry at Berry College's Cage Center in a basketball doubleheader beginning with the Lady Hawks and Lady Vikings at 6 p.m., and ending with a matchup between the Hawks and Vikings at 8 p.m.

After spending nearly a decade battling not only as cross-town rivals within the same town, but as conference rivals within the Southern States Athletic Conference, the landscape is a bit different this time around.

Berry and its athletic department have completed a move to non-scholarship NCAA Division III. Shorter's officials announced last week that the University is assessing a potential move to NCAA Division II while its hoops programs have risen to the top of the SSAC.

Photo compliements of Rome News-Tribune. Read more: - Berry Shorter renew rivalry

Rome's Cycle Therapy bike shop owner Trey Smith spoke to the members of the Rome- Seven Hills Rotary Club during the Jan. 4 meeting about the importance of Rome's cycle trail network. Smith explained that Some of the trails in Rome may be among the community's best-kept secrets. For example, many participants in Sunday's Resolution Run had no idea there were trails on Jackson Hill by the Civic Center.

"It was very good exposure because we've got people who have lived here forever and didn't know the trails were there," Smith said.

Smith said one of the difficulties in furthering development of the Rome and Floyd County trail system is that not enough people are actively involved.

Rome City Commissioner Wright Bagby said Rome lost out on the possibility of acquiring the abandoned rail line between Rome and Cave Spring for trail use in large part because there was no one out there pushing local government to acquire the line.

A special Facebook page, Rome/Floyd County Fitness Trails, has been created to help promote the system as an outlet for improved health, an alternative form of commuting and economic development, particularly through tourism.

Photo and story courtesy of Rome News Tribune. Read more: - Smith Rome trails system needs exposure promotion

There was no meeting on December 28, but the December 21 2010 meeting held some political excitement not only for our own club with the election of Bill Byars as president starting July 1, 2011 , but also with the visit by several members of the Rome - Seven Hills Interact Club members and a ceremony for the installation of their officers. From the Rome - Seven Hills Interact Club we hosted President Averill Beedles, VP Lorenta Everhart, Secretary Jalia Dublin, Treasurer Aspen Donaldson, and Director Jaleesa Dublin in addition to several of the regular members of the Interact Club.

Just a refresher, Interact is the youth arm of Rotary, for those youth ages 12 to 18. There are 11,920 Interact Clubs worldwide made up of 274,100 members. Attendance is an important requirement for Interact members also - they must attend 60% of their meetings. The Rome- Seven Hills Interact Club meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at the Boys and Girls Club in South Rome (the building which, by the way, was designed by our own club member, architect Mark Cochran). Attendance by a Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club member qualifies for double make up credit, and attendance is now a requirement to gain a blue badge. The Rome - Seven Hills Interact Club is a community based club rather than a school-based club, and it is made up students from Coosa High School, Darlington School and Rome High School.

The Dec. 14 meeting of the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club brought with it an update on host committee plans for the Russell Athletics 2010 NAIA Football National Championship by Bob Berry of the host committee together with some of the history of how the event came to Rome. Of course, we all know the result of the game now, but take a look at this video clip from the multimedia files of the Rome News Tribune.

NAIA Championship Game: Carroll College downs top-ranked Sioux Falls for title

During our December 7, 2010 meeting of the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club, Tricia Steele of Rome-based digital marketer Steele Agency led a wide-ranging presentation the changes and current technical nuances in digital marketing. It turns out your run of the mill home page does not cut it in any more in today's environment of browsers, platforms and devices. Instead, various "landing pages" that not only tell your customer about your product or service, but also tell you more about your customer are the wave of the digital marketing future.

Apparently Tricia' s presentation hit home with some members. Tricia reported having five different requests for new business proposals by the end of the week, all of which came from people having seen her presentation. If you would like more info, go to and see what kind of page you land on.

President Gretta Wilson of the Open Door Homes told members of the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club at the Nov. 30 meeting that the number of children needing the services of Rome's Open Door Homes is escalating every year. She said that in the past five years, the homes have served 634 area children.

The Louise Hunt Open Door Home for boys serves two dozen boys, while the original Open Door Home for girls also serves 24 young women. Both facilities, which house children who have been neglected or abused, are located in West Rome. A new transitional home for teens who have reached age 18 and have nowhere to go has also opened.

"Some of the kids that are placed with us are short term," Wilson said. "Some are until a family can be found, a foster home. Some are long term." Wilson also said that one young man has been at the home for nearly nine years.

Funding continues to be an issue, according to Wilson. Her budget is $1.9 million, and she said it costs $139 per day, per child, to care for the young people.

The homes get $102 per day, per child, from the state. The organization makes up the rest of its budget with money from Rome and Floyd County, the local United Way, volunteer-led fundraisers and private donors. "All of which are projected to possibly decrease this next year," Wilson said.

Last year more than 200 group homes across the state were forced to close their doors because of funding problems. To help, Rome's Zoe Myers will perform a benefit concert Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mount Berry Square mall. Donations will be earmarked for the Open Door Homes. Also, Wilson said a Dancing Stars of Rome event is set for March 12, 2011.

Read more: - Speaker Need for residential services for neglected abused children growing

Taking a cue from the hit TV show "Glee," approximately 60 Rome Middle School students have started a choral/performance troupe called Grand Illusion, and members of the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club were treated to their inaugural performance during the meeting held on November 23.

The students performed song and dance routines to both classic and contemporary tunes, including "Sail Away" by Styx, with a nod of tribute to Styx found in their name "Grand Illusion." The RMS students will soon be traveling out of state to their first competition, and our club board of directors is taking special steps to provide the troupe with support for their trip. We wish them all the best.

The Nov. 16 program was classification talks from three new members: David Tomlin, Eric Labbe and Alice Herring. David told us about his background in financial planning; Eric told us how he started in construction but is now living his dream owning his business, a printer ink refill franchise; and Alice told us about the long history behind her jewelry shop. The highlight of the program though, was not classification-related at all. Eric prepared a powerpoint presentation for his talk, and through that we were introduced to his gorgeous twin daughters. Eric is obviously a proud father. Ask him to show you a photo of his girls the next time you see him.
On Nov. 6 fellow Rotarian Carlton Ulmer finished his fifth Ironman - a 2.4 mile open water swim followed by 112 miles on a bike followed by a full marathon, 140 miles total, all in one session. Carlton agreed to paint his pinkie purple in recognition of polio eradication efforts worldwide, and held it out for the finish line photo (click the photo to see a larger image). Carlton finished in 11:26:17, placing him 593 out of 2400+ athletes from 47 countries and 48 US states. This was a personal best compared to his prior 11:52:03 during the 2004 IM Florida, so Carlton was thrilled with his results. It was a challenging day with swells in the Gulf and high winds on the bike/run.
The program for the Nov. 9 2010 meeting was the second of four Club Assemblies planned for the year. Anchoring the program were an explanation by Sammy Rich about membership and an update by Cheryl Huffman about literacy.

Sammy drew attention to the club member classification survey that had earlier been prepared by Vocational Services Chairperson Kevin Payne showing that the following classifications are under-represented: IT, healthcare, marketing, advertising, engineering, agriculture, building, fitness, manufacturing, and media. Sammy asked for every member's help by identifying five or six potential candidates for membership and forwarding that list of names to him. Sammy also spoke to the needs of member retention and satisfaction of current members. An online member survey is in the development stages with the satisfaction of our current members in mind.

In her update to our literacy efforts, Cheryl reminded club members of the fact that the club received a challenge grant last spring that challenges us to enroll 400 children in the Ferst Foundation's efforts to send books to children in Floyd County. This is a program shared with the Rome Rotary club under which we have paid for the enrollment of approx. 200 children so far this year. We are facing a deadline of the end of this calendar to enroll the remaining 200 children, and will be calling on all members to help.

During the club meeting, I also introduced two other concepts important to our club: The Purple Pinkie campaign most often used by Interact students in schools to spread the message about polio eradication; and the fact that we are on target to make our club Bigger, Better, Bolder, and GOLD. The "purple pinkie" is indicative of the purple ink that is used to identify children during mass vaccinations that have already received a polio vaccine dose so that precious doses are not accidentally given to groups of children a second time around. In the Interact fundraising and awareness campaigns, students collect Pennies for Polio and paint purple ink the pinkie of those students that have donated.

By now you should all recognize the words "Bigger, Better and Bolder" as part of the message spread by RI President Ray Klinginsmith to all Rotary clubs about their efforts. And by achieving the goals set out for us by the District 6910 leadership this year, we will again be recognized as a Bronze, Silver or Gold level club. We are now over one-third of the way through the Rotary year, and it will take the efforts of each and every club member to achieve these goals over the remaining time period. How will we do this? Please, take few minutes to ask yourself what you have done with Rotary so far and what else you would like to do in the remainder of the year that will help us achieve all four of these goals: Bigger, Better Bolder and GOLD.

From the Rome News-Tribune:
The Hospitality House for Women provided direct support to more than 430 victims of domestic violence during the past year, 219 of them children. Amy Weaver, executive director of the shelter in Rome, said an outreach program provided services to another 524 people last year.

Weaver told the members of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club during the Nov. 2 meeting that domestic violence ranges from physical abuse to emotional, psychological, sexual and financial abuse. Therapeutic and counseling services were provided to another 600 citizens, more than 200 of them children. Financial assistance was offered to 99 families to help with housing and other basic family needs.

"It's not about men versus women," said Weaver. "It's about power and control. It's about violence versus peace, and it's a communitywide problem."

Read more: - Hospitality House executive director Domestic violence still a problem

Fellow Rotarian Carlton Ulmer was the program for the Oct. 26 meeting of the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club. He told club members that he and a handful of other Romans will be traveling to Panama City, Fla., to compete in another Ironman event on Nov. 6.

The training period leading up to competition in an Ironman, which includes a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, all totaling 140.6 miles, typically lasts about seven months. This will be Carlton's second Ironman in four months. His training regimen includes about seven miles of swimming each week, 225 miles on the bike and 48 miles of running. Carlton does most of his training early in the morning, starting with an hour or longer on his bike around 4 a.m. Carlton also pointed out that the training period requires a great deal of support and understanding of family and friends and he was quick to credit his wife for her understanding and support of his efforts.

When it comes to the race day itself, Carlton was quick to dispel another misconception. "Ironman is not about racing. It's a day of problem solving. Create a race plan for a big day, but be prepared to be flexible."

Photo and article compliments of: - Redmond executive gears up for second Ironman event in four months
District Governor Gene Windham visited the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club on Oct. 19 to tell members about his Rotary Dream and to ask members to make our clubs "Bigger, Better, and Bolder." DG Gene started his visit with a short meeting with the members of the board, and ended his visit at the regular club meeting that was wrapped up with a very unique parting gift, prepared with the help of fellow Rotarian Mike Hackett: a manhole cover with Rome's most famous symbol, the Clocktower, stamped in it. (DG Gene and his better half Denise have both expressed how happy they are with the gift and explain that it will take an honored place in the garden among special flowers and other decorations.)

Our club also passed along a check for The Rotary Foundation Polio Plus campaign in the amount of $2,500, the proceeds of our recent Ducky Derby to benefit polio eradication and CRBI.

Thanks to everyone for their participation in making our visit with DG Gene a success.
Ms. DeLean Brandon of the admissions office of the Darlington School detailed Georgia's Greater Opportunities for Access to Learning (GOAL) program during the October 12 meeting of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club. The program allows allows taxpayers to take tax credit to support private in accredited schools in Georgia. She explained that tax payers take advantage of the program already to provide benefits to Darlington, Berry College Elementary and Middle, St. Mary's and Unity Christian Schools. The average GOAL scholarship recipient receives an award of $4,500. For individuals, the tax credit limit is $1,000, while those who are married and filing jointly, the limit is $2,500. Applications to the state must be submitted by November 15, 2010. Photo courtesy of the Rome News Tribune.
On October 5, Seven Hills Rotarians were treated to an explanation of some of the finer points regarding the treatment of muscle disorders through neuromuscular therapy by Mr. Bobby Lewis of Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Mr. Lewis brought with him several students of his program, who provided a "hands-on" experience with their training on their "massage chairs" before and after the meeting. Mr. Lewis also roamed the room during his presentation searching out "potential patients with potential problems" and providing them with almost instantaneous relief through a spot-on massage with his deft hands. The GNTC program is one of the rare programs across the country to provide an Associate's degree in the field of Neuromuscular Therapy.
About 35 members of the Rome -Seven Hills Rotary Club went on a vocational tour of the new Shorter University School of Nursing program for the Sept. 28, 2010 meeting. There members we were treated to a demonstration of how student nurses learn to treat people by practicing on highly-sophisticated patient mannequins in a very realistic setting. The mannequins reacted to correct treatments and incorrect treatments for their "illnesses" just the way an actual human being would react.

Many thanks to Dr. Vanice W. Roberts, DSN, RN, Dean of Nursing, Shorter University and her staff at the Shorter University School of Nursing for all their hospitality in showing us some of the newest facets of medical education.
Mill manager Don Henderson of denim fabric maker Mt. Vernon Mills spoke to the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday, Sept. 21 about his business and good fortune that has led to the plant operating in Chattooga County for over 165 years. Some of that "good fortune" even extended to successful negotiations during the US Civil War to keep the mill from being destroyed.

The factory produces approximately 3 million yards of fabric a week, and most of the mill's product is stitched together overseas and then shipped back to the U.S. as final product duty-free. The biggest challenges facing the company today include cotton prices and availability, along with energy costs associated with operating the mill.

The original mill, built 165 years ago, was destroyed by fire in 1878. When it was rebuilt, Henderson said, it nearly doubled in size and hasn't stopped growing. The current campus encompasses more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing space.

The family of Andrew Allgood organized the mill and owned it until around 1912, when it became a part of Riegel Textiles. It was sold to former Georgia Pacific executive Robert Pamplin in 1985, becoming part of the Mt. Vernon Mills family.

Mr. Henderson credited the longtime success of the company to a couple of most critical factors: A little bit of luck, but mostly the very good employees who have stayed with the company for several decades of its operation.

Photo Courtesy of the Rome News Tribune: Read more: - Manager Mt Vernon Mills bouncing back by growing adding employees
GRSP student for Caroline Straumsheim came to speak to the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club on Sept. 14 to introduce herself. Caroline is from Gjovik, Norway, and will spend the next school year studying at Berry College. Her stay is hosted by the two Rotary Clubs in Rome.

Caroline told members that she may attend the University of Oslo after her year in the United States. She is considering a career as an attorney, and now she is getting ready for a year of study of economics, math, and psychology.

This is not Caroline's first visit to the USA. She has traveled here before as have other members of her family, and her two elder brothers are both alumni of the GRSP program. However, Berry College was quite a pleasant surprise, she explained, while she joked about her dorm room in the "Chastity Castle", better known as the Ford buildings to most Romans.

Caroline was asked to compare Rome to her hometown of Gjovik, in Norway. She explained that it is very similar to Rome in size, but that there are few other similarities.

We look forward to hosting Caroline for several more lunch visits throughout the year as we did for Lauren and David before her. Please be sure to say hello to Caroline the next time she comes to the club meeting to eat lunch.

Photo courtesy of the Rome News-Tribune.
From the Rome News-Tribune Sept. 1, 2010

Economic growth in Vietnam is expected to hit 5.5 percent to 6 percent this year, ranking with China and India in terms of global growth. However, the economic gains made by the Southeast Asian nation of 90 million are mitigated by problems in the area of individual freedoms and human rights, according to Roman Angela Dickey, the deputy consul general to Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon).

Dickey, who spoke to the Seven Hills Rotary Club at the August 31 meeting, has spent three years in Ho Chi Minh City and recently was able to extend her tour of duty to four years. She said the city has an amazingly energetic population.

Dickey explained that the U.S. relationship with Vietnam has turned around in the last 15 years, and the trade relationship between the countries is now worth $15 billion a year.
Longtime club members Barbara Ware and Ed Watters joined new Rotarian Doug Walker to deliver classification talks at the August 24, 2010 meeting of the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club. Doug Walker has now almost completed his red-badge-to-blue-badge conversion requirements.

Holding classification talks like this is part of Rotary District 6910's plans for meeting our vocational service requirements. Look forward to more classification talks later this year, approximately one time each quarter, along with a vocational tour this autumn and another one next spring.

The club has plans for 10 new members to join this year, all of whom will need to do a classification talk, so we may have the opportunity to "recycle" more longtime members over the next several months.
Lucky Duck No. 34 bought by Beth Smith won the $500 prize for the first rubber duck to cross the finish line, and our club raised $2435 from tickets sold to the 2nd Annual Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Ducky Derby.

Past president Wright Bagby sold the winning duck, and has arranged for Beth to come pick up her check from the club during the Aug. 24 meeting.

Net proceeds from the event will go to join matching funds from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the Polio Plus program to eradicate polio from the final four countries where it can still be found: Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria.

Thanks to all club members for their efforts in selling the tickets, with special thanks to our volunteers in the audit and the day of the event (as you can see from the photo, those guys had a great time on Saturday!). Extra special thanks to team leaders Ty Wilkes, Carol Hatch and Michael McRay. We couldn't have done it without you.

Check out some snapshots of the event in the photo journal at the lower right side of our club web page: Photo Journals - Ducky Derby 2010

Also see the Rome News Tribune online to read more about host event and see a slideshow at
Sgt. John Walters, a training officer with the Rome Police Department, spoke to members of the Seven Hills Rotary Club on August 17 about the recent adoption of Tasers for use by the city police dept. Rome police aquired more than 60 of the non-lethal weapons using a grant from the US Dept. of Justice.

Though Tasers have been available for many years, Walters said city police had not purchased Tasers until now because they wanted to learn more about the effects and after-effects of their use. After much study, the police dept. determined that they are both a safe an cost effective substitute for pepper spray or more lethal weapons such as guns and clubs.

Walters explained that the police-issue Tasers only disable a suspect with a 5 seond burst of energy. The trigger must be pulled again to continue the charge. He also pointed out that after the 5 seconds charge is complete, the suspect returns to a completely normal condition and may be ready to fight again. It is therefore important to use Tasers in teams of two, where a second officer quickly handcuffs the suspect while the Taser is operating.

Photo courtesy of Rome News Tribune.
During the Aug. 3 meeting Berry College professor and Rotary Grant recipient Dr. Steve Bell reported to members of the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club on his visit to the West Bank region of the troubled Middle East of Palestine. During his four month stay in the region, Dr. Bell stayed with a family in Bayt Sahur near Bethlehem. The original intent of his visit to the region and the actual result were far different, he explained, which is not surprising given the difficulties in the region. Though he has returned now to Berry College, he remains in touch with the colleagues in the region that became his friends, and he is extremely satisfied that he made the trip, to experience life in the region. His advice to Rotarians: Life is short, so take the steps to do those things you want to do, as he did, in visiting this exciting region of the world.
For the July 27, 2010 program, the Rome- Seven Hills Rotary Club hosted Shorter University men's lacrosse coaches Nathan Young and women's lacrosse coach Brittni Dulaney. They explained how the sport of lacrosse, originally a Native American game, will become a part of the Shorter University sports program in the upcoming school year.

Young, who comes to Shorter from Tennessee Wesleyan, plans to start the spring season with as many as 35 players: Men's teams have ten players on the field at one time. Dulaney, who played high school lacrosse at Darlington followed by a spot on the team at Presbyterian College where she graduated a couple of months ago, hopes to start her season with as many as 18. The women play with 12 on the field.

Young pointed out that Berry is also adding the sport this year and hinted that the Berry-Shorter rivalry on the lacrosse field could be even more intense than the current cross-town rivalry in basketball, known as the Seven Hills Rotary Basketball Classic played each January.
Lans Rothfusz, director of the National Weather Service office in Peachtree City told members of the Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club in Rome on Tuesday July 20, 2010 that weather forecasting has improved to the point that the National Weather Service can make a reasonable forecast of weather up to a week in advance. Lans was also quick to take credit for the good weather that blessed Rome as he spoke, saying that meteorologists are always blamed for the bad weather, so they might as well take credit for the good weather, too!

After pointing out the relationship between private weather forecasters such as radio and televison and the sources of weather information that they use, he then encouraged members to take a look at the website that our tax dollars are funding: for forecasts for anywhere in the USA.

Read more at - National Weather Service official says technology improving forecasting
Walter "Butch" Garrison, director of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute located at Redmond Regional Medical Center spoke to the Rome - Seven Hills Rotary Club at the July 14, 2010 club meeting about about the new medical research triangle located in Rome. Clinical trials in medicine are a growing industry and Romans are expected to benefit from the newest medical research triangle in the area, anchored by Redmond Regional Medical Center, Harbin Clinic cardiologists and the Sarah Cannon Research Institute. Read more about this presentation at
Al Hodge, President and CEO of the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce spoke to the membership at the July 6, 2010 meeting about growth of jobs and industry in the Rome and Floyd County area.

The theme of the message was that many Rome and Floyd County citizens are pulling together to bring industry to Rome such as Pirelli in the past, and more recently, the Finnish company FP-Pigments.
The new year for the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club, 2010 - 2011 starts now. Think about it. What will you do with the dash between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011?

Each of the directors and committee chairs is looking for help. There is much opportunity for service to the club, to the community and to our friends who need our help abroad, but you have to step forward.

This year, as well as every year, I ask you to BRING-BRING-BRING and JOIN-JOIN-JOIN.

Bring a program, Bring a potential new member, Bring-up your attendance ratio! Join a standing or a new committee when asked, Join in spontaneously when not asked, and by all means Join in the success of the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club in 2010-2011!
As part of the annual renewal of the leadership of the Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club, the new officers, directors and standing commitee chairs were installed at the regular club meeting on Tuesday, June 29, 2010. Their names and positions are found on the bar at the left of the home page. Thanks to everyone who participated in making the club so successful under now Past-President Jerry. We look forward to another great year under President Alan.

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