More than 60 members and guests gathered June 26 at Love’s Seafood Restaurant to celebrate the end of the current Rotary year and to look forward to the beginning of the new one.
Every Rotary Club around the world begins the new Rotary year of “Service Above Self” on July 1 annually.
Brice Ladson, outgoing president of the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill, thanked the current board and recognized the service of retiring director Gary Stanberry by awarding him the special status of Paul Harris Fellow. The fellowships recognize the amount donated to Rotary International’s work including the eradication of polio.
Treasurer Vance Askew of Waterways received the Rotarian of the Year award, which is given to the member who “personifies a member who goes quietly about his duties but without whom the club could not function.”
Byron Atkinson of Boost By Design received the Jim Bayens Award for the newcomer who has contributed most to the club during his or her first year of membership.
Ladson received the International Service award for bringing fresh water to the people of Haiti.
New member Dr. Christopher Lea was inducted into the club.
Ted Flake, community service director, said the standard of applications for the annual Rotary Jay Gardner Scholarship of $2,000 had been outstanding. Richmond Hill High School graduate Matthew Scott Quinn was selected for the scholarship. His parents, Cheryl and Keith Quinn, accepted the award on their Matthew’s behalf, as he was working in New Mexico.
On presenting the award, Flake explained that this year’s winner not only had a grade-point average of 3.733, but also had an exceptional attitude and personified “Service Above Self” through his community service.
Wendy Bolton received the community service award. Bolton volunteers at her son Nicholas’ school and for the Girl Scouts and has served as president of the Coastal Bryan Tree Foundation. More recently, Bolton founded and is president of the Bryan County Bark Park.
Wesley Reynolds received the vocational service award, which recognizes dedication well beyond one’s job description and whose interaction with the general public makes our community a better place to live in every day. Reynolds works at Plantation Lumber in Richmond Hill City Center.
Dell Keith of Savannah Bank was recognized with a special award for 10 years of service in the club. Bill Eberlein, immediate past-president, recognized perfect attendance by Julie Adams, Byron Atkinson, Vance Askew, Linda and Larry Barker, Linda Bowers, Rich de Long, Gene Durante, Ted Flake, Lesley Francis, Ray Gaster, Dick Kent, Brice Ladson, Laura McGee, Jimmie Norris, Trace Palmer, Gary Stanberry, Alice Steyaart, Brianne Yontz and himself.
New officers and directors for 2013-14 installed were: President Larry Barker; President -elect Lesley Francis; Immediate Past President Brice Ladson; Secretary Brianne Yontz; Treasurer Vance Askew; Sergeant-at-arms Ted Flake; and directors Dell Keith, Bill Eberlein and Tom Sawyer.