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Rotary Club's big night includes awards, honors, more
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Immediate Past President of the Rotary Club Larry Barker greets Jacob Christian Williams and his mother at the Rotary Club of Richmond Hills Induction Meeting at the City Center Thursday night. Williams was awarded the Jay Gardner Scholarship and plans on studying criminal justice at Valdosta State University in the fall.

Scholarships were given, awards were received and new officers were installed at the Rotary Club of Richmond Hill’s annual induction meeting Thursday night at theCityCenter. 

Lesley Francis was installed as the Rotary Club’s new president and has lots of goals for the upcoming year.

She plans on increasing membership and growing informed awareness and understanding in the community about what the Rotary Club is and what they are about.

She will also continue to support the international program of “Lighting Up Rotary,” particularly in their efforts to eradicate polio.

In addition she will maintain the Rotary’s assistance in the community through donations and volunteer projects, while practically focusing on the next generation.

She said she encourages people to join the club.

“Rotary is a wonderful way of meeting quality people in our community, who join together for the greater good, to put back into our local community. The friendships and contacts you will make and the projects you will become involved in will light up your own life in ways that are hard to communicate.”

In addition the club awarded the Jay Gardner Scholarship to Jacob Christian Williams and the Mary Bean Scholarship to Destiny Smithberger.

Smithberger, 18, plans on attending Savannah Tech in the fall and transferring to Georgia Southern University in the future. She said she was really surprised and very excited about receiving the scholarship.

Williams will be attending Valdosta State University in the fall. He plans on majoring in criminal justice, joining their Air Force ROTC and becoming a military attorney one day.

Jeanette Lewis, a customer service employee at Publix, received the club’s Vocational Service Award and said, “I never thought it would be me but it’s an honor, very much an honor and it was a surprise.”

In her speech she thanked the club for thinking of her and said that she is “proud to be a Publix associate because this is what Publix stands for.”

Dallas Daniels of Plantation Lumber and Hardware received the Community Service Award.

In addition Brad Brookshire was name the Jim Bayens Rookie of the Year and Rich De Long was named the Rotarian of the Year.

The officers and directors for 2014-2015 are Lesley Francis, president, Larry Barker, immediate past president, Rich De Long, president elect, Lisa Seagraves Ward, secretary, Brad Brookshire, treasurer, Gene Durante, sergeant at arms, Linda Barker, director, Byron Atkinson, Director, and Teresa Merritt, director.


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