Rotary Club holds its annual banquet

Published 7:24 pm Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The annual Bainbridge Rotary Club awards banquet was held last Thursday night in the ballroom at The Charter House Inn.

Several Rotarians were recognized for outstanding community service over the past year, while several club-wide projects were reviewed.

In addition to the awards presentation, the club enjoyed a keynote speech by Cori Close, associate head ladies basketball coach at Florida State University.

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In her keynote speech, Close explained how, as coaches, the Rotary 4-Way Test parallels the life lessons that are taught to student-athletes. The Rotary 4-Way test includes questions that apply to the decision-making process when faced with any situation in life.

The four questions are: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And, will it be beneficial to all concerned?

A last-minute, fill-in for FSU ladies basketball head coach Sue Semrau, Close did not disappoint the attendees and received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her speech.

During the program, the club presented $1,000 scholarships to four local high school and college students. The scholarships, in recognition of outstanding volunteer community service, were presented to Fernando Galnares of Bainbridge High School, Allison Howard of Bainbridge High School, Jana Simmons of Grace Christian Academy and Meghan Vickers of Bainbridge College.

More students were recognized for outstanding service in the two Rotary Club-supported programs at Bainbridge High School and Bainbridge College. The Interact Award was presented to Amber Johnson while Caitlyn Swords was presented the Rotaract Award.

Paul Harris Fellowships were awarded to Dean Free, Marlene Free, Linda Long and Sue Steiner. These fellowships are named in honor of the Rotary Club founder, Paul Harris, and reward outstanding community service.

The Rotary Club Rookie of Year Award was presented to Bridget Collier, while the 4 Way Test Award was presented to Bo Jones.

Bill Burke was presented the Four Avenues of Service Award and Marjorie Mayfield won the Service Above Self Award.

The last award of the evening, the Rotarian of the Year Award, was presented to Dean Free.

In total, the Bainbridge Rotary Club funded programs, locally and internationally, with more than $83,000 in donations in the last year.