New expectations for Bainbridge Rotary Club

Published 4:38 pm Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Melinda Taylor places a pin on Marvin Hall in recognition of his achieving the status of Paul Harris Fellow, level two.

As Bainbridge Rotary begins a new year with a new president, it celebrated 81 years of charter at Tuesday’s meeting with a birthday cake and ice cream.

Newly installed president Melinda Taylor gave a rousing presentation concerning new goals, attitudes and events set for the year.

One of the upcoming events promises to be of special interest for the whole community. Bainbridge has been chosen for the first time to host the Georgia Rotary Student Program Conclave in mid-August.

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GRSP is a state-wide program where clubs sponsor a student from a foreign country to attend college one year in Georgia. The Bainbridge Club has participated in this for many years, sharing a student with neighboring county Rotary clubs.

Each year the designated student spends some time, holidays and/or weekends, in each community with a club host family. The student makes an introductory talk to the club about their country, and returns at the end of their year to give a review of their experiences. Long enduring relationships are often formed, as many of the students stay in touch with their host families through the years, coming back for visits, or hosting their hosts in their own country.

The conclave will take place August 18-20. At that time 47 students from various foreign countries, representing the GRSP of all state Rotary clubs, will converge on the community, along with host families, from around the state. The students will be staying in private homes of club members and will have two days of orientation held at the Kirbo Center. 

President Taylor says during that time they will get their first introduction to America— Georgia and particularly Southwest Georgia. They will begin forming relationships with other students and with their host families. They will be learning all the do’s and don’ts of the program—what they are allowed to do and what is prohibited. The host families learn the same rules.

While in Bainbridge they will also be entertained with various social activities, including a Sunday game of Frisbee golf at Bainbridge High School. The final event is a Cabaret program presented by the students.

Taylor estimates the event will bring approximately 225 visitors to town, who will avail themselves of Southern hospitality and patronize our businesses.

Taylor expects the Rotary Club to become more visible to the public in the coming year as she challenged members to be actively involved in recruitment of new members as well as participating in the various activities and fundraisers held each year.

During Tuesday’s program Taylor presented Marvin Hall with the designation of Paul Harris Fellow, plus two; recognizing his achieving the goal of $3,000 contributed to Rotary Foundation. Foundation Chair John Harris then gave a detailed explanation of the work of the Foundation and what it takes to become a Paul Harris Fellow, explaining the different levels.