In honor of those who served, for our Veterans Day Program, we identified 14 local sailors deployed on the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea and USS Ronald Regan in the South China Sea. The Nimitz operates and trains alongside regional and coalition partners, and provides naval aviation support to Operation Inherent Resolve. The Ronald Regan conducts maritime air defense operations in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific. The Dwight D. Eisenhower provides a wide range of flexible mission capabilities, including maritime security operations, expeditionary power projection, crisis response, counter-terrorism, and security cooperation.
Our annual fundraiser is all hands on deck and every member of Roswell Rotary Club participates by volunteering, donating or sponsoring the tournament. Working through COVID restrictions, we were able to host 140 golfers and 100+ tennis players between morning and afternoon flights. As in the past, our traditional firemen's ball drop was a big hit.
Serving those who keep us save, Roswell Rotary hosted a Drive Thru Cookout for local law enforcement, fire and rescue and 911 officers. The event was held at Fire Station Number 4 with over 200 burgers and dogs served. Food was donated by Slopes BBQ, King of Pops Popsicles, Lucky's Burgers, and Rhodes Bakery. Sign a Rama contributed the beautiful banner saluting and honoring the officers. 200 shirts were distributed with the Rotary logo which read "We've got your back". We received extensive press coverage in The Neighbor Newspaper, including multiple photos.
In the last 11 years, this Roswell community event has grown from a small gathering on Canton St. to a city wide celebration once per month all during the spring, summer and fall. Canton St. is closed to traffic and drinking laws relaxed to allow folks to stroll the streets and enjoy food, music and exhibits by local businesses and non-profits.
Many of our members came out for lunch and dinner to support Be THE Voice. Lucky's was generous to provide a portion of sales from the entire day. Nothing like eating and drinking for a good cause, not to mention the great fellowship.
Be THE Voice® was born in the Roswell Rotary club in 2014 as a character building initiative using real life experiences to help students understand the power of the Bystander. Initially launched in 8 area schools by RRC Interact clubs, BTV has grown to 47 schools statewide. BTV is up 135% over last year and now serves over 73,000 students.
The passion of one Rotarian in 2010 has resulted in over 2,500 children being served through Lunches for Learning (L4L). Not just one time, or for one year, but year after year and meal after meal throughout the grade school years. When we started, L4L served 8 small schools. L4L now serves 46 schools.
During this time we have to balance our responsibility to "flatten the curve" of the spread of the virus with our desire to help our neighbors who have lost income because of cancellations, closures and postponements.
We reached out to all the local charities we support and asked, "how can we help?"
We partner with North Fulton Rotary Club to sponsor a transitional housing apartment at Drake House. The last family graduated from the program and the mom is on her way to becoming a medical doctor. We spent a Saturday cleaning and painting the apartment so it will be ready for the next family.
Rotary is certainly connecting the world through the fight to end human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Regardless of your politics it is pretty darn impressive when a project that starts in a Rotary club in small town Roswell, GA ends up at the White House. Since Dave McCleary brought the issue of Human Trafficking to our club in 2012 we have have been behind him all the way. Every year we support End Human Trafficking Now
If there was ever an example of Rotary connecting the world it is this project.
Gate City Brewing Company was founded by Pat Rains and Brian Borngesser who met through Roswell Rotary. Dave McCleary learned about modern day slavery during his year as president of Roswell Rotary and started End Human Trafficking Now to get Rotary into the fight to end slavery in our lifetime. At this year's installation party Pat and Dave talked about brewing a beer to support the cause. One of Gate City's employees, Tay Ganio, overheard the conversation and wanted in on the project. She had the perfect receipe for what became Freedom Fighter IPA. Every can sold at the brewery or in grocery stores builds awareness with trafficking stats, the national help line and endHTnow.com
The reason RRC does so much good in the community and in the world is because we are truly a family of members pulling in the same direction. Part of the secret sauce is making it fun to be a Roswell Rotarian.
Gary Garrett's Farm Day has become an annual tradition of the club. Before the beer flows, we bring out the shotguns to kill clay pigeons. Burgers and dogs come off the grill and everybody pitches in to bring lots of tasty side dishes. Some get a little crazy!
Our club has been and will continue to be a big supporter of the Georgia Laws of Life Essay Contest. Members of our club have served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Rotary Districts Character Education Program which governs the contest.
We sponsor two high schools and dedicate one of our meetings to the award winners from Roswell High School and Independence High School. Students read their essays to our club and are presented with their medals during the meeting. There usually isn't a dry eye in the room.
This year’s program brings internationally recognized experts from the Centers for Disease Control and the globally acclaimed Shriner's Hospitals together to update the progress and challenges faced by the global polio eradication, examine the significance of the global measles/rubella outbreak and this vaccine resistance to global polio eradication and provide insight and the lasts treatment for an emerging disease that has been called “the new polio“– Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AMF). CEs are available for Physicians, Nurses and Health Professionals.
Our club loves our Veterans and we wanted to show them how appreciated they are by hosting a Veterans Day outing. Our club veterans, club family members who served and local area veterans were invited to join us for a special day in their honor and as a way for our club to thank them for their service!
Every month on the 2nd Wednesday our club gets together at one of our members restaurants for food and fellowship. This started a few years ago and has been a great new tradition that brings our members together for some fun.
Over the years our club has done projects with partnering clubs in the Bahamas so when Hurricane Dorian devastated the islands our club went into action. We collected 9 pallets worth of food, water, first aid, personal hygiene, clothes, shelter and tools. Our friends at FODAC were a huge help in arranging the logistics for collections and transport to the Bahamas.
Our club has a great tradition of turning the changing of the guard from one president to the next into a big party. The past president and new president exchange gifts as they pass the presidential pins. The next years board is officially installed.
Supporting basic education and literacy for those with special needs through technology was made possible by a District 6900 Grant.
The district awarded our club a $3000 grant to fund an interactive projector for The Cottage School, a special needs school in our community. This projector provides a connected learning experience for students of all ages as the school has grades 4-12. It will continue the schools efforts to incorporate technology into the education programs for students with learning disabilities.
To create an ongoing cultural exchange and understanding, Roswell Rotary participates in and financially supports a program of sending a Roswell school teacher to and hosting a school teacher from Pilar, Argentina. This program is the outgrowth of an original student exchange program started by the president of the West Jacksonville, Florida Rotary Club in 1974. The program evolved into a teacher exchange program and was brought to our club by his son, Roswell Rotarian Lee Hollingsworth. After visiting respective school systems and communities for about two weeks, the teachers bring back experiences to their students, faculty, and community. It is also a reward for deserving teachers who are never recognized enough for their contributions to the youth in their communities. The program builds awareness of Rotary in the world community and brings international cultural experiences to those who might normally have the opportunity.
Each year our club hosts students who have been nominated by their teachers for showing leadership qualities for a day of leadership training. The students spend the whole day with guest speakers and Rotarians that push the students leadership skills to new levels. The students participate in challenging exercises and thought provoking conversations to expand their leadership skills.
This year we had a series of events at some of our member's establishments like Variant Brewing and Houck's Bar & Grill that are open to the public for people who are interested in learning more about Rotary. This is a great environment for members to bring prospective members to introduce them to Rotary in a more casual setting.
At least once a year we host a social to get our new members together with our board of directors. This is a great way to connect our new members to the leaders in our club, who can help them get engaged in serving the community.
Roswell Rotary collects backpacks and school supplies for children supported through North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC). This organization provides food, clothing and other services to needy families and individuals living below the poverty level in the Roswell/North Fulton community. This year we filled 64 backpacks with supplies and club members donated $400 to the effort.
Roswell Rotarians collect new toys for the needy in the Roswell/North Fulton community. North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC) provides food, clothing, and other services to the homeless, jobless, and those families and individuals living below the poverty level. More than 350 toys were collected, purchased, and delivered to North Fulton Community charities for distribution to children of all ages.
Provide gently used coats to the needy in the greater Roswell Community. North Fulton Community Charities (NFCC) provides food, clothing, and other services to the homeless, jobless, and those families and individuals living below the poverty level. Rotarians initiated a coat drive to collect gently used coats to support the efforts of the NFCC. This year we collected:
Roswell is please to participate in a council that includes all the clubs in North Fulton County. We annually host the GRSP Conclave Weekend along with other service projects we help each other achieve.
Please watch the video below that captures the spirit of the Patriot Flight organized by Roswell Rotary to honor the first responders in our community.
The Project: Our next Patriot Flight takes off on May 5, 2020 under the leadership of Past President Jeff McCoy and Senator John Albers. Modeled after our club's successful Honor Air Program, the Patriot Flight serves to recognize and thank our Fire, Police & EMS departments within the Roswell community.
During the coffee with the chief's we presented a $500 donation to Honorary Roswell Rotary member Fire Chief Burnette and a $500 donation to Honorary Roswell Rotary member Police Chief Conroy for the Roswell Police & Fire Foundation in their honor. This was a great way to thank the Chiefs for their service to our community.
Each year a small but dedicated group of volunteers take headshots, update member data, sell ads and layout a printed directory for our club to use to get in touch with each other. The directory is full of useful information about all of our committees, our members and is a great way to do business with a club member. In addition, the directory is a nice fundraiser the helps offset some of the expenses of running the club which keeps our quarterly dues low.
Each year we have a team of volunteers that spends a Saturday morning gathering trash from the banks of the Chattahoochee River. This year we won for the most trash at 330 lbs and we found the most interesting item which was an industrial gas tank. We get dirty and wet, but have a great time on the river protecting one of our communities great natural resources.
The Roswell Arts Festival was started by members of Roswell Rotary and our club has supported the festival for more than 50 years. Our support started as volunteers spending the night in the square guarding the art work and now we provide the festival with $500 to pay for security guards. The festival brings 100s of visitors to the city and is a great family event.
This project is a perfect fit for DG Jim's focus on basic education and literacy
HomeStretch is a non-profit that helps families with school age children who are employed with transitional housing. As part of the program they help residents with job skills and their children with tutoring so they can be successful in school. Rotary North Fulton and Milton partnered with RRC for this grant that will provide HomeStretch with an onsite computer lab that children will use with their tutors to complete school assignments and further their education.
While Rotary Youth Exchange has been around for a long time it is just starting in our district as only 50 students have participated thus far. We are excited to host our first student this year. Ana Clara is from Brazil and will live with 3 different host families in the Roswell High school district. We look forward to having Ana Clara as a part of our club and our community this year.
Job networking is an outreach program at Roswell United Methodist Church that connects job seekers with local area employers that are hiring. Job seekers can get the clothes they need to dress for success, take a new LinkedIn headshot, have their resume reviewed, practice interviewing and have a nice dinner. Many members of our club volunteer for various roles during the bi-weekly networking event and our club sponsors dinner 4 times a year.
The Roswell High School (RHS) Construction Program has educated
nearly 500 students and is the only construction education program in North
Fulton. RRC is committed to helping fill the skilled trade gap and provide
students with career-ready training.
The city of Roswell has embarked on a strategic plan and vision for the future of our city. The initial public meetings were poorly attended, so many civic groups jumped in to drive turnout. We partnered with Positively Roswell, Roswell Next, Roswell Attorney Project and Historic Roswell Business Association to host a public forum at Gate City Brewing Company. With a goal of 300 people we would more than double the turnout from the 4 previous public meeting combined. We knock that out of the park with 500 attendees!
Our club made a donation to Warrior 2 Citizen, an organization that helps soldiers and first responders recover from the trauma associated with their service. They are saving marriages and families by providing support to our heroes. They also help transition back to civilian life.