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July 26, 2023


July is Maternal and Child Health Month

7/27 Henry Duggan - Historical Fiction Novel
8/3 DeShay Williams - Executive Director - Spark of Thomasville
8/10 Samantha Hanchett - One Book - Thomas County Public Library
8/17 Second Harvest - No Regular Club Meeting

Our Rotary Family

7/2 William Dickey
7/8 George Stephens, Jr.
7/15 Jackla Lawson
7/20 Jamie Lawrence
7/28 Bryant Beadles
7/28 Richard Christenson


7/6 Tina McBride (27)
7/14 Shanna Skeen (3)
7/20 Brigit Smallridge (5)
7/22 Sharon Edwards (34)


7/1 Scooter Grubbs, III (36)
7/1 Jonathan Cleveland (2)
7 years in Rotary
7/1 Mary Beth Donalson (9)
7/1 Sharon Patrick (19)
7/1 Jeff Zoller (14)
7/1 Donald Sims (34)
7/1 Jay Flowers (13)
7/2 William Dickey (8)
7/3 Jackla Lawson (0)
7/3 Holley Murphy (0)
7/3 Heather Stephens (0)
7/4 Nicholas Rahming (4)
7/4 Erik von Hellens (11)
7/6 Kim Walden (6)
12 years in Rotary
7/8 Chandler Giddes (2)
7/12 Eric Ward (11)
7/14 Frederick Buechner (7)
32 years in Rotary
7/15 Dominic Ford (2)
7/18 André Marria (18)

Rotary Online



Thursdays, 12:15 pm
The Plaza Restaurant
217 South Broad Street
Thomasville, GA 31792



President Mary Beth Donalson
President-Elect Marta Turner
Treasurer Warren Ballard
Secretary Anna Lee
Membership Angela Williamson
Foundation Julie Carter
Public Image Shanna Skeen

Club Installs New Directorship for the 2023-2024 Year

On June 29th, Mary Beth Donalson, 2023-2024 President of Rotary Club of Thomasville, gave her opening remarks to kick off the new Rotary year: “I stand here before you now as the 103rd President of the Rotary Club of Thomasville, I look around the room today at the faces of past leadership and think about the ones who have passed on, I am humbled and honored that this club has chosen me for this role. I think you will find our upcoming year will be full of exciting projects, engaging community service as we live the Rotary International theme for this year, ‘Create Hope in the World.’ This club creates hope in this community every month with its produce market, every quarter honoring our local heroes who serve, and having a heart for our seniors. I know this year we will continue to create that hope with all we have planned and am excited to be leading the charge.”

A story was featured in the Thomasville-Times Enterprise on July 4, 2023.  To read the newspaper article, please click HERE.

Club Discusses Plans and Goals for 2023-24 Year

A Thomasville-Times Enterprise representative was invited to attend our weekly meeting on July 6th. A story was written and published on July 7th in the paper. The article quoted many Rotarians discussing plans and goals for each committee for the 2023-2024 Rotary year. 

To read the newspaper article, please click HERE.

Big Impact: FRESH FOR YOU - Free Produce Market

Rotary Club of Thomasville made a BIG IMPACT on our community at our “FRESH FOR YOU - Free Produce Market” in partnership with Second Harvest of South Georgia and Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Clubs on Saturday, July 22nd. The club’s efforts served 253 households in the Thomasville-Thomas County community this past weekend!

In 2021, during our club's 100th year, we embarked on a mission to discover the most critical needs in our community. The results showed that diabetes, heart issues, and other health concerns affected a higher percentage of our residents compared to other parts of the country. But we didn't stop there! We saw an opportunity to make a lasting impact on the quality of life for our neighbors by addressing this issue head-on. Our initiative to provide fresh, healthy foods to our underserved community members has been incredibly successful. Each month, our "Fresh For You - Free Produce Market" offers a diverse selection of nutritious fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other healthy goodies.

Thanks to your unwavering support, an average of 225 households, representing approximately 900 individuals, have benefited from this wonderful program. In its very first year, the market proudly served over 2,290 households, making a difference in the lives of about 9,160 individuals in total! Join us in celebrating the power of community and the joy of giving back.

Together, we're building a healthier, happier future for Thomasville and Thomas County, one fresh produce at a time!  

A story was published in the Thomasville-Times Enterprise on Monday, July 24th.  To read the newspaper article, please click HERE.

To learn more about how you can become involved with the FRESH FOR YOU - Free Produce Market, please contact Marta Turner.

P.S. Don't forget to check out our digital billboard ads in front of Thomasville's Gateway Shopping Center by Taco Bell!  The ad has been centered around Rotary International's campaign "People of Action" and highlights one of our Big Impact Community Projects: FRESH FOR YOU - Free Produce Market.

Comita Family To Host GRSP Student Valentina 7/31

John and Copper Comita will be our GRSP student host family this year.  Valentina, our GRSP student, arrives July 31st all the way from Chile!  Valentina will be with the Comita family until she starts her classes at Valdosta State University.  John and Copper will show her around Thomasville and get her all set up in her dorm room. Copper will bring Valentina to our Rotary meeting on August 3rd!

If any Rotarians have additional entertainment suggestions for Valentina, please reach out to Rotarian Copper Comita.

Wine or Whine To Help Grow Our Membership

Did you know August is "Membership and New Club Development" month? 

In an effort to grow our membership, every 1st Tuesday of the month we host a social called "Wine or Whine."  Wine or Whine is an opportunity for potential members to come and get to know Rotarians and what Rotary does in Thomasville. Our next Wine or Whine social will be held at the Courtyard By Marriott in downtown Thomasville, August 1st, 5:30PM-7PM.

If you know of any prospective members, Wine or Whine is a great way to introduce them to Rotary while socializing in a casual setting among new and old members.

If you have any questions about Wine or Whine or Membership in general, please reach out to Rotarian Angela Williams.

GRSP Direct Select Student Allen-Amin Arrives 8/9

Our GRSP Direct Select Student, Allen-Amin Hollander, arrives at Thomas University on August 9th.  He is a resident of the Caribbean Island of Curacao.

For more details, please reach out to Rotarian Scott Rich.

Rotary | United Way Golf Classic Planning in Action

For several years, the Caterpillar Corporation in Thomasville sponsored a golf tournament to raise money for the United Way of Thomas County.  Unfortunately, Caterpillar closed their doors in 2016 and their manufacturing was relocated from Thomas County’s community. 

Rotarian Scooter Grubbs came to the Board and asked if the club would consider carrying on this tradition since the United Way of Thomas County supports over 18 organizations in the community. The Board approved it and on August 26, 2017, Rotary Club of Thomasville held its first annual Rotary Golf Classic to support the United Way.

Since 2017, Rotary Club of Thomasville has sponsored the annual Rotary / United Way Golf Classic and this year is no exception. Earlier this month, Rotarians gathered to discuss and strategize plans for this year’s golf tournament while supporting a local restaurant, Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop. 

SAVE THE DATE: Rotary Golf Classic 2023 Benefiting The United Way of Thomas County will be held on August 26th at Country Oaks Golf Course!

To download the flyers, graphics, and sponsorship letter for distribution: CLICK HERE.

Please reach out to Rotarians Scooter Grubbs or Will Felts about sponsorships, flyers for distribution, and any other inquiries!

Defining Bright Futures With Dictionaries

Join Literacy for Thomas County in their mission to promote literacy in the community by volunteering for the Dictionary Distribution Teams. As part of this service project, Rotary members are encouraged to sign up and partner with community volunteers to deliver dictionaries to students in local schools. The goal is to help young children and citizens in the community build a strong foundation for success. Previous Rotary involvement has shown its positive impact, and they are seeking volunteers for this year's distribution.

For more information about Literacy for Thomas County, visit their website: CLICK HERE

Volunteers of all experience levels are welcome, and training sessions will be provided. The Dictionary Distribution Teams offer a rewarding and meaningful opportunity to make a lasting impact on the community while meeting new people. The distribution dates are as follows:

  • August 10th: Harper Elementary, 4 Volunteers, 8:30 A.M.
  • August 18th: Jerger Elementary, 18 Volunteers, 8:30 A.M. (3rd Grade) / 9:00 A.M. (4th Grade)
  • September 1st: Cross Creek, 18 Volunteers, 8:30 A.M.

To sign up for the Dictionary Distribution 2023: CLICK HERE

If you are interested in participating and learning more about this valuable initiative, please reach out to Rotarian Chandler Giddes. 

Calling All Safety Enthusiasts: SafeDrive Map

Calling all safety enthusiasts and community champions in the Rotary Club of Thomasville! 

Revolutionize the way we protect lives on our roads with the groundbreaking SafeDrive initiative! Together, we can make a powerful impact on our community by empowering newcomers to our city and student drivers with the vital knowledge they need to navigate our roads safely.

Introducing the heart of the SafeDrive movement: the awe-inspiring SafeDrive Map, now available in both hardcopy and digital form! Brace yourselves for a cutting-edge tool that reveals the locations of the most treacherous roads and intersections in our beloved Thomasville/Thomas County region.

But wait, there's more! This life-saving map doesn't just point out hazards, it equips drivers with life-saving tips tailored to each specific location. It's like having a personal safety coach right in your car!

Ready to experience the future of safe driving? Hold on tight, because the digital SafeDrive Map is here to blow your mind! Using the power of Google Maps™, we've crafted a mesmerizing virtual "tour" of 14 flagged, hazardous locations. With a simple click, users are transported to an actual Google map segment, where dangers are unveiled with crystal-clear precision.

The best part? This cutting-edge map is designed to engage and resonate with our tech-savvy teens. Say goodbye to boring road safety brochures and hello to an interactive, visually appealing map accessible online!

But we can't do it alone. We need your help, Rotarians! Let's join forces and spread the word about SafeDrive and the incredible SafeDrive Map. Together, we'll make a powerful difference in our community's safety.

Get ready to ignite a safety revolution!  Share the news, share the map, and let's save lives on our roads, one driver at a time! Together, we drive towards a safer tomorrow.

To view the SafeDrive Map: CLICK HERE

For more information, please contact Rotarians on the SafeDrive service committee: Michael Bixler, Charles Dixon, and/or Chandler Giddes.

Share Your Program Ideas For Our Club

As we gear up for another exciting year of service and fellowship, the Rotary Club of Thomasville is reaching out to our dynamic community of members for inspiration and creativity. Your input is invaluable in shaping the engaging programs and insightful speakers that make our weekly meetings so enriching and impactful.

We believe in the power of diverse perspectives and unique experiences, and that's why we are inviting each and every one of you to contribute your thoughts and suggestions for potential speakers and program ideas. Do you know someone with an inspiring life story? Are you aware of a local expert in a field worth exploring? Is there a topic or theme you feel would resonate with our club and community at large? We want to hear from you!

Our club's strength lies in the collective wisdom and connections of its members. By pooling our resources, we can ensure that the upcoming year's meetings are nothing short of exceptional. Whether it's an engaging speaker, an interactive workshop, or a thought-provoking panel discussion, your suggestions can truly make a difference.

So, let's seize this opportunity to actively contribute to the success of our Rotary Club of Thomasville. Together, we can continue making a positive impact on the lives of others and create memorable experiences for our fellow Rotarians.

Your input will be thoughtfully considered and can help shape the future of our club. Remember, the more diverse the ideas, the richer our programs. Don't hesitate to share any out-of-the-box suggestions – innovation thrives in collaboration!

Please take a moment to share your speaker and program ideas by reaching out directly to any Rotarian on our dedicated program committee: Marta Turner, Jamie Lawrence, Arthur Wigfall, and/or Cameron Janke.

Club Spotlights In District Newsletter

Have you read the District Newsletter from this past month? If you have, you already know our club was featured not once but twice!  Here are a few key articles we wanted to point out from this past District Newsletter: 

Special shoutout to our very own Rotary Club of Thomasville members who are serving on District 6900's Leadership this year: Andre Marria (District Governor), Scott Rich (Assistant District Governor), and Teri White (District Treasurer), Fran Milberg (Past District Governor, District Awards Chair), and Will Brown, III (District Chaplain).