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September 1, 2023


September is Basic Education and Literacy Month

9/7 Regular Meeting
9/14 Regular Meeting
9/21 Second Harvest - No Regular Club Meeting
9/28 Regular Meeting

Our Rotary Family

9/1 Mary Beth Donalson
9/3 Dawna Bicknell Tanner
9/6 William Felts
9/7 Vann Middleton
9/8 Jimmy Hone
9/9 Ed Titus, Jr.
9/11 Debbie Goodman
9/11 Warren Stafford
9/16 Dominic Ford
9/17 Chandler Giddes
9/20 Jonathan Cleveland
9/24 Joe Brown
9/24 John Blackmon
9/29 John Bennett
9/30 Tom Everett


9/1 Richard Christenson (16)
9/2 Michael Beaty (52)
9/4 Teri White (24)
9/15 John Brown (64)
9/17 Heather Stephens (7)


9/1 Gary Tucker (41)
9/1 Debbie Goodman (29)
9/4 Randy Watts (9)
9/9 John Letteney (2)
16 years in Rotary
9/11 Mike Stephenson (15)
9/15 Tom Everett (17)
9/23 Andy Jones (13)
9/23 Michael Jones (2)
9/25 Wayne Newsome (9)
28 years in Rotary

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

A Message From Our President

As I think about this upcoming Rotary year and all the good projects we have going on, I’m reminded how blessed we are to be able to give back to our community. The Rotary Club of Thomasville is a group of doers. They are a group who have servant’s hearts. They are the elite in the Thomasville community. I remember at one of our Saturday markets when one of the participants said “what can we do to thank y’all for what you do for us? You come out here in the heat, on your day off, and give us food. What can we do to say thank you?” My response was “that’s very sweet but just seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces is worth it. And I meant that and she knew it. It’s not about getting “thanks”, it’s about serving your community in the best way possible. The projects that our club participate in are some of the most worthwhile projects I’ve ever seen. I’m very honored to serve as President of the Rotary Club of Thomasville for the 2023-2024 year and look forward to continuing to work side by side with my fellow Rotarians as we Create Hope in the World.

Community Services
Rotary Golf Classic

The sun shone bright, and the greens at Country Oaks Golf Course witnessed some thrilling swings on Saturday, August 26th, as our Rotary - United Way Golf Classic took center stage. With 21 teams and roughly 84 golf enthusiasts, it was a day filled with camaraderie, competition, and, most importantly, community support.

Winning Teams
The competition was fierce, but in the end, it was the Wiregrass Electric team that emerged as the champions in the 1st Net category; kudos to Joey Adams, Mark Wang, Jimmy Dunlap, and Larry Eddy for their outstanding performance. Meanwhile, the 1st Gross title was claimed by the formidable quartet of Sam Bryan, Matt Wear, JV Vines, and Matt Shiner. Their skill and teamwork were truly commendable. Special shoutouts to Ashley Price, who sent her ball flying the farthest to claim the Longest Drive title. Victor Santos showed pinpoint precision on hole 2, while Ben Westmoreland aced hole 6, earning them the coveted titles of Closest to the Pin. In the high school division, the Thomasville High School Golf Team, comprising Lane Johnson, Owen Fryman, Mac Mobley, and Brandt Herndon, displayed exceptional talent and landed both 2nd Net and the championship title.

A Generous Community Effort
The Rotary - United Way Golf Classic wasn't just about golf; it was about giving back to our community. While we're still tabulating the final figures, it looks like we're on track to raise an impressive sum, nearing the $50,000 mark which goes toward The United Way of Thomas County and our Big Impact Community Projects initiative! This remarkable achievement is a testament to the generosity of our Rotary Club members and the broader community.

What's Next?
As we eagerly await the final tally, we're also in the process of scheduling a meeting date to present a check to The United Way of Thomas County. Stay tuned for updates on this significant moment to be determined soon.

In the Spotlight
We're thrilled to share that our event garnered attention and recognition in the local media. Check out our front page feature in the Thomasville-Times Enterprise from 8/28 for more on the Rotary - United Way Golf Classic's success HERECheck out our album full of photos from this successful event on our Facebook page HERE.

Thank you, Rotary Club members, for your unwavering support, and congratulations to all the winners and participants who made this day truly memorable. Together, we're making a difference in our community!

Community Services
FRESH FOR YOU: Free Produce Market

On August 19, twenty-five Rotarians, family members, and friends from the community hosted the Rotary/Second Harvest Free Produce Market at Weston Park. Two hundred forty-three households participated, representing an estimated 1,000 individuals.

One hundred vehicles were already lined up prior to opening the Fresh Produce Market that morning! 

Each household received a variety of fresh and frozen foods, including collards, zucchini, sweet potatoes, blueberries, peaches, oranges, strawberries, and chicken. 

On the Thursday preceding the market, more than fifty-five Rotarians and friends met at Second Harvest to pack and sort vegetables and fruits for Saturday's market. After working, the group had a delicious lunch of fajitas provided by Anne Candelaria's restaurant and homemade cookies for dessert. 

Thanks to ALL members and friends who helped to pack, sort, and host the produce market this month!


We will pack and sort fruit and vegetables on location at Second Harvest during our regular meeting time in preparation for the next Produce Market. This date will replace our regular Rotary meeting at The Plaza. A packed lunch will be served afterward onsite. 

Our next produce market will take place this day from 8:30-10:30AM (or until we run out) at Weston Park on Felix Street.

Please reach out to Rotarian Marta Turner Jones if you are interested in volunteering for this Big Impact Community Project!

Community Services
Hands On Thomas County

Join us on Saturday, October 21 from 9AM - 12PM for the 20th Annual Hands On Thomas County Day (also known as HOTC DAY) as we volunteer at Vashti Center!  Our focus at Vashti is the front entrance. It's a fun morning and the work goes fast - cleaning out beds and putting down fresh straw. Rakes are provided and volunteers / Rotarians have been known to even bring some of their own yard equipment. 

There will be a sign up sheet available at Rotary meetings closer to the event date. If you want to learn more about this volunteer opportunity or already ready to sign up, please reach out to Rotarians John and Copper Comita.

Youth Services
Literacy For Thomas County

Rotarians joined 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 our final stop at Cross Creek Elementary School on Friday 9/1 was no exception.

The Dictionary Distribution Teams offer a rewarding and meaningful opportunity to make a lasting impact on the community while meeting new people. To learn more about Literacy for Thomas County, click HERE.

What better way to kick-off Rotary International’s theme for the month of September: Basic Education and Literacy Month?! Thank you to all Rotarians who volunteered on The Dictionary Distribution Team!

Youth Services
R.E.A.D. Initiative

An initiative in the community formed by new member, Rotarian Stephan Thompson. Stephan announced last week at our meeting and invited Rotarians to become volunteers for the project.  

If you want to learn more and get involved, please reach out to Rotarian Stephan Thompson.

Georgia Rotary Student Program

Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP) is a unique initiative that has been fostering international connections since 1946, was founded with the mission to promote global understanding and peace through cross-cultural exchanges. What began with just four scholars has now grown into a network of over 3,692 alumni from around the world. The program’s profound impact on fostering global perspectives is evident in the diverse range of backgrounds and experiences represented by its participants.

The Rotary Club of Thomasville is proud to announce its selection of Allen-Amin Hollander, a promising young student from the vibrant island of Curaçao, for this year’s GRSP Direct Select Student.  

Amin Hollander will be pursuing his higher education at Thomas University, marking a significant step forward for both him and the university.

“I am 19 years old, born and raised on the island of Curaçao,” shared Amin Hollander.

A sports enthusiast from a young age, Amin Hollander immersed himself in baseball and tennis, ultimately dedicating himself to his true passion — baseball. His multicultural education enabled him to master four languages, including English, Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu. His fluency in these languages will undoubtedly be an asset as he embarks on his studies in Computer Systems Management at Thomas University.

The partnership between Amin Hollander and Thomas University exemplifies the institution’s commitment to fostering cultural diversity and exchange. With students from over 20 countries already on campus, Amin Hollander’s presence will further enrich the campus community and provide students with an unparalleled global perspective.

“We are thrilled to welcome Allen to our campus and to the Thomasville community,” remarked Kristy Wainright, Director of Compliance for International Affairs and State Authorization.

Past President Scott Rich, representing Rotary International’s District 6900 as Assistant Governor and also Rotary Club of Thomasville, noted the club’s longstanding tradition of supporting GRSP students. Since 1947, the club has been sponsoring scholars attending Valdosta State University. However, this year marks a special milestone as Allen becomes the first GRSP student to attend Thomas University.

“We are excited to have Allen join us and actively engage in our club’s activities and service projects,” shared Rich.

He expressed optimism in sustaining this collaboration, envisioning a continued partnership between the Rotary Club and Thomas University to sponsor GRSP students annually.

Amin Hollander’s journey is not only a personal achievement but a testament to the enduring power of programs like GRSP. His presence at Thomas University will undoubtedly contribute to the institution’s international landscape, fostering a true sense of global community and shared learning.

For more information about the Georgia Rotary Student Program, click HERE

To check out the article published in the Thomasville Times-Enterprise this past month, click HERE.

Recruitment + Retention

We started the year with 112 Rotarians.  Last week's induction of 3 new members moved us up to 120 Rotarians so far this year!  120 members is our goal; however, we must retain that many until June 30, 2024.

We had a GREAT new member celebration on August 24th.  Thank you to Rotarian Marta Turner Jones for all your great ideas and hard work to pull that together. 

Red Ribbon + Fireside Chat

Attention New Members

Red Ribbon: 
Please keep Rotarian Angela Williamson updated on your progress so that you can remove your red new member sticker from your badge.  Please complete this within 6 months of joining our club.

Fireside Chat: 
Our next Fireside Chat will be in October on a Tuesday evening.  Look for the date to be announced soon.

For any questions in regard to Membership, please reach out to Rotarian Angela Williams.

Wine or Whine

In an effort to grow our membership, every 1st Tuesday of the month we host a social called "Wine or Whine" and August's Wine or Whine social was a HIT!

Wine or Whine is an opportunity for potential members to come and get to know Rotarians and what Rotary does not only in our community but internationally, as well.  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. 


Our next Wine or Whine social will be "tailgate party" themed and held at The Business Exchange in downtown Thomasville, September 5th, 5:30PM-7PM. We encourage you to come dressed in your team colors!

Theme = Orange..."Orange" you glad you are a Rotarian?!  We will have orange snacks, including shrimp. Location to be announced at a later date.

Theme = Ugly Christmas Attire! Location to be announced at a later date.


  • RED RIBBON: keep up with new members progress on Red Ribbon Program, send Reminds, plan 2 Fireside Chats with Scott Rich & Marta Turner
  • FAMILY OF ROTARY: send cards of celebration, encouragement, and well wishes to our members throughout the year, plan fun socials when necessary, and help organize food items for GRSP reception
  • WINE OR WHINE: organize & promote monthly event.
  • ROSE CITY SATELLITE CLUB: someone to take over and decide if this satellite club is even sustainable, plan/lead 2 meetings per month in the evening.

We are in need of volunteers for our Membership committees. Please reach out to Rotarian Angela Williams if you are interested in any of the above!

Football Pool

Did you know our club does a Football Pool that you can pay to participate in?  New member Rotarian Lu Nunnally is taking over this year's Football Pool and wanted you all to have some information to get started:

  • $25/Rotarian for the season added to quarterly bill.
  • Game sheets will be done every Monday no later than 8PM and sent via email to the registered group.
  • All sheets MUST be turned in by the following Thursday Rotary meeting or emailed to lu10nunnally@gmail.com by 5PM that day.
  • For the meetings where we are at Second Harvest on Thursdays, submissions are to be sent to Lu via email only.
  • Lu will keep various spreadsheets and will send weekly standings.
  • There will be 2 winners: Regular Season Winner + Bowl Season Winner.
  • Winners receive a trophy.
  • Money raised goes back into the general fund for the 2023-2024 Rotary year's projects.

Please contact Rotarian Lu Nunnally directly if you would like to participate in this year's Rotary Football Pool!

Meeting Organization

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.

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.

President Elect
District 6900

District Conference 2024

Have you registered for District Conference, March 21-24, 2024?! Early birds get special rates!  Join us as we Amplify Rotary and feature the Lady with a Song, none other than our District Governor André Marria at the beautiful Jekyll Island Convention Center. Several hotels on the island have room blocks reserved through February 21, 2024. Jekyll Island is booming, so you are encouraged to book your hotel room NOW! Once our room blocks are sold there is no guarantee that additional room nights will be added.

For more information on registration, room blocks, and the conference in general, click HERE.

DIstrict Newsletter Update

Be on the lookout next week for District's September newsletter release!