75 Years of GRSP!

Program speaker, Debbie Goodman, provided reasons Georgia Rotarians, and especially Thomasville Rotarians, can celebrate “The Georgia Rotary Student Program: 75 Years and 3,791 Students Later,” and “kicked-off” the GRSP Endowment Fund-Annual Campaign. The Georgia Rotary Student Program (GRSP) is so important to our Club, said Goodman. GRSP was founded by our own Thomasville Rotarian, Past District Governor (PDG) William A. Watt, resulting in the Rotary Club of Thomasville forever being recognized as the Home Club of GRSP. PDG Watt, having seen the damage of war in Europe, founded the organization in the spring of 1946 at the end of WWII as a way to support World Peace. He believed that “Peace through Understanding” would be possible if students from foreign countries came to Georgia colleges and universities to study and develop a better understanding of their fellow man.

This spring, GRSP will be 75 years old, according to Goodman. Over these years, the Rotary Club of Thomasville has sponsored 90 of the total 3,791 GRSP students. We are appreciative of the past generosity of our Members, and we thank you for helping us reach our goals this past year as we:

  1. hosted a GRSP Student-Thanks to Host Parents-Will Watt III and Machelle Watt;
  2. had 100% of our Club members donate to GRSP;
  3. raised $33,612.63 (exceeded 2019-2020 goal by $8,112.63); and
  4. won again the Jake Cheatham Award at District Conference-honored for being first place in per capita giving for Clubs our Size in District 6900 with $245.35 in per capita giving with 137 members

Our goal for 2020-2021 is $25,000, and it will take all of us working together to reach our goal in support of this exceptional program. Since 1987-1988, through September 30, 2020, the Rotary Club of Thomasville donations to GRSP total $489,880.70, only $10,119.30 from the half-million mark.

The Annual Fund Drive began October 1, 2020, and continues to March 11, 2021. Rotary members attending Thursday’s meeting were provided letters containing personal information regarding: (1) current GRSP Endowment contributions; (2) current giving/recognition level; (3) dollars needed to move to the next level; and (4) what the new recognition level would be. Letters were mailed to members not present.

Contributions to the Georgia Rotary Student Program Endowment can be made at Club meetings or by mailing to: GRSP-Rotary Club of Thomasville at P.O. Box 1277, Thomasville, GA 31799. Members can let Teri White know if you wish to be billed for a special contribution.

Enjoy this GRSP produced youtube video, “Georgia Rotary Student Program-What are we all about?” Click on the link below to access. You will hear from GRSP organizers, Will Watt III, and GRSP students.

Posted by Debbie Goodman
October 13, 2020


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