Exciting time for local Rotary club

Published 8:56 pm Friday, April 19, 2013

Happy belated birthday to the Rotary Club of Chilton County.

The group was chartered on March 26, 2003, and celebrated its 10th birthday with some excitement:

A Group Study Exchange team from South Korea visited with the club and took a tour of Mitchell Dam on April 10. GSE has been an annual cultural exchange effort, where young professionals from the local Rotary district visit a foreign district, and the foreigners come here.

As a member of the local Rotary club, GSE has been one of my favorite experiences. It’s neat to meet people from places very different from Chilton County, ask them about their homes and find out what they think of us and our customs here in central Alabama.

The group from Korea was especially interesting in light of North Korea’s recent threats against South Korea, the United States and other allies. One of the Koreans who visited Chilton County worked at a U.S. military base in South Korea, and another was married to a member of the South Korean military force. Jae Kwang Kim and Mi Lye Bok said younger South Koreans don’t worry too much about threats from the North.

The Rotary Club of Chilton County also recently selected two local students to receive college scholarships and attend a leadership camp.

Looking through applicants’ resumes, I’m always amazed at the quality students in Chilton County schools.

Sadly, not many students apply each year. I encourage all students who will be a junior or senior next academic year to apply by contacting their school counselors. There’s not a whole lot of free money floating around these days, and having attended one of the leadership camps as a counselor, I can share that the camp is a great start to a successful life as a leader.

The local Rotary club is also preparing for its annual fishing tournament, which has become a staple among the events surrounding the Peach Festival each year.

The tournament is the club’s largest fundraiser, so all fishermen are encouraged to participate.

Of course, the Rotary Club of Chilton County does much more throughout a given year than I’ve touched on, including distributing free dictionaries to third graders and sponsoring Clanton’s Christmas parade.

And the more folks we have, the more good we can do. Anyone interested in helping the community is welcome to attend one of our meetings, at noon on Wednesdays at Clara’s Country Cafe. Let’s work together to make Chilton County a better place to work and live.

Stephen Dawkins is managing editor for The Clanton Advertiser. He can be reached at stephen.dawkins@clantonadvertiser.com.