By Jason A. Smith
Local Rotarians were commended this week by one of their state-wide leaders, for efforts to make a positive impact on their community.
The Rotary Club of Henry County welcomed Casey Farmer, Governor for Rotary District 6900, who spoke during the group's meeting Monday, at PJ's Cafe in McDonough.
District 6900 encompasses 70 Rotary clubs in the western third of Georgia, which also includes the Clayton County Rotary and the Atlanta Airport Rotary.
Farmer said his purpose in visiting with the Henry club was to talk with members about their "plan of action" for various projects in the coming year.
He said the local club is poised to continue its pattern of success in the future.
"The Henry County club, chartered in 1985, is one of the stronger clubs in our district," said Farmer, during an interview. "Their membership is around 50 members, and they continue to grow each year. They're a vibrant force in this community," he added. "Projects that they participate in span the spectrum, from youth programs, to literacy, to supporting Rotary's corporate project, which is polio eradication worldwide."
Farmer said he would like to see the Henry club gain more members, in order to further its influence locally. Still, he said, Rotarians in Henry can be proud of their accomplishments. "They very much are focused on local projects, but they're not ignoring international projects, either. I think they have a very diverse group of projects, that allow their members to choose which projects they're passionate about."
Henry Rotary President Kerry Arnold said he wanted to introduce Farmer to elements of the community during the governor's stay. The first stop, Arnold said, was Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton.
"We wanted to show him some of the interesting and exciting things going on in Henry County," said Arnold. "So, we're taking him on a track ride -- a fast lap around Atlanta Motor Speedway, which is a thrill for anybody."
Arnold added that club members would also accompany Farmer to the Haven House domestic-violence shelter, which is the center of an ongoing Rotary project in Henry.
The club is raising money to build a playground at the shelter's new facility, which is under construction in McDonough.
"We just want to be able to ... distract the children from the situation they're in, and give them a fun thing to do for a time," he said. "We just want to bring a smile to their faces."