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Delayed by pandemic, Rotary Club finally gets to recognize leaders at banquet

Two years after their last award celebration and following the current CDC’s COVID recommendations, The Rotary Club of LaGrange held their long-awaited award ceremony outdoors at The Fields golf venue on Thursday.

Approximately 104 Rotarians and guests gathered for fellowship and to name the club’s award recipients for both the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 Rotary years, according to a press release from the club. Rotary District Governor Kirk Driskell, along with his wife, Deena, and Assistant Governor Sheri Cody were among the honored guests who attended the event. Driskell was presented with a Walter Y. Murphy Fellowship while Cody received a plaque thanking her for her past three years of service to the LaGrange club. Troup High School teacher and Rotary Interact advisor Jennifer Ward was also thanked for her continued support and service to her students.

Also in attendance was the first of the Rotary Club of LaGrange Youth Challenge scholarship recipients. For the past 11 years, Renyia Fannin, Tyterria Godwin and Quentasia Swanson have been participants of the program, students and contributing members to both their schools and communities.

The first part of the evening included drinks and dinner with the choices of chicken, pork or salmon.

The Fields staff, along with Chef Jamie Keating, were responsible for the dinner while Jay Memory provided the live background music as individuals talked and dined together. 

After the pledge and the blessing for the evening, current Rotary Club President Trae Long welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming.

“This is actually the first time this entire Rotary year that we have been able to meet in-person,” Long said. “This was a challenging year for all of us. Although we couldn’t meet together, we were able to work together and were still able to have a productive year.” Long then invited immediate past club president Diehard Lindner to the podium to present the 2019-2020 Rotary Club awards.

The following 2019-2020 Rotary Club of LaGrange awards were presented:

The Charles D. Hudson Service Above Self, Citizen of the Year Award was given to The WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. On behalf of the medical center, president of WellStar West Georgia Medical Center and senior vice president of WellStar Health System Coleman Foss accepted the award.

The Charles D. Hudson Service Above Self, Rotarian of the Year Award was given to Ken Gordon. A surprised Gordon was present to accept the award.

The Barbara Henigin Above and Beyond Service Award was given to Michael Angstadt. Angstadt was present to accept the award.

Before Lindner could leave the podium, Long presented him with a few tokens of appreciation for his service for that Rotary year. Then it was Long’s turn to present the Rotary awards for the current year.

Long then introduced Club president-elect Jason Weldon. Weldon presented Long with gifts from the club members and then commented on his upcoming Rotary year.

Weldon will be taking over the position of club president starting on Thursday, July 21. The Rotary Club of LaGrange will start back having their regular weekly meetings at noon each Wednesday at the Highland Country Club. Call Barbara Henigin at (631)-766-2491 if you would like further information on how to become a member of the club.

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