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Glennville Rotarians shine again
Donald Fountain presented with elite service award
L to r: Donald Fountain presented a Meritorious Service Award, standing with District 6920 Governor Felix Smith.
L to r: Donald Fountain presented a Meritorious Service Award, standing with District 6920 Governor Felix Smith.

Glennville Rotary Club was named Large Club of the Year at the District 6920 Rotary District Conference held on Jekyll Island this past weekend, April 26-28, 2024.

However, the highlight of the presentations was an elite Meritorious Service Award presented to Glennville Rotarian Donald Fountain, who was the sole recipient of the award out of 3000 Rotarians in District 6920.

This award was presented to Fountain, who has been a Rotarian since March 1, 1985. The award recognizes his many contributions in leadership and service in District 6920, and especially to the Rotary

Foundation .

Fountain is a Major Donor, which represents $10,000 contributed to the Foundation, which is the arm of Rotary that finances the many humanitarian projects locally and around the world. The presentation to Donald was made by Hamsa Thota, past District Governor, past president of the St. Simons Rotary Club, and Foundation Chair for the District.

Fountain has also held other district leadership positions, including Youth Services Director and former Assistant Governor.

The Glennville Club also earned a Gold Award for its service projects and activities during the 2023-2024 year, one of only 20 clubs to achieve this distinction of the 61 clubs in the district.

The Guardian of Ethics Award, which Fountain was presented in its inaugural awarding in 2023, was presented this year to Albert Reichert of the Rotary Club of Macon. This award is given to a District 6920 Rotarian who encourages and promotes the ideals of Rotary, the Four-Way Test, and Service Above Self in their vocation and personal life; it is named after the late Lynford Hadwin, a member of the Rotary Club of Savannah, known for his tremendous work ethics and integrity.

The Horatio "Cabby" Cabasares Vocational Excellence Award was presented to Julie Wade of Rotary Club of Metropolitan Savannah. The award is given to a District 6920 Rotarian who has excelled in their vocation and has used their profession to encourage and promote the ideals of Rotary. Cabasares was a surgeon in the Perry community who was instrumental in improving and updating surgical treatment equipment, serving as a mentor for many in the healthcare field. He succumbed to COVID in recent years.

Rookie of the Year Award was presented to Caila Hart, president-elect of the McRae Rotary Club. She also gave a presentation on the autism awareness project she spearheaded in her club.

A special part of the weekend was hearing from the seven students in the Georgia Rotary Student Program. Marko Lazovic of Serbia, who has been a student on the Savannah campus of Georgia Southern University and the son of Natasa Lozovic, was among the students who spoke to the Rotarians at the conference. Natasa has hosted several females from Georgia Rotary Clubs in her home in Pancevo, and will be a host home once again in the fall when another delegation of Rotarians from Georgia clubs will visit Serbia. Donald Fountain will travel to Serbia this fall with a delegation of Georgia Rotarians.

The weekend conference included presentations by Dr. Paul Murphy on the Alzheimer's research in which he is participating; Past District Governor Kim Waters, Georgia End Polio Now Coordinator; David Stovall of Hall County, Georgia; and Rebecca Martin, PhD, Vice President of Global Health Institute Emory University. Also, Steve Stirling, president and CEO of MAP International, which provides free medicines around the world and also locally to clinics in Brunswick, Claxton, Vidalia, and Valdosta, gave an inspiring and motivating speech; he was introduced by Donald Fountain.

Terry Cook, president of the Hinesville Rotary Club, gave two fascinating presentations. One is his club's Sleep in Heavenly Peace project, which provides beds for children who do not have a bed on which to sleep. The Hinesville Club also financed the purchase of a $6500 book vending machine for an elementary school in Liberty County, wrapping it with the Rotary logo. Other significant comments were delivered on literacy projects ongoing in several cities, spurred by Rotarians putting them in place, and which are making a difference in the literacy of these children.

Also, contributions to the CART (Coins for Alzheimer's Research Trust), in the last Rotary year in the district was $76,843, an increase of over $20,000 from the previous year.

Thirteen Interact Clubs were also recognized with awards, including the Interact Clubs of Pinewood Christian Academy and Tattnall County High School.

The three Preston Johnson Speech Zone winners gave their dynamic winning speech presentations.

Small Club of the Year award went to Valdosta North; Medium Club of the Year Award was earned by the Perry club; and Augusta was the recipient of the Extra Large Club of the Year. Clubs with 30 or less members are considered Small clubs; Medium clubs are 30 to 59 members; Large clubs are 60 to 99 members; and Extra Large clubs are 100 plus members.

Also, the Perry Rotary Club captured the Blankenship Cup for the club that has the highest per capita in contributions to the Foundation for the past three years. The Glennville Club held the Blankenship Cup for the past six years. Perry's three-year average for the past three years was $497.98 per capita, with Glennville in second place with $391.76 per capita/members.

In the 3.1 mile run Saturday morning, Glennville Rotary Club President Joe Sikes placed first, second was Rotary District Governor Felix Smith, and third was Donald Fountain.

In attendance at the conference from the Rotary Club of Glennville were Donald Fountain, Joe Sikes, and Pam Waters.