North Columbus Rotarians gathered to celebrate the 102nd birthday of Lt. Nicholas Margaritas. The Color Guard from Columbus High School posted colors as we said the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the National Anthem. Through our partnership with House of Heroes, a local nonprofit who recognizes and honors local veterans, we were able to secure a flag that had been flown over the US Capitol in the veterans honor along with a hand crafted flag case and name plate. After the honor ceremony, we sang happy birthday to Lt. Margaritas
Fred Kirby was a leader in the Muscogee County School District. Our club celebrates his memory with the Fred Kirby Awards. This year we recognized 26 students from the Muscogee County High Schools - one male and one female - for the academic accomplishments. The students along with their parents and teachers are invited to attend our Rotary Meeting where we award each student with a plaque and recognize one student with the highest SAT scores. This year, we were able to award an $1,100 scholarship.
North Columbus Rotarians will spend the morning hosting a Game Day event for Big Brothers Big Sisters at Northside Baptist Church. We will hold the event indoors to play games such as basketball, kickball, corn hole and other games. We will also involve volunteers from the church youth to introduce them to what Rotary is all about - Service Above Self.
The mission of House of Heroes is to honor and recognize our military veterans and/or their spouses by having volunteer teams do minor repairs to the homes of the veterans and no cost. This spring, the North Columbus Rotary helped a veteran and his wife by painting the exterior of the home and cleaning the yards. Rotarians also brought their family members to join in this project.
Through our club's participation in Scarlett's Closet's pack-a-sack campaign, volunteers from our club provided care packages filled with non-perishables to over 90 families to demonstrate how Rotary reaches out to help those in need. We collected and purchased the non-perishables and worked to pack the items in bags that were delivered to our local Ronald McDonald house and to the families at Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. Families in life threatening situations often feel isolated and are faced with all of their energy focused on their family. We wanted to help lighten some of the burden they face.
Twice a year North Columbus Rotary Club and our Rotaract students visit Rigdon Road Elementary School and read to the special needs students. This year for Christmas we delivered books for the students. We read stories and sang Christmas songs. This is a very rewarding program that we continue.
North Columbus Rotarians and Rotaract Students visited Rigdon Road Elementary School to read to the special needs children at Easter. We provided each student with a book and gave the teachers gift cards. One of the Rotaract Students dressed as the Easter Bunny. This service project is one we enjoy doing a couple of times of the year. It is heartwarming and nothing can replace the joy the children have when we visit them.
Sara Spano Clothing Bank provides clothing to the students of the Muscogee County School system. Since 1959, the clothing bank continues to serve approximate 900 students from the 52 local schools by providing gently used clothing, new shoes, new coats and new undergarments. The Sara Spano Clothing bank is run completely by volunteers. This year, our club gathered items that were needed by the clothing bank during the month of November and delivered them to the clothing bank for our students.
The members of North Columbus Rotary Club held a toy drive to collect toys for children in foster care. The children had submitted their wish list for Christmas and we selected a special toy for each child. For those who could not select a toy, they donated gift cards so that the staff at Twin Cedars could purchase the toys and make sure children in foster care received gifts for Christmas.