Service Among and Beyond the Seven Hills of Rome
Rotary Club of Rome-Seven Hills


Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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Editor:   Bill Byars
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2012-13 Board of Directors
by Bill Byars

Membership voted on May 15 to complete the officers slate for 2012-13. Elected to serve on the Board are: President John Head President Elect David Tomlin President Nominee Nina Lovell Past President Bill Byars Secretary Kevin Payne Treasurer Ken White Sgt. At Arms Carol Hatch Community Services Eric Waters and Suzanne Scott New Generations Cheryl Huffman and Gail Garland Literacy Alice Herring Vocational Services Michael McRay International Services Dub Darville and Mike Hackett Foundation Angie Douglas Membership Wright Bagby Public Relations Chris Lowry
Interact District Assembly
by Byars, Bill


RI President-elect Ron Burton - Engage Rotary, Change Lives
by Byars, Bill

Rotary Grant provides 12 computers
by Byars, Bill

Members of the Boys and Girls Club of West Rome joined Rotarians and officials of the Club when a dozen new computers were dedicated at the Club's facilities Thursday, March 28. The computer equipment was provided by a District Simplified Grant co-sponsored by Rome Rotary and Rome Seven Hills Rotary.

  "In order to qualify for the grant, both local clubs worked together," said C. Bruce Watterson, assistant governor for Region XVII of Rotary District 6910. "District funds and funding from the local clubs paved the way for the equipment to be installed in the West Rome site. Previously, Rome Seven Hills Rotary purchased computers and outfitted the library and computer facility in South Rome Boys and Girls Club through funds earned at a basketball tournament."

  Pete McDonald of the Rome Club and Bill Byars of the Rome Seven Hills Club were on hand to celebrate with the members of the Boys and Girls Club Board. "Watching the excitement in the eyes of the young people made it all worthwhile," Byars said. "Great things happen when clubs like Rotary pool their efforts."

  McDonald added, "It has been a few years since the clubs have teamed on a grant project like this one, but the benefit to the students will be a lasting and memorable one."


Floyd County Schools’ summer program feeds 3,000 daily
by Byars, Bill

by Lauren Jones, staff writerRn T.Com
Donna Carver (far left) speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)
Donna Carver (far left) speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)
Donna Carver speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)

Donna Carver speaks to Seven Hills Rotary Club members about the Summer Feeding Program on Tuesday at Coosa Country Club. (Lauren Jones / Rome News-Tribune)


It was lunchtime when Donna Carver and her 10-year-old daughter pulled up at a low-income site in Floyd County in a torrential rain.

Nearly 60 children had gathered in that downpour July 5, no doubt wondering whether or not they would eat that day, but when Carver pulled up in the van with a Floyd County seal on it, the children began jumping up and down, cheering.

“Mom, why are they so happy?” Carver said her daughter asked her.

“Because they’re hungry, and we’re bringing them food,” she replied.

Carver, director of school nutrition for Floyd County Schools, spoke to Seven Hills Rotary Club members Tuesday at Coosa Country Club about the Summer Feeding Program. Carver spearheaded the initiative three years ago after hearing that her Bartow County counterpart was serving 5,000 lunches each day during the summer. She said she thought to herself, “If there are that many hungry children there, how many are there in Floyd County?”

Carver explained that this summer in Floyd County, the Summer Feeding Program feeds about 3,000 children a day.

Read more: - Nutrition director Floyd County Schools summer program feeds 3 000 daily
Respect for Law Awards
by Byars, Bill

(From left) Sgt Dan Bickers, Lt. Dana Collum, Trooper Chris Harris, Officer Josh Kerce, Officer Tim Dickens, Deputy Jason Prescott. (contributed photo)
59th Annual Holiday Basketball Festival
by Lovel, Nina

Rome Seven Hills Rotary announced the projected pledge total and net proceeds from tickets sales for the Holiday Festival Tournament will total $34,000. See photos

The players announce the pledge total, "Drum roll, please"/ (Below) Head Coaches ImageImage
U.S. Representative Tom Graves
by Byars, Bill

The lameduck Congressional session focused on avoiding the fiscal cliff is a great time to re-evaluate the role of government, U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, told members of the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday.

“The $16 trillion debt is the elephant in the room,” he said.

Graves said the federal government continues to spend more than it takes in and taxes can’t cover the whole difference.

“To me, this isn’t difficult to fix,” he said. “We need to cut spending.”

He said everyone’s proposals should be put on the table, regardless of political party, and be judged by a simple, four-part litmus test.

“Does it create private sector jobs; does it expand the economy; does it empower taxpayers or government; and is it constitutional,” he said.

Graves said the national media puts undue pressure on Congress when it slaps a label like “fiscal cliff” or “Countdown to the Shutdown” on negotiations — pressure that could force hasty decisions.

Still, he called the automatic triggers set to go off in January “disturbing,” and predicted a battle in the remaining weeks of 2012. He shared his take on the elements that, combined, could shake the U.S. economy.

Read more: - Graves Spending cuts are key in Congress
59th Holiday Festival High School Basketball Tournament
by Byars, Bill


           December 17-21, 2012
at Georgia Highlands College and Berry College




Present the


59th Holiday Festival

Basketball Tournament

Quest for the Gold Ball

11 High School Men’s & Women’s Basketball Teams


                                      December 17-21, 2012

At Georgia Highlands College and Berry College

The Rome-Seven Hills Rotary Club is pleased to partner with the Rome News Tribune to continue the tradition of promoting excellence in athletics and education. Proceeds of the games will benefit all high schools and colleges in Floyd County.  In between games, the Rome Seven-Hills Rotary Club will present a check to agencies for the funds raised during this event.

  • The Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Georgia now has over 2000 members. These funds are used by the Boys & Girls Clubs to support the Teen Center, Interact youth club and youth leadership program.
  • Student Scholarships at Georgia Highlands and Berry College


22 Teams         250 players                 6,000 spectators                     Radio/Web/Print media coverage

RN-T columnist talks about meeting Dolly Parton, Hank Aaron
by Byars, Bill

by Kevin Myrick, Staff Writer Rn T.Com
RN-T columnist Lee Walburn speaks to Rotarians on Tuesday. (Kevin Myrick, RN-T)
RN-T columnist Lee Walburn speaks to Rotarians on Tuesday. (Kevin Myrick, RN-T)
Rome News-Tribune's Saturday columnist Lee Walburn has enjoyed an already storied career with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a baseball writer and editor of the Sunday magazine and in public relations with the Atlanta Braves. He’s interviewed celebrities and politicians and shared stories with some of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game.

But of all people Walburn has met and the places he’s gone, he told Seven Hills Rotarians Tuesday during their weekly meeting about some of his favorites. Among the names he mentioned were Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron and his longtime friend Lewis Grizzard.

Before the lunch meeting was over, he had members laughing at his stories, like when he interviewed Dolly Parton.

“I saw Dolly once without her wig on,” Walburn said. “And she told me one time it didn’t bother her that people characterized her as a dumb blonde. She said ‘I know I’m not dumb and I know I’m not blonde’.”

Walburn also talked about his friendship with writer Pat Conroy, who he has also had the occasion to edit his writing.

“I can tell you that he’s helped turn a lot of editors 50 shades of gray,” Walburn said. “And he had some great opening lines.”

But of all the stories he told to Rotarians about his past exploits, interviews and stories, Walburn said he felt that his time with Hank Aaron was the most memorable.

He said during his time with the Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1972 as Public Relations Director, he had the opportunity to get to know the ballplayer well.

And throughout his historic season of breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, he said he never got to know a better man despite the constant hate mail and death threats he received that year.

“He was the shyest superstar I’ve ever met,” Walburn said. “All he would ever do to acknowledge the applause of his fans was a quick tip of the hat.”

These days, Walburn spends his time in Rome and works on his column.

He said that coming back into writing was “like being unembalmed.” He said he was asked recently if he was enjoying “writing anything that occurs to you.”

“It’s fun, but the occurring is hell,” Walburn said.

Read more: - RN T columnist talks about meeting Dolly Parton Hank Aaron
Rotary Welcomes Coach K
by Byars, Bill

Vikings football coach preparing for challenge
by Kevin Myrick, Staff Writer Rn T.Com

Berry College Vikings football head coach Tony Kunczewski has been in the job for three months, but already he’s making a bold prediction. “I’m not a lot for making guarantees or stuff like that o...

Read more: - Rome and Floyd County, Georgia news, sports, business, videos and more
Historic Fairview School Project
by Byars, Bill

Joyce Perdue-Smith, chairman of The Fairview and E.S. Brown Heritage Corp., told Seven Hills Rotarians on Tuesday, Nov. 29, she hoped the community can pull together the funds and manpower needed to bring the Fairview School back from the past.

Her journey with the project began when she started her own research on her family’s history with the school.

“I became very interested in the school when I came back to do some research on my dad’s professional career,” Perdue-Smith said. “He got his first principalship at the Fairview School in 1952. From there I started researching the school records at the Board of Education.”

Perdue-Smith pulled together the research and found alumni in the area to help bring the school back from the kudzu that had consumed it.

The project, however, is in need of funds — it’s facing a projected cost of $250,000, which includes the cost to purchase the land and building — to help it continue forward. But Perdue-Smith also hopes that items needed for cleanup like a Bobcat and volunteer muscle power will help get the school back to the way it was.

“We need people who can help us clean off the property, and that’s our most urgent need at the moment,” she said.

Alumni Ted Barnett also told Rotarians on Tuesday the project was worthy of their support because of what the school represented to those who learned inside its walls.

“It’s more than just a building,” Barnett said. “It’s a place where kids grew up. And respect didn’t start at school, it started at home. And they taught us that whatever you’ve done, to put your heart into it.”

Read more: - Historic Cave Spring school lost in kudzu making a comeback
Micaela's Mid-Year GRSP Review
by Byars, Bill

My host families and I have a running joke. Every weekend I return back to Rome they ask me how my weekend was. My answer? “BEST. WEEKEND. EVER”. It’s a mathematical anomaly how each and every one of the weekends I’ve spent since arriving in Georgia could be the best-weekend-ever - but they are.


Since arriving in Rome, Georgia I have been fortunate enough to do some amazing things. I have spent a Saturday in Atlanta with 23 other GRSP students watching some of the best bands at Music Midtown festival (Coldplay, The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant etc). I have been to cities (Thomasville, Athens, Young Harris, Savannah, Kennesaw, Ellijay) all over Georgia just about each and every weekend only to spend them with GRSPs and passionate Rotarians.


I have learned to tailgate (like a pro!) and support Georgia and to yell “GO DAWGS” in huge packed stadiums. I am convinced that I bring the DAWGS good luck having been in the stadium when they won against Florida and Georgia Tech. I might just have to come back next year! I have been fortunate enough to land the lottery with my host families. I've been to Florida 3 times, Lake Mentone, the PGA golf tour in Atlanta and very many more things are sure to come! I got to celebrate my very first halloween, dressing up as a mime for halloween and being the oldest Trick-or-Treater in the neighbourhood? I also ate so much at Thanksgiving that the I passed out on the couch by 7.30pm!


One of the highlights of my year so far has been speaking at the United Nations in New York at the Rotary UN Day, which is a one-day conference that aims to showcase how Rotary International and the UN work together to solve major world issues. Andrea Tirone (a former Ambassadorial scholar in Durban) and I spoke about Rotary Youth Exchange, the Ambassadorial Scholarship and Rotaract, highlighting the projects Rotaract Durban Berea has done. Our speech went really well and it was truly a dream come true for me.


As for New York. I LOVE IT! The cabs, the street vendors, the fire escapes, Central Park,  the atmosphere. I was lucky enough to be in NY for the UN Day, and lucky enough to go there before Christmas. 3 GRSP girls (from Sweden, Denmark and Wales) and I got in a car nicknamed ‘Mia the Kia’ and drove for 22 hours north up to Boston where another dream of mine came true. Harvard! We spent 2 days in Boston where we met up with the GRSP boys from New Zealand, Brazil, Denmark and Nigeria and had the most insane amount of fun. We carried on traveling with the boys when we got to NY where we spent a week making movie-style memories; ice-skating in Central Park, going to stand up comedy, up the Empire State Building, tracing Bob Dylan’s steps in Greenwich Village, karaoking in Chinatown, being amazed by Times Square and living the New York dream. On our road trip down we spent 2 nights in Washington and saw all the sites, Library of Congress, the White House, Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial, JFK’s grave. It was the BEST. ROAD TRIP. EVER. :)


I honestly cannot believe that it has been 5 months already and I only have 4 and a half left! This has truly been the most incredible experience and I can't wait to see what the next 4 months bring. I have to say a big thank you to each and every rotarian who has made this possible for me. Thank you!



Rome Seven Hills Rotary Basketball Classic
by Byars, Bill

Clean Energy-Challenges for the Future
by Byars, Bill

Those who are looking to the utility companies to come up with answers about how to keep the lights on in Georgia can expect some big changes in power generation in the state.

Among the changes are the first nuclear reactors to be built in the U.S. since the infamous Three Mile Island incident.

Along with that, natural gas-powered power generation plants in Atlanta are coming online. So for Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond manager Tracy Hawkins, it’s an exciting time to be in the utilities business.

“There are all kinds of things that can be applied to the smart grid,” Hawkins said. “But what we did at Southern Company is we took it beyond the grid.”

Hawkins spoke to the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday, talking up Southern Co.’s strategy of smart energy.

Read more: - Georgia Power speaker Power changing in state
Laws of Life Essays
by Byars, Bill

Rome Seven Hills Rotary Club President Bill Byars (far left) and Alan Horne (far right), former club president, stand with Rome High freshman Matt Stevens (second from left to right), sophomore Jay Horton, junior Lauren Tutt and senior Bersy Dominguez after awarding them with certificates for their winning stories in the Rotary Club’s Laws of Life essay contest at the Tuesday’s meeting at Coosa Country Club. (Brittany Hannah /

photo by Brittany Hannah RNT
Respect for Law Awards
by Byars, Bill

Local officers honored by civic groups
by Brittany Hannah, Staff Writer Rn T.Com
For the first time ever, three of Rome’s civic groups came together in one meeting to honor members of local law enforcement at the Coosa Country Club on Tuesday.

The Kiwanis Club, Seven Hills Rotary Club and the Noon Optimist Club hosted a joint meeting to present “Respect for Law” awards to members of several agencies who were

nominated by colleagues for their service and dedication to the community.

All three clubs share a common mission to make Floyd County strong, safe and prosperous, according to Seven Hills Rotary Club President Bill Byars. He commended the perseverance of the officers who work hard on a daily basis to protect the peace of the community.

Read more: - Local officers honored by civic groups
Ed Watters honored by Rotary District 6910
by Byars, Bill

Ed Watters was named as the recepient of the 2012 Lee Arendale Award for Vocational Excellence at District ConferenceImage
Four Way Test Essay Winners Announced
by Byars, Bill

 Students share speeches at Rotary Club meeting

by Lydia Senn, staff writer
Jade Samaniego (left), a junior at Model, and Rebecca Curtis, a senior at Pepperell, won the Seven Hill Rotary speech contest Tuesday. Jeremy Baker, a senior at Pepperell, also won but was not present. (Lydia Senn / Rome News-Tribune)
Jade Samaniego (left), a junior at Model, and Rebecca Curtis, a senior at Pepperell, won the Seven Hill Rotary speech contest Tuesday. Jeremy Baker, a senior at Pepperell, also won but was not present. (Lydia Senn / Rome News-Tribune)
From cyber bullying to the debate over GPS in teenagers’ cell phones to the power of words, no topic was off limits in the Seven Hills Rotary Club essay contest.

Three high school students from Pepperell High School were awarded Tuesday as part of the “4-Way Test Essay Contest.”

Read more: - Students share speeches at Rotary Club meeting



Childhood Literacy Reading Program
by Byars, Bill

In an underprivileged child’s sparse bedroom in Georgia’s Greene County, there were no toys or video games. There was only a collection of donated books, but the child valued them above all and read them repeatedly.

Tera Cochran recounted this story at the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday at the Coosa Country Club to illustrate the feedback her fellow volunteers receive from parents whose children benefit from receiving books and other materials encouraging reading from the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy. Rome Seven Hills Rotary provides monthly book subscriptions for 65 children in Rome and Floyd County.

Read more: - Literacy program coordinator advocates early learning
Run Lindsay, 31 Years Later, UGA Champs
by Byars, Bill

November 8, 1980, Buck Belue threw a pass to Lindsay Scott late in the fourth quarter and the UGA Bulldogs went on to be National Champions. Lindsay Scott and Robbie Burns visited the Rome Seven Hills Rotary joint meeting with the Rome Bulldog Club on the 31st anniversary of 'The Play.' Robbie's book, Belue to Scott is now in a fourth printing. Lindsay's advice after all these years-"when you do what you're supposed to do-good things happen."


August 9 Program-Occupational and Employer Health Solutions
by Byars, Bill

As more employers and employees grapple with rising health insurance costs, Teresa Fagan, director of Occupational Health at Redmond Regional Medical Center, said that there are some reasons to be optimistic.

Speaking to the Seven Hill Rotary Club on Tuesday, Fagan said there are some opportunities to rein in costs and provide better service.

“It’s one of the most exciting times I’ve seen,” Fagan said. “There are a lot of challenges out there, but there are huge opportunities and a lot of flexibility to bring health care to the work site and to do things that really make an impact and a change in people’s lives.”

In her presentation, Fagan referenced the Fieldale Farms Corp., as a “benchmark for Georgia.”

The company has been able to keep employee health insurance premium increases well below average for the State of Georgia and the nation

Read more: - Redmond’s Occupational Health director speaks to the Seven Hills Rotary Club
Financial Markets and Personal Planning
by Byars, Bill

The stock market is an unpredictable and emotional business to be in, Mike Crego told the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday.

Coupled with influential economic and psychological factors, the market has been “volatile,” said Crego, senior vice president of investments at Wells Fargo Advisors.

“We feel like this volatility is going to continue to be a factor for investors for years to come,” he said.

He referenced last week’s risky financial environment, mapping out the different factors that came into play.

“The S&P credit downgrade … was a huge factor, the timing of it more so than anything else,” said Crego. “We thought is was coming, but we didn’t expect it to be last week.”

He continued to expand on other factors that have affected the market.

“The debt negotiations and the lack of commitment in Washington to really be serious about addressing this issue probably weighed on investors’ minds,” he said. “The Greek and European debt crisis is a factor as well.”

But Crego remained optimistic, pointing to low interest rates, good productivity and rising inventory numbers. During this unpredictable time, he advised investors to stay diversified, balanced and patient.

“We feel like the best way to address the unpredictability of the financial market is to have a disciplined, diversified portfolio that includes exposure to stocks, bonds, perhaps gold and real estate,” he said. “Have plenty of acuity for short-term emergencies and stay with a diversification mix that meets your objectives.”

Crego ended his presentation with valuable advice to the younger generation.

“Don’t spend more than you make, invest as early as possible and stay disciplined,” he said. “If you do those three things as a young person, you can really set yourself up for a good financial future.” -