FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
When Tarboro Rotary Club president Chad Hinton handed over the gavel to incoming president Billy Wooten yesterday at the club’s year-end assembly, he left him with some big shoes to fill. Hinton’s 12-month tenure as president of the 85+ year old civic club, received the district’s highest marks distinguishing the Tarboro Rotary Club as “Platinum” again, repeating the previous year’s distinction. Wooten commended Hinton for the foundation set in place by his leadership.
In his comments that reflected the past Rotary year, Hinton talked about the service aspect of his club and all the Rotary clubs throughout the world community. He detailed many of the club’s recent accomplishments and projects in the area of community service.
During the past year, the creation of a Wetlands Nature Trail was a significant community service environmental project undertaken by the club and coordinated by Rotarian, George Anderson, faculty member at Edgecombe Community College. Phase one, a 1,240 linear foot trail constructed in the wooded southwest boundary of the college campus is a living laboratory for students of all ages and a recreation site
for citizens of this community. The trail was dedicated in October as part of ECC’s 45th Anniversary Celebration. A stop at the trail was a highlight of the America in Bloom judges’ itinerary during their visit to Tarboro last week.
Another major community service project initiated this year, yet still in the planning stages, has already earned 41-year Rotarian, John Jenkins this year’s Club Service Award, for his efforts. At Hinton’s request, Jenkins chaired a special committee to conduct a community needs study in the development of a long-term visible service project for Tarboro’s club. According to Jenkins, the project is a joint venture involving civic leaders and municipal government, working closely with arborists from NC State University in a collaboration that will protect the urban canopy of Tarboro’s historic town common for future generations. “There will be much more news about this in the months ahead,” says Jenkins. “For his countless behind the scenes hours and research in the development of this project, this year’s Service-Above-Self Award goes to John Jenkins.”
President Hinton noted other achievements of the year that included financial support of nearly $4,000 for local charities and service organizations; awarding $5,000 in scholarship for the two outstanding seniors at Tarboro High School and the Early College High School; participation in youth literacy projects, youth essay competitions and Rotary’s Youth Leadership conference. The Tarboro Rotary Club’s projects are funded through a major annual fundraiser, the annual Golf Ball Drop that this year raised nearly $10,000 to fund next year’s community service projects.
Hinton concluded, “These combined efforts were recognized in May at the district level with our club receiving the Platinum Award, the highest award possible for club service points.”
Two special awards also highlighted the year end meeting as Hinton presented the 2012-2013 Rotarian of the Year Award to Tom Thorne, whom he said is always excited about Rotary and steps forward to help in some way with every club project. Thorne was inspired at a Rotary seminar to pursue an opportunity to participate in the Mercy Ships Global Grant project for which he quickly raised the funds to purchase a share in the grant. Thorne’s service continued throughout the year, most recently with his help in coordinating the Rotary Against Drugs speech competition.
Tom Miller, past Rotary District Governor and twice club past president, led the installation of the clubs incoming officers and directors. The Rotary theme for this year is “Engage Rotary; Change Lives.”
With gavel in hand, Wooten accepted his new post as president of the Tarboro Rotary Club
promising to continue the rich tradition of service to community in the coming year through broadening its membership and pledging his support in focusing on community service in working with the Town of Tarboro to create the Town Common urban canopy project that will brand the Tarboro club for years to come.