Rotary reaches out to Marked Tree

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Marked Tree Rotary has been growing in numbers within the last year, with the hopes of being able to reach out to a wider range of community members. President Zachary Hatley said their membership has increased to 17 members who are willing to serve the community.

"The biggest struggle in a small town is keeping these organizations thriving," Hatley said. "With our organization, we are trying to keep things going in our community. We want more people to be a part of that."

Hatley has been the president of the Rotary for two terms. He is a member of the Chamber of commerce and the Practical Nursing Program at ASU-Marked Tree. While staying involved in the community, his hopes are to get others more involved, as well. His biggest concern with reaching out to the residents for more involvement is getting more young participants.

"We want to appeal to the younger public, because they are our future," Hatley said. "If they don’t get involved, then it will all die out."

One of their upcoming projects is to start a Youth Rotary Club within the high school to see more involvement from them.

"If we can just get more people involved, they will see how much of an award it is to see a goal of helping someone carried out to completion," Hatley said.

The key annual projects of the Rotary include giving out dictionaries for third graders to promote literacy, their banquet and fundraiser, the Peggy Bankston Walk and a small scholarship given to one local graduating senior.

"We want the younger generation to not be afraid to get involved in these projects and pay it forward," Hatley said.

Other projects the Rotary is currently working on include lighting the Marked Tree welcome sign and the Clean up the Tree project. With Clean up the Tree, the Rotary and Chamber of Commerce are working together to make the town more appealing by cleaning several areas.

Hatley, also, wanted to thank the town for the effort they have made so far in all of the Rotary’s endeavors. He is proud of the rising numbers for the Rotary and hopes to see the town prosper even more in the coming years.

Their projects are carried out at their own expense and are always meant to be for the benefit of the public. The Marked Tree Rotary motto is "Service above self."

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