This week’s program to be brought to us by August Program Chairman, Neil Skerratt, will be a representative from the new private Memorial Satilla Health System to give us an overview of the hospital’s current operations.

Next week, before our luncheon program starts at 12:30 p.m., our Okefenokee Fair Association Board meets at 11:00 a.m.

All members are invited to attend. The luncheon program brought to us by Neil Skeratt will be Franklin Stephens, Ware County High School Head Football Coach. Prospects for winning this year’s football games will be presented to our club.

Invite a guest to meeting and ask questions about team’s chances.

2017-2018 LEADERSHIP

President Roger Collins announced changes have been made in monthly program Chairmen. Chris Tatum is Chairman. The Waycross Red Coater which you should be receiving in the mail on Wednesdays or by email, has the revised list of names. Committee Chairs have also been updated. So, look for your name and committee you are to work this year.


Jonathan Daniell, Fair Manager, reported on our fair midway’s status since their accident at Ohio Sate Fair in Columbus.

It is the company that provides rides at our Okefenokee Fair in November. There is no evidence of operator error in the accident. The ride involved is “FireBall” first operated here in 2002.

It was built in 1998. KMG built the ride and others. None of the manufacturer’s rides has had (as reported) a serious malfunction before. We will monitor as time goes on. Three inspections were made as usual on the ride-state, Independent Company and Amusement of America. Owner Viviona’s asked for prayer and support. One arm on the ride came off.


Jim Stapleton, July Programs Chairman, introduced Jeana Griffin, school-age children program director at the YMCA and Heather Harrell financial handler who oversees operations in Camp Reveille each summer. They need help financially and volunteers. Camp Reveille handles 180 kids for two weeks each summer; 500-600 invitations to attend are sent out each year to Pierce, Brantley and Ware Counties; 90 are chosen for a week to play with no worry of danger, movies and worship are held each week night. Some children come with only a plastic bag of clothes, two had no shoes. Counselors are young to 13 years. Teachers are brought in. “Jasmine” helps each year.

An actor, head coach from Macon and outstanding leaders are brought in. Churches serve meals each day. City and County officials come out. The kids are safe, loved and prayed upon.

The Y is “Mission” driven. Kids are better when they go home. They need clothes, shoes, soap, comb, wash cloths, towels and underwear. They have special guest speakers such as Zina Ponsell, Michael Ray, Service League and track run. Groups can sponsor. A Christmas Party is held each year. They need air conditioners now. Y wants to take it to the next level. Jeana thanked our club for the annual $500 donation every year. Great program, we support!


August Program Chairman Neil Skerratt introduced Don Berryhill of the Okefenokee Swamp Park Staff. He has spent 50 years working in the Swamp. He started the course forty to forty-five years ago. Leslie Ranew and Catherine Burnham are going to take over the courses soon.

Swamp has amphibians that live in the bottom of the Swamp, lakes. They live and eat anything at the bottom.

Gators have a vicious bite. The Swamp is succeeded now by filling in of dead plants. Succession consists of plants being replaced. They are connected to the bottom and creates peat which grows root in 50 years. The decay creates CO2 and methane gases. Big chunks of peat float up and go back down to bottom. Some peat islands are 100’s to 1,000’s years old. Scientists in 1838 started studying peat islands. There are 70+ sand islands also. The Okefenokee Park occupies 38,000 acres which was made famous by Lydia Stone. 250,000 years ago a glacier came down and melted and washed sand to the Swamp.

There are 12,000 alligators in swamp and are very dangerous. They are born with 25-30 teeth which grow to 78-80. They are not “chewing” teeth but are “holding” teeth which allows swallowing big chunks and rocks. Stomach muscles contract and grinds up whatever is in there. Gators are a threat! The grinding down creates a “soup” which is dispelled in piles. They can float forward and backward very fast and roll after clasping food in teeth. Over the past 250 million years, a comet came to earth 65 million years ago and killed all life except what was down in water, ponds, and lakes allowing them to live. A gator takes 1/2 second to jump for food with 50 other animals living in swamp. 621 plants grow in swamp. A lot more was presented to our club. Great program Neil!


Our last Exchange Club Blood Drive yielded 139 pints. We need to get them up to the 200 pints level per drive as reported by Al Jacobson, Chairman of the Drive!


Hannah Higginson, daughter of Will Higginson, was announced as our Exchange Club Scholarship winner at South Georgia State College. Congratulations Hannah Higginson.

Unity for Service

Our Motto - Unity for Service
The motto was adopted in 1917.
Its originator, Charles Berkey,
said the motto was inspired
by the 133rd Psalm, which says
“Behold how good and pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell
together in unity.”

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