This week’s luncheon program speaker will be brought to us by February Programs Chairman, Chris Tatum. Larry Hill of the Waycross Police Department will speak. Next week, Chris brings a representative of Georgia Department of Natural Resources for an update on boating laws. On February 23rd, 7:00 p.m., Chris leads our Public Safety Banquet as we recognize each of our outstanding officers of the year from each public safety agency in Waycross and Ware County.
EXCHANGE CLUB NEWS
President Michael Ray announced Cleveland Moore was ap- proved by our club’s Board of Directors for member comments until February 16 (2 weeks). If satisfactory, dues must be paid for local, District (Georgia) and National Exchange Clubs.
Denton Dyal former Ware County Superintendent of Ware County Schools was inducted to our club by President Michael Ray. Welcome Denton to America’s Service Club.
SALVATION ARMY KETTLE COLLECTION
As a non-profit community service club, our members compete in collecting Christmas donations for our local Salvation Army. Our club has won every time we collect. This year, we collected $4,588. Local residents received 82% of the total or about $3,762. Hopefully we will come in first again this year.
YMCA LETTER OF THANKS
President Michael Ray read a letter from our local YMCA thanking our club for this year’s donation of financial support to help the “Y” meet the needs of community programs including safety procedures for kids in the water. The letter was sent by Renee Popham, Business Director.
Al Jacobson’s report on last month’s blood drive was 169 pints which was over our 166 average. Our goal is 200 pints so get a friend to come with you.
OLA SMITH CEO MCKINNEY MEDICAL CENTER
Chris Tatum, February Programs Chairman, introduced Ms. Ola A. Smith as Chief Executive Officer of a productive Community Health Center. Ms. Smith’s resume’ stated that the Center’s goal of success is acquired by the belief that “we can do all things through Christ that strengthens us.” Ms. Smith has two master degrees and extensive experience in executive administration of community health centers. She is a veteran, having served in the active Army for six years and U.S. Army Reserve in Military Intelligence for six years. She is also a member of several boards of public health and has won many awards and honors including being awarded the “Administrator of the Year for 2001 and 2015” by the State Primary Care Association during its annual conference. In 2006, McKinney Community Health Center was named “Center of the Year” by the State PCA.
McKinney Community Health Center has seven branches in five counties. Arnold McKinney who started the Center died in 1996. In 2015, the name of the Center was changed to McKinney Medical Center. They have eleven providers with one part-time. Their services are provided user-friendly. Minimum pay is $30 up to $300 of service and adjusted according to ability to pay. The Board has representation from each county and ten staff. They manage Nelson Greene Center and accept Medicaid and they provide service to under insured and insured Medicare. This is a great health service provider for our community. Thanks Ola Smith for your leadership.
OKEFENOKEE GOLF COURSE
Will Higginson, January Programs Chairman, introduced Mike Ranew representing the Board of Directors of the Okefenokee Golf Course. He said the status of golf courses in the United States is they are struggling. Some are closing in the U.S. every day. It is a tough industry in which to serve. Within a fifty-mile radius, two are closing every year. Sterling and Brunswick are struggling to keep them running. There are three in Waycross-Ware County area including Lakeside in Pierce County, Okefenokee and the The Lakes at Laura Walker Park. In 2016, golfers played 9,010 rounds here. They want large events here to build to 12,000 rounds per year. At Okefenokee the club is grooming the course to make it more wonderful for kids to play. The industry of golf is changing. New golf clubs, stronger golf balls are emerging in new golf merchandise making golf more wonderful to play. Okefenokee is built along the Satilla River with tree lines running along the fairways. Randy Keen is the golf manager at the course. It is challenging to keep the course in good shape with practice areas, driving range including sets of tees for women golfers. They held two professional tournaments and two mini tournaments. The Hopkins Tournament allowed kids to play on a nice course, swim in the pool and eat in the club house. The course will host the State final for girls in last week of April-May for ages 16-21. They have non-resident members and social memberships. The club house has completely renovated floors, walls, windows and equipment. Parties were scheduled everyday in December. Members have a pool, tennis courts, basketball court and Yoga classes for women. The course is open Tuesdays and Thursdays for $30 to play with cart, greens and balls, Sounds like a deal!