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Leila S. Case: Thanks to Rotarians we’re a little neater

Have you noticed our community sparkles a bit brighter today than earlier this week?
Well, that’s because the Americus Rotary Club put service into action to observe the club’s first Rotary Week of Service Above Self.
It all began bright and early Monday — it may have been a holiday for some, nevertheless that was put aside for the Rotary Mile Trash pickup. While driving east on East Lamar Street, I witnessed Jim Covington and Thurston Clary, Dr. Schley Gatewood and Bardin Hooks, donned in red Rotary vests, putting litter into large trash bags. Others participants I didn’t actually see were Hank Hart, Cindy Pryor and Gaynor Cheokas.
Litterers should be ashamed; however, the Rotary got rid of it. Please say “thank you” the next time you see a Rotarian.
Then it was on to the next thing: The club’s monthly meeting at Furlow Charter School for a tasty lunch served by my longtime friend, Larry Jackson, and a hearty welcome by Elizabeth Kuipers, principal, and a host of other teachers that we encountered, including Rob Bailey.
Gaynor Cheokas, president, presented Kuipers with a donation for the principal’s discretionary fund. Then Steve Stanfield explained Rotary’s 4-way test to the fourth grade to which they responded enthusiastically. Then he presented a box of more than 500 Rotary pencils to distribute to all scholars.
Rotarians continued the week of service by restringing and replacing the tiny white lights encircling tree trunks that line the downtown streets. Other projects were cleaning Sheffield Park adjacent to Americus-Sumter High School and erecting a new Rotary Club sign there. The week concluded with a cookout for the Boys and Girls Club members on the Furlow Charter School campus.
Stand up and take a bow Rotarians; you all are making a mark and Americus is better for it.
Meanwhile, we ask deer where art thou?
It seems the gentle deer that sought refuge in a deep, green thicket behind the home of our Barrett family in Leslie has left his shelter of more than a year. He was a very young and frightened deer most likely orphaned when he showed up. He was wary of people and would allow no human contact although he did let “Mini-Me Tom Cat” into his lair but not Regina, the dog, who just stood at the edge and barked. After a few months, the deer began to develop antlers and was given the name Spike.
As the days turned into months, Spike grew bolder and ventured far out into the yard and on Christmas Day afternoon while all the family was gathered he emerged from hiding to present the entire family with a special gift: an impromptu ballet across the lawn only to return to seclusion.
Meanwhile, Anne and Mark remain hopeful that Spike will not be in harm’s way and maybe find “Miss Right” sooner than later and return to his lair.
Elsewhere Henry and Jerry Crisp enjoyed entertaining his daughter, Shelley Crisp Hinson and a friend from Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, during Presidents’ Day weekend.
While Casey and Jami Shivers and daughters, Jeanna Kate Shivers and Clara Grace Shivers, journey to Valdosta for Jeanna Kate to play competition softball with her 14 and under travel team. All games were at Freedom Park. Her team won two games and lost two. Incidentally, Jami is one of the coaches. There to cheer them on were Jeanna’s paternal grandparents Lori and Andy Shivers.
Congratulations to Mary Marshall who recently who has returned from Athens where she welcomed another grandchild, Anne Karpan Pyror, who was born to Oliver and Katie Pryor.
And Bardin and Hayden Hooks and son, George, four months, were in Birmingham last weekend for an engagement party for a good friend of Hayden’s. They left George in the care of her mother, Sally Headley, one night and Bardin thought they might have to fetch George around midnight because Hayden would miss him so; however, she made it through and they even enjoyed brunch the next morning before retrieving him. While there the Hooks visited Hayden’s grandmother, Emily Wood.
It’s girl time this weekend for Gaynor Cheokas, daughter Brittany, and Sarah Darden. They’re in Atlanta for the annual Atlanta Botanical Garden Flower Show, which is always spectacular. Guest speakers include James Farmer, well known floral and interior designer of nearby Perry, and designer Bruno Duarte. Also on the agenda is dinner at Cooks and Soldiers — sounds like fun to me.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus