Rotarians tackle community projects in the county
by W. Brian Hale
Sep 20, 2011 | 1235 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rotary President Keith Lewis, left, and fellow Rotarian Gary Hallmark, right, work with Kiwanis President and Jasper City Council member Morris Studdard, center, to clear fallen trees left after the April 27 tornadoes. - Photo by: W. Brian Hale
Rotary President Keith Lewis, left, and fellow Rotarian Gary Hallmark, right, work with Kiwanis President and Jasper City Council member Morris Studdard, center, to clear fallen trees left after the April 27 tornadoes. - Photo by: W. Brian Hale
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The Rotary Club of Jasper spent the end of last week working on two projects designed to assist members of the community and further the Rotarian motto of “delivering good will and better friendships”.

Both projects were centered around disaster relief that the Rotary Club felt should be a primary focus following the tornadoes of April 27.

On Thursday, Rotarians Kevin Callahan, Torrie Grelle, Renae McKinney, Gerson May, Eric Nail and David Banks traveled to the Aldridge community to assist a family whose home had been heavily damaged by a tornado.

The family had acquired a new home to reside in and were in the process of moving their belongings to their new location, but encountered difficulties in moving larger objects from the existing structure.

Complicating the matter was the intensity of the damage to the previous home’s roof, which necessitated an immediate move. The Rotarians quickly moved bedroom suites, TV’s, refrigerators and other items into a truck provided by May and placed them in the new home.

“Everyone really hustled and we were able to get the entire move done in three hours thanks to Gerson’s truck and the dollies he brought,” Grelle said. “It was a genuine team effort and I couldn’t have been more proud of how we were able to help this family out.”

On Friday, Nail and Callahan joined Roger Hill, Rotary President Keith Lewis, Gary Hallmark and other Rotarians to remove several trees from property in Jasper that fell during the April tornadoes. Using tractors and chainsaws, the project which was originally scheduled to be completed on Saturday was finished on Friday afternoon.

The Rotary teams were joined by Kiwanis Club President and Jasper City Council member Morris Studdard on Friday, who was pleased to received the Rotarians’ help in clearing the lot for one of his district’s citizens.

“For all of us to be able to get out in our community and help one our residents who were effected by this disaster is a great blessing,” Studdard said. “I appreciate the Rotary Club coming out and working in our district today and was happy to be working alongside them.”