Dec 192013

Giving thanks can mean different things to different people.

Gratitude for material and personal treasures are paramount to most folks. But for Eau Claire North Columbia Rotarians, it was the added blessings of student achievement and a promising future for area young people that took center stage at our 27th Annual Thanksgiving Celebration.

Held on November 25th at College Place United Methodist Church, the event recognized 48 public school students from eight District I schools in North Columbia, presenting each with a certificate and a gift card in appreciation of their dedication and commitment to academic success.

Words of encouragement from District I Superintendent Dr. Percy Mack, who acted as Master of Ceremonies for the evening’s events, set the stage for accolades from others including ECNC Rotary Vice President Wash James, Eau Claire Community Council Executive Director Henry Hopkins, and Sabrina Odom, Executive Director of the North Columbia Business Association. College Place UMC Pastor and Rotarian Tiffany Knowlin, and fellow Rotarian and pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church Jackie Utley blessed the event as only two sisters in faith, and service, could.

Not only was academic achievement recognized at the event, but there was also an abundance of artistic achievement displayed by various choral and musical performances by student groups. “I am always inspired by these young folks,” said Rotarian Wiley Cooper. “This event has always been as much a blessing for us and our community, as it is for the young people we honor.”

Arden Choir. Members of the Arden Elementary School choir rehearse a number prior to the ECNC Rotary Thanksgiving Celebration in November.
Bill, Wash, Mack. Rotarians (l-r) Bill Manley and Vice President Wash James join Richland One Schools Superintendent Dr. Percy Mack at College Place UMC for the presentation of honors to Eau Claire-areas students.
ECHS Students. Student honorees from Eau Claire HIgh School receive recognition from (back row, l-r) ECHS Principal June Page, Eau Claire Community Council Executive Director Henry Hopkins, Richland One School Board member Jamie Devine, Rotarian and Executive Director of the North Columbia Business Association Sabrina Odom, and District One Superentendent Dr. Percy Mack.
Jackie & Tiffany. Rotarians and pastors Jackie Utley, Ascension Lutheran Church; and Tiffany Knowlin, College Place UMC, raise their voices in song at the opening of the EC/NC Rotary Thanksgiving Celebration in November.
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