Rotary of Mount Olive experienced another busy month.
Visits from a world traveler and University of Mount Olive professor Julie Beck, Mayor Kenny Talton, a membership program, community projects and remembering a good friend were some of August’s highlights.
Beck treated Rotarians with tales of her travels that include all 50 states, all seven continents and 89 countries. The sojourns perfectly describe her mantra “Adventure On!” She is chairperson of the award-winning NC Pickle Festival and president of the Mount Olive Area Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to her travels, Beck talked about the importance of networking and updated the club on upcoming chamber plans:
• PBS NC presented a five-minute documentary on Mount Olive and its new mural Aug. 12. Seraphim Smith has started to spray paint the pickle jar mural that dons the wall on the Box Theatre.
The NC Cycle organization is coming to town Oct. 8.
• The annual chamber banquet is Nov. 9.
• The inaugural Pickles, Pigs & Swigs is Nov. 20 in downtown Mount Olive. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be held in conjunction with the University of Mount Olive homecoming festivities.
• The Christmas Open House is Dec. 3 with the town’s annual Christmas parade scheduled the following day.
Rotarian member Barbara Kornegay introduced Talton, a hometown boy who was employed with the town as code inspections and planning officer before joining the city of Goldsboro in their code enforcement office.
Talton talked about his hometown roots, his mother’s longtime service to the town and thanked Rotary and Hwy 55 for the good work they do in town. He saluted the 4-way test of Rotary and spoke about how service is what public work is about.
He and the town’s commissioners are working to revitalize the downtown district. The groups want to clean up old buildings, create beautiful spaces and build new residential leadership through advisory committees.
Talton said economic development of the downtown area is a goal.
Kornegay led a membership workshop with Rotarians and asked them why they joined Rotary. The question led to a variety of answers.
War veteran Doug Connor said his father had always known about Rotary and when Doug moved to Mount Olive, his dad, who was living in Goldsboro at the time, asked him about Rotary in Mount Olive.
The two joined, along with son Douglass, and when he shifted to corporate membership, Marjorie joined. Douglass heard about Rotary as an extension of athletic teams and was a Rotary exchange student to Austria as a teenager.
Local entrepreneur Kenney Moore said he learned about Rotary when he was invited to be a speaker for the club. He joined, but was unable to continue his membership at that time due to the attendance requirements.
When the club rescinded its attendance rule, Moore rejoined and brought along three employees — Neil Dennis, Dave Thompson and Adam Wiggins. Dennis and Thompson are past Rotary presidents.
New Jersey native Kelley Thwaite joined Rotary to network in a new town.
David Martin, current Rotary president, joined when Lynn Williams sent an email to all Mt. Olive Pickle Co. employees asking for three volunteers to be their corporate representatives. He and two others volunteered.
Members of the Rotary Club set up a tent and handed out ice-cold bottles of water during freshman check-in day at the University of Mount Olive.
Martin met a new student from Maryland who knew about Rotary. He invited her to help him get Rotoact, the college version of Rotary, started on campus.
Barbara Bryan, Rotary treasurer and vice president-elect, announced the birth of identical twin grandsons — Wyatt Dale Hall and Colton Ray Hall. They were born on Aug. 24.