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September 7--  The first ever "Rotaract Club"in Vidalia was introduced at a community-wide meeting hosted by the Vidalia Rotary Club.

roteract(L-R) Treasurer Anna Humphrey, Rotary President Steven McComas, Rotaract Liaison Chad Richey, Rotaract President Marissa Brown, Secretary Dana Brown, Outreach Leader Evan Riekhof, Vice-President Irene Alamilla-Castro and Rotary Assistant District Governor Greg Hudgins. Not pictured, Rotaract President-elect Matt Helms and Membership Director Anna Helms.

Rotaract focuses on developing new leaders according to Chad Ritche who acts as the liaison between Vidalia Rotarians and the new club, "This is going to be a great opportunity for young professionals who don't necessarily know where they belong as they start their careers to find a place where they can network together, get leadership development and find ways to serve our community."

Marissa Brown is with Chic-fil-A and is the Vidalia Rotaract Club's first president, "We're looking for a lot of young professionals who are going to be part of helping transform this community and be able to follow in the footsteps of really great leaders who have built this community but also be able to bring in some new ideas to help serve this community well."

Vidalia Rotary Club President Steven McComas sees initiatives like Rotaract as vital to the future of rural Georgia, "Looking at the statistics being published by the Toombs-Montgomery Chamber of Commerce and state and local analysis, if we don't invest in our young people, we're not going to have a future.

"Our forefathers thought way ahead with our airport, our infrastructure and growth and the diversification of our industries.  We need to do the same now.  Now it's our turn to step up and be part of the solution, as Marissa was saying, and grow this community.

"Without our young professionals this is not going to happen.  We need to grow in our agri-business area, we need to grow in manufacturing, we need to grow in our schools and we need to grow in our faith. 

"Without these young people getting the support of our leadership and the mentoring we can offer, not only through the Vidalia Rotary Club, but frankly through the leaders in this region, it's not going to happen.  That's what makes this place a beautiful place to live, our willingness to step up and help these young professionals succeed," McComas said.

Roteract was founded more than 50 years ago by a Rotary Club in Charlotte, North Carolina and now has nearly 11,000 clubs in 184 countries.

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