by Buzz Wachsteter for the Georgia District Exchange Newsletter

The children of clients of Rome’s Exchange Club Family Resource Center were treated to a very special day as they prepared to return to school. The event was held at the community’s ECO center, a natural resource education center along the Oostanaula River.
The children had a firsthand look at the “critters” that make up the ecology of the Rome area as well as an introduction to the larger wildlife and fish of the three rivers of Rome. The children were fascinated by the live snakes, turtles, fish, and even a small alligator. They sat in amazement as ECO Center Direct Ben Winkelman opened their eyes to both the history of our area as well as facts about their “neighbors” who they share the area with.

Another purpose of this outing was to hand out school supplies to the families that were assembled by the center’s Parent Aides for their client families. The Parent Aides, who work with their clients weekly in the family homes, were the best to know the needs of their client families and were able to do the shopping.

To make sure needs were met, the Exchange Club of Rome mounted a quick fund raiser among members at a meeting and raised over $700 in cash and store gift cards to give the center’s staff additional funds above what had been budgeted. Through this last-minute effort to Exchange members, the center’s staff were able to complete their job with no problems.

Of course, when you get a bunch of kids together, what do you do next? YOU FEED THEM PIZZA and that was done. It was a wonderful day for them.