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Raising funds through fun
Rotarians enter busy season
laps 3 jd
Laps for Life returns Feb. 6. The proceeds from the Rotary Club of Lanier-Forsyth event will benefit the Lanier Extended Area Driver Education Resource, or LEADER. - photo by File photo

From casino to clay, Forsyth County’s Rotary Clubs are offering an array of options to give back to the community over the next two months.

Rotary Club of Lanier-Forsyth

After being postponed because of inclement weather in December, the annual Laps for Life race returns Feb. 6.

Rotarian James McCoy said the rescheduling has surprisingly helped grow the event.

“What we’ve found is that more people are coming,” he said.

Set for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., the race features elected officials, business leaders and members of the community racing against each other in individual quarter-midget heats.

The event will be held at the Bill Thomas Raceway at the Cumming Fairgrounds. Proceeds benefit the Lanier Extended Area Driver Education Resource, or LEADER.

The program works to prepare teenagers for the road through driver’s education courses, driving simulators and real-life road instruction.

Though McCoy said he’s too cautious of a driver to ever place in the race, he still enjoys it.

“There’s a lot of fun to be had in that,” he said. “You learn an awful lot about people that you know already. You find out there are some people who are unbelievably aggressive drivers and incredibly competitive.”

People can register until the morning of the event. Registration is $250 for one driver, though special sponsorship and heat group packages are available.

For more information, call (770) 205-1701 or e-mail
North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club
A clay shooting tournament is not the most common way to raise money for education, “and that’s what we wanted it to be,” said Grant Schmeelk, club president.

The club’s fourth annual Sporting Clays Fun Shoot on Feb. 19 is open to anyone in the community who wants to compete.

“A lot of us in the club enjoy going up there for recreation and we said, ‘Well, we can probably get enough friends together and get enough community involvement to turn this into a special event,’” he said.

“It’s an afternoon with friends doing something that is not what people do on a regular basis, and it’s challenging.”

The event will take place at the Etowah Valley Sporting Clays Park in Dawsonville. Sign-ins begin at noon and the tournament follows at 1 p.m.

There will be a wild game barbecue as well as an auction. A Beretta A400 Xplor Unico 12-gauge shotgun will be up for raffle at $20 a ticket or three tickets for $50.

While there are guns available for rental, supplies are limited.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own shotgun and 150 shells. The cost is $85 and includes one round of 100 clays and dinner.

“It’s just good times with fellow Rotarians and people in the community, and it’s for a good cause of promoting north Forsyth youth education,” Schmeelk said.

For more information, call (770) 844-9308.
Rotary Club of Johns Creek
Life will be sweet for Johns Creek Rotarians as they bring an evening of Italian cuisine, music and dancing to the Standard Club on Feb. 20.

Italian for “the sweet life,” the La Dolce Vita event started in 2009 as an alternative to the club’s former golf tournament.

“Last year, everyone was feeling a little more conservative because of the economy ... so we pulled the plug on the golf tournament,” said Render Freeman, club president.

“[La Dolce Vita] really was a great time and we raised a decent amount of money.”

With the first-year jitters out of the way, Freeman said this year’s event promises to be better.

The evening kicks off with professional dance instructors strutting their signature moves and offering pointers to guests.

“That gets everybody charged up to go on the dance floor,” Freeman said. “The dance floor was hopping all night long.”

The event will also include a silent auction, offering vacation properties and other large gifts.

Proceeds from La Dolce Vita will go toward the Interact clubs at Lambert, Johns Creek and Northview high schools.

The clubs foster leadership skills in students ages 14 to 18 through service projects.

La Dolce Vita will run from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Standard Club in Johns Creek.

Tickets are $50. For more information, call (404) 667-5968 or (404) 643-9533.
Rotary Club of South Forsyth

As many as 250 people are expected to ask Lady Luck for some help March 20 during the club’s annual Monte Carlo Night fundraiser.

Now in its 17th year, the event has become the group’s primary fundraiser, said Bart Dorough, organizer.

“You get to run into old friends at the event,” he said. “I’m not a good gambler at all, so typically my chips run out very quickly and I’m able to socialize and enjoy the fact that it’s just for a great cause.”

Players vie for tickets, which at the end of the night are drawn for various prizes.

There will also be a silent auction, cash raffle and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Polo Golf & Country Club.

Tickets are $75 and include chips. They can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling (770) 889-7750 or by e-mailing  
Rotary Club of Forsyth County

The club’s Challenge Scholarship Golf Tournament will be held in September. The exact date and location have not been set.