To the Editor:
What happens when three Rotary clubs in an East Tennessee city work together? In Oak Ridge, a three-club collaboration over the past year culminated in a highly successful inaugural Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Race Festival. The exciting event was launched on Saturday, May 31, at the Oak Ridge Marina off Melton Lake Drive—one of the three best rowing venues in the United States.
The leadership of the event started with Mark Watson, Oak Ridge city manager and president of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge. He met frequently with the presidents of the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary and Oak Ridge Sunset Rotary clubs, and they persuaded their club members to serve on the organizing committee and as volunteers at the festival. Key Rotarians who made the event successful were Leslie England, Keith Kahl, Jim Sumner, and Oak Ridge City Councilman Chuck Hope (who was in charge of logistics and served as a liaison between the Rotary clubs and the city of Oak Ridge).
By the third week in May, 30 teams, including one from Chattanooga and three from Kentucky and North Carolina, had registered. Three teams came from the Oak Ridge School System and three from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). [Read more…]