Ashley County is best when everyone works together, and that’s part of why Crossett’s local Rotary Club is sponsoring a satellite club in Hamburg.
That’s the message Crossett Rotary President Justin Reed brought to the prospective members at the Hamburg satellite’s first meeting Tuesday.
“Crossett and Hamburg are starting to see that if we work together, we are better together,” Reed said. “It is not about what Crossett has or what Hamburg has, but it is about what we can do as a county. Rural America is struggling enough as it is, so we need to stick together.”
Hamburg used to have a Rotary Club, so getting the satellite club started is a step toward filling the hole left when it stopped meeting.
Rotary International is a club for professional and business leaders who join together to do humanitarian service and advance goodwill in their communities and around the world. A non-political and non-religious club, Rotary is heavily invested in the effort to eradicate polio across the globe.
Georganna Cossey, assistant to Hamburg’s mayor, has led the drive to start the satellite club.
“Rotary is something I got involved with when I was the director of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce,” Cossey said. “I was invited to speak (to the club) for the Armadillo Festival. It intrigued me to find out what they were all about.
“I was attending their Rotary Club, and every time I came to another meeting I learned something new about something going on in our community and our state, and I realized I wanted more people in Hamburg to have the experience I was experiencing.”
Cossey said she decided to pursue a satellite club because it only required eight members to get started, while an independent club requires 20. Reed said the Hamburg club won’t have its own president, but it will have a chairperson, and Crossett Rotary’s treasurer, Howard Beaty, will also serve as the Hamburg treasurer.
Currently, the club plans to meet twice a month instead of weekly.
Cossey said starting the club in Hamburg now just makes sense considering the momentum members of the community have gathered to improve the city in recent months.
“I have noticed a change in Hamburg this year,” she said.
In particular, Cossey mentioned the independent economic development group that has formed in Hamburg and the movement to beautify the downtown area.
“There is a lot going on here, and the thing I felt like we were missing was Rotary,” she said.
Cossey said the first thing the club will do will be to get involved with the Hamburg School District, and to start a Junior Rotarian program and a Rotaract youth club.
“I feel like they need our support,” she said. “They are our future, and they are going to be running the show soon.”