July 13, 2021–9:23 p.m.
The Exchange Club of Rome celebrated the founding of their club 85 years ago at their business meeting this past Friday at the Palladium. Marking the festive occasion, club President Lee Roberts with the help of the club’s oldest member in terms of age and service, Paul Smith, age 93 with 67 years of service, cut the special cake distributed to all members as part of the celebration.
The club began with 25 charter male members, no women were allowed as members until the 1980s, and it has grown to be the largest Exchange club in the Georgia District and the second largest Exchange Club in the Nation.
Exchange is a service club dedicated to working within the community with Programs of Service activities in Americanism, Community Service, Youth, and the National Project the Prevention of Child Abuse. The Rome club created the Exchange Club Family Resource Center dedicated to working to eliminate child abuse in 1991 utilizing the Exchange Parent Aide model and has been operating successfully ever since. Rome’s center is the only National Exchange accredited center in Georgia.
Exchange members also produce the Coosa Valley Fair annually the first week in October, providing the funding for the program operations of the Exchange Club and recognition to members of the community for their achievement in agriculture, the arts, community service, and other areas.