A Villager has been named Rotarian of The Year for holding her club together during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gay Ratcliff Seamens has been honored as the Rotarian Of The Year 2020-2021 by The Villages Evening Rotary Club for keeping the club together with devotion to her job, enthusiasm, humor, drive and sheer personality.
In a time when clubs in The Villages found it hard to survive, Seamens entertained the club with humor during each of the 52 meetings she hosted on Zoom. She used costumes, themes and interactive ideas and the members didn’t want to miss a meeting – or the fun.
“Oh my word, she had us dress up for each holiday. We never knew what she would do next,” said Rotarian Jim Bodenner.
The first meeting she opened with a video of her in a gown at Savannah Center introducing the year’s Rotary theme, “Rotary Opens Opportunities.” She even put a wrap on the rear window of her car to call attention to the Evening Rotary club. The club gained members and raised thousands of dollars for food projects.
Food insufficiency became a club focus after Seamens visited area food pantries and saw first-hand how needs had surged during the pandemic.
“I was pleased to present Gay with this award. She is a true leader and outstanding Rotarian. She is truly our Rotarian Of The Year 2020-2021,” said Dusty Rhodes, club administrator.