The Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach presented George Fetherston with an honorary membership last week at a special luncheon held at Pusser’s.
The former general manager of Sawgrass Marriott and Sawgrass Country Club, Fetherston is retiring from the local Rotary club after 19 years of “Service Above Self.”
“You’ve been such an amazing contributor to this club,” said Billy Wagner, Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach president, at the Feb. 6 luncheon attended by between 30-40 other Rotarians. “We do not do this very often in our club; it’s a very distinct thing to do.”
Wagner later explained in an email to the Recorder that honorary memberships are given to members who have distinguished themselves by meritorious service in the furtherance of Rotary ideals. This honorary status, Wagner noted, allows Fetherston to stay connected with Rotary even in his retirement.
During Fetherston’s run with the club, he served as president in 2003-04 and led the club’s Rotary Youth Exchange program for 17 years. This process consists of scheduling interviews for exchange students each year, handling interviews on the district level prior to selection of candidates and training new members on the process. For several years, Wagner said Fetherston also led the club’s red badge to blue badge process, overseeing the process in which newly inducted Rotarians accomplish a series of tasks to become more experienced members.
Chuck Day, Fetherston’s club sponsor, added that he played a critical role in the formation of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra Beach Sunset. In addition, Wagner noted that Fetherston has achieved perfect attendance at meetings since 2000, among many other accomplishments and contributions to the club.
“They say the measure of success in life is how many people that actually love you, that could love you, and I would say you’re off the charts,” said Wagner. “Thank you so much for all you do.”
After accepting a plaque symbolizing the honorary membership, as well as a custom bottle of wine from the Rotary club, Fetherston made a few remarks, with his wife Jackie by his side.
“It has really been a pleasure to be a member of this club because of our outstanding members that we have and the people that we’ve brought in,” said Fetherston, who has been a member of six Rotary clubs around the country. “If you look at all the awards the club has won, year after year after year on a district level, you can then realize, really, it is the best Rotary club in the world.”