Rotarians Remember Henry Aaron

Although Rotarian Richard Gerakitis valiantly worked to obtain Former First Lady Michelle Obama to present at this meeting, sadly his efforts came up short. Although Mrs. Obama did not present, Richard had a strong back-up plan for a successful meeting. Eric John led a discussion regarding important moments in the history of our club - with the message that we should continue to strive for the highest goals and keep working to achieve those objectives. As part of this message, Eric and John Ingersoll discussed a letter John recently submitted and was published in the Rotarian. It is believed this is the first letter to the Rotarian submitted by one of our members to has been published. During this discussion, John reminded all those attending that we need to work on improving our readership of the Rotarian, to make sure we catch Pulitzer Prize worthy pieces likes John's. Next, Eric also discussed when the Rotary International President was visiting the Atlanta area, wanted to visit three or four clubs, and our club was one of the recommended clubs for him to visit. This occurred in either 1996 or 1997. Following Eric's presentation, Dr. Victoria Seals discussed Atlanta Technical College's recent remembrance of Henry Aaron. Dr. Seals' reflected on Mr. Aaron's passion for higher education access, his generosity, and commitment to the success of students. Through his generosity, there are eight endowed scholarships and he also established the 755 Society that has assisted more than 150 students with various funding needs. Because of Mr. Aaron's dedication to the success of students at Atlanta Technical College, the campus recently renamed their academic complex in his honor. C.J. Stewart continued the group's reflection and discussion of Henry Aaron. C.J. recalled the several fond memories of when he met Mr. Aaron, first when C.J. was in elementary school. Although C.J. didn't know much about Mr. Aaron at that time, later in life he developed a greater understanding of the man that many only knew on the baseball field. C.J. recalled meeting Mr. Aaron later in life when they were both selected for jury duty. During their interactions, Mr. Aaron spoke mostly about the comings and goings of life rather than his history on the baseball diamond. C.J. again interacted with Mr. Aaron when Hank's statute was being unveiled at the new Braves Stadium at Truist Park. When Mr. Aaron passed in January, it made C.J. reflect on his own life to ensure he's doing all he can to help improve the lives of others, especially African Americans, just like Henry Aaron did during his life. C.J. is continuing to work on cementing Mr. Aaron's legacy by attempting to rename the bridge that goes to Truist Park, in Mr. Aaron's honor.

Posted by Christopher Hempfling
January 29, 2021 2:00pm


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