Following the invocation, the event began with all present joining in singing “America the Beautiful.”
Centre Lions Club President Norbert Falk recognized some of the many special guests in attendance, which included city council members, mayors and other prominent figures and also the principals and guidance counselors who accompanied the students to the forum.
Among these was Richard Lindsey, Cherokee County Representative to the Alabama Legislature.
“I would just like to say I am glad to be here,” said Lindsey. “It is such a good looking group of young people here today. They are energetic and it looks like they all know where they are going and how they are going to get there. So I am real pleased to be a part of this group today.”
“I want to thank John Ellis,” said Lindsey. “John had the foresight to start this several years ago. And the Lions Club has continued to carry that tradition and to help young people make decisions about your future. And that is important. And we’ve got some great young people in Cherokee County, which is obvious today. I want to wish you the best and I want to also offer my assistance if I can ever be of help to you as you make your plans and look to your college future or whatever yo9ur future my include. So thank you for being here today and participating.”
Lion Dwayne Amos led in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was followed by representatives from the various colleges who shared what their institutions have to offer.
Noah Walton represented Samford University, located in Birmingham, Ala.
“Samford is the largest liberal arts college in the state of Alabama,” said Walton. “We have about 5,000 total students, 204 majors, minors and concentrations, pretty much anything your student might be interested in we have it on campus as well as some of the most popular ones are business, nursing, education and art school.”
Christy Osborn represented Shorter University near Rome, Ga., approximately 45 minutes away. Shorter’s Preview Day, Jan. 26, will give students and parents a good chance to meet with faculty and staff members.
There was also a representative from Berry College in Rome, which offers 45 majors.
Lt. Chuck Logan represented Marion Military Institute, approximately three hours southeast of Cherokee County. Marion Military Institute, Logan said, was established in 1842 in Marion, Ala.
“We are a military junior college,” said Logan. “We are one out of five military junior colleges in the U.S. We have everything from air force to coast guard, or military obligation, very strong athletic department. We are a junior college for the University of Auburn, Troy, and Alabama.”
James Randolph and John Hawkins represented Birmingham Southern College.
“Thank you so much for having us here today,” said Randolph. “It was such a pleasure to get to talk with students, as they are trying to make their plans for after high school. We are a liberal arts college in Birmingham so close to home if you need help with cooking or laundry but far enough away from home if that is up your alley. And we emphasize leadership studies, service learning, study of all opportunities, contract learning.”
Chad Steed represented Gadsden State Community College.
“First of all we welcome you to our campus today,” said Steed. “Thank you for being here and we congratulate you for excellence in leadership and being nominated to be here. We hope Gadsden State can help you choose your direction with over 90 different career options, six campuses within the surrounding counties. We are right in your back door. Come by any time and we will be happy to help you.”
Joey Johnson represented Georgia Highlands College.
“We are right across the line in Rome College with Berry and Shorter,” said Johnson. “You get to come at the same tuition rate as in state, $3,000 per year. Also we have a sports program, we have guys’ and girls’ basketball, softball and baseball, track and cross country and a lot of intramural sports. Feel free to drop by and talk with me. I wish you guys the best of luck regardless of where you go or what discipline you go into. I hope all of you success.”
Lion Jeff Wolfe, Leadership Forum Chairman for 2013, introduced the students represented who shared their plans after graduation from high school.
Students represented in this year’s Lions Leadership Forum included:
-From Cedar Bluff High School: Maggie Bowen, Zac Clifton, Haley Colbert, Hannah Gregg, Shane Hall, Audrianna Hargitt, Robert Henderson, Hannah Leach, Levi Mintz, Rickey Pendley, Ty Storey, Eli Dutton, Matthew Sharp, Brooke Wood and Lee Hughes.
-From Cherokee County High School: Mary Jean Bradley, Brianna Crane, Tori Davis, Timothy Guice, Carla Hoang, Hannah Hughston, Janison Hunter, Christian Nelson, Carolyn Proctor, Lee Robertson, Luke Sewell, Christine Shaw, Jay West, Jacob Wolf and Tanner Young.
-From Gaylesville High School: Will Callan, John Cavin, Katrina Harrell, Storm Johnson, Lauren Webb, Krista Owens, Dylan Mitchell, Hannah Van Pelt, Emily Mitchell, Cole Murphy, Gable Lawson, Taylor Tomlin, Matthew Herrin, Blaine Broome and Sydney Hammet.
-From Sand Rock High School: Tyler Evan Clanton, Anthony J. Durham, Kelsey Paige Hayes, Mary Ellen Lindsey, Cameron Daniel Mackey, Megan Dallas McCullough, Jon-Eric Sebastian Mitchell, Courtney Leigh Morgan, Kurt Nickolas Nilsson, Hannah Julia Oliver, Paula Ann Oliver, Meghan Camille Parker, Taylor Danielle Rogers, James Darin Thompson Sr. and Melanie Brooke Vandegrift.
-From Spring Garden High School: Kelsy Bailey, Miranda Casey, Jake Grogan, Chase Howell, Forrest Livingston, Danielle Penton, Will Penton, Tori Pierce, Lydia Sloan, Maddie Warren, Grant Benefield, Kaylee Cronan, Kaylie Hill, Will Ivey and Jay Prater.