It's not every organization can boast of being a community fixture for 20 years, but the Toast of Rockdale can.
The local chapter of Toastmasters International celebrated its 20th anniversary on Tuesday evening with a banquet and special guest speakers.
Guests included Audra Gerger, the Area E-45 Governor, guest speaker Dwight Jones, the District 14 Lt. Governor of Education, as well as Division E Governor Alstenia Sellers-Smith, Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce incoming Chair Lorraine Harrison, Rockdale County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Oden, Kiwanis Club of Conyers President Ed Conway, and Deloris Crowell of AT&T.
Toast of Rockdale Sgt. at Arms John Lewallen called the meeting to order, welcome was given by Vice President of Education Marjorie Lewars, and Bailey Ann Bala gave the musical presentation.
The club began in July 1991 chartered as the "AT&T Toast of Rockdale." Three AT&T employees from Atlanta, Lonnie McClellan, Jr., Carl Bowen, and Patricial Betts, decided to start a Toastmasters club at the Salem Road location of AT&T, according to Patricia Fiene Voyna, one of three charter members who is still part of the club today.
"One day Lonnie came to my desk and asked if I wanted to come to a noon time meeting... This looked like a good way to meet people... I became a chartered member and the rest is history," Voyna wrote in a recollection of club history.
The club moved their meeting place from AT&T after security tightened up to Rockdale Medical Center, then to Rockdale Career Academy, and finally to St. Simon's Episcopal Church where it still currently meets.
The club, a non-profit that helps members improve public speaking, communication, and leadership skills, also works with youth in the Boys and Girls Club, Newton High School, Rockdale County middle schools, 4H, and charter schools.
For more information, call Marjorie Lewars at 678-887-7811 or Patricia Voyna at 678-523-0378.