Local News

Assistant district governor of Rotary District 6890, Group VI 'always willing to help out'

When Sebring resident Greig C. Drury expressed a desire to become more involved in the community, he was invited to a Rotary Club meeting by Highlands County Commissioner Don Elwell.

Drury joined Sebring Sunrise Rotary in 2008, serving as president before becoming the assistant district governor of Rotary District 6890, Group VI three years ago.

"Greig is a terrific guy," Elwell said. "He has been a volunteer at many events around the community and is always willing to help out. Those attributes make him a great Rotarian, but even more importantly, a tremendous asset in our community."

"When I see a need, I help," explained Drury, who also serves on the boards for Friends of Highlands Hammock State Park and Habitat for Humanity, is a member of the Sebring Toastmasters and assists with fundraisers for NU-HOPE Elder Care Services Inc.

An electrical engineer and designer, the New Hampshire native moved his wife, Cathy, and children to Florida in 1989 and went to work for Citrus World in Lake Wales. In 1992, he became the plant engineer at Linpac Plastics in Sebring.

A proud father of five and grandfather to 11 "grandbabies," Drury is now employed in operations at L. Cobb Construction in Wauchula.

"Greig's personality is the epitome of the four-way test," said Kimberly Batty-Herbert, president of the Rotary Club of Avon Park and dean of arts and sciences at South Florida State College.

The four-way test is a series of questions that act as an ethical guide for Rotarians in both their personal and professional relationships.

"The four-way test is: Is it truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?" recited Batty-Herbert, echoed by a roomful of Rotarians assembled at Sandy's restaurant in Sebring Feb. 20 for their monthly president's planning meeting.

The leadership group represents the 310 business people and concerned citizens that belong to the seven clubs throughout Highlands County: The Rotary Club of Highlands County, The Rotary Club of Avon Park (Noon Rotary), Avon Park Breakfast Rotary, The Rotary Club of Sebring (Noon Rotary), Sebring Sunrise Rotary, The Rotary Club of Lake Placid and Lake Placid Noon Rotary.

"The Rotary is about people helping people. I am amazed at what Rotarians working as a group can accomplish," Drury said.

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Founded on Feb. 23, 1905, by Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris, Rotary International has 1.2 million members worldwide and works in partnership with organizations including UNICEF, Goodwill, World Health Organization and the United Nations, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"I can't say enough about Bill Gates," said Drury, who was deeply impressed by the humility of the man he met at a 2011 Rotary International Conference in New Orleans. "They match two for one every dollar that we raise. We just completed a $355 million matching grant with him."

On an international level, Rotary has been working since 1985 with great success on Polio Plus, a project to eradicate the disease worldwide through immunization. Locally, the Rotarians sponsor organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Highlands County, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, the Children's Museum, and the Champion for Children Foundation.

"We have 25 charities we contribute to each year. That's just Sebring Sunrise Rotary," Drury said.

One of the projects dear to his heart is Rotary Club's efforts the last three years to help fund the Southwest Florida Honor Flight, which transports WWII veterans to the memorial in Washington, D.C., so they can be honored for their service.

Other fundraisers for his club include the annual Sebring Sunrise Rotary Charity Golf Tournament, the Rotary Red/White/Blue 5K that was held in September and December's Cruise Raffle, which brought in $4000.

"We raise about $25,000 a year and distribute $25,000. The vast majority of that money stays in the local community," Drury said.