For its 2013 Citizen of the Year award, Vinings Rotarians selected a person who brought the entire community together.
Susan Kendall, Vinings Library manager since 1997, reached out to several residents to compile her book “Images of America: Vinings” and was honored by the group for her contribution of a lasting memento she has left the community.
Every year, Vinings Rotary selects a non-member to recognize as its citizen of the year. Debbie Bolt, past president and head of the selection committee, said Kendall was the perfect person for the honor as her book encapsulated the community’s history.
“What I think really made [Kendall] stand out is she involved the whole community in this book,” Bolt said. “She had to reach out to a lot of different people and got the support and engagement of the whole community to help put it together. It was really a community effort that helped make this book possible.”
Though not a Vinings resident herself, Kendall, who lives in west Powder Springs, in April published the book after being invited by Arcadia Publishing to write about the community as part of the publisher’s “Images of America” series. Kendall gathered photographs, mementos and stories from a number of residents to tell Vinings’ story.
Bolt said Kendall has attended Vinings Rotary several times and is someone all the members know and love. But Kendall, whose husband Steve told her they were just going to the club meeting for dinner, said getting the honor was quite a surprise.
“It was absolutely wonderful,” she said of the recognition. “It was my pleasure to do the book. The whole book came from the community, from the generosity of people and their recollections, their pictures, their memories. So I was able to go and take a look at those things and put it together.”
Kendall said over the years, she has felt no shortage of support from residents, many of whom she believes are generous to local services like the library, fire station and public schools because of their desire for a great place to live.
“What makes Vinings special and unique — even though it has never been incorporated — [is] it has a very strong sense of community,” she said.