On the hottest day reported in four years, hundreds cooled off at Rotary Island Saturday and enjoyed a summer day at the park.
"It was a hot one, but you could tell everyone was having fun," said Len Owens, who along with his wife Kay and daughter Allison, passed out cold beverages at Rock Creek Park's waterpark. "We had a great time and enjoyed keeping everyone hydrated."
The Owens family was among more than 60 volunteers at the second annual Rotary Day, an event the local Rotary Club bills as its way to say thank you to the community.
"We want to thank everyone for coming out to Rotary Day," said Rotary Club of Dawson County President Brooke Anderson. "We are grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community.
"It was a great day."
New to the community, Bret Labarre said the event was his doorway into discovering what it means to live in Dawson County.
"What a wonderful family event. I couldn't have found a better way to be introduced to Dawsonville and Dawson County," he said.
Hot dogs, snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn and lemonade were free for everyone, and a local dance team entertained the crowd of nearly 1,000.
Anderson said the event could not have happened without support from Northeast Georgia Health System, which funded the party.
Jo Brewer, administrator at Medical Plaza 400 in Dawson County, said the Rotary's "service above self" motto is complementary to the hospital system's creed to serve and improve the health of the community.
"My hats off to the leadership of the club, as well as Rotary board members, Pepper Pettit and Scott Yochum, who provided the organizing energy and put in many, many hours to make this community event a success," she said.
"Judging from all the smiles, laughs and fun activities, it was indeed a huge success."