Rotary receives Budbreak check, hears of exchange program

Budbreak Wine Festival Chairman Bob Meineicke, left, and Mount Airy Rotary President Van Lankford speak about Budbreak Festival during Tuesday’s Rotary meeting.

Tanya Feagins, Rotary district representative, speaks on Youth Exchange Program.

Van Lankford (from left) Bob Meinecke, Anne Webb, Lanie Johnson, and Matt Edwards with a $28,000 check raised for Mount Airy Rotary charities through the annual Budbreak Wine Festival.

Anna Ilyasova, a Youth Exchange student who will be living in France for four weeks.

The Mount Airy Rotary Club received a $28,000 check on Tuesday, the club’s proceeds from the annual Budbreak Wine Festival.

Budbreak Chairman Bob Meinecke presented the check to Mount Airy Rotary charities; along with Matt Edwards, Anne Webb, Lanie Johnson. Sue Brownfield, who was also involved in the effort, could not be in attendance.

Meinecke thanked all the sponsors, volunteers and leaders who were able to make the Budbreak Festival successful; which played a huge role in allowing them to donate to the Rotary club.

Ellie Webb, along with her husband Ben Webb, who was not in attendance Tuesday, were also honored as contributors to the Budbreak Festival..

In an unrelated part of the meeting, youth exchange student Anna Ilyasova, daughter of Irina and Dr. Andrey Ilyasova, was also honored for being selected to participate in the Youth Exchange Program.

Anna will be on a short-term exchange for four weeks. She will stay with a host family, in Clermont, France. The family will, in return, send their daughter home with Anna for four weeks.

Anna hopes to gain life-long contacts and better her French on the trip.

District representative for the Youth Exchange Program, Tanya Feagins, spoke to those gathered at the meeting, held at Cross Creek Country Club.

Feagins, an elementary school teacher for 42 years in Guilford County, has been part of the youth exchange program for 15 years. The program helps to “build peace and understanding in the world,” Feagins said.

Feagins first experience with the exchange program was through two students, while she was still a teacher. Those two students came to visit her class of kindergarten students. She expressed the mutual interest the students and her class had with each others cultures and how it fascinated her.

“I am so excited this district decided to participate this year,” in the exchange program and “I know Anna will make Mount Airy proud and is a fine young lady.”

Matt Edwards, the incoming president of the Rotary club, encouraged members to make their homes available to host an exchange student.

Eva Queen can be reached at (336) 415-4739 or