Awards Day 2017

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Awards Day and charitable giving updates were the focus of a special meeting on June 22nd of the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory.

Honored were two Rotarians whose service merited special recognition:

  • Mark Seaman was recognized as 2017 Rotarian of the Year for the mentorship, guidance and assistance he provided to Club President John Rambo, who was elevated into the leadership role a year ahead of schedule, without the usual president-elect training provided by Rotary International.
  • Tony Reed received the Heart of Rotary award for exemplifying Rotary spirit by stepping in as Sergeant at Arms, when the member who served in that role for many years had to take a leave of absence. Sergeant at Arms requires hundreds of hours every year and Tony took it on enthusiastically.
Mark Seamancenter

Mark Seaman

President Rambo also recognized 4 members with Rotary “Making a Difference” awards: Bruce Bumbarger, public image chair; Rick Seay, editor of the Spoke, the club’s weekly meeting bulletin; and Sandi Fotheringham and Lynn Loehr, Co-Chairs of the Rotarian Idol fundraiser.

Sixteen Rotarians were recognized with Rotary “Spirit of Service” awards for their work on various club projects and activities: Committee Service: Linda Lutz; Weekly programs: Tara Bland;  Polio Plus: Cliff Moone and Meg Locke; Christmas Bureau project: Bethany Delaney, Susan Huffman, Anne Williams, and Sarah Willis; CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Trust): Susan Saylor; Community Service: Robert Locke and Jeff Butler; Membership: Phillip Reed and David Williams; SAS Scholarship: Thomas Griffis; Teacher of the Year awards: Kathy Greathouse and David Moore; Club Service: Thomas Griffis, Invocation; Leslie Middleton, club secretary; and Clarence Pugh, Sunshine Chairman.

A Rotary Star was awarded to Dan Kirby for exemplary service and dedication to Rotary International and the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory.

John Rambo & Tony Reed

Outgoing Club President John Rambo (L) and Heart of Rotary Awardee Tony Reed (R)

President Rambo also recognized eleven members with forty or more years (in parentheses) of service: Bob Bumbarger (66), Charles Snipes (49), Leroy Lail (46), Al Spivey (46), Bob Bisanar (45), Ron Gardner (44), Clarence Pugh (44), Bob Warmuth (43), Steve Thomas (42), David Myers (41) and Charles Young (41).

Rambo also announced that the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory received the Public Image Award for Large Clubs at the recent Rotary District 7670 conference, held in May in Hickory, NC. District 7670 is comprised of 55 clubs stretching across 22 counties in western North Carolina.

During the year the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory distributed almost $62,500 for educational and other charitable needs in the Hickory area. These charitable giving contributions were detailed by President John Rambo:

  • Catawba County Partnership for Children received a $25,000 contribution to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program which is administered by the Partnership. Children enrolled in Imagination Library are mailed a free, age-appropriate book each month until they turn 5 years old. Since its inception in April 2011, Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory has contributed $137,000 to the Imagination Library making the purchase of 68,500 books possible. Imagination Library Currently serves about 5,200 children per month.
  • SAS (Service Above Self) Scholarships – a college scholarship in the amount of $12,500 payable over 4 years was presented to Darian Shekinah Abernathy on June 15, 2017.
  • Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year Awards – A total of $5,500 was presented to 9 outstanding Hickory Public School teachers on May 4, 2017.
  • The Salvation Army received a $2,500 donation in December for the Christmas Bureau to purchase books for school aged children.
  • Hickory Community Theatre received a $2000 contribution for Rug Bug Theatre which puts on shows using young actors and actresses for young audiences and their families.
  • Hickory Museum of Art received a $1,200 contribution for the annual HMA Paul Whitener Art show. Former Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory member, the late Paul Whitener, wanted a place where school age children could express their creativity and display their artwork. The show exhibits the artwork of kindergarten through high school students living in Catawba County.
  • RYLA scholarship – $1200 was donated for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards scholarships.
  • Madison Yount, Hickory High Interact Club, received a $1000 annual stipend for her role as adviser. Interact is a Rotary International sponsored club for young people ages 12-18 who want to join together to tackle the issues in their community about which they care the most.
  • City of Refuge Community Center received $1250 for school supplies and educational games, participating in their tutoring program, and to replenish materials for the after school program.
  • Stop Hunger Now’s received a $500 donation for its mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
  • Southwest Elementary school received $180.
  • Hickory Public Schools received $2000 for 5-day literacy training at Western Carolina.
  • Hickory Greeneway Harvest received $1000 for a Vegetable garden on SALT Block grounds. Harvests are donated to Hickory Soup Kitchen and the Hickory Christian Ministry.
  • PORCH received $1000 to replenish the food bank with powdered milk, peanut butter, rice, cereal, etc.
  • The YMCA received $1667 for learning materials for YMCA’s Child Development Center.
  • Hickory Soup Kitchen received $2000 to help cover the cost of lunch three days a week for women and children at Safe Harbor Rescue Missions’ Day Center.
  • Patrick Beaver Learning Resource Center received $1000 to assist with the growth and general outreach of Augustine Literacy Program.
  • Hickory Landmarks Society received a $1,000 gift for Heritage Days at Maple Grove.

All of these contributions were made possible by the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s successful fundraising activities, highlighted annually in March by the Rotarian Idol fundraiser.

The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory was founded in 1921 by Watt Shuford. In adherence to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” the club has a history of giving back to the community through its primary service avenue of education. For more information about The Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, visit

General Info

  • Meeting Time:
    Thursdays from 12:00PM to 1:15PM
  • Meeting Location:
    430 17th Avenue NW,
    Hickory, North Carolina 28601