Awards Day 2018

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(L-R) Tara Bland and Linda Lutz

Awards Day, installation of new officers and charitable giving updates were the focus of a special meeting of the Rotary Club of Hickory on June 28th.

Tara Bland was recognized as 2018 Rotarian of the Year for her leadership and dedication securing entertaining and informative speakers and programs for the club’s weekly meeting. Tara also co-chaired the Fellowship committee and provided invaluable assistance in the planning and execution of special events.

Charles Snipes was recognized with the Heart of Rotary award for his dedication and service to the club and Rotary International. Always looking to spread Rotary’s message, Charles continues to support the club by bringing in new members and holds the club record with perfect attendance at club meetings for 50 years.

Bryan Setzler was honored for his two years of service as club Treasurer.

Linda Lutz was sworn in as Club President for the July 2018 – June 2019 Rotary year. Gerry Knox assumes the role of President Nominee and will serve as president July 2019 – June 2020.  Other new officers include Lynn Loehr, Treasurer and Kelly Farr, Assistant Treasurer. Replacing three outgoing members of the Board of Directors will be Rotarians John Bates, Anne Williams and David Williams

Also recognized were four Paul Harris Fellowship award recipients for contributions to the Rotary Foundation: Mike Thomas, Kathy Greathouse, John Ross and Clem Geitner. The Rotary Foundation helps fund humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. Donors of US$1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation Annual Fund, Polio-Plus, or an approved Foundation grant, or people, who have that amount contributed in their name, can be recognized as Paul Harris Fellows.

During the year the Rotary Club of Hickory distributed almost $90,000 for educational and other charitable needs in the Hickory area:

  • 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, Rotary Club of Hickory has contributed $187,000 to the Imagination Library making the purchase of 89,904 books possible. Imagination Library Currently serves about 7,480 children per month.
  • SAS (Service Above Self) Scholarships – a college scholarship in the amount of $12,500 payable over 4 years was presented to Kristina Nicole Stuckey Abernathy on May 17, 2018.
  • Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year Awards – A total of $5,500 was presented to 9 outstanding Hickory Public School teachers on May 10, 2018.
  • The Salvation Army received a $7,500 for the Christmas Bureau to purchase books for school aged children and other humanitarian efforts.
  • 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 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.
  • Stop Hunger Now’s received a $1000 donation for its Rise Against Hunger mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
  • Hickory Public Schools Foundation received $5000 to enhance educational opportunities for all students.
  • 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 $6000 to continue its mission to build healthy spirit, mind and body.
  • Hickory Landmarks Society received a $1000 gift for Heritage Days at Maple Grove.
  • The Catawba Science center received $2500 for its continued mission of science education for students and the public.
  • The Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center received a donation of $7500 to further its goal of preventing and offering coordinated response to child abuse and neglect.
  • The Western Piedmont Symphony received $4000 to continue offering “musical performances of distinction that enrich and enliven the community’s classical music experience; and to nourish new audiences through school concerts and family outreach programs.”
  • The Susan M. Tillis received $5000 to continue serving and assisting active duty military families and to support the caregiver, as the unsung hero who supports active military wounded while serving their country.

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

The 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 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