At the Thursday, February 21, 2012 meeting of the Hickory Rotary Club, we celebrate ninety-one years of Rotary in Catawba County! Ninety-one years of service. The Hickory Rotary Club was the first Rotary club in Catawba County. With sponsorship from the Asheville Rotary club, Watt Shuford founded the Hickory Rotary Club. Over the years it has grown in numbers and in stature to be one of the elite service organizations in the area. We have been recognized by District 7670 for our growth (now the 3rd largest club in the district), and our many accomplishments. Later, we would continue the growth of area Rotary by sponsoring the Lake Hickory Club.
During our tenure, we have built and given the city Rotary Park and, in it, the Boy Scout Cabin (which we just helped restore). We have focused on education, and over the years have raised and given hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and student loans. Every year we honor our school teachers with the Wilmer Jenkins Award for “Teacher of the Year.” We sponsor students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) Camp and support our Interact Club at Hickory High. Now with our new focus on Pre-K learning, we are the major contributor to “Imagination Library.” Besides education, we contribute to Alzheimer’s research through the C.A.R.T. fund. We have given “Shelter Boxes” for disaster victims, have helped package over 10,000 meals for Haiti and this year will give wheel chairs to children unable to walk. Locally, we have helped other non-profit agencies accomplish their service objectives. There truly are too many things to mention in a 91-year listing of our “good works.” But, we are not done yet, and, because of your dedication and commitment, we are preparing for our next service challenges. Keep this in mind as we each make our contribution to make Rotarian Idol a successful fundraiser, in order to be able to finance those efforts. Thank you for all that you do for Rotary, and through it, the “good works” that we will do in the next 90-plus years.
This message was written by Rich Brown, Club President.