The Rotary Club of Hickory was chartered in 1921. The club began the celebration of its Centennial on Thursday, November 29, 2018, by announcing an initiative to increase its support for the Rotary International Foundation.
The Foundation of Rotary International was started in 1917 and spends around 300 million USD each year in promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies. About half of the RIF funding goes to its campaign, along with the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others, to eradicate Polio worldwide. That goal is almost accomplished with only 27 cases on “wild” polio reported in 2018 through November 20. In 1988 about 1,000 children in the world contracted polio every day.
The Rotary Foundation is funded by grants and gifts, largely from its members. An individual who is credited with $1,000 in total contributions, personally or by others, is recognized as a “Paul Harris Fellow”, an honor named after the leader of the four Chicago businessmen who founded Rotary in 1905.
The Rotary Club of Hickory’s goal is to become a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club by its Centennial. At Thursday’s meeting, eight new Paul Harris Fellows were recognized, all benefitting by transfer of recognition points accumulated by members of the current year Officers and Directors, bringing the total number of PHF club members to 82 , or 75 percent of total club membership. Newly named Paul Harris Fellows are: Andy Cote, Leslie Ferrell, Bonita Ferretti, Kelly Farr, Gerry Knox, Rick Seay, David Williams, and Kathy Wood. Foundation Chair, John Bates, also announced the club’s Board of Directors and Officers had all achieved Paul Harris Fellowship recognition. Additional Centennial projects will be announced over the next few months. Linda Lutz is the current President of the Rotary Club of Hickory and John Bates is club Rotary Foundation Chair.