Awards Day and charitable giving updates were the focus of the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s June 16th meeting. Representatives of local non-profits, which were recipients of contributions during the 2014-2015 year from the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory, were recognized by President David Moore:
- Natalie Mull, representing the Catawba County Partnership for Children, thanked the club for 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, the program has grown to serve over 4,800 Catawba County children each month.
- John Rambo, representing Hickory Community Theatre, expressed his thanks for the $2,500 contribution for Rug Bug Theatre which puts on shows using young actors and actresses for young audiences and their families.
- Guy Guarino representing Hickory Public Schools Education Foundation expressed his appreciation for $1,035 donated for a news studio for daily news broadcasts at Longview Elementary, and a $2,580 contribution for an outdoor classroom at Southwest Elementary.
- Lisë Swensson, representing Hickory Museum of Art, expressed her gratitude to the club for a $1,000 contribution and ongoing annual support for the 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.
- Donald Hicks and Migual Silva, representing Classroom Connections, thanked the club for a $2,000 contribution to help teachers purchase school supplies at schools with free and reduced lunch populations.
- Patrick Daily, representing Hickory Landmarks Society, acknowledged a $1,000 gift for Heritage Days at Maple Grove. Each April Heritage Days provides an opportunity for approximately 1000 fourth grade level students and teachers to attend indoor and outdoor activities and learning experiences at historic Maple Grove in Hickory.
- Bill Loehr expressed his appreciation for the club’s help packaging 37,152 meals bound for Hatti at a recent community Stop Hunger Now meal packaging event and the club’s $500 donation for Stop Hunger Now’s mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
President Moore also highlighted Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s other contributions distributed throughout the club’s July 2014 – June 2015 year:
- SAS (Service Above Self) Scholarships – College scholarship in the amount of $12,000 payable over 4 years presented to Julia Kessel on May 14, 2015.
- Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year Awards – A total of $5,500 presented to 9 outstanding Hickory Public School teachers on May 7, 2015
- Friends of Hickory received $14,000 to fund the initial park landscape architecture design for the downtown park being planned at the west end of Union Square.
- The Salvation Army received a $5,000 donation in December for the Christmas Bureau, which assists families in need with toys, clothing, and Christmas stockings during the holiday season.
- RYLA scholarship – $600 donated for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards scholarships.
- CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) – $802 contributed to provide funding for leading edge research for the cure and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Cheryl Rae, Hickory High Interact Club, for her role as adviser. The Interact advisor receives a $1000 annual stipend. Interact is a Rotary sponsored high school service organization for young people ages 12-18.
- ShelterBox USA received $1000 to purchase a ShelterBox which provides humanitarian relief to victims of worldwide disasters. Since many disaster relief aid agencies provide food and water, ShelterBox provides relief in the form of disaster relief tents for families, thermal blankets and groundsheets, water storage and purification equipment, solar lamps, cooking utensils, basic tool kits, mosquito nets, and children’s activity packs.
- Various Rotary International projects including $3,000 (matched 100% by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) for Worldwide Polio Plus polio eradication project and $500 for Rotary Kenyan Water and Sanitation project to provide safe drinking water and sanitation in Kenya.
- New Hope for Kids – $300 for a printer, after school supplies, and crafts.
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. This year’s Rotarian Idol Audience favorite, Josh Costello, performed during the meeting.
Also honored were two Rotary members whose service merited special recognition. Lynn Loehr was recognized as Rotarian of the Year for her leadership completing the requirements for the club’s 501c3 nonprofit tax exempt status, her role as chairwoman of the Charitable Giving Committee which oversaw the donation of $81,000 this year, and her assistance with club finances. Jennifer Clark received the Heart of Rotary award for her leadership efforts serving on many club committees, her work with the strategic planning committee, and her role planning club activities.
President Moore also recognized several members with Rotary Star awards: Suzanne Trollan for her work on international projects and coordination of the recent visit to Hickory by a Russian delegation to examine social issues related to substance abuse; Sandra Fotheringham, Allen Finley, and John Rambo for their leadership managing the club’s successful Rotarian Idol fundraiser; Guy Guarino and Lamar Mitchell for their planning and leadership implementing the club’s strategic plan; Stan Bumgarner for his role as editor and publisher of the club bulletin; Anna Shook for her role managing the club’s Facebook page; and Bruce Bumbarger for his management of the club’s website www.hickoryrotary.org.
Also recognized were Paul Harris Fellowship award recipients for contributions to the Rotary Foundation. 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.
This year the club recognized nine new Paul Harris Fellows and two Paul Harris “plus one”. Paul Harris Fellowships were presented by Rotarian Michael Blackburn to his wife, Deanne; Rotarian Forrest Ferrell to his wife, Becky; Rotarian Clarence Pugh to his son James Franklin Pugh; Rotarian John Ross for Adam Neilly. PHF recognition was also awarded to Rotarian Mark Teague and Rotarian Robert Welch. PHF “plus one” sustaining award recognition was presented to Rotarian Anne Williams and Roseanna Brown by her husband, Rotarian Rich Brown, for their continued support of the Rotary Foundation.
Also three non-members were surprised with Paul Harris Fellowships as approved by the club Board of Directors: Alejandro Auguado nominated by Rotarian David Moore, Jeff Hartman nominated by Rotarian John Rambo, and Deborah Johnson nominated by Rotarian Leslie Ferrell Middleton.
The club also recognized 17 members with perfect attendance for the year: Bruce Bumbarger, Bob Conklin, Cuyler Dunbar, Leslie Ferrell Middleton, Cliff Goddard, Dan Kirby, Lynn Loehr, Linda Lutz, Cliff Moone, David Moore, John Rambo, Mark Seaman, Charles Snipes, Mark Teague, Mary Texer, Suzanne Trollan, and Anne Williams.Brown, Deanne Blackburn, Robert Welch, Mark Teague