Awards Day and charitable giving updates were the focus of the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s June 23rd meeting. During the year the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory distributed $66,000 for educational and other charitable needs in the Hickory area. These charitable giving contributions were detailed by President Mark Seaman:
- 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, the program has grown to serve over 5,300 Catawba County children each month.
- SAS (Service Above Self) Scholarships – a college scholarship in the amount of $12,500 payable over 4 years was presented to Rachel Elizabeth Keck on May 12, 2016.
- Wilmer Jenkins Teacher of the Year Awards – A total of $5,500 was presented to 9 outstanding Hickory Public School teachers on May 5, 2016.
- The Salvation Army received a $5,000 donation in December for the Christmas Bureau to purchase books for school aged children.
- Hickory Public Schools received $3000 to fund a Bookmobile for under privileged neighborhoods.
- 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 Community Theatre received $1000 to fund a guest artist to work with the summer day program for low-income pre-k to adept Peter Rabbit into a play
- Hickory Museum of Art received a $2000 contribution for Fund-a Bus which provides funding for school buses to transport local students, grades 3 – 12, to and from the Museum.
- Hickory Museum of Art received a $1,000 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.
- Historical Association of Catawba County received $1100 for storage and archival of records.
- Hickory Landmarks Society received a $1,000 gift for Heritage Days at Maple Grove.
- Catawba County YMCA received $1000 to purchase two computers to enhance STEM and literacy education.
- Cheryl Rhea, 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.
- 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.
- CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) received $850 contributed to provide funding for leading edge research for the cure and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Historical Association of Catawba County received $750 for “Blue: Anne Fay and the Miracle of Hickory” exhibit at the Lyerly House.
- 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.
- Exodus Outreach Ministries received $500 to honor the financial contributions received on behalf of Rotarian Idol contestant James Franklin.
- Southwest Elementary school received $100 to help sponsor a Color 5K run to promote healthy lifestyles.
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.
Also honored were two Rotary members whose service merited special recognition:
- Sandi Fotheringham was recognized as 2016 Rotarian of the Year for her leadership as chairperson of the 2016 Rotarian Idol fundraiser. This year’s competition was the most successful event to date in the seven year history of the contest raising $63,000 to provide the primary funding for the club’s charitable giving initiatives.
- Linda Lutz received the Heart of Rotary award for her leadership efforts in membership recruiting, orientation and retention and for her efforts in getting Hickory High Interact more involved with the club. 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 that they care most about
President Seaman also recognized sixteen members with Rotary Hero and VIP awards for exemplary service and dedication to Rotary International and the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory: Tara Bland, Bruce Bumbarger, Stan Bumgarner, Jennifer Clark, Bob Conklin, Guy Guarino, Susan Huffman, Dan Kirby, Lynn Loehr, Leslie Ferrell Middleton, Lamar Mitchell, David Moore, Steve Mull, Clarence Pugh, John Rambo and Mark Teague
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.
On Thursday, the club recognized four new Paul Harris Fellows: Bill Miller-Zurrell, Bob Conklin, Charles Reeves and Susan Saylor. Also twelve PHF awards were presented to non-members by club members: John Hall to Brook Benton Smith, Sandi Fotheringham to Josh Fotheringham, Carl Cline to Sharon Crump Cline, Mark Huckabee to Ute Huckabee, David Moore to Sara Moore, Bill Miller-Zurrell to Georgene Freeman, Steve Mull to John Calvin Mull, Steve Mull to Kelly Jarrett and Dale Jarrett, John Millholland to Sandy Millholland and Maggie Dahlstrom and Hickory Rotary Club Board of Directors to Allison Holtzman.
The club also recognized 22 members with perfect attendance for the year: Michael Blackburn, Bruce Bumbarger, Bob Conklin, Cuyler Dunbar, Leslie Ferrell Middleton, Sandi Fotheringham, Kathy Greathouse, Dan Kirby, Lynn Loehr, Linda Lutz, David Millholland, Cliff Moone, David Moore, Steve Mull, Charlie Reeves, Doug Rongo, John Ross, Mark Seaman, Richard Seay, Charles Snipes, Anne Williams and David Williams.
President Seaman also recognized thirteen members with forty or more years (in parentheses) of service: Bob Bumbarger (65), Bill Cauble (63), Charles Snipes (48), Leroy Lail (45), Al Spivey (45), Bob Bisanar (44), Ron Gardner (43), Clarence Pugh (43), Avery Wilfong (43), Bob Warmuth (42), Steve Thomas (41), David Myers (40) and Charles Young (40).
President Seaman also announced that the Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory received two awards at the recent Rotary District 7670 conference, held in Kingsport, TN. District 7670 is comprised of 50 clubs stretching across 22 counties in western North Carolina. Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory was awarded a Rotary Presidential Citation for the Interact Club and a Zone 33 Public Image Award.