The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Rotary Club began its new year this week with a breakfast meeting at the fire station on Slanting Bridge Road.
As part of Rotary tradition, club members are encouraged to share personal good news at the weekly meetings and to donate “happy bucks” to the club's fund.
Club secretary Dan Totillo told the club he's excited about an upcoming trip to see his grandmother, who lives in New York. But when Totillo reached for his wallet, he realized that he had no cash to contribute. He was the second member that morning to offer an I.O.U.
“We're going to have to start tightening our credit requirements,” joked new club president Jody Street, a vice president with BB&T in Hickory. “The rest of the market is.”
Street's good humor is representative of the atmosphere at this club meeting, and it was a requirement at the club picnic last month at Murray's Mill in Catawba. The historic covered bridge at Murray's Mill served as an impromptu picnic shelter when a hailstorm interrupted the afternoon.
The hail hitting the tin roof of the bridge effectively drowned out conversation and announcements. Afterwards, Street says, the picnickers had to take off their shoes and wade through knee-deep puddles back to their cars. He hopes the storm isn't an omen for the upcoming year and his term as club president.
The club, which describes itself as a “new club with lots of energy,” was chartered on May 29, 2007. The club has 20 members and meets at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesdays at the fire station. Rotary's focus is on service, and each meeting includes a guest speaker from the community. This week's speaker was Amy Buchanan from Kids Voting Catawba (www.kidsvotingcatawba.org).
The club, of course, doesn't do all its fundraising through “happy bucks.” In April, the club hosted a bass fishing tournament on Lake Norman. Fifty boats competed, and the club was able to donate $5,000 for playground equipment to Catawba Elementary School, which opened last school year.
Rotary International began as a professional organization in Chicago. As Rotary expanded its mission from social to service-oriented projects, it gained popularity and influence throughout the world. The club follows a code of ethics called the Four-Way Test that promotes truthfulness and fairness. Rotary International is best known for its efforts to eradicate polio and for its advisory role with the United Nations.
The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Rotary Club is the 50th member of its district. Still a relatively small club, it hopes to increase membership as the Sherrills Ford community grows.
In 1905, when founder Paul P. Harris started the first Rotary Club in Chicago, he wanted the clubs to offer the same small-town friendliness that he remembered from his childhood. Seems this new club is just what he had in mind.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Sherrills Ford-Terrell, see www.sherrillsfordterrellrotary.org.