Members of three Rotary clubs in the Lake Norman area are collaborating to help charter a new chapter in Davidson.
Key organizers say when Firoz Peera, the Rotary district governor, challenged area clubs to form new chapters, the Rotary Clubs of Lake Norman-Huntersville, North Mecklenburg and Top of the Lake-Mooresville responded.
They hope to have the Davidson chapter chartered by Oct. 1. As of last week, the group had 15 members and needs at least 20 to obtain charter status. Rotary District 7680, which serves the Lake Norman area, chartered its 53rd club on Oct. 30, 2009. To create a Rotary club, it must be sponsored by an existing club. The clubs responsible for the formation of the Davidson chapter each have about 40 to 100 members.
The chapter's niche
The Davidson club hopes to draw people in with its focus on service, but also with its meeting schedule. The group meets at 5 p.m. Tuesdays at Sabi Asian Bistro in Davidson, and no other Rotary club in the area offers meetings at that time.
"It fills a unique niche in the time and location and takes into consideration the working schedules of folks who cannot make a breakfast or lunch meeting," said Paul Herbert, assistant district governor and nine-year member of the Rotary Club of Lake Norman-Huntersville. "The time is right before dinner so it has little impact on family time. It is convenient."
Those who become charter members also will have the promise of creating a lasting legacy, said Herbert.
"Many people like the idea of being 'starters' and creating something new and dynamic that serves our community and the world," said Herbert, 57, who lives in Davidson. "How many times do you get a chance to start a new tradition in your community that will out-live you and leave a legacy beyond you? And that's what this represents. People will look back on the formation of this club one day and see that's its done amazing things to help people locally and internationally."
New group needed
Chris Jones, 50, of Cornelius, is the N.C. district governor-nominee and has been a Rotarian for 10 years. He will be district governor in 2012 and currently is the district representative for starting the Davidson club. Jones is a past club president of the Lake Norman-Huntersville club and assistant governor for District 7680.
"Davidson has been on the radar for some time, and we just decided to get started now," said Jones. "I am a member of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Davidson and have often thought that we should have a club in Davidson, and in speaking to other people in the Davidson community, they also agreed that Davidson needed a Rotary club.
"As we examined the Davidson area, we decided that it was a prime area to open a new club, but at a time that did not compete with the other clubs in the lake area."
Deborah Bowen, 60, one of six key leaders behind the team organizing the Davidson club, has helped organize three other area clubs, including her Top of the Lake-Mooresville chapter. Aside from the service aspects of the club, other benefits include fellowship and friendships, she said.
"The primary reason I got involved was because we want to extend the opportunities of Rotary, and I go to church in Davidson," said Bowen. "The other reason I was interested in helping charter the Davidson club is because I've just been through the process of forming the Troutman club. And, because I spend a lot of time in Davidson and know a number of people in Davidson, I wanted to be a part of the leadership."
Bowen of Mooresville said of the new chapter: "I would like to see them become a thriving organization that undertakes local projects for Davidson. Whether that would be helping something for the library, helping the Ada Jenkins Center, working in the free clinic, or whatever else those folks become passionate about."