ROTARY COLUMN: A look back at Rotary’s last year

Published 8:52 am Saturday, August 15, 2020

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By Robert Stonestreet, Immediate Past President

Fiscal year 2019-2020, which ended June 30, was an interesting year to say the least, ending with the coronavirus pandemic and virtual online meetings.

Robert Stonestreet

Still, the club stayed the course in upholding the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self.” A review of the projects and fundraisers accomplished since July 1, 2019 includes: Pfeiffer Albemarle Campus Pocket Park – $15,000 donation; YMCA Pavilion Kitchen – $10,000 donation; Rise Against Hunger – 20,088 meals; more than 700 dictionaries distributed for Stanly County Schools third graders; eight scholarships for Stanly County high school seniors; Stanly County Veterans Concert in partnership with the Stanly County Concert Association with more than 400 attendees; nine community grants awarded totaling more than $5,000; CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) – $1,200 donation; West Stanly Rotary Golf Tournament hole sponsorship; Shelter Box Disaster Relief Project donation partnered with West Stanly Rotary; Polio Plus – $2,000 donation; canned food collection for Stanly Community Christian Ministry Food Bank; and Homemade Masks Project – distributing masks to Stanly County Health Department and Atrium Health-Stanly. Total service project costs were well over $40,000.

Successful fundraisers included: District Grant, Polio Plus donation, Rise Against Hunger, CART and the Rotary BBQ raising more than $21,000 toward service projects.

Unfortunately, Chairman Brett Speight and his committee had to postpone the annual Rotary Golf Tournament fundraiser from May until September this year.

We want to thank all those who participated this past year in our projects with special thanks to the project chairs: BBQ – Frank Sparger; Rise Against Hunger – Dr. Angela Mills; Dictionaries – Peter Asciutto; District Grant – Mike Riemann; Community Grants – Todd Swaringen; Scholarships – George Crooker; Polio Plus – Jeff Robertson; and CART (Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust) – Bob Sweet.

Thanks also to committee members and chairs: Membership – Dr. Bob Gaither; Foundation – Jack Foutz; Youth Service – George Crooker; International Service – Dr. Angela Mills; Golf Tournament – Brett Speight; Club Social – Dee Pankey Thompson and Brian Freeman.

A huge thank you to the ones who helped make every meeting worth attending: Program – Jeff Robertson; Greeter Organizer – Dolly Clayton; Invocation – Dr. Kevin Taylor; Health and Happiness – Dr. Eric Johnsen, Frank Sparger and Todd Swaringen; and Sergeant at Arms, Bob Sweet.
These individuals and their committees make it all come together and this club would not be successful without everyone’s involvement.

We also want to thank the board members finishing their terms: Immediate Past President, Ray Allen; Treasurer, Dr. Surendrapal Mac (newly elected President-Elect); Secretary, Keith Wolf; Directors Mark Donham, Vicki Calvert and Calvin Gaddy (newly elected Director).

The club will be in good hands going forward with President Jan Goetz and the new club board. They have hit the ground running and are way ahead of the curve in preparation. Members look forward to getting back to in-person meetings as soon as it is safe, sharing a meal and seeing everyone face to face.

The Albemarle Rotary Club has a long 92-year history, and the current members will add to that history by keeping the club viable by staying involved.

During the pandemic, the c;ub is holding weekly Zoom meetings with planned programs. Anyone interested in more information about Rotary may contact Club President Jan Goetz at 704-438-8874 or