This past June, the Rotary Club of Seminole celebrated its 75th Anniversary with a banquet catered in the Seminole Elementary multi-purpose room. Approximately 30, including members, past members, and family members attended the event.
A history including past and present service projects, a list of past presidents, and other interesting information about the Seminole Rotary Club was shared with the group.
The history is as follows:
Seminole Rotary Club was organized on April 15, 1939 in the courtroom of Gaines County Courthouse. The club's first meetings were held in the Methodist Church. During World War II when food was rationed, the club met at various places including: The Presbyterian Churh, the Pittman Building and various cafes. After WWII, the club met at the Methodist Church until 1948 when it started having meetings at the Seminole Community Building. Later, that building became the Seminole Senior Citizens Center where the club continued to meet until 1993 when they moved the Thursday noon meeting to Thelma's One Stop Restaurant where it remained until 2010 when Thelma's was demolished. They met at the SEDC building for approximately one year before moving to the Presbyterian Church where the noon meeting remains to this day.
Seminole Rotary Club Charter members in 1939 included: Reeves Cothes, W.E.Cox, Jr., O.C Curtis, O.J. Daniel, Dewey Davis, Joe Dennis, A.L, Duff Sr., A.L. Duff Jr., Alton Freeman, Sam Malone, Finley Moore, L.P. Smallin, O.E. Nelson, R.W. Pittman, Judson Roach, Vance Singleton, Floyd Stark and Harry Stone.
Women were welcomed into the Seminole Rotary Club in 1990. Janice Buxton was the first female member and female president of Seminole Rotary.
Historically, Seminole Rotary Club has sponsored: Boy Scout troops, supported foreign exchange students to and from Seminole, and supported the Mexico school supply project. Recently, Seminole Rotary has supported the Polio Plus drive to eradicate polio, sponsored children to diabetic camps, awarded many annual scholarships to graduating Seniors, sponsored many students to Camp RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Acadermy), supported the annual Gaines County Livestock Show, given dictionaries (approximately 300.year) to all 3rd graders, sponsored a water well in Uganda-where there wasn't suitable drinking water, bought cooking stoves for a community in Honduras, supported the wheelchair foundation, and supported the Bob Lewis Foundation with food for the local needy.
The major fundraising project of the Seminole Rotary Club is the American Flag Project in which members place 96 American flags at participating businesses and individuals on every holiday.
Currently, the Seminole Rotary Club has six Paul Harris Fellows. An individual who contributes $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation is recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow. Paul Harris, was the founder of Rotary, the world's first service club. Since his death in 1947, Rotary has grown world-wide to sustain Harris' vision of an organization dedicated to peace, tolerance and helping others. The Rotary Foundation's Permanent Fund is an important source of support to help those world wide. This year marks 75 years of Rotary in Semionle.
Current Seminole Rotary Club members are Rebecca Autry, Judy Sage, Betsy Briscoe, Jim Culver, Britt Harper, Jay Lashaway, Nikki Russell, Judy Sage, Teena Wimmer, Honorary Member: Jerry Malone and Trish Rodgers.
Past Presidents include: 1939-40 Reeves Cothes, 1940-41 Arthur Duff Jr., 1941-42 W.E. Cox Jr., 1942-43 Alton Freeman, 1943-44 Floyd Stark, 1944-45 Harry Stone, 1945-46 Joe Dennis, 1946-47 Marion Kuehn, 1948-49 Chester Brown, 1949-50 Jess Carroll, 1950-51 James L. Dow, 1951-52 Jim Graves, 1952-53 Allison Gainey, 1953-54 Lewis G. Daugherty, 1954-55 Clarence J. Murphrey, 1955-57 Bob Whippo, 1957-58 Gordon Cobb, 1958-59 Warren Liner;
Also, 1959-60 Vance Singleton, 1960-61 W.V. Smith, 1961-1962 R.W. Pittman, 1962-63 James Patterson, 1963-64 Dink Aryain, 1964-65 Thomas Worthington, 1965-66 Jimmie Nelson, 1966-67 Doyle Hankins, 1967-68 Joe Svacek, 1968-69 Richard Watts, 1969-70 Delbert Warren;
1970-71 James Williams, 1971-72 Pete McClellan, 1972-73 Roy McQueen, 1973-74 John Golmon, 1974-75 Tom Coffee, 1975-76 C.D. Wickson Jr., 1976-77 Joe McGill, 1977-78 Terry Moore, 1978-79 Newell Bowen, 1979-80 Larry Holder, 1980-81 Bob Cosby, 1981-83 Mike McGregory;
Also, 1983-84 Dave Davis, 1984-85 Ronnie Gandy, 1985-86: David Shuler, 1986-87 Lloyd Glass, 1987-88 John Kildow, 1988-89 Charles Opeil, 1989-90 Melvin Kinnison, 1990-91 Gary Duggar, 1991-92 Allan Bryson, 1992-93 Jessie Mendoza, 1993-94 Doug Harriman, 1994-95 Matt Jenkins, 1995-96 Ray Keener, 1996-97 Janis Buxton, 1997-98 Don Phillips, 1998-99 Mark Beaty, 1999-00 Cary Moring, 2000-01 Judy Cagle, 2001-02 Steve Scott, 2002-03 Jan Jeffries, 2003-04 Teena Wimmer, 2004-05 Jessie Greenfield, 2005-06 Britt Harper, 2006-07 Judy Sage, 2007-08 Jim Culver, 2008-09 Rebecca Autry, 2009-10 Becky Ottaberry, 2010-11 Britt Harper, 2011-12 Betsy Briscoe, 2012-13 Jay Lashaway and 2013-14 Rebecca Autry.