History, scholarships on tap at Rotary

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Brundidge Rotarians learned more about the founding of the Rotary Club through a video dramatization of what the informal organizational meeting of Rotary might have been like.
Feb. 23, 1905, was cold day even for Chicago. The temperature was one degree below zero but it was not too cold to keep Paul Harris from meeting with three friends in order to share an idea he had been “formulating” for years.
Harris told his friends about the fall afternoon in 1900 when he and fellow attorney, Bob Frank, walked the north side of Chicago.
They stopped at shops along the way and Harris was impressed that Frank knew and was friendly with so many shopkeepers.
Then and there, Harris resolved to form a club for businessmen based on community and fellowship – religious and political affiliation would be put aside. Community, friendship and fellowship would bind the members together.
“I was sure that there must be many other young men who had come from farms and small village to establish themselves in Chicago,” said the actor who was playing Harris. “Why not bring them together? If others were longing for fellowship as I was, something would come of it.”
Something did come of it.
Today, Rotary is a 1.2 million-member organization that started from the vision of one man, Paul Harris. Rotary brings together those from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships and to make their communities better for their having been there.
Program host Rotarian Jennifer Garrett said she found the video enlightening.
“It was interesting to have some idea what it was like at the first Rotary meeting,” she said. “It was very different from our meetings today but we still have the same purpose and the same goals.”
One of the goals of the Brundidge Rotary Club is to support and encourage young people to continue their educations after high school.
In so doing, the Brundidge Rotary Club sponsors several scholarships that are available to area high school seniors. The recipients of this year’s Brundidge Rotary Club scholarships are Terrance Cochran, Pike County High School; William Caleb Gray, Pike Liberal Arts; Callie Reeder, Ariton High School; Lynze Price, Goshen High School; Veronica Paige Kidd, Zion Chapel High School; and Jessica Rhodes, Zion Chapel High School.
Cochran received the Ralph Dickert Rotary Scholarship and will attend the University of Alabama.
Gray was the recipient of the Harold Rodgers Memorial Scholarship. He will attend Samford University.
The Robert Godwin Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Reeder who plans to attend Wallace College.
Price was awarded the R.E. Wallace, Jr. Rotary Scholarship. Price will attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
The Sara Spano Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Veronica Paige Kidd, who pans to attend Troy University.
Jessica Rhodes received the Wilburn E. Howard Rotary Scholarship. She will attend Lurleen B. Wallace, McArthur campus.
The scholarships awards are $1,000 and are funded out of Brundidge Rotary Club projects and by Don Johnston, a former Brundidge resident, and the Ralph Dickert and Larry Shiver families.

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