Two local volunteers were recognized for their contributions and service to the area Tuesday during the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club’s annual awards dinner.
Each year, the club holds an awards dinner and names a Rotary Volunteer of the Year and a non-Rotary Member Volunteer of the Year. Each honoree received a certificate and will be able to donate $100 to the charity of choice.
Gary York, owner of WIFM Radio, was recognized as the non-Rotary Member Volunteer of the Year. York was unable to attend the event, which was held in the Roth Room of The Liberty in downtown Elkin.
Named Rotary Volunteer of the Year was Jerry Stroud, who works for Duke Energy and has served as president of the club the past year, growing its membership from 31 to 39 members.
The dinner was more than just a time to recognize volunteers though, it also served as a time to honor Rotarians who have contributed enough to The Rotary Foundation during their time with the club to qualify them as Paul Harris Fellows. Harris was the founder of Rotary International in 1905.
“As a club, in our 22 years since being founded, we’ve given $137,124.97 to the foundation,” reported Rotarian Carey Gupton, noting that the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club when it was chartered was the 30,000th Rotary Club internationally.
Each member, once he or she has contributed $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation over the course of their membership in Rotary, is named a Paul Harris Fellow, with those giving $1,000 in a year as a Paul Harris Benefactor, Gupton explained.
After the funds are given by the local Rotary group to the international foundation, they accrue interest for a couple of years and then 25 percent of those funds are redistributed to be used for local projects. This year, the YV Rotary Club used its funds to place “Peace” benches along the trail between Market and Main streets at Big Elkin Creek.
Other money raised by the club is used for scholarships, Peace Fellows program, local organizations such as Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry, The ARK, the Elkin Rescue Squad and Grace Clinic, as well as international efforts such as Mount Airy Rotary Club’s Uganda project which will provide a traveling clinic for women’s and children’s health needs, clean water and transportation in that country. Gupton said the Yadkin Valley club will donate $3,000 for that effort.
“Mount Airy is raising $60,000, which will be matched by the Rotary District for another $60,000 and another $120,000 match from Rotary International,” Gupton explained, adding that international projects such as the Uganda one must be sustainable.
Each of the Paul Harris Fellows received a certificate noting their contributions to The Rotary Foundation.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.