The Rotary Club of Clemmons, part of Rotary District 7690, was chartered in 1993 with the hard work of 10 local individuals and now numbers close to 70 members. Rotary International has over 1.2 million members worldwide and is present in nearly every country. Many of us have heard of Rotary, but what exactly do they do locally and internationally?
At Its Heart, Service Above Self
The motto of the 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide is ‘Service Above Self,’ and that exemplifies the group’s spirit of giving and working for others. The Rotary Club of Clemmons actively supports a number of charitable organizations and activities both within our community and across the world. Organizations like the Clemmons Food Pantry, the Boy Scouts, Cancer Services, the Salvation Army, and Make-A-Wish foundation have received gifts of cash and service, raised and coordinated by the Clemmons Rotarians; members are also tutors as Southwest Elementary school, and chaperones accompanying WWII veterans to Washington, DC to visit the WWII Memorial for the Triad Flight of Honor.
Bruce Bullings, President of Rotary Club of Clemmons, said, “This past year with COVID, our members were able to partner with the Food Bank to distribute food boxes to over 300 families in need, supplying them with much needed food for the holiday season. Clemmons Rotarians have a real soft spot for kids. Each year we host a high school speech competition where students raise awareness of the perils of drug and alcohol abuse. In the summer, we send dozens of kids to Camp Hanes, and provide college scholarships to graduating seniors from West Forsyth High School. We annually host kids for a holiday dinner and tour of the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, and sponsor the leaders of the future at the Rotary Youth Leadership Conference.” But the giving of the Rotary Club of Clemmons reaches across the world to help others, too.
Making a Difference at Home and Abroad
“We’ve helped build a school in Jamaica and a drinking well at an orphanage in Kenya. Through the Saving Little Hearts of Nicaragua program, we’ve provided assistance to children requiring open heart surgery and wheelchairs to orphanages. We are also strong supporters of Rotary International’s efforts to eradicate polio,” Bruce commented. It seems that each member of the Rotary of Clemmons has a heart for a special group of people and they join to reach those individuals.
“Each member comes to Rotary with a skill, talent, and love. Our financial persons, John Crouch, CPA, and Teresa Lindsay, CPA, help guide our financial well-being as well as keep a watchful eye on our profits and expenditures. Our past Presidents and the Board of Directors, whom I turn to for guidance due to the ever-changing thoughts ahead to create a sound foundation for upward and forward movement of the Rotary Club of Clemmons, are great sources of support and knowledge. Bill McClain, keeps us abreast of the underserved communities in our city and how best to help meet their needs. Don Timmons has a heart for veterans and works tirelessly to aid veterans through ‘veteran coffees’ and sharing information to better their way of life. Purity Ruchugo’s SISTER2SISTER has been an instrumental part of our club for many years uplifting the women and children of Kenya, while providing a safe haven in the region.”
So Much Can Change in a Year…
It seems that over the last year or so, everything has changed, especially our circle of interaction with others and this has been true for those in Rotary as well. “I’m very grateful for those in Rotary and how together we amplify our efforts, but over the past 20 months, my gratitude for Rotary has grown. During quarantine, our networks shrunk to mainly our families and some co-workers; Rotarians had another network to turn to for purpose and social interaction. Rotary had to evolve and pivot; meetings were virtual, yet we stayed connected. I became a Rotarian because I wanted to give something back to my community, I continue to be a Rotarian because it gives me so much more,” stated Bruce.
As 2021 comes to an end, The Rotary of Clemmons has upcoming events scheduled for the community. “On November 7th, TOAST-The Totally Outstanding Awesome Stroll Through Tanglewood, is coming up with food trucks, Santa and Mrs. Claus, Disney characters, music, vendors all with a great stroll through 1.5 miles of the lights of Tanglewood. Our effort, Hand n Hand, is a partnership with YMCA of NWNC, GIDE, and AGAPE Faith Church, where we pick up 300 kinds from underserved communities and feed them dinner, provide a gift bag, and ride them through the Tanglewood Festival of Lights. We’re looking forward to 2022 and continuing to give back,” Bruce said.
For more information about the Rotary of Clemmons, visit rotaryclubofclemmons.com.