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The Rotary Club of Hillsville will observe its 75th anniversary on Thursday.
The club was chartered on Aug. 8, 1938. Club meetings were held at the Hillmont Hotel on Main Street for several years.
Other meeting venues have included Mountain Top Restaurant, Blue Ridge Tavern, the Red Barn, Corner Restaurant, the Tompkins House, Shenandoah Restaurant, Captain Pete’s Seafood Restaurant, Peking Palace and Countryside Restaurant.
The club presently meets at noon Thursdays at Shoney’s Restaurant.
Twenty-two men were charter members: B.P. Goad (lawyer), Dr. G.M. Goad (dentist), R.E. Wilkinson (farmer), Dr. J. Glenn Cox (physician), Dr. Walter A. Porter (physician), J.M. Cassell (agricultural Extension agent), Rev. C.A. Brabston (minister), G.E. Guynn (hardware retailer), J.D. Dix (hotel manager), E.M. Jett (restaurant owner), Roy E. Kyle (superintendent of Carroll County Schools), J.W. Hope (drugstore owner), Willard Stoneman (auto retailer), J.S. Smith (clerk of court), C.F. Blankenship (insurance company owner), J.L. Tompkins (banker), S.E. Joyner (garage owner), J. Howard Early (department store owner), George E. Edwards (sheriff), Dr. H.L. Lyons (veterinarian), B.D. Ferrill (highway engineer), and Walter Edwards (newspaper publisher).
The purpose of each Rotary club is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
The most notable current project for Rotary International is PolioPlus, which works toward the global eradication of polio.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a partner in this campaign. In 2007, the Gates Foundation gave the Rotary Foundation a $100 million challenge grant for polio eradication, and in 2009 increased it to $355 million.
Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds by June 2012, and Rotarians succeeded in raising a total of $228.7 million toward the challenge.
The Hillsville Rotary Club has several ongoing local projects. Rotary gives a scholarship annually to a graduating senior at Carroll County High School. The club sponsors a cottage at Southwestern Virginia Training Center. Members buy gifts for the residents and give a party each year at Christmas time.
Hillsville Rotarians also support Senior Olympics, Boy Scouts, Empty Bowls, the Carroll County Fair, and other community projects.
The Interact Club at Carroll County High School is sponsored by Rotary Club of Hillsville. Students participate in service projects throughout the year, including sponsoring a walk to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, giving a Christmas party for needy children at Hillsville Elementary School, visiting nursing homes, collecting toys for needy children at Christmas, assisting with the haunted house as part of Safe Halloween in Hillsville, and assisting with Smoke on the Mountain in Galax and downtown celebrations in Hillsville.
Rotarians are encouraged to put into practice in their business and professional lives the high ideals of Rotary. The Four Way Test can be applied to all avenues of service and to virtually all areas of life:
“Of the things we think, say or do: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?”
Hillsville Rotary has 27 members: Marion Ayers (accountant), Strader Blankenship (superintendent of Carroll County Schools), Kay Carter (banker), Lauren Chitwood (retail florist owner), Dwight Compton (lawyer), Bill Copeland (pharmacist), Martha Crowder (building contractor), Brad Dalton (lawyer), Nick Fairhurst (naval architecture), Kathryn Fariss (retired educator), Greg Goad (lawyer), Ches Helmick (financial advisor), Ina Horton (retired newspaper publisher), Dr. Jim Kilbourne (dentist), Bob Leonard (retired social services director), Dr. Barry Mayberry (physician), Dr. Oliver McBride (educator), Dr. Katie McKown (chiropractor), Mike Mock (director of county emergency services), Steve Pottorff (county Extension agent), Joe Snyder (industrial automation), Brian Spencer (restaurant owner), Marlin Surratt (retired retail florist owner), Sam Terry (retired educator), Michelle Tompkins (banker), Dennis Ward (auctioneer/auction company owner), and Noel Wood (banker).
Club president for 2013-2014 is Michelle Tompkins.
• Anyone interested in joining the Rotary Club of Hillsville is welcome to contact a member for information. As membership grows, Rotary is better able to meet the goals of this international organization with the motto of “Service above Self.” See www.facebook.com/hillsvillerotaryclub.