.

ABOUT OUR CLUB

A SHORT AND SOMEWHAT INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF FURNITURELAND ROTARY CLUB

Service to others is central to the theme of Rotary.  It was this ideal that persuaded 24 men to join in establishing High Point's second Rotary club, The Rotary Club of Furnitureland. Furnitureland Rotary Club is an involved club!  Its history is one of supporting many local, regional and international programs.  It is a busy club!  Participation in club activities is exceptionally high and enthusiastic.  The Furnitureland Club has made many significant contributions to High Point, to District 7690 (formerly District 769) and to the international organization of Rotary.  More important is that it touches the lives of its members.  It has involved its members in the life of the community, in the life of the nation, and in the life of the world.

Beginnings

Serious discussion of a second Rotary club in High Point began in January 1971.  Enthusiasm grew rapidly and on February 15, 1971 the Furnitureland Rotary Club began to meet regularly.  On March 1, 1971, an application for membership was submitted to Rotary International.  Charter night was held on June 28, 1971 at Holiday Inn West at the Green Street intersection of Business 85.  Of the men who applied for membership, seven are active 30 years later: Bill Green, T. R. Hendrix, Forrest Mendenhall, John Stunda, Stanley Taylor, Coy Williard, and Richard Wood.

Officers of the Furnitureland Rotary Club during its first year were Bill Green, President; Jerry Drye, Vice President; Adrian Delk, Secretary; John Stunda, Treasurer; and Richard Wood, Sergeant-at-Arms.  Supporting these gentlemen, the Board of Directors consisted of Joe Davis, Jerry Drye, T. R. Hendrix, Forrest Mendenhall and John Stunda.

Capable leadership is fundamental to the health of any organization and the Furnitureland Rotary Club has not lacked for outstanding people who are willing to lead and to serve.  A list of those who have served Furnitureland Rotary Club is available by following this link.  Special mention must be made of the service of Bill Green, however, for it was Bill who led the Club as its first president during the first two formative years.

The Club is a middle age club and an increasing number of members have been asked to serve Rotary on the District level.  In 1979-1980 T. R. Hendrix served as Governor's Group Representative for the High Point group.  In 1981 John Womack was District 769 Conference Chairman.  In 1980-1981 Marty Pratt served as chairman of the Health Hunger and Humanity Committee.  In recent years District assignments have gone to John Womack, Director of World Community Service; Jack Green, Club Service and Membership Chair; and Phil Morris, Club Bulletin Committee.  Jack Green served as the Assistant District Governor for the High Point Area and as District Governor of District 7690 for 2000-2001.  Phil Morris served as District Internet Communications Officer for 2000-2001 and as District Governor of District 7690 for 2005-2006. He continues service as Web Manager, District and Club Database Manager and District Communications Officer.

Community Involvement       


The Furnitureland Rotary Club is an involved club!  Many local and international programs have been funded in part from the proceeds from club projects.  Among these are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Archdale Little League
  • Beepball (baseball for the blind)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina
  • Carl Chavis YMCA
  • Christmas Cheer Fund
  • Community Clinic
  • Communities in School
  • Family Services of the Piedmont
  • Fairview Elementary School
  • Gradfest
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Haynes Inman Education Center
  • Helping Hands Ministry
  • High Point Arts Council
  • High Point Alcohol & Drug Action Coalition
  • Mobile Meals of High Point, Inc.
  • North Carolina Zoological Park
  • Operation Santa Claus
  • Operation Smile
  • Piedmont School
  • Piedmont Environmental Center
  • Red Cross-Hurricane Relief
  • Rotary Exchange Student Program
  • Rotary Foundation
  • RP Foundation
  • Salvation Army
  • Santa's Friends
  • The City Project
  • THINK (Teen Health Information Network)
  • Trinity High School Scholarship
  • Youth Unlimited

Furnitureland Rotary’s primary beneficiary is Mobile Meals of High Point Inc.  During the Summer of 2013 the club celebrated an amazing milestone: we surpassed $400,000 in total donations to Mobile Meals!  The club also has a Fairview Scholarship program to recognize students of the month at Fairview Elementary School. 

International Activities 

It sponsored Butch Mendenhall as a member of the 1977 District Group Study Exchange Team in India.  In 1979 Alan Patterson was a member of the team visiting Austria.  Charles Lehman visited Italy in 1985.  Neil Kearns visited Finland in 1987 and in 1988 Steve White traveled to Indonesia.In all activities of Furnitureland Rotary the families of Club members have supported the work of Furnitureland Rotary Club.  No where has this been more evident than in the way homes were opened to our foreign exchange students.  In 1980 the Club sponsored Gotz Klocker, an exchange student from Germany, in 1981 Luiz Antonio Montenegro Nogueira from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In 1982 the Club was visited by Eeva Pihlakoski, from Uusikaupunki, Finland.  Beatrice Cable from Condom, France visited in 1983 and in 1984 Tina Miles visited from Brisbane, Australia, and in 1994 Hungarian Johanna Fugedy attended Trinity High School.Since 1995, Woodie Cain has organized two efforts to ship used medical equipment to the Curitiba Rotary Club in Brazil where it is distributed to a state owned hospital and related medical clinics.  These facilities are organized to serve the poor of the country.  Even though this equipment is outdated by our standards, it was an upgrade for the facilities that received it.  The Club has received international recognition and Woodie was awarded the “Four Avenues of Service Award” by Rotary International for this project.

Furnitureland Rotary has also sponsored several Ambassadorial Scholars who have furthered their education in foreign countries.  Also, club member Bob Fowler was team leader for a Group Study Exchange Team that visited England in 1999.

Support of the Rotary Foundation    

Named after the founder of Rotary International, a Paul Harris Fellowship is awarded when $1,000 has been donated to the Rotary Foundation in someone's name.  In 1977 the Furnitureland Rotary Club name Bill Green its first Paul Harris Fellow.  In 1986 the High Point Rotary Club, recognizing the services he had donated for many years to insuring the success of their annual auction, honored Forrest Mendenhall with a Paul Harris Fellowship.  In August 2000, the Club became a 100% Paul Harris Fellows Club.  The club is continues to be recognized for its contributions to the Rotary Foundation within our District. 

Club Fellowship  

Furnitureland Rotary Club met weekly for eight and one-half years at the Holiday Inn West.  In the Fall of 1979 it moved to John's Rib Room at the intersection of Business 85 and Main Street, and in 1980 it moved again for a short while to the Furniture Club (Top of the Mart), then back to the Holiday Inn West location (renamed Holiday West, then later, Best Value Inn).  It finally moved to Market Square where after several years it now meets in High Point's premier city club, the String and Splinter Club. Besides weekly meetings, and highlighting each Rotary Year are several events: The 12th Day of Christmas Celebration dinner has become a popular event, which is shared with our spouses.  The RiceFests, catered by member Tommy Rice at the Elk's Club following the fall and Spring Furniture Market, always draws a crowd.  Coy Williard has also found a niche in the fabric of Furnitureland Rotary in his willingness to build bonds of friendships through various sports social events. Participation in Rotary functions is important to the success of the Club and to each member's attitude toward the Club.  Visitors who attend Furnitureland Rotary Club always speak warmly of our friendly club and our hearty fellowship.  Although they might want to forget, nobody who has had to sit through one will ever forget the birthday "poetics" of Ivan Cutler.  For many years, at each meeting an attendance award was donated by a member of the Club to be won by lottery.  Some unusual gifts donated for the award were a live chicken, a dead fish, a half-gallon of ice cream, a gerbil, a poster picture of one of the members, etc.  The Attendance Award was replaced in 2000 by a Queen of Hearts raffle each week.  Part of the proceeds of the raffle are donated the Rotary Foundation.

Annual Barbeque and Auction  

One of the highlights of each Furnitureland Rotary year is the Annual Barbeque and Auction.   This event has been held annually since 1974.  Except for one year, the event has been held at Kepley’s Barn in February.  The profits from the auction are used to fund our contributions to local charitable organizations.  Reported profits range from “should top $1,500” in 1977 to $60,000 in 2012.  Auction items are solicited and donated by club members.  Forest Mendenhall, one of the premier auctioneers in the country, has contributed his talents every year to the club.

Club Honors 

Each year a Service above Self award is given by the Club in recognition of a member who has gone well out of his way to serve the Club.  Recognized have been Tom Wiley, John Stunda, T. R. Hendrix, Colby Walton, Paul Brayton, Phil Morris, Wiley Rosenbaum, Bill Wheeler, John Womack, Forrest Mendenhall, Stanley Taylor, Marty Pratt, Dale Britt, Richard Wood, Bill Green, Keith Sedberry, Reid Marsh, George Holbrook, Jack Green, Sparky Stroud, Coy Williard, Bob Fowler, Geoff Eade, Woodie Cain, Tommy Rice, Richard E Thomas, Gary Sturgill, Malcolm P Nash, J. Michael Lang, David Pruette, Carl Stewart, Randy Carda, Bill Dyson, Joe Carroll, Barry Kitley, Janette McNeill, Charlene Green, and Joe Hellinger.  Each Rotary club is encouraged to publish an official bulletin.  The Furnitureland Hub is the publication of Furnitureland Rotary Club.  The first issue was published in 1971.  In 1977-1978, edited by Colby Walton, and in 1978-1979, 1980-1981, again in 1981-1982, edited by Phil Morris, it received "Best Club Bulletin Award" in District 769.  In 1991-1992 and in 1992-1993 it received the award again.  While Bulletin Editor, Phil Morris chaired the District's Club Bulletin Committee the Furnitureland Hub continued to be a pacesetter for District 7690, although it was not eligible to receive the Bulletin Award.  Again in 1999, the “Hub” received the “Best Club Bulletin Award”.  On the 40th Anniversary of our club, High Point Mayor Rebecca R Smothers, proclaimed: Monday, May 16, 2011 as “Rotary Club of Furnitureland” Day in the City of High Point. 

The Right to be Proud    

In its first 40+ years, Furnitureland Rotary Club takes pride in its rich heritage.  Even more exciting is its potential.  Its strength, its pattern of growth, its history of accepting more and more of the challenges which face the community and the world suggests that it will always be able to meet the challenges which the future will bring.  The 45 members, distilled from a pool of over 230 individuals who have been at one time or another invited to membership, represent an enthusiastic resource for High Point, for District 7690 and for Rotary International.  They look back at its history with pride, but more important they are looking eagerly to the future, seeking every opportunity to serve people and to promote the Object of Rotary.

-Horton Godwin, 2001
some incomplete updating, Phil Morris, 2006
another incomplete updating, Joe Hellinger, 2014

 

(older version)

A SHORT AND SOMEWHAT INCOMPLETE HISTORY OF FURNITURELAND ROTARY CLUB

Service to others is central to the theme of Rotary.  It was this ideal that persuaded 24 men to join in establishing High Point's second Rotary club, The Rotary Club of Furnitureland. Furnitureland Rotary Club is an involved club!  Its history is one of supporting many local, regional and international programs.  It is a busy club!  Participation in club activities is exceptionally high and enthusiastic.  The Furnitureland Club has made many significant contributions to High Point, to District 7690 (formerly District 769) and to the international organization of Rotary.  More important is that it touches the lives of its members.  It has involved its members in the life of the community, in the life of the nation, and in the life of the world.

Beginnings

Serious discussion of a second Rotary club in High Point began in January 1971.  Enthusiasm grew rapidly and on February 15, 1971 the Furnitureland Rotary Club began to meet regularly.  On March 1, 1971, an application for membership was submitted to Rotary International.  Charter night was held on June 28, 1971 at Holiday Inn West at the Green Street intersection of Business 85.  Of the men who applied for membership, seven are active 30 years later: Bill Green, T. R. Hendrix, Forrest Mendenhall, John Stunda, Stanley Taylor, Coy Williard, and Richard Wood.

Officers of the Furnitureland Rotary Club during its first year were Bill Green, President; Jerry Drye, Vice President; Adrian Delk, Secretary; John Stunda, Treasurer; and Richard Wood, Sergeant-at-Arms.  Supporting these gentlemen, the Board of Directors consisted of Joe Davis, Jerry Drye, T. R. Hendrix, Forrest Mendenhall and John Stunda.

Capable leadership is fundamental to the health of any organization and the Furnitureland Rotary Club has not lacked for outstanding people who are willing to lead and to serve.  A list of those who have served Furnitureland Rotary Club is available by following this link.  Special mention must be made of the service of Bill Green, however, for it was Bill who led the Club as its first president during the first two formative years.

The Club is a middle age club and an increasing number of members have been asked to serve Rotary on the District level.  In 1979-1980 T. R. Hendrix served as Governor's Group Representative for the High Point group.  In 1981 John Womack was District 769 Conference Chairman.  In 1980-1981 Marty Pratt served as chairman of the Health Hunger and Humanity Committee.  In recent years District assignments have gone to John Womack, Director of World Community Service; Jack Green, Club Service; and Phil Morris, Club Bulletin Committee.  Jack Green served as the Assistant District Governor for the High Point Area and as District Governor of District 7690 for 2000-2001.  Phil Morris served as District Internet Communications Officer for 2000-2001 and as District Governor of District 7690 for 2005-2006.

Community Involvement

The Furnitureland Rotary Club is an involved club!  Many local and international programs have been funded in part from the proceeds from club projects.  Among these are:

  • American Red Cross
  • Archdale Little League
  • Beepball (baseball for the blind)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina
  • Carl Chavis YMCA
  • Christmas Cheer Fund
  • Gradfest
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • High Point Arts Council
  • High Point Alcohol & Drug Action Coalition
  • Kimberly House
  • Mobile Meals of High Point, Inc.
  • North Carolina Zoological Park
  • Operation Santa Claus
  • Operation Smile
  • Piedmont School
  • Piedmont Environmental Center
  • Red Cross-Hurricane Relief
  • Rotary Exchange Student Program
  • Rotary Foundation
  • RP Foundation
  • Salvation Army Christmas Party
  • Santa's Friends
  • THINK (Teen Health Information Network)
  • Trinity High School Scholarship
  • Youth Unlimited

International Activities

It sponsored Butch Mendenhall as a member of the 1977 District Group Study Exchange Team in India.  In 1979 Alan Patterson was a member of the team visiting Austria.  Charles Lehman visited Italy in 1985.  Neil Kearns visited Finland in 1987 and in 1988 Steve White traveled to Indonesia.In all activities of Furnitureland Rotary the families of Club members have supported the work of Furnitureland Rotary Club.  No where has this been more evident than in the way homes were opened to our foreign exchange students.  In 1980 the Club sponsored Gotz Klocker, an exchange student from Germany, in 1981 Luiz Antonio Montenegro Nogueira from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  In 1982 the Club was visited by Eeva Pihlakoski, from Uusikaupunki, Finland.  Beatrice Cable from Condom, France visited in 1983 and in 1984 Tina Miles visited from Brisbane, Australia, and in 1994 Hungarian Johanna Fugedy attended Trinity High School.Since 1995, Woodie Cain has organized two efforts to ship used medical equipment to the Curitiba Rotary Club in Brazil where it is distributed to a state owned hospital and related medical clinics.  These facilities are organized to serve the poor of the country.  Even though this equipment is outdated by our standards, it was an upgrade for the facilities that received it.  The Club has received international recognition and Woodie was awarded the “Four Avenues of Service Award” by Rotary International for this project.

Furnitureland Rotary has also sponsored several Ambassadorial Scholars who have furthered their education in foreign countries.  Also, club member Bob Fowler was team leader for a Group Study Exchange Team that visited England in 1999.

Support of the Rotary Foundation

Named after the founder of Rotary International, a Paul Harris Fellowship is awarded when $1,000 has been donated to the Rotary Foundation in someone's name.  In 1977 the Furnitureland Rotary Club name Bill Green its first Paul Harris Fellow.  In 1986 the High Point Rotary Club, recognizing the services he had donated for many years to insuring the success of their annual auction, honored Forrest Mendenhall with a Paul Harris Fellowship.  In August 2000, the Club became a 100% Paul Harris Fellows Club. 

Club Fellowship

Furnitureland Rotary Club met weekly for eight and one-half years at the Holiday Inn West.  In the Fall of 1979 it moved to John's Rib Room at the intersection of Business 85 and Main Street, and in 1980 it moved again for a short while to the Furniture Club, then back to the Holiday Inn West location (renamed Holiday West, then later, Best Value Inn).  It finally moved to Market Square where after several years it now meets in High Point's premier city club, the String and Splinter Club.Besides weekly meetings, and highlighting each Rotary Year are several events: The 12th Day of Christmas Celebration dinner has become a popular event, which is shared with our spouses.  The RiceFests, catered by member Tommy Rice at the Elk's Club following the fall and Spring Furniture Market, always draws a crowd.  Tommy's Beauford Stew is exceptional! Coy Williard has also found a niche in the fabric of Furnitureland Rotary in his willingness to build bonds of friendships through various sports social events.Participation in Rotary functions is important to the success of the Club and to each member's attitude toward the Club.  Leading the Club in perfect attendance is Bill Green who has yet to miss a meeting since shortly after the Club was established.Visitors who attend Furnitureland Rotary Club always speak warmly of our friendly club and our hearty fellowship.  Although they might want to forget, nobody who has had to sit through one will ever forget the birthday "poetics" of Ivan Cutler.  For many years, at each meeting an attendance award was donated by a member of the Club to be won by lottery.  Some unusual gifts donated for the award were a live chicken, a dead fish, a half-gallon of ice cream, a gerbil, a poster picture of one of the members, etc.  The Attendance Award was replaced in 2000 by a Queen of Hearts raffle each week.  Part of the proceeds of the raffle are donated the Rotary Foundation.

Annual Barbeque and Auction

One of the highlights of each Furnitureland Rotary year is the Annual Barbeque and Auction.   This event has been held annually since 1974.  Except for one year, the event has been held at Kepley’s Barn in February.  The profits from the auction are used to fund our contributions to local charitable organizations.  Reported profits range from “should top $1,500” in 1977 to $28,173 in 1998.  Auction items are solicited and donated by club members.  Forest Mendenhall, one of the premier auctioneers in the country, has contributed his talents every year to the club.

Club Honors

Each year a Service above Self award is given by the Club in recognition of a member who has gone well out of his way to serve the Club.  Recognized have been Tom Wiley, John Stunda, T. R. Hendrix, Colby Walton, Paul Brayton, Phil Morris, Wiley Rosenbaum, Bill Wheeler, John Womack, Forrest Mendenhall, Stanley Taylor, Marty Pratt, Dale Britt, Richard Wood, Bill Green, Keith Sedberry, Reid Marsh, George Holbrook, Jack Green, Sparky Stroud, Coy Williard, Bob Fowler, Geoff Eade, Woodie Cain and Tommy Rice.  For the past several years a President's Award has recognized those who have contributed in a meaningful way to the efforts of the Club.  Woody Cain, Geoff Eade, Ivan Garry, David Hedrick, Phil Morris, Tommy Rice, Bill Blue, Tom Fields, Forrest Mendenhall, Jack Green, Bernie Seidel, Randy Carda, Mark Ayers and Bob Fowler have received this award.Each Rotary club is encouraged to publish an official bulletin.  The Furnitureland Hub is the publication of Furnitureland Rotary Club.  The first issue was published in 1971.  In 1977-1978, edited by Colby Walton, and in 1978-1979, 1980-1981, again in 1981-1982, edited by Phil Morris, it received "Best Club Bulletin Award" in District 769.  In 1991-1992 and in 1992-1993 it received the award again.  While Bulletin Editor, Phil Morris chaired the District's Club Bulletin Committee the Furnitureland Hub continued to be a pacesetter for District 7690, although it was not eligible to receive the Bulletin Award.  Again in 1999, the “Hub” received the “Best Club Bulletin Award”.

The Right to be Proud

In its first 30 years, Furnitureland Rotary Club takes pride in its rich heritage.  Even more exciting is its potential.  Its strength, its pattern of growth, its history of accepting more and more of the challenges which face the community and the world suggests that it will always be able to meet the challenges which the future will bring.  The 67 members, distilled from a pool of over 230 individuals who have been at one time or another invited to membership, represent an enthusiastic resource for High Point, for District 7690 and for Rotary International.  They look back at its history with pride, but more important they are looking eagerly to the future, seeking every opportunity to serve people and to promote the Object of Rotary.

-Horton Godwin, 2001
some incomplete updating, Phil Morris, 2006...

 


An extraordinary collection of Rotary graphics

also used - Cool Text: Free Graphics Generator
The Rotary name and logo are the exclusive property of Rotary International.
Special thanks to Tord Elfwendahl for his incredible Rotary graphic images used throughout this web site.
Please address comments, corrections or concerns about this Website to Phil Morris, Web Manager, (336) 887-7435


Copyright 1999-2011  ©Rotary Club of Furnitureland. All rights reserved.