Rotary Year 2016-2017 in Review

Rotary Club of Oak Ridge

History Rotary Year 2016-2017

Board of Directors

President                                  Jenifer Campbell

President-Elect                        Jeff Cheek

Vice-President                          Tom Beehan

Secretary                                    Anne Dunthorn

Treasurer                                   Jeff Phillips

Past-President                           Jack Bailey

Immediate Past-Pres                David Bradshaw

Director – Foundation              Adolf King

Director–Vocational Service   Jennifer Enderson

Director-Community Service  Nancy Harrison/Tracy Boatner

Director – New Generations   Carroll Welch/Mary Jane White


Director Governor Staff

Governor                                                            Fred Heitman

Assistant Governor                                         Dave Mason


Membership:  July 1, 2016 – 110 Members (3 Honorary) through June 30, 2017 – 102 (2 Honorary)


New Members:  (+4)

Rory Naeve , JR Hertwig, Tony South, Don Paradez


Members Lost:  (-13)


Attendance:   Average Attendance for Rotary Year 2016-2017 was 79.32%.  Eleven (11) Club members achieved perfect attendance.


Special Recognitions

  • Rotarian of the Year                                              Adolf King
  • Vocational Scholarships ($1,000 each)             Trent Heston, Rilee Walls and Ethan                                                                                             Kridelbaugh
  • Bill Sergeant Vocational Service Award            Mel Sturm, Nominated by Larry Beeman.                                                                                    Throughout  Mel’s long business career                                                                                        as an entrepreneur and renowned                                                                                                  retailer, he devoted time and resources to                                                                                    his community. His most noteworthy                                                                                            service has been the creation of an                                                                                                endowment fund 40 years ago in                                                                                                    partnership with the Rotary Club of Oak                                                                                      Ridge that has presented over $150,000                                                                                      in scholarships to over 100 Oak Ridge                                                                                          High School seniors who demonstrated                                                                                        knowledge and an understanding of the                                                                                        American free enterprise system.  The                                                                                          club donated $1,000 in Mel’s name to the                                                                                    Brad Sturm Memorial Scholarship Fund.
  • Vocation-at-Work                                                  Jeffery Hayden, sponsored by the Emory                                                                                    Valley Center
  • Brad Sturm Memorial Scholarship                    The following winners were announced                                                                                        on April 20th by Barry Stephenson:                                                                                                Carinne Cheney, Noah Hylton, and                                                                                                Madison Loggins. The book the students                                                                                      read this year was “From Silk to Silicon:                                                                                      The Story of Globalization through 10                                                                                          Extraordinary Lives” by Jeffrey Garden.                                                                                      To date, $150,000 in scholarships have                                                                                        been awarded.
  • 4-Way Speech Contest                                          Amadou Mbaye


Club Honors Received

  • Rotary Serving Humanity Patch
  • Rotary Foundation Centennial Patch
  • Hunters for the Hungry Patch
  • Miller Follin District Attendance Award
  • Lacy-Bomar Award of Excellence, Third Place for Newsletters
  • Lacy-Bomar Award of Excellence, Third Place for Street Painting Festival Fundraiser
  • Polio Eradicator Club
  • Star Club
  • Globe Club
  • Youth Event Sponsor Award


International Service

  • The 2015-2016 International Rotary Conference for the incoming leadership was held in Seoul, South Korea in April 2016. Club members in attendance at the conference included District Governor, Fred Heitman and Jenifer Campbell.
  • The 2016-2017 International Rotary Conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia on June 10-14, 2017. Some 16 RCOR members attended the conference which included Bill Gates, John Cena, Andrew Young, Jack Nicklaus, and Ashton Kutcher as speakers.
  • RCOR was awarded a Global Grant in the amount of $96,773.75 for our Ghana Medical Education and Technology Mission Project. GG1530003 was headed by Dr. Elaine Bunick and supported by club member Dr. Adolf King, his wife Carol and daughter Renee.  The scope of the grant included malaria prevention training, installation of bathroom facilities along with upgrades and repairs to the existing medical facility to bring it up to standards needed for a maternity ward and other medical uses.  While in Ghana in July 2017, the medical team that accompanied Dr. Bunick treated over 1,600 patients in 9 days.
  • RCOR hosted 30 students and counselors from the Ulster Project at our club meeting on July 21, 2017
  • Two RCOR members, Anne Dunthorn and Elaine Bunick, participated in a Heart-2-Heart project trip  in Mexico November 2-9, 2017
  • The RCOR hosted Youth Exchange Student Amadou Mbaye from France. He attended Oak Ridge High School during the school year.  Host families included Club member Tom and Brenda Thornburg and Jan Melcher and her husband Chuck.


District Activities

  • Three RCOR members held District Positions: Fred Heitman served as District Governor, Jenifer Campbell served as District Treasurer, and Carol Welch held the position of District Inbound Youth Exchange Chair.
  • Received a $5,000 District Grant to support a Community Garden in the Scarboro Community to help provide fresh produce for local foodbanks. PDG Jack Bailey led this effort.
  • RCOR Rotarian David Carr was recognized at the District Conference Yana Crowley of ORHS
  • RCOR sponsored 5 members from the Oak Ridge High School and Robertsville Middle School Interact Clubs as participants the RYLA program and many Interactors attended the Interact Conference in Pigeon Forge in September 2016. Five OR Interactors won awards at the Conference.
  • Our club sponsored T’Yana Crowley of ORHS in the James L Bomar Interact Scholarship competition.
  • RCOR sponsored Oak Ridge High School Student Amadou Mbaye in the District 6780 4-Way Speech Contest. He presented his speech to the club on March 9, 2017, and competed in the District 4-Way Speech competition on April 1, 2017..
  • RCOR had 25 attendees at the District Conference in Chattanooga April 21-22, 2017.
  • Jennifer Enderson served as the District Conference Registration Chair and Jenifer Campbell served as the District Conference.
  • RCOR provided 5 items for the Silent Auction to raise money for Polio at the District Conference: UT Football Autographed by Coach Butch Jones, Rotary Corn Hole Set, Panoramic Photograph of Denali, and a Bed Spread .
  • Bunick had a booth in the House of Friendship to display the work of our Ghana medical mission Global Grant and sold packs of note cards with pictures from Ghana.
  • RCOR Sponsored a hole in the amount of $350 at the District Golf Tournament at Lookout Mountain Golf Course.
  • Rotarian David Carr was recognized by Roy Helton, Rotary Club of Pigeon Forge, winner of the 1st “John Germ Rotarian Serving Humanity Award” for David’s support in managing the Oak Ridge Rotary Community Fund as the mechanism to take in and supply funds to the Boyd’s Bear Center.  Over $250,000 was collected for this effort in the ORRCF.


Major Donors – 9

Paul Harris Fellows – 100%

Rotary Foundation Sustaining Members

  • Exceeded our goals with a record contribution of $32,000 to the Rotary Foundation and $8,500 to Polio Plus.


Highlights of Service Projects and Programs

  • District Governor Fred Heitman made his official Club visit on August 2, 2016, when he met with the 3 Oak Ridge Rotary Club Boards.
  • The first Annual RCOR Golf Tournament was held a Centennial Golf Course on Friday, September 23, 2016. This fundraiser was chaired by Rotarian Don Tillar and raised close to $3,000 which was used as the club share of our District Grant for the Scarboro Community Garden.
  • The 17th Annual Street Painting Festival raised over $11,000 for scholarships at Roane State Community College.
  • Seven Club members represented RCOR at the Membership/Foundation/New Generation Seminar
  • On November 16, 2016 at the fundraiser kickoff at Pollard Auditorium, the three Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs donated $10,000 to the Oak Ridge Peace Pavilion which will serve as a new housing for the Peace Bell.
  • RCOR had 7 attendees at the District 6780 Million Dollar Dinner on November 19, 2016 at Cherokee Country Club. The Dinner was a special event to celebrate and raise funds for the 100th anniversary of The Rotary Foundation.  A $10,000 donation was required to attend and the dinner raised a total of $3,675,000 for The Rotary Foundation.
  • The Annual Meeting for the election of officers and a club assembly was held on December 15, 2017
  • The RCOR hosted a 4-Way Speech Test Contest which was won by the only contestant, Amadou Mbaye.
  • In recognition of World Rotary Day, the ORRC partnered with the Breakfast and Sunset Rotary Clubs of Oak Ridge to develop an insert related to Rotary members and activities that was included in the Oak Ridge Observer Newspaper.
  • The 3 Oak Ridge Rotary Clubs held a joint fundraiser at the Oak Ridge Marina called the “Flatwater Festival.” It brought in some $7,000 and netted around $1,000 in profit.  $200 of that was donated to the Emory Valley Center in memory of Rotarian Dr. Gene Caldwell who passed away this year.
  • The Oak Ridge Founders Scholarship will now be managed by RCOR. A total of $150,000 was in the fund and Rotarian Scott Smith spearheaded the effort to bring the fund under our control.
  • RCOR partnered with the Rotary Club of Clinton to sponsor a new Rotaract Club at Roane State Community College. RCOR Rotarian Adolf King will serve as the school liaison.
  • Met the District Governor’s Goal for a Service Project each month with the following:
  • July – Hunters for the Hungry Program
  • August – Soles for Souls
  • September – Golf Tournament to Raise funds for OR Community Garden
  • October – Street Painting Festival to benefit Roane State Foundation
  • November – Dental Services
  • December – Sevier County Firestorm- Victim Support Project
  • January – Food Bank Support
  • February – Sevier County Firestorm- Victim Support Project
  • March – Solar Light Project in South Africa
  • April – Secret City Commemorative Walk Clean Up
  • May – Distribute Soap and Shampoo to charity
  • June –Flatwater Festival
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RCOR President’s Message for September/October

The Rotary Club of Oak Ridge has been quite productive in the months of September and October.  Many thanks go to RCOR member Don Tillar, General Manager of Centennial Golf Course, for taking the lead for the Golf Tournament Fundraiser that was held at Centennial Golf Course on Friday September 23rd. Don Tillar, his staff and the Rotary committee that worked with Don on this event, Jack Bailey, Jim Charles, Steve Fielden, and Pat Row, did a great job organizing our first (hopefully annual) golf tournament fundraiser!  $2,600 was raised to provide funds for our Oak Ridge Community Garden project.  Our club submitted a 2016-2017 District Grant (as a substitute for our delayed Women’s Shelter grant) which, if approved, will increase this amount to $5,000.  These funds will support the development of a community Garden, which is intended to be a safe, educational place for children and the citizens of OR to come together to grow fresh produce for local food banks and personal benefit.  The plan is to have 24 plots located near the Spurgeon Chapel AME Zion Church in the Scarboro Community, with 3 of them being used to grow produce which will be donated to local Church food banks.

We really appreciate all the golfers that came out to play, the sponsors and Chick Filet for providing the delicious lunch.  Because of our efforts, people in our community who are hungry and in need will be fed with healthy food grown with loving hands.  Once again, RCOR is exemplifying “Rotary Serving Humanity”.

One of our other community outreach programs is our sponsorship of the Interact Club at Oak Ridge High School (ORHS). Carol Welch and Mary Jane White are co-chairing our Youth Services Committee and have done a wonderful job working with the leadership at ORHS and encouraging students to join Interact this year.  Our club sponsored five ORHS students to Rotary Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA) at Camp Nakanawa in Crossville, Tennessee.  RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth in a one-day, hands-on, leadership skills development program, which is open to outstanding High School Juniors with demonstrated leadership qualities. 165 students from 45 different Rotary Clubs in District 6780 attended RYLA this year-the best attendance ever!

To recognize September’s theme of “Basic Education and Literacy,” our club is participating in the Dictionary Project with the Sunset and Breakfast Rotary Clubs.  RCOR members will be handing out dictionaries to every third grader in the Oak Ridge Schools in October.  Dictionaries help children build a fundamental skill needed for literacy.  We teach them how to look up words they come across but don’t know.  Suddenly, the sentence that they didn’t understand, has meaning.  That is literacy!

On Saturday October 1st, we held the annual Street Painting Festival at Roane State Community College.  The weather was perfect and our festival was a resounding success, bringing in some $11,000 for scholarships for Roane State Community College.  Accolades to Melinda Hillman and Nancy Harrison for organizing this year’s festival and to committee members Tom Row, Adolf King and Jennifer Enderson for all of their support.  My personal thanks to all of the ROCR volunteers that gave of their time to ensure smooth operations.  And of course, we thank all of the artists that came out to share their talents with us in their beautiful chalk drawings and Jim Dodson for serving as our judge.

To recognize the fact that October is “Community and Economic Development Month,” State Senator Ken Yager and Mayor Warren Gooch spoke to our club about our state and our community.  Thanks go to our program committee (Tracy Boatner, Stacey Pratt and Darrell Akins) which has brought us an excellent array of speakers so far this year.  If you have any ideas of programs you would like to seek, please share them with our program committee.

Next month is Foundation month, so please take a minute to see if you have met the giving goals of our Rotary Serving Humanity Campaign, in which we ask every member to:

  • Give at least $126.50 to the Rotary Foundation
  • Give $40 to Polio Plus
  • Give $100 to the Community Fund

If you haven’t yet done so, November will be an excellent time to make your donations!

Thanks to all of you that have made and are continuing to make our Rotary Club a vibrant, action-oriented club.  We have already achieved so much in the first 4 months of this Rotary year and I look forward to continuing to do all that we can to Serve Humanity and make the world a better place for all of us.



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RCOR President’s Message for August

August is Membership and New Club Development Month.  The District’s goal for this year is to increase membership by 5%, with 50% of the new members being women and 75% being less than 50 years old.  As President Elect, Jeff Cheek is our Membership Chair and he and I are meeting soon to finalize our membership strategy for the year and will be looking for committee members to support our plan.  We also need our members to think of friends and colleagues that would make good Rotarians and ask them if they would like to join other leaders to share ideas and make a difference in the world.  Many people have no idea what Rotary does, but once they find out, they often want to be a part of it.

On the morning of Saturday August 20th, District 6780 will hold a free training seminar for club members interested in Youth Services, the Rotary Foundation, and Membership.  This is a great opportunity for a club’s leadership team and other interested club members to attend a learn more about attracting and retaining members; about The Rotary Foundation and why and how funds are returned to the District/Clubs for grants; about Youth Service and the many ways Rotary and our District serves the youth of the world. To learn more and register, see the calendar for this date on DacDb or click here:   Membership, Foundation & Youth Services Seminar

As we move into the second month in the Rotary Year, our club is already doing so much to fulfill this year’s RI President’s theme of “Rotary Serving Humanity.”  Nancy Harrison is our Community Services director and has a project planned for every month.  Our club has already been very busy – we have made a contribution to Hunters for the Hungry to make meals available to those in our community who are in need of food, we are collecting gently used shoes for “Soles for Souls” and our $96,000 RI Global Grant for our Medical Mission to Ghana is well underway.   RCOR member Elanie Bunick is the lead for this grant.  She and Adolf King, also of our club, were members of the team that recently spent time in Ghana where the team treated over 1,800 patients and set the wheels in motion to begin work to equip and renovate the Medical Center in Wurupong.

Anne Dunthorn, our club Secretary and Elaine Bunick are planning to join Rotary’s Heart 2 Heart (H2H) trip to Mexico on November 2-9.  If you would like to join them on this trip to see Rotary’s service projects first hand, let Anne know.  More infromation is available at:  Heart 2 Heart Mexico Trip

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the OR Women’s Shelter Facility, the Board decided to return our District Grant to the District this year, with the intent of slipping it to Rotary Year 2017-2018.  Instead, we are now undertaking a service project that will develop an Oak Ridge Community Garden to be located in the Scarborough area.  The Garden will be divided into plots which people will be able to use to grow food for themselves and for the community.  PDG Jack Bailey is taking the lead for this project and can be reached at if you want to get involved or know more about it.

In addition, we have awarded 2 Vocational Scholarships to ORHS students and Jennifer Enderson, Vocational Services Director, has several other vocational awards planned for this year.  Jan Melcher has announced that our exchange student has arrived from France and will be attending ORHS this year.  We look forward to getting to know him!  Carroll Welch and Mary Jane White are co-chairing Youth Services this year and have already gained a lot of momentum working with ORHS to get support for the Interact Club and RYLA.

Of course most of this good work requires funding, so we have an exciting fundraiser planned for next month.  Don Tillar is the General Manger of Centennial Golf Course and a member of our club and he has taken the lead for our Golf Tournament Fundraiser to be held at Centennial Golf Course on Friday September 23rd.  So start working with your golfing friends now to get up a foursome and let Don know if you are willing to help out with this club initiative to raise funds for our new Community Garden project.  We will need folks at the Golf Course to help with registration, direct the golfers, serve food, etc.   For more information, Don can be reached at .

We continue to make efforts to utilize electronic media to improve our club operations.   Jeff Phillips is our Treasurer this year and will be happy to answer any questions you may have associated with paying your dues or making contributions to the Foundation via our new payment portals.  Charlie Jernigan has been working hard to re-vitalize our website ( and Naomi Asher has been sharing our successes on our Facebook Page.  If you haven’t seen our Facebook Page yet, check it out at The Rotary Club of Oak Ridge on Facebook.

As you can see, the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge is being led by a vibrant board of directors and with the help of our club members and support from District 6780, we are making a difference in the lives of people in our community and in the world this year!  I am honored to be a part of this great club!




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