Our History

HISTORY OF REYNOLDA ROTARY CLUB
Club #21534
District 7690

Chartered January 6, 1984

1982 Pete Hondros, Dr. David Burr (Winston-Salem), and Jim Kitchen (Stratford) meet to talk about starting a third club.

1983 On August 24, Dr. Burr presided at the first meeting of the provisional Rotary Club held at RJR Headquarters. There were 18 prospective members. A nucleus committee of Winston-Salem, Stratford, and the new club was formed:

David Burr
Wade Phillips
Bob Sprinkle
Marcus Crotts
Don Hamrick
Pete Hondros
Will Mann
Larry Sheppard
Fred London

The second meeting was held on September 23 at the Holiday Inn North with 19 charter members and seven from Winston-Salem and Stratford. At the October 14 meeting, the name “Reynolda Rotary” is selected. Friday, 12:30 p.m. chosen as the permanent meeting time. Meetings were to be held at the Holiday Inn North.

Board of Directors: President Pete Hondros
Vice President Wayne Roquemore
Secretary Larry Sheppard
Treasurer Will Mann
Director Warren Carr
Director Clarence Gaines
Director Bill Voiers
Director Jim Fyock

The Charter was received on January 6, 1984 with a celebration at Winston Square on March 21, 1984. Rick Wesley was the Master of Ceremonies. Pete was unable to finish his first term due to illness, and Wayne Roquemore completed the year for him. The Charter members were:

Wayne Brown
Tom Cannon
Warren Carr
Gerald Chrisco
Lloyd Daniel
Mel Eyerman
Louis Forrest
Jim Fyock
Clarence Gaines
Pete Hondros
John Hunt
Whitney Jones
Bob Keleman
Fred London
Will Mann
Tom Mullen
Bill Petree
Sam Rhyne
Larry Robbs
Wayne Roquemore
Wilson Russell
Gene Sharp
Larry Sheppard
Arnold Sidman
Paul Sinal
Dan Taylor
Bill Voiers
Rick Wesley
Dennis Young

1984-1985 Larry Sheppard was the first full-term president. Community Service began by working with the Salvation Army Boys’ Club. It was decided that “we wanted Rotary to be fun without compromising its’ principles of service and goodwill.”

1985-1986 Dan Taylor was President during what became known as the “Where Is the President?” year. Dan says that his year as President led the way foranyone else to be president and that came to pass the very next year.

1986-1987 Rick Wesley was President when we earned the club’s first district citation for doing well. We raised $16,850 for the Polio Plus campaign. This was the year we let Gary Strickland join the Club.

1987-1988 During Bill Voiers’ term the first women were admitted. They were Kitty Green (1/15/88) and Gayle Anderson (2/5/88). Our newsletter won its first district award. We began to develop the first directory. We hosted exchange students from Brazil and Austria. We received a Presidential Citation. The meeting place moved to AT&T.

1988-1989 Jim Clapper hired Lynn Ebert as Executive Secretary. His greatest legacy!

1989-1990 Mike Wells was President, in spite of the fact that he came from West Virginia. We helped build Habitat for Humanity house and had record support for the Benevolence Fund. The membership process was refined. Members enjoyed a bus trip to a Charlotte Hornets game.

1990-1991 During Will Mann’s term we hosted a group study exchange from Osaka, Japan. The Community Service and Vocational Service Committees sponsored six business/community tours for members of the Boys’ Club. We were represented at the first joint Piedmont meeting for Save Planet Earth. Our one mistake (ha! ha!) – Bert Wood was allowed to slip into the Club.

1991-1992 George Lautemann’s goal for the year was “to have fun.” We had two visits from the District Governor. Don Moore, Executive Director of the Boys’ Club was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship. Coach Gaines set the record as the winningest coach in college basketball. The Reynolda Rotary Review won the District 7690 Merit Award.

1992-1993 During Jim Fyock’s term our membership increased by 10%, and we sponsored a new club in Clemmons. For a brief time, we met at Staley’s Steak House. We received a Presidential Citation.

1993-1994 Sara Smith was our first female President. We began meeting at the Lawrence Joel Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, and our membership passed 100 for the first time. We began “drafting” committee members, and the Board began meeting after lunch on the first Friday of the month. Passing of the President’s Coat tradition began.

1994-1995 During Paul Sinal’s term, we sponsored our first member of a Group Study Exchange – Steve Lyda went to Norway. We also hosted a group from Norway. We held an art auction as a fund-raiser. The Reynolda Rotary Reviewwon the District 7690 Club Bulletin Award. Pete Hondros, our first President, died.

1995-1996 Jim Martin initiated the International Service Committee to begin looking at opportunities for international service. We hosted a group study exchange from Denmark.

1996-1997 During Tom McDowell’s presidency, we established a sister club relationship with the Rotary Club of Poznan, Poland. He, Robert Eshelman and Tom Taylor went to Poland. Later that year, we hosted a group of nine members of the Poznan Club.

1997-1998 Katherine Memory was President. We achieved an average of 76% and a total membership of 114. One hundred percent of our membership participated in the Benevolent Fund. Dues were increased to $125 per quarter, and we began filing federal income tax returns and established a 501C3 status for our Club. Reynolda Rotary Club won four awards:

District 7690 Membership Development & Retention Award for 1997-1998

Presidential Citation from Rotary International for 1997-1998

United Way of Forsyth County’s Community Volunteer Organization Award for 1998

Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service for 1998

1998-1999 J.D. Wilson was President. During his tenure, our membership rose to 124. We won the Presidential Citation. Continued relationship with Poznan Club. Agreed to co-sponsor Habitat House with the Clemmons, Kernersville and Winston-Salem Rotary Clubs. Katherine Crosby was one of our guest speakers. Charter Members automatically took the Senior Active Classification during January 1999. Stuart Fountain was District Governor.

1999-2000 Charles Hauser was President. John Haynes was District Governor. Hurricane Floyd devastates Eastern North Carolina. We raised $5515 that was sent to fellow Rotarians in District 7720. Executive Secretary Lynn Ebert was acknowledged and thanked for her 10 years of service. Our sister-club in Poznan, Poland sent Wojciech Siepnewski to spend about five weeks in the U.S. Wojciech is the son of a Rotarian in Poznan. We sent student Spencer Robert, who was hosted by the Poznan club, for an additional five weeks. Secretary Bill Petree established a web site for us. Our web address is www.reynoldarotary.org. Reynolda, Winston-Salem, Clemmons, and Kernersville Rotary Clubs built the “Rotary House” in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. We won Club Bulletin Award at District Conference for “large club”Reynolda Rotary Review.

2000-2001 David McMillan was President. Jack Greene was District Governor. We completed the Habitat for Humanity “Rotary House.” The District sponsored a Lithuanian exchange student, Marius Grazenbergas; he attended our club meetings a few times. The Reynolda Rotary Review stopped being mailed to the entire membership. Those that requested it, now receive the Review via e-mail. District Governor-Elect, Terry Alexander, died. President-Elect Florence Corpening represented us at International Conference, held in San Antonio, Texas; PETS, and District Assembly. Don’t forget the jokes that President David told each week. RI Theme was “Create Awareness, Take Action.”

2001-2002 Florence Corpening was our President — the 20th of our Club. PDG Stuart Fountain was again District Governor (due to death of District Governor-Elect Terry Alexander). District Theme was “Make Terry Proud.” RI Theme was “Mankind is Our Business.” Forty-six (46) from our club attended a meeting sponsored by the Chamber and the Winston-Salem Rotary Club in which the proposed Wachovia /First Union merger was the topic. Due to LJVM Coliseum construction (enlarging the Assembly Room and Administrative Offices), we met in various locations for a while (from July 13, 2001 ‘til March 2002 , we either met in the Home & Garden Building, Bridger Field House or the Main Lobby of the Coliseum). We had a push to increase our Paul Harris Fellows and Sustaining Members. At the end of this fiscal year, we have 60 Paul Harris Fellows (2 of these are Benefactors) and 23 Paul Harris Sustaining Members. Four of these were made Paul Harris Fellows during this fiscal year. We took in 6 new members and maintained an average of 60% attendance within the district.

2002-2003 Warren Steen was our President. Henry Brown was District Governor. RI Theme was “Sow the Seeds of Love.” “The Power of One” was the District Theme. We began this year with membership at 127. Our August 16 program brought record attendance as everyone came out to hear Honorary Reynolda Rotarian and Congressman Richard Burr. Friday, August 23 was Reynolda Rotary Night at the Ballpark, which DG Brown also attended. We’ve re-established contact with our sister club in Poznan, Poland. We hosted the GSE Team from Nigeria, taking them on company tours and hosting a banquet in their honor at the Piedmont Club. We kicked off our Centennial Project; our project is Cook Elementary School. Our club won the Gold Club Award for our projects/work this fiscal year; award presented at District Conference.

2003-2004 Our president was Emmett McCall. Robert Newton was District Governor. RI Theme was “Lend a Hand.” Our August 1 meeting was held at Cook Elementary School (our Centennial Project partner). We held our 1st Annual Reynolda Rotary Yardsale, where many of the proceeds will benefit Cook. Our December 19, 2003 meeting was held at Cook School, where we scattered so that each classroom had 4-5 Rotarians in addition to its teacher. Each classroom played Christmas Bingo and made holiday crafts, and each child received a holiday stocking filled with toys and candy, along with a football for the boys and a doll for the girls. January 6, 2004 marked Reynolda Rotary’s 20th Anniversary, which we celebrated by having a special program during our January 23 meeting. For a week in April, we held a Book Fair for the students at Cook. We hosted the GSE team from Mexico; our nominee to the out-bound GSE team, Catrina Thompson, was accepted.

2004-2005 Gerald Chrisco was this year’s president. Don Allred was District Governor. DG Allred’s visit took place at Cook Elementary School. Additionally, ADG Ed Robbins, WS/FC School Superintendent Don Martin, and a few school board members were present. October 16, 2004 was the 2nd Annual Reynolda Rotary Yard Sale, held in the parking lots of Blue Rhino/Southern Community Bank. February 2005 we held our first Fish Fry, with proceeds going to Cook School. Clarence “Big House” Gaines died at the age of 81. He was a charter member of our Club. We won the United Way Volunteer Organization of the Year award.

2005-2006 President this year was Lionel Branscomb. Phil Morris was District Governor, and he made his visit to our Club on August 26. RI Theme was “Service Above Self”. On September 27, 2005, Reynolda Rotary was honored by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board for all our work at Cook Elementary School. Jim Fyock, our 11th club president, passed away October 8, 2005. He was a Charter Member of Reynolda Rotary. We held a Family of Rotary Event: Wine Tasting on March 3, 2006 at Pinebrook Country Club. Proceeds benefitted the Benevolence Fund. All the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders from Cook Elementary School joined us at our June 2, 2006 meeting. It was an End-of-Year Celebration. The students arrived at the Coliseum in stretch Hummers. In addtion, we had several school board members to join us. June 16, 2006, we held the 1st Annual Reynolda Rotary/Clarence “Big House” Gaines Golf Tournament. Twenty-nine teams participated. Proceeds go into the Gaines Scholarship Fund that we have at the Winston-Salem Foundation.

2006-2007 Robert Eshelman was this year’s president. Mitzi Ellis was District Governor. “Lead the Way” was our RI Theme. One of our members, Thorns Craven, was the GSE Team Leader for the out-bound team that went to Scotland. We then in turn hosted the Scotland team when they visited in the spring of 2007. June 8, 2007 was the 2nd Annual Reynolda Rotary/Clarence Gaines Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament, again held at Salem Glen. We raised $11,949.

2007-2008 Our president was Mark Thompson. David McCoy was District Governor. RI Theme was “Rotary Shares”. The District Governor visited our Club in August, and we met that day at Cook Elementary School. Our Club’s nominee (Sam Seifert) was selected to take part in the out-bound GSE trip to Taiwain in 2008. Past President Emmett McCall died December 11, 2007 following a long battle with lung cancer. In addition, Rotarian Don Hayes passed away May 11, 2008, also from cancer. Using points that our club had accumulated with Rotary International, Reynolda Rotary is a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club! We sponsored John Toner as an Ambassadorial Scholar, and he is spending this year in Bolivia. The 3rd Annual Reynolda Rotary/Big House Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament was held at Salem Glen. It was a huge success with 28 teams playing.

2008-2009 President this year was Sylvia Oberle. Charles Allen was our District Governor. Reynolda Rotary turned 25 years old as our club was chartered January 6, 1984. In recognition of this milestone, we held an Anniversary Gala on March 20, 2009 at Deacon Tower. Former Reynolda Rotarian and Past President Rick Wesley was the night’s emcee. All past presidents received invitations to attend. Lynn Ebert celebrated 20 years as Executive Secretary of Reynolda Rotary. This year’s theme was MAKE DREAMS REAL. We sponsored Jenna Farris to India as a GSE member, and after the trip came back to speak as one of our programs.

2009-2010 Bill Hinman was president. The District Governor was Mike Conrad. We fell short of our Benevolence fundraising goal this year. However, we held a very successful 5th Annual Big House Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament. We changed the location this year and held the tournament at Oak Valley Golf & Country Club. Clara Gaines was inducted into our club as an Honorary Member. An award for Rotarian(s) of the Year was begun. Debbie Cesta and Bill Park were the winners for this year.

2010-2011 Steve Poe was president. Wes Patterson was District Governor. Rotarian of the Year was Tom Bosworth. The year 2011 saw the culmination of many years of effort to establish the Bighouse Gaines Scholarship at Winston-Salem State University. Endowment paperwork was signed creating the scholarship at the WSSU Foundation, and $70,000 was transferred to the Foundation to fund the scholarship. Also, during the year, the Club held another successful Bighouse Gaines Golf Tournament, raising nearly $10,000. The Club also continued its support of Cook School, including the Book Fair, the Christmas Party, and the Teacher of the Year Award, which went to Sarah Gado. Many members also continued to volunteer as tutors at Cook School. The Benevolence Fund raised almost $15,000, from which a number of gifts were made. The largest of these was the prepayment of the Club’s pledge to the District 7690 Polio Eradication effort, in the amount of $6,000. This gift actually put the District “over the top” in the District Governor’s goal for the entire district. Membership of the Club increased during the year, including the induction of 13 new members. This achievement was recognized at the District Conference in Wilmington, at which Reynolda Rotary was presented the District’s Arnold Schiffman Membership Development and Retention Award.

2011-2012 Larry Robbs was our president. Terry Titus was District Governor. We had yet another year of outstanding programs. Senator Richard Burr was one of them, giving us his “Washington Update”. Daphne Schneider, Youth Exchange Student from Chile, attended Mt. Tabor High School and stayed for a while in the home of Jerry Smith as well as other local families arranged by the District. Reynolda Rotary won the Significant Achievement Award for our work with Cook Elementary School. DG Titus presented the award during one of our meetings and read from a letter to us from RI President Kaylan Banerjee. Rotarian of the Year was Perry Peterson.

2012-2013 Bill Park was our president. Rick Snider was the District Governor. Slava Driglov, from Moldova and a student at WSSU, was our club guest this year. He was interested in learning about Rotary and took part not only in our lunch meetings, but outside events such as the Cook School Book Fair and evening socials. We announced our first recipient of the Gaines Scholarship; she is Sandra Quinsaat, a graduate of Atkins High School. Rotarians of the Year were Beth Boswell and Marilyn Parker. Tom Bosworth resigned from our club and will be moving to Thailand. We honored him at our last meeting of the fiscal year with an Honorary Membership in Reynolda Rotary, and presented him with a Memory Box of cards, notes, etc. from fellow club members.

2013-2014 Debbie Best was our president this year. Kathryn “Cookie” Billings was this year’s District Governor. Slava Dirglov continued to be active in our membership during his time as an MBA student at WSSU. In fact, he arranged for a Moldovan little league team to come to Winston-Salem and play in a tournament against Southwest Little League. Our club hosted the Moldovan team as guests at one of our weekly meetings. The Reynolda Rotary Review changed its format; it is now e-mailed to 95% of our membership; just a few still want to receive hard copies. Charter member and past president (he was our 6th), Bill Voiers, died October 29, 2013. Reynolda Rotary celebrated 30 years (we were charted January 6, 1984). The 9th Annual Big House Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament was held June 13. We secured a Global Grant, worth over $40,000 that will enable girls’ bathrooms to be built at schools in India. This is an educational grant because it will allow those girls to continue their education. The Winston-Salem and Western Forsyth Rotary Clubs contributed funds for this grant. Reynolda Rotary won GOLD CLUB from District 7690. Rotarian of the Year was John Baicy.

2014-2015 Greg Brewer was president this year. District Governor was Patrick Eakes. Effective July 1, Reynolda Rotary moved its meetings to Forsyth Country Club. After 21.5 years at the LJVM Coliseum, we felt it was time to move after new management took over the coliseum. Shyree Holmes is our 2nd Gaines Scholarship Recipient; she is a graduate of R. J. Reynolds High School and was accepted into WSSU, Class of 2018. Saddest news of the year was the death of John Lewandowski, who suffered a stroke in early February and died about 10 days later. He had worked tirelessly on global issues. Memorial contributions were sent to RI in his memory for the Polio Plus campaign. Rotarian of the Year was John Lewandowski. John’s daughter attended our last meeting of the fiscal year to receive John’s award.

2015-2016 Lloyd Barnhardt was this year’s president.  District Governor was Larry Lassiter.  Pam Ray took over as Assistant District Governor for Area 4.  First Lady Deloris Lassiter spearheaded the first ever District 7690 Cook Book.   Several of our club members bought copies.  We held yet another successful 11th Annual Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament.   Service projects that our members took part in were:

  • Ringing the Salvation Army Kettle Bell
  • Providing Dinner at the SECU Family House
  • Providing support and volunteers for the Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament
  • Volunteering our time at the N.C. Mission of Mercy Dental Clinic

A Global Grant for $30,000 was obtained allowing grant recipient Morgan Christie to study at Oxford.  The Wake Forest University Rotaract Club completed its first full year as a chartered club. Rotarian of the Year was:  Bob Parker.

2016-2017   Darryl Head was president while Jonathan Spillman was District Governor.  Lloyd Barnhardt served as Chair of Membership for Area 4 of the District.   We had an active Family of Rotary year with socials held at Juggheads Growlers & Pints, Hickory Tavern, Five Points, and Fratellis and community service with the Ringing of the Salvation Army Bell and providing dinner at the SECU Family House, a Habitat for Humanity Build and our many projects with Cook School.  We also had a group attend a WSSU basketball game (as part of Family of Rotary).  Our benevolence campaign was a resounding success as we surpassed our financial goal!  We also made a financial contribution the Polio Plus campaign of Rotary International, which will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allowing over 39,000 children to be vaccinated against polio.  Our 12th Annual Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament was held at Bermuda Run Golf and Country Club.   Several of our members and their guests attended the District Installation and Family of Rotary Event held at the Winston-Salem Dash.  Rotarian of the Year was Taylor Shipley.

2017-2018   Holly Marion was this year’s president.   Lloyd Navarro was District Governor.   Past President Jim Clapper (1988-1989) passed away.  Former Reynolda Rotarian Mel Pearce passed away April 28, 2018.  Mel was for many years our Gaines Golf Tournament Director.  Once again we provided classroom holiday parties at Cook Literacy Model School.  Reynolda Rotary was the host club of the 2018 Women of Rotary Luncheon.  Held at Forsyth Country Club, the speaker was Dr. Julie Freischlag, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  A whopping 185 people attended.  Reynolda Rotary held several social events at such places as the Vintage Sofa Bar, WSSU basketball game, Pintxous Pour House, and Riverbirch Lodge.    We participated in the District’s RUSH event, where at Hanes Mall, we helped build a structure out of canned goods.  Once the structure was dismantled, the canned goods were given to those that needed food assistance.  We surpassed the Benevolence Campaign goal of $17,000.  Our ByLaws were revised and approved by the Board and the full Membership.     The 13th Annual Big House Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament was again played this year at Bermuda Run Country Club’s West Course.  We fielded 21 teams.  Our first two Gaines Scholars — Sandra Quinsaat and Shyree Holmes — graduated from WSSU.  Rotarian of the Year was:  Gerald Chrisco.

2018-2019   John Baicy was our president.   Claudia Cannady was District Governor.  This year marked Lynn’s 30th as Executive Secretary.  We collected $2500 over 10 months at our weekly meetings and sent it to CART.   We held a very successful 14th Annual Big House Gaines Scholarship Golf Tournament at Bermuda Run Country Club.  25 teams vied for bragging rights.  Reynolda Rotary grew with 20 new members inducted this fiscal year.  We were super active in the community by volunteering our time and financial support to:

Educator’s Warehouse

Tour de Tanglewood

Men Who Cook

Empty Bowls

Salvation Army Bell Ringing

From our benevolence funds, we were able to continue our support of Cook Literacy Model School as well as financially support 9 non-profit agencies that applied for grant funding.

Past District Governor Marcus Crotts died June 8, 2019.  He was also a founding member of Reynolda Rotary and visited our club often.

Rotarian of the Year was: Lloyd Barnhardt.