History of Rotary District 7680
The following are some highlights from Rotary’s history in North Carolina:
- North Carolina’s first Rotary club was formed in Raleigh on August 1, 1914, becoming the 124th Rotary club in the world. Nearly all of the North Carolina clubs are descendants of the Raleigh, Wilmington or Richmond, Virginia, clubs.
- Rotary began organizing into districts (first called divisions) in 1912. North Carolina’s earliest clubs (1915-18) were in District 4, which included the southeastern part of the United States south of Washington, D. C. and Maryland.
- In 1918, the Rotary Clubs of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina were grouped together to form District 7. Governors from North Carolina serving District 7 were: Howard E. Ronthaler, Winston-Salem (1918-19); Roger W. Davis, Charlotte (1919-20); and Roger Moore, Wilmington (1922-23).
- In 1923, North Carolina and Virginia were reorganized into District 37 and, by 1926, the number of clubs organized in North Carolina was sufficient to form a district within the state, creating District 57.
- Enough clubs existed in the piedmont and eastern areas of North Carolina in 1937 to form two districts. By 1946, North Carolina was divided into four districts and today has six.
- There have been three Rotarians from North Carolina who came up through the ranks to become President of Rotary International. First was Eugene Newson, from Durham N.C. in 1929-1930, followed by Charles G. (Buzz) Tennent, from Asheville, N.C. in 1957-1958.
- In 1967, Luther H. Hodges became president of Rotary International. Hodges was governor of North Carolina from 1954 to 1960, and served as Secretary of Commerce from 1961 to 1965. His Rotary theme for 1967-68 was “Make Your Rotary Membership Effective.”
- District 7680 was established July 1, 1992 with 2,750 Rotarians and 39 clubs, 29 from District 7670 and 10 from District 7690. Norman W. Schul, from the Rotary Club of Charlotte North, served as the first District 7680 Governor (1992-93).
- District 7680 is noted for its support of The Rotary Foundation, its programs for youth and as “the Birthplace of Rotaract” with the founding of the first Rotaract Club at UNC-Charlotte on March 13, 1968, by the Charlotte North Rotary Club.
- The Charlotte Rotary Club is the district’s oldest club, chartered December 1, 1916, followed by Gastonia (January 1, 1920) and Salisbury (May 1, 1920).
- At Rotary year-end 2013, there were over 2,850 Rotarians in 58 clubs in the 14 counties which make up District 7680.
- In October 2013, District 7680 hosted the first ever Zone 33 Million Dollar Dinner. That event raised almost $4 Million Dollars for the Rotary Foundation. This event was organized by PDG and DRFCC Firoz Peera and Charlotte Club President John Tabor.