ROTARY DISTRICT 7680 IN NORTH CAROLINA
HISTORY OF ROTARY 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.”
HISTORY OF DISTRICT 7680
- There were four Rotary districts in North Carolina in 1989, (767, 768, 769 and 770) when the Governors initiated the process of forming into six Rotary districts, (7670, 7680, 7690, 7710, 7720 and 7730). Local PDGs instrumental in establishing the district’s firm footing included T.C Plexico from the Rotary Club of Concord, Don MacKay from Charlotte North, Dr. Paul Helms from Monroe, Mark Markanda from Charlotte East and Mr. Smith from Salisbury.
- District 7680 was established July 1, 1992 with 2,750 Rotarians and 39 clubs-29 from District 767 and 10 from District 769. Norman Schul, from the Rotary Club of Charlotte North, served as the first District Governor; Bob Miller from North Wilkesboro, as the first District Governor-Elect; T.C. Plexico, PDG from Concord, as the first District Secretary; Duane Kohari from University City, as the first District Treasurer; Fred Culbreth, PDG from Charlotte North, as the first District Conference Chair; Dr. Paul Helms, PDG from Monroe, as the first Membership Chair; Don MacKay, PDG from Charlotte North, as the first International Services Chair; and Mark Markanda, PDG from Charlotte East, as the first Rotary Foundation Chair.
- As the first Rotary Foundation Chair, Mark Markanda, PDG introduced our annual Rotary Foundation Banquet, which has since enjoyed outstanding speakers such as two RI Presidents, four Past RI Presidents, two RI President-Elects, a Chairman of the Rotary Foundation, a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation and multiple current or past RI Directors.
- 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 Rotary Club of Charlotte is the district’s oldest club (chartered on December 1, 1916), followed by Gastonia (January 1, 1920), Salisbury (May 1, 1920), Statesville (1921), Concord (1922), Mooresville (1922), Monroe (1922), Belmont (1925), Shelby (1927), Wadesboro (1927), Albemarle (1928), China Grove (1936), Ashe County (1938), Taylorsville (1938), and Rockingham (1939).
- At Rotary year-end in June 2018, District 7680 had over 2,650 Rotarians in 58 clubs in the 14 counties.
- District 7680 Firsts:
- 1st Rotaract Club in the world, chartered at UNC-Charlotte on March 13, 1968, and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Charlotte North.
- 1st Rotary district to organize a Flight of Honor, taking WWII veterans to Washington DC’s WWII Memorial in 2008.
- 1st Rotary district to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, with 65 climbers, mostly Rotarians from our District, raising over $175,000 for Rotary's End Polio Now campaign since 2012.
- 1st Million Dollar Dinner in the Zone to raise nearly $4 million for The Rotary Foundation in October 2013. This event was organized by PDG and DRFCC Firoz Peera and Charlotte Club President John Tabor.
- 1st ranked district in the world for Presidential Citations in 2016.
- Home to recipients of four major Rotary International awards in 2018.