News from the Tuscaloosa Rotary Memorial Foundation: By Jim Shamblin

Posted By rotary

Historically the RC of T did not do large projects as a club. The civic leaders of Tuscaloosa were members and we supported their projects, but we did so as individuals. In fact, in the late ‘60s, Ed Christopher, a former club president, long time Ex. Secretary of the club and PDG, who was the Boy Scout Executive, asked the club to donate $3000 to improve the kitchen facilities at the Scout camp and the club declined.


About 1970, some of the club leadership started talking about having a significant club project. For many years, Stan Bloom’s father, Bill, who was a former club president, had entertained foreign students at the UA. Stan, who had served in Germany during WW II, and had helped his father with the students, had many contacts at the University and he talked with the University President David Matthews about the possibility of us doing something there. They came up with the idea of taking an old fraternity house scheduled for demolition and turning it into a place where foreign and American students could live together and learn more about other countries. A meeting was held among our leadership and the proposal was adopted and a goal was set to raise $50,000 from the membership and move forward with the building of the Tuscaloosa Rotary International House. Actually about $65,000 was raised and Lloyd Wood did the renovation and furnishings at his cost of $50,000. The House was dedicated in Stan’s year as president, 1973-74, and William C. Carter, the RI President from England, attended and spoke.

Current club members who were founding members of the TRMF include Bob Amason, Bruce Baughman, Stan Bloom, Frank Deaver, John Duckworth , Joe Brown Duckworth, Gary Fitts, Howard Garrison, Jim Hughey, Jim Shamblin, Bill Jessup, who served as treasurer for many years and John Owens, who served as President also for a number of years.

A list of the projects of the TRMF can be found at the back of the club pictorial directory. With the payment of $100,000 to Caring Days, we have given over $800,000 to our community. I want to thank the two outstanding chairs for the Caring Days drive, Pam Parker and John Owens.

We normally have club projects every three years and ask people to give a three year pledge to attain our goal. We will finish the Caring Days pledges in June 2013 and then it will be time to select another project. All of our projects are club projects and we need your input. The TRMF board will start interviewing potential recipients in Jan. and will present a new project to the club in late spring for its approval. Please get your suggestions to one of the board members by Nov.1.

The TRMF Board members are:

To serve until June 30, 2013- Rufus Lewis, John Snider, Alan Hartley

To serve until June 30, 2014- Charles Nash, Diane Salls, Joe Wheeler

To serve until June 30, 2015- Pam Parker, Frank Deaver, Jim Shamblin

The TRMF Board has decided to start recognizing major donors beginning with the Caring Days campaign. The certificates will be given when the pledge is completely paid and the first ones will be awarded at the club meeting on Sept. 11. If you plan to complete your pledge soon, please do, so that you will be included.


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