In May 1991, the Gate City Rotary Club was formed when 36 men and women assembled under the sponsorship of Sam Hummel, Joe Gawthrup, and other members of the Crescent Club. Jerry Bolling was elected president along with five other officers and three directors-at-large.
In its first two years, the Club met each Thursday at 7:00 a.m. in the basement conference room of the (former) Ramada Inn on West Market Street. The only breakfast Rotary Club in the area, Gate City quickly established its reputation as a popular make-up club. This circumstance allowed the early forging of ties to the existing Rotary Clubs and the Club was rapidly assimilated into the District leadership fold with several ongoing and new multi-club projects at both the local and international levels.
The following year, the Club moved its meeting place across the street to Greensboro College the to the Board of Realtors building off West Wendover Road. In 1994, the Club moved to the Starmount Country Club and thereafter to our current location at the O’Henry Hotel. During this formative time, Gate City established itself as a strong sibling in the local Rotary family and provided core leadership in significant local projects, including Preserve Planet Earth (which resulted in the regional planting of one million trees over a five-year period) and Neighborhoods United, where Bob Krumroy spearheaded a city-wide effort to renew an entire community in east Greensboro, an undertaking which received national attention.
At the district level, the Gate City Club and its members also received accolades as the Club was cited on occasions with the highest percentage attendance award, and for our newsletter. Club members attended district conferences in increasing numbers. Gate City Rotarians were asked regularly to participate in Youth Leadership, Foreign Exchange Hosting, and similar seminars and programs sponsored by other local clubs. A charity basketball game to benefit Neighborhoods United drew sponsorships from several clubs under the leadership of Tim Albertson and Robby Hassell. And at the opening of Greensboro’s new Central Branch Public Library, Gate City Rotary was on hand to help dedicate its own bench in Arnold Schiffman Park.
By the mid-1990’s, the Club sought to expand its international focus as well. From the outset, Club Presidents were sent annually to the conventions of Rotary International. Gate City has also had a high percentage of Paul Harris Fellows among its membership; in January 1997, at a district banquet noting the 50th anniversary of the death of Paul Harris, ten members, a full 20% of the Club, were recognized as new Fellows. In addition, under the leadership of Debra Hauser, Gate City sponsored funded projects and scholars abroad as well as youth exchange students at home. Gate City Rotary was on its way toward touching the lives of many, not just in Greensboro, but around the world.
After more than a decade of service, Gate City Rotary remains an active membership supporting community charities such as the Children’s Home and Camp Carefree. The Club membership willingly volunteers its time to support Greensboro Clean Sweep, Street Clean-up, Camp Carefree fix-up, annual “bell ringing” with the Salvation Army and other worthy causes. Gate City Rotary enthusiastically embraces services to vocation, community, club and the world, in keeping with the timeless four-way test, handed down by the founders of Rotary.