The Yadkin Valley Rotary Club will hold its annual New Year’s Lunch on Friday. Local families have been supporting the fundraiser for more than 10 years.
The Yadkin Valley chapter of Rotary International was founded 22 years ago by Dr. Hal Stuart, Donna Thompson, Dr. Steve Erlandsen, Carolyn Holcomb and Ann Ashman. The club has grown to about 30 members involved in dozens of service projects each year, according to David Shepherd, service committee member. “‘Service above self’ is what Rotary is all about,” said Shepherd.
The club’s projects are both international and local. The Stop Polio Project, providing clean water in Uganda, and purchasing a cow for a European village are part of their international service. “It is a great organization; so many don’t realize how much Rotary does for local folks,” Shepherd said.
On the local level, Rotary has partnered with groups such as Habitat for Humanity, Elkin Valley Trails Association, Elkin City Schools and Boy Scouts of America to complete projects for the community in addition to providing funds for programs at The ARK, the Elkin Rescue Squad, Tri-County Christian Crisis Fund, and the Grace Clinic.
The New Year’s Lunch will raise funds for scholarships benefiting students from Elkin, East Wilkes and Starmount high schools. Sponsors for the event are: The Tribune, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Hugh Chatham Family Medicine, First United Methodist Church of Elkin, Elkin Fairfield Inn & Suite, LifeStore Insurance in Elkin, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, First Citizens Bank in Boonville, Elkin Creek Vineyard, Elkin Academic Enrichment Foundation, Inc., Edward Jones, Greenhill Environmental, Homescapes Interior Design, LLC, Century 21 Hudspeth Properties, and Jerry and Sarah Stroud.
“One hundred percent of the proceeds go toward scholarships and back into the community,” Shepherd explained.
The traditional meal of country ham, collard greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread represents wealth for the coming year. “We use Omegia Seaford’s recipe for the collard greens,” said Shepherd, explaining she began the annual meal as a tradition for her own family. The event became so popular that Seaford asked the Rotary to become involved.
“We expect to feed between 200 and 225 people,” Shepherd said. Drinks and desserts also will be included. Free door prizes will be awarded every 30 minutes.
The meal will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 340 Hawthorne Road in Elkin. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, with a take-out option available.
“We have new members every year,” said Shepherd, noting interested people are always welcome to attend a meeting. Meetings are held at 7:30 a.m. every Wednesday at the Fairfield Inn.
Diane Blakemore may be reached at 336-368-2222 or on twitter @PilotReporter.