CARY MACGREGOR ROTARY CLUB HISTORY
Club Organized: 12 June 1991
Admitted to RI: 25 June 1991
Number of Charter Members: 46
President: K.S. McIver, Jr.
Sponsor Club: Cary
Special Representative: Dick Ladd
District Governor: Donald B. Hayman
One of our charter members, Dorrie Williams gives an interesting insight to the early years:
“My most vivid recollection of those first couple of years was Wythe Quarles and his Rotary programs.
His greeting was always big hug and a kiss and there was always a story he wanted to tell. The smell of
his pipe and the sound of his laugh meant Mr. Rotary was with us again. He worked so hard to teach us
about Rotary and was a joy to have around. When we’d go “off track”, he would patiently try to bring us
back and tell us, once more, the Rotary way it was to be done. You see, we learned to stand up when the
District Governor came to visit, we were instructed to give generously to the Rotary Foundation, and we
heard over and over to recruit, recruit, recruit!”
Another of our Charter Members and Past President, Larry Kingsley, shared his thoughts about our
beginnings: “Our first order was to get up to speed in Rotary protocol and learn the 4-Way test. From the
very first meeting, we had fun, and fun has continued to be a hallmark of our club. We decided that the
Paul Harris award was something that our club would promote and thus began our tradition of very
generous contributions to the Rotary International Foundation.”Sandy McIver was our first President.
Bob Branch was our second year President and he, together with President-elect Ron Smith
worked to move the club from organizational stage toward strategic planning for the future. There was an
emphasis on leadership training, and the club during Ron Smith’s term voted to send two people to PETS,
the president-elect and the president-elect nominee. This allowed the club’s officers to be more directly involved
in long range planning and club involvement.
Carol Allen was our President in our fourth year, and that was the first year of our Freeport
Bahamas School project lead by Bill Sears, a project that has ignited our club spirit over the years as we
helped with the needs of this school. Carol provided strong leadership to our club, and later became our
District Governor. She has continued to mentor us with her special talent and knowledge of Rotary ideal
Bob Basnight was our next President, and that was the first year of our tennis tournament. This
was the annual major fund raising project of our club for a number of years along with participation in
Cary Lazy Days. Bob continued to push hard for contributions to the Rotary Foundation and increased
Paul Harris participation.
Will Jansen was our sixth President, and he promoted involvement with the handicapped and
adoption of a family at Christmas time in addition to our ongoing programs. At our Christmas Luncheon,
visually impaired employees at the Holiday Inn Reservation Center that Will managed were invited to
lunch and to sing for us.
Larry Kingsley was our President in 1997-98. The theme for that year was “Urge each other on”.
“Ramps for Rotary” was a big project that year and four more ramps were constructed for the
handicapped. We also helped buy generators and food to help out ice storm victims in the northeast
United States and Canada. We even helped buy pigs for a poor village in the Philippines. We began
sponsorship for at risk students tutoring and that project continues on an ongoing basis.
Bill Puckett was President in 1998-99 and he and Kenneth Ray who served as President in
1999-2000 worked very closely together to continue the programs already begun and to promote both
international programs and community involvement. Our club, through our members, raised over $10,000
to help victims in eastern North Carolina. We were active in promoting cooperation with other Rotary
Clubs in our district on joint projects and in hosting the Group Study Exchange visit.
The year 2000-2001 was our club’s 10th Anniversary, and it was a special year of
accomplishments. Louis Gutierrez was our President, and Carol Allen was our District Governor. (We
were so proud of her!) Our club received the Presidential Citation for club accomplishments and made
great progress in the avenues of service. We raised over $20,000 through the Tennis Tournament and
Lazy Days Festival. Two vocational scholarships worth $4000 were presented to two worthy candidates
out of fifteen total applicants. Community groups benefiting from Rotary support were YMCA, Life
Experiences, Creating Assets Reaching Cary Youth, The Carying Place, and Interact. The contribution to
Interact was the largest donation in the history of our club at that time to a community organization. The
Volunteer Room at Interact’s office on Wade Avenue bears a plaque with our club’s name in recognition
of our contribution toward the purchase of their building. In the International realm, we sponsored
matching grants projects to provide a bathroom for the Paul Harris Home for Children in Chincha, Peru,
and for the Rotary Village in El Salvador; donations and trips to benefit the Freeport Bahamas School.
The installation dinner in June honored our new President, Ernie McAllister and fifteen Charter Members
who are still active in our club. A special plaque was given to Carol Allen in recognition of her dedication
to Rotary and her service as District Governor.
In 2001-2002, Ernie McAlister was our President, Jack Lancaster, President-Elect, Brian White,
Vice-President, Dan Hawley, Treasurer, Jane Pierce, Secretary, Bob Basnight, Sgt. At Arms, and the
following were Board Members: Sharleen Trimble, Randy Weaver, Jane Demeritt, Jeff Peterson, Bill
Snell, and Past President Luis Gutierrez. Our international theme was “Mankind is our Business”, and the
Cary MacGregor Club followed this theme in continuing with local and international projects.
During Jack Lancaster’s term in 2002-2003, we renewed our efforts to help the Boys and Girls
Home, and Kate Hovis spearheaded this effort We started the three year Polio Plus Campaign and had a
great start. In fact, we almost reached our three year goal the first year. We continued to work toward
annual sustainer gifts to assure the future work of Rotary Foundation. We recruited six new members; we
donated fifteen new hearing aids for young kids in Bolivia; developed a new and improved club
committee system, and made $13,000 from our tennis tournament.