Chattanooga Rotary Club Begins New Year With 36 New Members And Supporting Non-Profits

Monday, July 11, 2022

The Chattanooga Rotary Club, the area’s oldest and largest civic club, welcomed Virginia Anne Sharber as its 109th president on July 7.  Ms. Sharber noted a strong year under her predecessor Craig Holley’s leadership which has the club well positioned for the future.

“Craig Holley set a high bar for the club’s new year and I am grateful for his leadership,” said Ms. Sharber.  “We have 36 new members, an active membership of approximately 350 and a strong pipeline of emerging leaders interested in membership.” 

When the club was founded in 1914, the 24 club members were businessmen who met each week over lunch at the former Patten Hotel.  As the club grew, the meetings migrated to the Read House Hotel and currently are held each week at the Chattanooga Trade Center.  The club is now comprised of 30 percent female members (Ms. Sharber is the 4th female president of the club) and the average age is 56.  

The Chattanooga Rotary Club has an established track record of investing in international as well as local organizations making a positive difference in the communities they serve.  Last year, the club provided $54,950 in grants and donations to local organizations including Clinica Medicos, Girls Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Medal of Honor Museum, Miracle Field, Reflection Riding, Shelter Box, and Signal Centers.  Additionally, the club invested $10,000 in water purification projects in the Dominican Republic.  Club members donated $34,215 to support Rotary International’s project of eradicating polio worldwide and contributed $65,125 to an endowment for service projects.  

Launching the new Rotary year under the theme of “emerging from COVID”, Ms. Sharber said, "Programs this year will focus on the current status of our community and what business and employment, education, the arts, and health care will look like in the future.  Lessons learned from the last two years include the recognition that more flexibility is required to meet the needs of our members and community and the realization that Rotarians are uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in the world around us.

“At this pivotal time in our nation’s history, Rotary’s ‘Four Way Test’ which commits us to truth, fairness to all, the building of good will and better friendships, along with actions that will be beneficial to all concerned, is of utmost importance as we continue to stand with and support our community.  Rotary’s motto ‘service above self’ has never been more important to the Chattanooga Rotary Club than it is in these times and I’m honored to lead the club in the coming year."

 


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