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Centennial Back-Flash, 05-16-2019
Marshall Metro Rotary Club 1981-2018
The announcement of the forming of a new Rotary Club in Marshall was published in the February 13th, 1981 edition of the Marshall News Messenger, announcing the forming of the Rotary Club of Marshall Metro.
 
The first meeting as a provisional Rotary club was April 3, 1981, when officers and board of directors were elected.
 
The club was officially chartered May 7, 1981. It was sponsored by the Marshall Rotary club, H. A. Tony Bridge, Special Representative of District Governor Don Ross, Longview, District 583 (now District 5830). 
 
The President of the Marshall club was Kelly Baird, and Joe McGee and Charlie Smith were co-chairmen of the steering committee. Additional members of the steering committee were Billy Smith, George Rogers, Ed Baker, Truitt Ingram, and Dr. Ben Condray.
 
The Charter Banquet was held Friday, June 26, 1981, at the Ramada Inn of Marshall.
 
Bob Knowles was the charter president. 
 
The charter members were Mac Abney, Don Alford, Monte Bacon, Joe Black III, Wayne Courtney, Al Dillon, Billy Furr, Jack Gray, Jim Hartt, Bill Hinch, James Hortman, Gill Kidd, Bob Knowles, Dr. Bob Koenig, Luis Lopez, Pall Martin, Shields Mitchell, jack Sanders, Max Sandlin, Chuck Spenser, Allen Staggers, James Ware, Wallace Watkins, and Raymond Williams.
 
Formed initially as a convenient makeup the club, it soon became a significant contributor to civic and education affairs in Marshall and to world humanitarian and educational projects and programs. 
 
The club sponsored college scholarships for outstanding Marshall high School graduates, hosted International students and Group Study Exchange teams from around the world. 
 
It aided a group from Michigan, carrying buses, trucks, and books to Belize.
 
It sponsored RYLA students to a youth leadership camp in Carthage, sponsored a Back-Pack program for needy school students, in Marshall, and contributed several thousand dollars to the POLIO Eradication campaign.
 
It received outstanding club awards several years and worked tirelessly for the good of Marshall and District 5830.
 
The club sponsored Past District Governor Carrol Fletcher as District Governor for 1990-1991, who went on to lead the district to new highs in giving to the Rotary Foundation.
 
The turn of the century brought on many challenges for the little club, and its membership began to decline as the economy weakened and jobs were lost in Marshall, and Harrison County.
 
The club continued to support many of its civic, humanitarian, and educational programs even into 2018, when it participated in planting trees at the new elementary schools and junior high, but was unable to find a president for 20018-19, and sadly had to give up its charter and disband in June of 2018.
 
However, with the combined successes and contributions of the Marshall-Metro Rotary club and District Governor Carrol Fletcher, fresh in our memories, it can be proudly said that the Marshall Rotary club, and its members in 1981 who sponsored the Marshall Metro club, will be fondly remembered, when we honor them in “Celebrating a Century of Changing Lives – in Marshall and Beyond”, August 24, 2019, at the Marshall Convention Center in Marshall, Texas.
Rotary And The Schools
One of the most interesting things that the research of the past year and a half is the amount of time, money and effort that has been expended by Rotarians in the past one hundred years to build and support the schools in Harrison County.  We are indebted to the Marshall News Messenger and its predecessors for most of the verification of this fact. 
 
Even prior to the organization of the Marshall Rotary club, many of the men who eventually joined the club were adamant supports of the schools in Marshall.  For the most part the men who eventually would become Rotarians in 1919, were the ones behind the movement to raise the funds, build and finance the College of Marshall the previous four years.  
 
Less than two weeks after the club officially became the Rotary Club of Marshall, Texas, the club joined the Chamber of commerce to plan and organize a Teachers Institute in Marshall to be held in Marshall.
 
In September of 1919, when the College of Marshall opened for business, Rotarians were there welcoming the first students, making speeches and celebrating the event with great pride.  
 
In December, a College of Marshall fundraising report listed almost all of the members of the club as donors to the building fund and the library fund. In 1928 the club helped obtain the land and finance a $25,000 Nurses training building.
 
In 1920 the club published its “Standing Committees” list which included an Education Committee which was to be an integral part of the club’s committee structure from then on.  In addition to the Education Committee, the club added a Boys-Work committee and a Boy Scouts committee.
 
A couple of years later the Student Loan Fund was started to encourage students to attend college, which lasted until 1948, after which, the balance of the fund was converted to a scholarship grant instead of a loan.
 
In 1949 the first of two scholarships ever awarded by anyone until that year, was awarded from the Scholarship Fund to Miss Olga Miller in the amount of $450.  A second one was awarded by Ed Key, also a Rotarian.
 
In 1921, the club took a radical step in sponsoring a protégé Miss Alma Milstead to a professional singing career, awarding her a $1,000 scholarship to study under Dudley Buck a famous singing teacher in New York, and helped her raise additional money from concerts to fund her studies at the Julliard Graduate School.
 
In 1998, the club added another dimension to its educational program by offering scholarships to Juniors to stay in school and graduate. This is an ongoing program funded three to four Marshall High School students each year.
 
Aside from monetary incentives the club has actively supported and encouraged students in other ways, such as holding the regular club meeting in the school and eating the meal prepared by the students, and by inviting students to banquets and social gatherings, to emphasize, by example, the importance of education to their future lives.
 
These and the many other ways the Rotary club has aided our schools and and encouraged our young people in Marshall and Harrison county to have the best education possible, will be remembered when we celebrate our centennial event August 24, 2019.
 We encourage each of you to submit your own memorabilia, photos, anecdotes about these members and  projects to either the "Official" email of the Centennial Celebration committee, or leave a message on the dedicated phone number.
email: marshalltxrotary@gmail.com  ---  phone: (903) 471-8030 
Please contact your friends and family who have been a members of the Marshall Rotary Club and ask them to send us their email address, so that we can add them to this "Centennial Back-Flash" list, and share these stories with them as well
Russell Hampton
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