Club History

The Rotary Club of the Carterville Area was chartered on June 30, 1997 with 25 Charter members. Carterville Rotary is a local community service club chartered under the bylaws of Rotary International which is the largest worldwide community service organization. The Charter President was John Streuter, along with officers Greg Tatham - Vice President, Evelyn Fuqua - Secretary, and Lisa Murray - Treasurer. Seven Charter members remain in the club today, Carl Cottingham, Rich Davis, Clay Goodwin, John Kiesling, Jim Koonce, Mark Krones, and John Streuter.

The club participates in many activities locally, as well as, internationally. Some of the main focuses of Rotary are higher education, the eradication of polio, humanitarian relief, and global peace through education and international exchange programs. Rotary's motto is Service Above Self. Rotary also promotes ethics within business through the promotion of their Four Way Test. Locally the club has participated in the ILL Adopt-a-highway program, funding of scholarship programs, mentoring students, and sponsoring school dances. The club each year raises funds to assist the Community United Pantry, Pat's Kids, Lighthouse Shelter, Smile Foundation, DARE, Heart Association, Arthritis Foundation, American Cancer Society, The Haven, the Women's Health Conference, the Teen Health Conference, the Men's Health Conference, News In Education, Hand's of Hope Free Clinic, and many other programs. Some of the more unique local projects with the assistance of Rotary grants have been the purchase of flag poles for Tri-C Elementary, the Anne West Lindsay Library, and the Carterville High School. The club established the FROGGY reading bag program at Tri-C Elementary. The club purchased and planted trees, shrubs, and flowers for a child's Nature Walk at TLC Learning Center. And, facilitating the purchase and building of new cages for the local Free Again animal shelter program.

The club raises funds for these projects and donations through multiple projects; the most notable is the annual Carterville Chamber/Rotary Golf Scramble. On the International front, the club has sponsored numerous inbound and outbound exchange students and adults under Rotary's Student Exchange and Group Study Exchange programs. The club has raised funds every year since 1997 to support the Rotary Polio Plus program and the Rotary Dist 6510 Belize Crippled Children's program. The club also raises funds for the Marion Medical Mission which builds shallow water wells for poor communities in Africa and Shelter Box which provides shelter and life sustaining supplies to areas worldwide that have been ravaged by storms, earthquakes, or other tragedies.

The club participates in supporting the Rotary International Foundation through support of the Paul Harris Fellowship. A member becomes a Paul Harris Fellow by donating $1000 or more to the RI Foundation. The Carterville club has over 20 Paul Harris Fellows. The first Carterville members to become Paul Harris Fellows were Dick & Connie Carlisle. Each year the club recognizes one of their own as Rotarian of the Year and a local community member as recipient of the Service Above Self award. The first Rotarian of the Year was Jim Koonce. The first recipient of the Service Above Self award was Carterville's own Steve Stevenson.

There are many other notable members of the Carterville community that have been recognized as Rotarian of the Year, or, as a recipient of the Service Above Self Award. The club itself has received numerous awards from their District and Rotary International. The club continues today, stronger than ever, and has a membership now over 40 members.