The Motto of Rotary “Service Above Self.”
When a member of the Fayetteville Rotary Club learned that there was not going to be a Christmas Parade in 1999, he approached his club and the other two Rotary Clubs, suggesting that this would be an excellent Community Service Project. The three clubs agreed and banded together to insure Fayetteville would continue to have a Christmas parade. They have undertaken the parade as a part of their Community Service Avenue, not as a fundraiser.
The Rotarians were fortunate that one of their members, Greg Gunn, had helped with a Christmas Parade in another city. He agreed to chair the parade. When his job took him to another city the following year, Johnson Chestnutt and Matthew Smith agreed to co-chair the Parade and continue in that capacity.
One of the goals set by the committee is to bring in as Grand Marshal, a Nationally known individual or character, that the children will know whether they just got here from California, or Texas, or Michigan, or have lived here all their life; one that the children can relate to, one who presents a good moral character and one who parents would not be displeased to see their child emulate. Past Grand Marshals were:
2000 Cmdr. Curtis Brown – Astronaut – originally from Elizabethtown
2001 Mr. McFeely – Speedy Delivery – of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood
2002 Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Sylvester,
2003 The Power Puff Girls,
2004 Fred Flintstone,
2005 SpongeBob Square Pants,
2006 – Cmdr. Bill McArthur – Astronaut – originally from Red Springs
2007 – The Rug Rats
2008 – The Carolina Garrison of the Fighting 501st Legion of Stormtroopers, a premier fan-based STAR WARS costuming club
2009 – Tom and Jerry
2010 – Scooby Doo
2011 – Fred Flintstone
2012 -Yogi Bear
2013 – Rotary Interact Clubs Pine Forest High School & Rotary Roteract Club Methodist University
2014 – Honoring the children of Fayetteville & Cumberland County
2015 – The Carolina Garrison of the Fighting 501st Legion of Stormtroopers, a premier fan-based STAR WARS costuming club
The Rotarians are very appreciative of the support they have been given by the community. The first Rotary Christmas Parade had about 50 entries; that has now grown to 110-120 units with some coming from out of state. Support from the business community has been a blessing. We have had several well known past sponsors as well as our current sponsors, News 14 Carolina/Time Warner, Family Foods, Taco Bell, and Long John Silver’s are lending great support to the Parade effort.
Rotary in Fayetteville
Fayetteville is fortunate to have three ROTARY clubs representing about 120 members. The Fayetteville Clubs come under Rotary International’s District 7730. The Fayetteville Rotary Club is the original Fayetteville club, formed on May 1, 1920. It is an evening meeting at 6:30 on Mondays at the Hamont Grill. The West Fayetteville Rotary Club was sponsored by the Fayetteville Club and admitted to Rotary on January 27, 1972. They are a noon club, meeting at the Heritage Place at 1:00 on Thursdays. The LaFayette Rotary Club was formed in December 1988. They are a morning club and meet at 7:30 AM at the Highland Country Club. It was sponsored by the West Fayetteville Club.
LOCAL ROTARY CLUBS SERVICE PROJECTS
In addition to sponsoring the Fayetteville Rotary Christmas Parade as a collective effort of the 3 local clubs are individually involved in many Service projects such as:
The Rotary Cumberland County Golf Championship
Rotary Junior Tennis Tournament
Rotary Cottage at the Boys and Girls Home at Lake Waccamaw
Rotary Loudermilk Scholarship Award at Methodist College
Downtown Linear Park Overlook
RAD – Rotarians Against Drugs – A program in the Cumberland County Schools
Cumberland Community Foundation – West Fayetteville Endowment Fund, supporting charitable projects in the Fayetteville area
Dictionary Book Club – Provides dictionaries to 3rd grade classes in Cumberland County
Roger Red – A program for troubled youth which helps get them back in school and provides mentoring and help with their personal lives.