HISTORY OF BUFORD/NORTH GWINNETT

The Rotary Club of Gwinnett sponsored lunch at the Falcon Inn in Suwanee with Club members Jim Hinshaw, Ed Radford and Bill Brogdon explaining the basics of Rotary to approximately 30 potential members. A small core group began meeting at the Allen/Bailey Mansion in Buford with programs provided by the Gwinnett Club as well as all start up expenses.

On June 23, 1994, 24 members, all with no previous Rotary experience were inducted into the new Rotary Club of Buford. A wonderful meal at the Allen/Bailey Mansion was provided for Rotarians and their spouses by the sponsoring club. Governor Bob Miller and several other Rotary leaders committed their support.

Officers were chosen, monthly meetings were begun, decisions made, and policies enacted. Some of which were:

  1. The secretary would call if a member missed two meeting in a row.
  2. Greeters were assigned for each week with the added responsibility of doing the Invocation for that week.
  3. Thank you notes were written to each speaker.
  4. Members were encouraged to sit with different members each week.
  5. $2 fines were assessed if a member did not wear their Rotary pin, left a meeting before the speaker, or arrived 15 minutes late.
  6. An employee handbook was developed by Andy Henderson
  7. Each week there was a door prize, which was donated by Larry Henderson, Peoples Bank.
Several priorities were also decided on:
  1. To build Club strength
  2. To build Club fellowship
  3. To bring in potential new members
  4. To have a fundraiser
  5. To have a community service project

Our first Community Project held in October, 1994, chaired by Steve Cannon, was selling Blimpie Sandwiches at the Buford Arts Festival. The Rotary Banner was hung to gain exposure for this new club. One of members, Rick Pruett, performed at the festival. In November, we held a food drive to benefit the North Gwinnett Cooperative.

No Club is complete without some social time and what better time to have a social than Valentines Day. Phillip Perkins chaired this fun event, which was held in the Henderson Room at the Peoples Bank. This is also where our Club first started meeting.

Members were assigned a week to be responsible for an Auction item. The proceeds of these auctioned items were used to do a Paul Harris Fellowship. Our Club's goal was $2000.

David Meyer chaired our first Golf Tournament, which netted a grand total of $5769. Scholarships to Gwinnett Tech were presented to Amy Everett of NorthGwinnettHigh School and Marty Elkins from BufordHigh School.

Our Rotarian of the Year was Larry Henderson. Larry was very active in the startup of our club. He documented our club progress with his camera, provided a meeting place, a weekly raffle and gift for our speaker. He also attended International Rotary in Nice, France.

Buford Rotary Club proposed a $10,000 grant to be provided for Chota Village, Malawi, Africa. This project was completed in June 1996.

In November, 1995, the Rotary Club of Buford had 28 members and 89% attendance for the month.