Established in 1922 Charter No. 1177 District 6670
CLUB OFFICERS 2022-2023 President: Wes Surritt Vice President: Dana Daugherty President-Elect: Dana Daugherty Secretary: Beverly Giffin Treasurer: Mike Penn Foundation Chair: Blain Bergstrom Membership Chair: Steve Pearce PR Chair: Angela Shepherd
Club Service: Blain Bergstrom Community Service: Andrew Surritt International Service: Mike Penn Vocational Service: Immediate Past President: Ron Coffey
FESTIVAL CHAIRMEN Andrew Surritt Wes Surritt Ron Coffey
OFFICERS FOR RALPH W. PHILLIPS RECREATION & CIVIC CENTER Cleve Bartley Larry Hayes Steve Pearce Steve Hunter Mike Penn Kevin Sinnock Dana Daugherty Wes Surritt
PAUL HARRIS FELLOWS The following have been named Paul Harris Fellows to honor their contributions to Rotary. For each Paul Harris Fellowship, either the member or the Greenfield Rotary Club donated $1,000 to the Rotary International Foundation. The foundation's funds make possible many humanitarian projects around the world. George M. Waddell, 1985 Harry V. Turner, 1986 Wilson L. Moon, 1986 Charles O. Shonkwiler, 1987 Willard Anderson, 1987 Allen M. Johnson (in memory), 1988 Thomas W. Doyle, 1988 No award in 1989 Paul S. Wisecup, 1990 B.R. Duckworth, 1991 Ralph W. Phillips, 1991 Patrick L. Hays, 1992 Sam Daugherty, 1993 Floyd Bartley, 1994 Donald K. Anderson, 1995 Bill Buck, 1996 Steve Hunter, 1997 Wilbur Seilkop, 1998 Dan Crusie, 1998 Ron Coffey, 1999 Steve Pearce, 2000 Jim Weller, 2001 Judy Spargur, 2002 Dean Gardner, 2002 Jack C. Weinrich, 2003 No award during 2004 Clifford Wisecup, 2005 Larry Hayes, 2006 Dr. Rick Mizer, 2006 Peter Quance, 2007 Jackie Gardner, 2007 Barb Barton, 2008 Scott Lovett, 2008 Chuck Miller, 2009 Mike Penn, 2009 Sandra McNeil, 2010 Terry Fouch, 2011 Blain Bergstrom, 2012 David "Boonie" Brizius, 2013 Charlotte Phillips, 2013 Bernard Hester, 2014 Cleve Bartley, 2014 Wes Surritt, 2015 Angela Shepherd, 2016 Virginia Purdy, 2017 Beverly Giffin, 2017 Andrew Surritt III, 2018 Heath Fettro, 2019 No award in 2020 Dr. Eric Borsini, 2021 Tammy Wells, 2021 Eric Zint, 2022
OUR CLUB The Greenfield Rotary Club sponsors the annual Greene Countrie Towne Festival during the third weekend of July each year, and is involved in many community projects. On a national and international level, the club participates in many projects for the benefit of others.
PROJECTS "One profits most who serves best." So says the Rotary motto, and our club has fun serving the community. The Rotary Club of Greenfield owns and operates the Ralph W. Phillips Recreation and Civic Center, the scene of many community activities, including basketball games, Christmas parties, dances and other events. Proceeds from building rentals help pay the operating expenses, but the club supplements its income through spaghetti dinners, the Greene Countrie Towne Festival and other activities to keep this valuable community center operating. Each spring the Greenfield club joins forces with the Hillsboro Rotary Club to raise funds for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults. This organization offers assistance to Highland Countians in need without the red tape often associated with charitable organizations. The annual radio-telethon in March has raised more than a million dollars since its inception in the early 1970s. Funds are expended for wheelchairs, hearing aids, orthopedic devices, transportation vouchers and a host of other uses. Highland County is proud of this amazingly successful program of people helping people. As fundraisers, Greenfield Rotary sponsors a pair of spaghetti dinners each year -- one during football season and one during the basketball campaign. The club also sponsors the annual Greene Countrie Towne Festival during the third weekend of July. Funds from these and other projects are returned to the community through the above activities and other projects and donations. If you would like to know more about Rotary, contact any member of the Greenfield club.
Rotary supporters honored at 2022 Appreciation Dinner; Zint named PH Fellow
Buyers of of limited-edition prints and other supporters of Greenfield Rotary Club were honored at the club’s annual appreciation dinner October 26, 2022 at Buckeye Hills Country Club.
Club President Wes Surritt welcomed members and guests to the annual event, which featured a delicious meal of prime rib, chicken or a vegetarian option. The club president expressed gratitude for the excellent community support shown by the print buyers at the 2022 Greene Countrie Towne Festival and introduced a number of special guests, including Assistant District Governor Beth Huber of the Wilmington Rotary Club; Greene Countrie Towne Festival Second Queen’s Attendant Khadijah Coleman, Bonnie Baldridge, who is involved with the Greene Countrie Towne Festival Queen Pageant, artist Tammy Wells, who has created the limited edition prints sold at the festival since 2003, and John and Paula Miller of the Greenfield Antique Tractor Club.
Unable to attend but receiving praise for their contributions to Rotary were auctioneers Gary and Mandy Binegar, Matt and Ellen Binegar and Rod Halterman, and the Greenfield Antique Car Club.
A highlight of the evening was the announcement of a new Paul Harris Fellow honored for service to the club and the community. The honoree for 2022is Eric Zint, a local pharmacist who has done much work behind the scenes even though he is rarely able to attend Rotary meetings because of regulations that require him to be present at the pharmacy during regular meeting times. Eric, who joined the club in 2006, expressed surprise and thanks for the recognition and called himself “a child of Rotary” while noting that even as a child he witnessed many Rotary activities because his father was a member of the club.The announcement was made by Pat Hays, a longtime Rotarian who said the list of local Paul Harris Fellows begins with George M. Waddell, Greenfield’s first and only District Governor, and reads like a “Who’s Who” of community boosters.
Hays explained that the Paul Harris Fellowship is named in honor of Rotary’s founder, who with three other businessmen launched the very first Rotary club in Chicago in 1905. The club sends $1,000 to Rotary International for each Paul Harris Fellowship it awards, and the money is used to help people around the world as part of the international organization’s outreach.
It appears that the club has now sponsored 51 Paul Harris Fellows since it made George M. Waddell the club’s first recipient in 1985.
Beth Huber, Assistant District Governor from Wilmington, congratulated the Greenfield club on its rich history of community involvement and partnership with Rotary International over the past 100 years and wished the club well as it enters its second century as a service organization. Huber shared some thoughts about the changes and challenges many Rotary clubs are facing and offered the district’s assistance with any strategic planning the Greenfield club may want to pursue as it looks to the future.
Huber noted that the District 6670 Four Way Speaking Contest is scheduled March 26, 2023 at Wright State University and encouraged the club to put on a local contest prior to that date so that the local winner can advance and compete for prize money.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by the McClain High School Show Choir under the direction of Miss Loretta Flora.
The evening concluded with a drawing for table arrangements. In closing, President Surritt thanked everyone who attended and noted that, whether they are Rotarians or not, they deserve thanks for their efforts on behalf of the Greenfield community. Surritt expressed his gratitude to Angela Shepherd for coordinating details for the festive dinner and program.
Greenfield Rotary ending sponsorship of Greene Countrie Towne Festival
After 35 years of sponsoring Greenfield’s summer festival, currently known as the Greene Countrie Towne Festival, the Rotary Club of Greenfield has decided to step down from the role of festival sponsor. Fortunately, it appears a new organization is being formed that wants to carry on the traditions of the festival with some new energy and ideas, and likely some changes.
“We have talked about this for awhile,” said current Rotary President Wes Surritt, “and we feel that this is the right time for us to step away from sponsoring the Greene Countrie Towne Festival. Initially we wanted to provide enough notice so that if another group wanted to sponsor the festival they would have time to make plans, secure funding, book attractions and so on.”
The good news is that a new organization is being formed for the purpose of sponsoring a new festival in Greenfield.
“From what we have been told, there will be a festival but it may have a different name, date and some format changes,” Surritt said. “The committee is still in the process of getting organized, and so we will leave it to that group to make an announcement when they are ready.”
Ohio House of Representatives recognizes Greenfield Rotary Club's century of service
The House of Representatives of the 134th Ohio General Assembly has recognized the Rotary Club of Greenfield for its 100 years of service.
Greenfield Rotary President Wes Surritt showed members the congratulatory proclamation, signed by 91st House District Representative Shane Wilkin and House Speaker Robert R. Cupp, at the club's August 18 meeting.
The proclamation notes that the Greenfield Rotary Club "has attained a praiseworthy record of service to the area" in the century that has elapsed since the formation of the club in 1922. "Since its inception a century ago, the Greenfield Rotary Club has enhanced the quality of life within the surrounding area, and its generous contributions have earned it the gratitude and respect of the many citizens it has so capable served," the proclamation reads. "We are certain that as this fine endeavor maintains its unfaltering dedication to service, it will continue in the tradition of excellence that has become its hallmark."
"We appreciate this recognition and look forward to new opportunities to serve in the years ahead," President Surritt said.
The local Rotary club meets each Thursday (except holidays) at 11:30 a.m. at the Catch 22 Sports Pub.
Big crowds enjoy Rotary's 2022 Greene Countrie Towne Festival
The 2022 Greene Countrie Towne Festival attracted large crowds by utilizing a combination of great talent, traditional attractions and excellent weather.
Many people brought their own lawn chairs and filled Jefferson St. for the featured entertainment, which included Eagles tribute band Hotel California on Friday night. Saturday evening entertainers included rising Nashville talent Jess Kellie Adams, who blended a selection of original songs and covers with an entertaining band, and Garth Brooks tribute act Fresh Horses. Weather conditions were nearly perfect on Friday and Saturday for festival goers to enjoy the Greene Countrie Towne Festival Queen Pageant, antique tractors provided by the Greenfield Antique Tractor Club, and the 54th annual Antique Car Show presented in honor of longtime members Charles and Rita Shonkwiler by the Greenfield Antique Car Club.
Local entertainer Rockin' Ron provided music for all ages from his station downtown, and plenty of festival food and drink kept everyone cool.
The Greenfield Rotary Club's annual action was well supported again this year, providing some nice items and 10 limited edition prints created by artist Tammy Wells to commemorate the club's 100 years of service to the community. The club was founded in May 1922 and has done numerous good works in the community through the years, including operating the Ralph W. Phillips Community Recreation and Civic Center (the former armory), sponsoring the festival since 1987, and contributing to various community causes and events (see the ROTARY HISTORY page for more about the club).
Some special recognition was given to Tammy Wells for creating the limited edition prints since the early 2000s. In addition to being named a Paul Harris Fellow by the club (which included a donation of $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation in her name), the club also selected Tammy as Grand Marshal of the parade this year. As she passed by the grandstand during the festival parade, the following announcement was made:
"Our parade Grand Marshal for 2022 is Tammy Wells, an outstanding artist who has been a great friend of the Greenfield Rotary Club for more than 20 years. Since 2003, Tammy has created many limited-edition prints about Greenfield people, places and history and allowed the Rotary Club to sell them at the Rotary Auction.
"While we don’t have an exact total, the proceeds from the sale of these prints have generated several hundred thousand dollars for our Rotary Club.
"Proceeds from sale of the prints are used to help us put on the festival, take care of the Ralph W. Phillips Community Recreation & Civic Center, and to fund other good works for our community.
"In recognition of Tammy’s achievements on behalf of Rotary, we have named her a Paul Harris Fellow – an award named after the founder of Rotary – and selected her as Grand Marshal of the 2022 festival parade. Thank you Tammy Wells for generously sharing your talents with the Greenfield Rotary Club!"
In the annual Queen Pageant, local resident Abby Wise was crowned to represent the festival around the state of Ohio during the coming year.
On Sunday, talented gospel singer Dusty Barrett gave a concert prior to the parade, wowing listeners with his impressive range and tone.
Sunday was also Edward Lee McClain Day at McClain High School, and approximately 100 people gathered near the hallowed marble stairs to commemorate the incredible gift to the community by Edward Lee and Lulu Johnson McClain. A proclamation honoring the McClains was read and ELM Day founder Larry "Rock" Roosa gave some heartfelt comments about his alma mater before turning things over to Danny Long, well known for his portrayal of E.L. McClain, for more details about the philanthropist's life and decision to give the community a gift intended to do "the most good for the greatest number for the longest time." The gift, a one-of-a-kind art-filled high school, looks as good as ever, and continues to fulfill Mr. McClain's wishes more than a century after it first opened in 1915.
Most festival activities took place as scheduled, although weather conditions Sunday caused concern. The festival's final event, a performance by the Modern Movement Dance Company, was moved to the MHS auditorium out of regard for the safety of the dancers due to the inclement weather forecast.
In keeping with longstanding tradition, all entertainment provided during the festival was FREE to the public.
"On behalf of the Greenfield Rotary Club and the other organizations involved in the festival, we thank everyone for coming and supporting the activities," said Greenfield Rotary President Wes Surritt.
Jim Weller was known as "Mr. Festival" for his many contributions to the festival sponsored by the Greenfield Rotary Club.
Remembering Jim Weller at festival time (Note: The following information was posted on Facebook by Annette Weller, daughter of the legendary Greenfield Rotarian Jim Weller, who was a fixture at the Greene Countrie Towne Festival for many years. Thanks for the memories, Annette, and may we long remember the hard work, dedication and contributions of your father as we approach festival time.)
By Annette Weller
My dad (the late James [Jim] Weller) became a Greenfield Rotarian in 1993, soon after he returned to his hometown. By 1996 he was a big influence on this festival and helped organize, setup, run and close down this wonderful community event, from the time he became a Greenfield Rotarian in 1993 to his passing in 2015.
Though dad was always stressed and exhausted for the days and weeks before and during the festival, he always had a smile on his face starting from the opening ceremonies Friday evening through Sunday evening. There was always something that needed his attention but he loved watching the people of Greenfield and the surrounding area enjoying the fun and fellowship with each other. Dad fully believed in following the ROTARY FOUR WAY TEST (Is it the TRUTH, Is it fair to all concerned, WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS, Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned).
Dad’s main thing he wanted to accomplish with each year’s festival is how could the Greenfield Rotary Club build GOODWILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS within the village of Greenfield and the surrounding areas. All the proceeds that the Greenfield Rotary club receives from the booth rental to the auction and etc. all come back to Greenfield in many different ways.
Jim and the Greenfield Rotarians work almost 51 out of 52 weeks of the year on things for the festival. This is not just something you can just throw together at the last minute. It is like working another 40+ hour a week job on top of a regular full time job. So many logistics to work out (getting permission to close the streets, finding ride companies that are not already booked for another festival [and the last few years trying to find replacement rides and activities when the company backs out at last minute], trying to get the community to give appropriate suggestions or offering to be in charge of a contest or activity.
Dad really enjoyed interacting with the community and seeing all the smiling faces. Dad was even nick-named by his fellow Rotarians “Mr. Festival.” From the time that my dad became a Rotarian he and most of my family that live in this area have helped in some way. But the last few years we have had so many issues come up that has made it very difficult to help like we used to and the way we would like. But I truly hope and pray that everyone enjoys this year’s festival. Please try to thank any and all of the Rotarians that you see this weekend for their hard work and dedication. And remember this festival/party is for you.
Rotarians of Distinction being recognized during club’s centennial As part of Greenfield Rotary’s centennial celebration in 2022, the club decided that it would be a good idea to commemorate some of the organization’s Rotarians of Distinction, and so a page has been added to this website for that purpose. In one way or another, every local Rotarian has had some kind of a positive impact on the community of Greenfield through their membership in the service organization, their business activities, by giving of their time and resources, and in other ways as well. We hope to add to the list as time permits, and welcome nominations, information and photos from those who have known past or present Greenfield Rotarians and would like to help with this project. Suggestions can be sent via the “Contact the club” window at the bottom of the home page of this website.
50th annual Ernie Blankenship
Radio-Telethon surpasses $120K!
The 50th Annual Ernie Blankenship Memorial Radio-Telethon March 30, 2022 brought in more than $120,000 in pledges as the Rotary Clubs of Greenfield and Hillsboro put on events to entertain, educate and raise money for the Highland County Society for Children and Adults. The events took place from 7-9 p.m. in the two communities, emanating from the GCTV Studios at McClain High School in Greenfield and the Hillsboro Orpheum. Viewers watched on local Spectrum TV channels or via streaming over the Internet, with periodic updates given by WVNU 97.5 FM and WSRW Radio 1590 AM. The Hillsboro telethon event was live-streamed on the Society’s website, hicoso.org and remains available for viewing. At the end of the evening, $114,561 had been pledged, but additional pledges and donations were received over the next several weeks. For more information, as well as photos, visit the HCSCA page.
Patty Day new executive secretary for HCSCA
The Highland County Society for Children & Adults has appointed Hillsboro resident Patty Day as the new executive secretary of the organization to replace the late Gayle Coss. Day was appointed at a meeting of the society’s board of trustees held Jan. 24, 2022. Day has been a nurse for more than 38 years and received her master’s degree in nursing from Otterbein College. She is certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She and her husband, Herb Day, own and operate Fun Oldies Herb Day Radio and the Red White and Blue Herb Day Country Radio stations. Patty has served on Hillsboro City Council since July 5, 2019. She is a board member for the Hope for Highland County organization and a member of the Southside Praise and Worship Center Church. Patty has been a lifelong resident of Highland County. She and her husband reside in the city of Hillsboro with two of their 13 grandchildren, Braylin and Patrick. Patty and Herb have three children, Aaron, Karly and Corey, and another son, Chuck, is deceased. Day is the fifth person to serve as executive secretary of the society. Helen Lowell was the first, followed by Betty Collins, Nina Wharton and Gayle Coss. Patty is the contact person for those seeking assistance with medical expenses, equipment, travel and related expenses. She can be reached by telephone at 937-393-2142, by email at email@example.com or by mail at Highland County Society for Children & Adults, P.O. Box 792, Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. On Wednesday, March 30 the Rotary Clubs of Greenfield and Hillsboro will join forces to raise money for the HCSCA. The Ernie Blankenship Memorial Radio-Telethon will be the 50th such event for the benefit of children and adults in Highland County.