Welcome to the Rotary Club of Marietta, the premier Rotary club in the District and one that abounds with enthusiasm, energy and friendship. Founded in 1919, it is one of the oldest and largest in Georgia.
This club has a wide range of projects and service opportunities local, national and international. There is literally something for everyone.
The ages of our members range from 27 years to 98 years and the interchange between the members gives enormous opportunities for learning, mentoring and networking.
The Rotary Club of Marietta meets most
Wednesdays from 12:15 until 1:00 at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Conference Center:
500 Powder Springs Street
Marietta, GA 30064
2014-2015 Club Leadership:
James Eubanks, President
Reuben Green, President Elect
Chris Bailey, Treasurer
Becky Sawyer, Secretary
Daniel Cole, Director of Club Administration
Carlos Rodriguez, Director of Club Service
Jennifer Nelson, Director of Public Relations
Caitlyn Cooper, Director of Membership
Sharon Mason, Director of the Rotary Foundation
Russ Wood, Past-President and Presidential Advisor
Walt Walker, MRFF Chairman
The Marietta Rotary Foundation Fund, Inc. (MRFF), is the vehicle through which the Club makes its charitable disbursements. MRFF was incorporated in 1963 with the petitioners being Harold Schilling, Speedy Meaders, Russell Dalton, and Phil Malonson. MRFF is a 501(c)3 charitable organization under the Internal Revenue Code and was formed so that members could deduct contributions from their income taxes and so that the Club Boards would have an organization from which to solicit contributions.
While boasting common membership, MRFF and the Rotary Club of Marietta are separate corporations with separate boards. The Club operates under the auspices of Rotary International, while MRFF is independent. The structure of MRFF’s board promotes continuity and is comprised of an elected chairman, an elected treasurer, the current Club President, the immediate Past Club President, and the President Elect of the Club. Dues to MRFF are approved by the members and requests for charitable disbursements must be initiated by the Club Board. MRFF’s Board, however, must approve all disbursements and has a fiduciary duty independent of the Club.
Prior to the 1999-2000 Rotary year, MRFF was operated on a cash-in, cash-out basis. While the Foundation did have reserves, investment income was negligible and the vast majority of disbursements were funded from member dues. Annual disbursements for the Georgia Rotary Student Program and a variety of scholarships and other donations totaled about $15,000 per year. The Club Board was additionally allowed approximately $2,500 for unbudgeted discretionary expenditures.
In 1999, Club President Joe DeSantis urged the Foundation to adopt a separate endowment and urged the members to substantially increase its dues to MRFF in order to expand MRFF’s current and future charitable presence in the community. After recommendations were made by a blue ribbon committee, the membership, by an overwhelming margin, voted to increase the dues to MRFF and voted to request that MRFF establish an endowment. The MRFF board, by a unanimous vote, did so. At the same time, MRFF bylaws were revised to protect the endowment corpus. Per MRFF bylaws, annual endowment disbursements are determined by the MRFF Board in an amount to allow substantial disbursements while insuring that the endowment continues to grow. Disbursements, in any case, cannot exceed 5% of the endowment balance on the preceding December 31.
The Endowment is funded by annual dues, proceeds from the Club’s weekly drawing, investment income, fund-raisers and donations from members and the public. Currently, the Endowment is approximately $250,000. The investment policy is recommended by a committee of professionals that reports to the MRFF board. The head of the investment committee is, currently, Billy Schroer.
Prior to 1986, a new chairman was appointed each year to oversee MRFF. Nonetheless, as an original petitioner, member Phil Malonson kept a constant and watchful eye on MRFF. In 1986, Phil’s oversight of MRFF was formalized as MRFF abandoned the practice of appointing a new chairman each year, in effect electing Phil as permanent chair. Phil held this position through 1998, at which time he recommended his successor, Walt Walker. Phil remained on the committee as an advisor until his death in 2001.
During MRFF’s existence, charitable disbursements have exceeded three quarters of a million dollars. Current annual disbursements are approximately $30,000 and the Club Board receives approximately $10,000 for annual discretionary charitable expenditures. The most prominent project continues to be the Georgia Rotary Student Program. The Fund also has acted as trustee for the Karl and Paula Reinhard Trust since 1990. The Reinhard Trust provides an annual scholarship to help a Cobb County resident with post college studies abroad
With the exception of state registration fees and required bonding fees, all income is either spent on charitable disbursements or is used to supplement fund assets. MRFF has no employees and no officer or director receives any compensation.
Rotary International was fourteen years old in 1919, and Marietta was 85. Rotary had approximately 500 clubs, and Marietta had approximately 6,000 inhabitants. The Atlanta Rotary Club (this club’s sponsor) had been organized 6 years earlier, and its first president, Albert S. “Bert” Adams had, by 1919, become the 9th president of Rotary International.
It was to him that a gentleman by the name of John Hancock submitted the proposal for the issuance of Rotary’s 544th charter to a club in this, the “Gem City”. Mr. Hancock was an avid promoter of Rotary. He had already been the driving force for the chartering of clubs in Macon and Rome, but he had two obstacles in the formation of one in Marietta. First, he had to sell the idea of a service club to a group of leading business and professional men here; second, he had to convince Mr. Adams and the R.I. board of directors that a charter should be issued to, what at that point, would be the smallest municipality in which a club existed. It is interesting to note that Mr. Hancock had fought a similar battle over the formation of the Rome club.
At the time it received its charter (# 127), on October 1, 1914, it was the first club to be established in a city of fewer than 25,000 residents. John Hancock prevailed once more, and on Thursday, October 23, 1919, in torrents of rain, 26 members of the Atlanta club, including President Adams, boarded a special rail car bound for Marietta. The rain had abated by the time they reached the Marietta depot, where they were met by John Hancock and other members of the new club, and driven in “closed cars” to the Marietta Country Club, the current location of the Marietta Conference Center. Present were members of clubs from Columbus, Albany, Anniston, Montgomery, and Rome.
After being presented with the club charter, Mr. Hancock gave a fitting acceptance speech, and the meeting was adjourned with “a tribute to and thanks for the wonderful reception given by the young ladies of Marietta”, a rendering of “Good Night Ladies” and “a flash-light picture.”
The charter members of our club were:
Len C. Baldwin
John H. Boston
Bolan G. Brumby
Otis A. Brumby
T.M. Brumby, Jr.
Doyle P. Butler
George E. Daniell
John W. Hancock
Ralph J. Hancock
Mack D. Hodges
William T. Holland
J. Edward Massey
Morgan L. McNeel
Ralph W. Northcutt
Sam L. Rambo
N. Kemper Smith
W. Henry Wyatt
All are shown in the picture above with the exception of Ralph W. Northcutt. The reason for his absence is unknown, but that his absence was excused is demonstrated by his election as club president for the Rotary year 1923-24.
Since its chartering, this club has grown to be one of the largest and most prestigious in the state, with an almost unmatched record of service to its community and district. The club has enabled the formation of eight other Rotary clubs in Cobb, Bartow, and Paulding Counties and has sponsored sixty international students from thirty-four different countries. It continues to be a leader in promoting the Rotary ideal of “service above self.”