Beginning in the fall of 1983 George Womble, Carl Schultz, Jim Tarleton, and a few others began meeting in Raleigh with the intent to grow their numbers to 20 prospective members required to charter a Rotary club.
In early 1984 the the provisional club that was to become The Rotary Club of the Capital City met under the leadership of Gene Hafer (Past President North Raleigh Rotary Club 1978-1979) at the hotel known today as the Doubletree Raleigh Brownstone on 1707 Hillsborough Street.
The provisional club made its first charitable gift to the newly created Rotary District 771 Foundation to assist victims of the Carolinas Tornado outbreak of March 28, 1984.
The Rotary Club of the Capital City was chartered on April 26, 1984 with the stated goal "to provide an alternative to the Raleigh Rotary Club which had grown large in membership" The club name reflects the founding principle of drawing members from throughout the city, not just one geographical area.
Our first Club President was Jim Tarleton, Jim’s knowledge of Rotary International as both a local and international service organization helped get the club off to a great start. Jim was a member of the club when he passed away on April 28, 2013.
The Club helped sponsor a bike-a-thon that was held in 1984 to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. When the CF Foundation was established in 1955, children with CF rarely lived long enough to attend elementary school. Due in large part to the Foundation's aggressive investments in innovative research and comprehensive care, many people with the disease can now expect to live into their 30s, 40s and beyond.
Lindsay M. Scott, Jr. served as the 2nd Club President from 1985-1986. Lindsay came to Raleigh from Abacoe Island in the northern Bahamas where he had served as a Past President of the Marsh Harbor Rotary Club. Lindsay had vacation property on Man-O-War Cay that George Womble had the opportunity to visit a few times including spending his all time best family vacation there thanks to Lindsay’s very generous hospitality. A change in jobs and family situation led Lindsay to move from Raleigh to Washington DC.
Lindsay returned to NC for his 51st birthday and a camping trip to Hanging Rock State Park with George Womble and Marty Lynn. George picked Lindsay up at RDU Airport and was surprised to find Lindsay on crutches with a broken leg that was in a cast to just above his knee. Overcoming this great physical challenge, the three Rotarians hiked all the way to the top of hanging rock and enjoyed some great fellowship by the campfire that weekend.
Allen Page and Carl Schultz started a vocational service project in 1985 with Meredith College called “Career Profiles”....Club members would speak to Meredith students based on the member's classification and career. This program ran for many years and was considered a big hit!
In 1985, the club began assisting The Church of the Good Shepherd on Hillsborough Street through financial contributions and also by members giving time to assist the staff around Thanksgiving and Christmas. After a couple years, due to changes in the driving impaired laws and sentences that required for community service, the church no longer needed the club’s hands-on support.
Rotary International launched the PolioPlus program, the first initiative to tackle global polio eradication, in 1985. Since then, Rotary and its partners have helped reduce the number of annual cases from 350,000 to fewer than 250 and remain committed until every child is safe from the disease. Rotary has contributed more than US$1 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect more than 2 billion children in 122 countries.
The Concorde flew into RDU in 1986 as part of the celebration for the opening of the new 10,000 foot runway (5L-23R) and the American Airlines Terminal. The terminal was designed by club member Irv Pearce. Allen Page remembers being there for the Concorde fly over. There was also a tour done for the club of the new terminal.
A major club service project was undertaken in 1986 with the club building several miles of hiking trails along Falls Lake. Allen Page remarked at the time that Tucker Cline could swing a bush axe with the skill of a surgeon. Fellowship activities associated with the project included a PIG roast and also overnight stay on George Womble’s houseboat.
Frank Gray served as the 3rd Club President from 1986-1987. Frank recalls the club was awarded the Presidential Citation during his tenure.
During the first few years there was an annual “birthday” party for the new club one of which was held at the Butcher Block Restaurant and featured District Governor Barry Davis as the guest speaker.
In 1987 the club changed meeting places, moving to the Velvet Cloak Inn. The Velvet Cloak was built in 1963 by Cameron Village developer Willie York, and was once considered Raleigh's best hotel.
Luke Hyde served as the 4th Club President from 1987 to 1988.
Allen Page served as our 5th Club President from 1988 to 1989.
John Messner served as our 6th Club President from 1989 to 1990.
In 1989 the club changed meeting places again, moving to Ballantine’s Cafeteria at 410 Oberlin road in Cameron Village.
The first annual Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic was held in 1989 at Raleigh Country Club with Wake Education Partnership. Club member Chuck Barber was very instrumental in getting the program started.
George Womble served as our 7th Club President from 1990 to 1991.
George remembers the tremendous job John Watson did as Club Secretary during his term, monthly board meetings were held at the Velvet Cloak Inn and adjourned to Crowley’s off of Dixie Trail for dinner and fellowship.
Susan Doster, our first female member, joined in 1990. Susan was a YMCA Director of the A.E. Finley facility and she was sponsored by Luke Hyde and George Womble.
Wick Smith, Jr. served as our 8th Club President from 1991 to 1992. Wick relocated from Raleigh to Fayetteville for a new job with Harris Wholesale during his term.
Harris Wholesale, now R. A. Jeffreys, has generously donated beverages to the Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic every year since 1991.
John Watson served as our 9th Club President from 1992 to 1993. He enjoyed the honor and privilege of actually starting his term early and serving 14 months as Wick Smith moved to Fayetteville before the end of his term.
John remembers opening each meeting (after P,P, FWT) with a joke or "interesting" observation... some worked, some didn't and were met with the accustomed heckling by the membership.
The club won a Presidential citation in 1992 for success with the Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic which was held at Hedingham Golf Club that year.
The club instituted a Small Business Person of the Year Award. Robert Taylor, who ran a service station and auto repair shop on Hillsborough Street (next to CHAR-GRILL) was our first recipient.
Our club recognized Joe Gordon as “Rotarian of the Year” for 1992-93. Joe would later become Club President and to this day is a still a strong supporter of our club with his annual gold sponsorship of the Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic
Mike Minikus served as our 10th Club President from 1993 to 1994.
Bob Merrill was convinced to be secretary for a couple of years during that time. Bob was a life saver being extremely reliable and keeping us all straight
After agreeing to be president, the accounting firm that Mike worked for asked him to transfer to their New Bern office. He decided to stay in Raleigh and join the ranks of the self-employed (or unemployed depending on your viewpoint). This motivated Mike to ask Joe Gordon to switch years (Joe was president-elect) and I remember Joe telling me that busy people get things done and to keep the order as is-so we did.
To begin each meeting Mike would welcome everyone and mention the meeting number, for example "Welcome to the 897 meeting of the Rotary Club of the Capital City"
The club was awarded a Presidential Citation for Balanced Club Achievement in recognition of significant club participation in hands on service.
Joe Gordon served as our 11th Club President from 1994 to 1995.
Joe Gordon hosted the club’s summer picnic at his house for many years. Highlights of the picnic one year were homemade ice cream, putt-putt golf, fishing, and a magic show.....
Tucker Cline served as our 12th Club President from 1995 to 1996.
According to board meeting minutes from 1995, Ballentine’s Cafeteria increased the per seat breakfast charge to the club, so our visiting Rotarian fee was raised to $8.00...
Bynum Satterwhite served as our 13th Club President from 1996 to 1997.
The annual club summer picnic was held at Camp Kanata and was catered by the Barbecue Lodge.
The annual Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic of 1996 raised $16,000 !
A hurricane Fran hands-on clean-up project was held in December 1996... “The group successfully removed a wayward tree from a gentleman’s fence.”
Mike Perkins served as our 14th Club President from 1997 to 1998.
The club hosted it's annual Valentine's Social at the Cardinal Club featuring a magician that worked the crowd performing tricks for those in attendance.
The Annual Golf Classic partner was Wake Education Partnership and the tournament was played at Prestonwood Country Club raising $20,000 !
Bill Harwell proposed forming a committee to select recipients for a college scholarship to be funded by the club’s foundation.
Bill Harwell served as our 15th Club President from 1998 to 1999.
The structure of the “Capital City Rotary Scholarship” was authored by a scholarship committee chaired by Allen Page.
The Rotary Club of the Capital City's 15th Anniversary was celebrated with a dinner held at the North Hills Swim Club.
Doug Cowan served as our 16th Club President from 1999 to 2000.
The club moved from Ballantine’s Cafeteria to Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church in North Raleigh. This “long distance” move was a success and Doug is still thankful to this day that the world did not end during his watch.
Billy Blackburn served as the Club’s 17th President from 2000 to 2001.
Robert Styres passed away in 2000. Bob was a beloved and devoted Rotarian who worked tirelessly on whatever was to be done. One of Bob’s most memorable contributions was through his work as editor of the club’s weekly bulletin for which he created original cartoons that were very much enjoyed by club members.
In honor of Bob Styres, the Capital City Rotary Scholarship was officially named the Robert N. Styres Scholarship. The first Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2000 to Nicolette “Nickie” Seibel.
Our Annual Golf Classic partner was Wake Education Partnership and the tournament was played at Prestonwood Country Club raising $42,000 !
Tim White served as the Club’s 18th President from 2001 to 2002. Board meetings were held in Tim’s “clubhouse” which was located in the wooden building between the Hayes Barton Pharmacy building and Third Place Coffee shop.
The Club’s 2nd Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2001 to Chun Suk Kim.
Service project highlights from 2001-2002 included supporting 20 children at the Rotary District "take a kid to the ball game" event, Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army (raising $700), helping with repairs at Hilltop Home and member participation in the STEPS tutoring program for elementary school children.
The Club donated $600 to teacher Sue Dew to help with expenses on her trip to study whales off the coast of Maine.
Rick Baker served as the Club’s 19th President from 2002 to 2003.
The club helped support Rotary District 7710’s initiative in 2002 to create the first comprehensive district-wide Internet website.
The Club’s 3rd Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2002 to Linda “Josie” Rathbone.
Phil Warlick served as the Club’s 20th President from 2003 to 2004.
Our 4th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2003 to Eva Hatcher.
The club collected $1,292.13 “Bell Ringing” for The Salvation Army.
Chip Johnson served as the Club’s 21st President from 2004 to 2005.
The 5th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2004 to Tiffany McDade.
The club helped improve the playground at the Salvation Army facility in Raleigh as a special project celebrating the Rotary International Centennial.
Rich Turner served as our 22nd Club President from 2005 to 2006.
Heather Esteve was awarded the 6th Styres Scholarship in the fall of 2005.
The club relocated from the original North Hills Club clubhouse to a temporary home at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church while the North Hills Club was undergoing renovations. The new venue did not alter the tone of our meetings and the food service is remembered as the best we've ever had!
Penn Shore served as the Club’s 23rd President from 2006 to 2007.
The 7th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2006 to JaLisa Brown.
Our Annual Golf Classic partner in 2006 was Raleigh Rescue Mission.
Michael Morse served as our 24th Club President from 2007 to 2008.
The 8th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2007 to Patricia Riad
In 2007 the club moved back to the newly renovated North Hills Club.
The club helped raised $1,978 in 2007 ringing the bell for the Salvation Army!
David Watson served as the Club’s 25th President from 2008 to 2009.
The 9th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2008 to Chytrell Perry
The 2008 Golf Classic with Raleigh Rescue Mission raised $40,000 in net proceeds !
Theatre in the Park selected our club as "A Christmas Carol" charity sponsor in 2008
For a few days in the spring of 2009 the club hosted 3 Rotarians from Australia. The 3 fellows were part of a 5 person Rotary GSE Team that was sponsored by District 7710. In addition to attending a regular meeting, our Aussie friends joined club members at a Carolina Hurricanes game and were part of the Rotary Club of the Capital City 25th Anniversary Celebration held at the Stag Club.
Bob Ramseur was our 26th Club President serving from 2009 to 2010.
In 2009 a group of Rotarians dubbed "The Gang of Ten" issued a dollar for dollar matching challenge to the club membership to help raise money for the Styres Scholarship Fund. The effort was called the "Larry Wynns Challenge" in honor of Larry Wynns who passed away in 2009 after twenty-seven years as an active Rotarian and it raised nearly $12,000 !
The 10th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2009 to Haley Bateman, attending Meredith College.
Our annual Golf Classic of 2009 raised $30,000 in net proceeds with Wake Education Partnership !
The Club provided funding for three Eagle Scout projects in 2009 - 2010!
Theatre in the Park selected our club again as "A Christmas Carol" charity sponsor for 2009.
The club helped sort over 9,000 lbs of food on a Saturday morning at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
Tom Deadmore served as the club’s 27th President from 2010 to 2011
The 11th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2010 to Raven Brow, she attended Eastern Carolina University
Rotary Club of the Capital City and Wake Education Partnership together raised $38,000 in net proceeds through our annual fall golf tournament !
Theatre in the Park selected our club as "A Christmas Carol" charity sponsor in 2010
The club partnered with St. Timothy’s School and Wake Med for the 2011 Spring Sprint 5k, 700+ runners participated and the event raised over $13,000 !
Matt DeGroodt served as our 28th Club President from 2011 to 2012.
Dixon Styres, grandson of Bob Styres, participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange program - spending a year in Ecuador !
The 12th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2011 to MariAnnis Payne, she attended University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The Annual Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic was held in October 2011 at the North Ridge Country Club with $33,000 in proceeds from the event benefiting our Styres Scholarship Fund and The Fostering Bright Futures program.
We “rang the bell” for The Salvation Army at the Harris Teeter in Cameron Village in December 2011
The club was Theatre in the Park’s charity sponsor in 2011 for "A Christmas Carol"
The club partnered with St. Timothy’s School and Wake Med for the 2012 Spring Sprint 5k, the event raised over $14,000 !
In June 2012, 12 Rotarians and 4 Rotaract members worked 3 hours sorting 32,000 lbs of food at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.
Kirk Kirkland served as our 29th Club President from 2012 to 2013.
The 13th Styres Scholarship was awarded in the fall of 2012 to Rebecca Pawlak, Campbell University
In 2012, the club sponsored 3 children to attend 9 weeks of summer camp through Passage Home !
The Annual Rotary Club of the Capital City Golf Classic in 2012 was held at the North Ridge Country Club with $37,000 in proceeds from the event benefiting our Styres Scholarship Fund and The Wake Tech Fostering Bright Futures Program
In February 2013, We joined in with 4 other Raleigh Rotary Clubs in a service project to install a new Whisperglide Swing for the children of Hilltop Home !
The club partnered with St. Timothy’s School and Wake Med for the 2013 Spring Sprint 5k, the event raised over $12,000 !