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Histories of Clubs of RI Presidents

Rotary Club of Shades Valley, Alabama

Rotary International District 6860

Home of RI President

Glenn E. Estess, Sr,

President  2004-2005 Centennial Convention of Rotary


President's home page


Shades Valley Rotary
Holds Charter Meeting

"You are entering upon an adventure in service that will mean much to you throughout the remainder of your life," Dr. Leslie Wright, President of Howard College, told Shades Valley Rotary Club members last night at their Charter Night meeting.

The meeting, which was held at the Birmingham Country Club, was attended by the wives of the new Shades Valley Rotary Club members, and wives and members from 18 other clubs, 15 of which were from other cities.

Dr. Wright, a member of the Birmingham Rotary Club, said that the object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a worthy enterprise.

Following Dr. Wright's charter address, Rotary District Governor Herbert Smith presented Club President Dr. L. T. Reeves with their Rotary International Charter after praising members Raymond Hurlbert and Irvin Kinney for their outstanding work in organizing the new club.

(photo above) CHARTERED--Rotary International District Governor Herbert Smith (right) congratulates Dr. L. T. Reeves, Jr. , President of the newly-organized Shades Valley Rotary Club, upon receiving their Rotary International Charter. The new club held its Charter Night banquet last night at the Birmingham Country Club, with guests from some 18 other Rotary Clubs over the state attending.

 Established on October 14, 1963, under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Ensley, the twenty-eight charter members began meeting on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. The late Henry Wurtele, the late Irvin Kinney and the late Ray Hurlbert (later a member of the Rotary Club of Vestavia Hills) were the founding fathers. The Charter Meeting, held on the evening of December 10, 1963, was attended by Rotarians representing most of the other clubs in the district, as well as by the members of the new club.

Founding Fathers

Ray Hurlbert

Irvin Kinney

Henry Wurtele

The original area served by the club included Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia. Then, in 1966-67, Rotary International extended the service area to include Hoover and Homewood Industrial Park.

Originally, club membership was based on the location of one’s business but, by action of the 1968-69 Rotary International Convention, membership was opened to residence as well. In May, 1988, the club inducted its first female members.

A significant action of the new club was its beginning as a 100% Rotary Foundation Club, and its present level is among the highest attained by any club in the district. Shades Valley boasts more than 100 Paul Harris Fellows, and many of its members are Rotary Foundation Sustaining Members and Benefactors.

Rotary Script, the club bulletin, was published for the first meeting, and it continues to be a vital part of the club’s weekly meetings and general activities. For many years, up until 2001-02, Lee Allen served as Bulletin Editor.  The 2001-02 editor is Bill Wingate.

The Rotary Club of Shades Valley has engaged in a wide variety of projects. Substantial cash contributions have been made to the Shades Valley Branch of the YMCA, to the Emmet O’Neal Library, to The Children’s Hospital, to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, to the Youth for Decency rally, to the Cahaba Girl Scout Council, to the Ronald McDonald House, to the Girls School at Chalkville, to the Disaster Relief Fund for the Pell City area and to many other worthwhile community endeavors.

A major early project was the building of the Rotary Friendship Circle Walk in the Japanese Gardens and presenting the Gardens with contributions of authentic
decorations from a number of Rotary Clubs in Japan.

When the club first began meeting at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, it occupied a large, austere exhibition hall. A special committee pooled energies and talents to develop a renovation program which carried an $18,000 price tag. The club solicited a cost-sharing agreement with the Botanical Society, its Auxiliary, and with the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board to complete the renovation. It replenished its treasury in November of 1978 by hosting a gala opening celebration.

In 1987-88, the Botanical Gardens again underwent major work. The Rotary Club of Shades Valley contributed $20,000 toward the construction and finishing cost and returned to a new and more attractive Botanical Gardens Auditorium in January, 1988, available not only for the enjoyment of the club but also for thousands of others in our community.

Members have frequently sponsored or participated in career information and other programs for high school students. Examples are:

1. Helping to fund the 1985-86 Homewood High School Patriot Band to a competition in Orlando, Florida, where it was named Grand Champion of the Great Southern Contest of Champions.

2. Sponsoring students to the Model U. S. Senate Workshop at Birmingham-Southern College.

3. Sponsoring students to the World Affairs Seminar in White Water, Wisconsin, presented by the University of Wisconsin and Rotary District 627, and in Auburn, Alabama, presented by Auburn University and the Rotary Club of Auburn.

4. Sponsoring a salesperson for Junior Achievement to attend the National Junior Achievement Conference in Bloomington, Indiana.

In 1997, the Club awarded for the first time the Community Vocational Service Award to a non-Rotarian, with plans for this to be an annual award. The first recipient was Margaret Porter.

In 1985, the Rotary Club of Shades Valley Annual Vocational Service Award was initiated. The first recipient was Glenn Estess for his outstanding contributions to the local club, District 686, Rotary International and the local community.

In 1970, Shades Valley Rotary awarded for the first time a $500 scholarship to a high school senior and, in 1971, The Educational Foundation of The Shades Valley Rotary Club was incorporated to continue this annual award. Funds for the Foundation are provided by members and friends of the club, and the Foundation continues to grow. Substantial funds are now available for its scholarship program and, each year, approximately 20 scholarships of $1,500 each are awarded to deserving graduates from Mountain Brook, Homewood and Shades Valley high schools.

The club is active on the district and international levels and has been recognized as the one of the most outstanding clubs in District 6860. It has participated in a number of district and international projects, the most recent being the PolioPlus Campaign. Several of its members usually serve on district committees.

The Rotary Club of Shades Valley is home of five Past District Governors. Charter member Harry Hester served  during the 1970-71 Rotary year. Glenn Estess was the 1979-80 District Governor, and went on to serve a two-year term (1990-1992) as a Director of Rotary International. Glenn also served as Vice President of Rotary International (1991-92) and as a Trustee of the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. Bill Johnson served the District as Governor in 1990-91; Ty Robin in 1994-95; Jane Schmalz was 2000-01 District Governor, and the District Governor-Elect (to serve in 2002-03) is Bo Porter.

One of the educational activities of The Rotary Foundation is the Group Study Exchange Program, which is designed to provide outstanding young business and professional men and women opportunities to study another country, its people and institutions through participation in an organized program of study and discussion in the country concerned. The Rotary Club of Shades Valley actively participates in and provides leadership for this program in District 6860 because we are convinced the program is an active force in furthering international understanding and building goodwill among peoples of the world.

The Rotary Club of Shades Valley has been privileged to host, and its members have counseled, persons studying here in Birmingham under Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships.

Club participation and representation at district functions is above average, and Shades Valley has several times been host for both the District Assembly and the District Conference.

The Information for New Members booklet and the club’s indoctrination procedures have gained the recognition of Rotary International and, through Rotary International publications, they have been recognized by Rotary Clubs throughout the world. All requests for copies have been filled at no cost to foreign correspondents.

The Rotary Club of Shades Valley sponsored, organized and hosted the charter activities of the Rotary Clubs of Irondale (Eastwood), Alabaster, Vestavia Hills, Oxmoor (Homewood), Inverness and, most recently, Shades Mountain Sunrise. It also organized the Interact Clubs of Shades Valley, Mountain Brook, Berry, Vestavia and Homewood high schools and the Rotaract Club of Samford University, which has recently been reactivated by the Rotary Club of Vestavia Hills. Responsibility for the Interact Clubs at Berry and Vestavia high schools has now been relinquished to the Rotary Club of Vestavia Hills. The Rotary Club of Shades Valley shares responsibility for the Homewood Interact Club with the Rotary Club of Homewood-Oxmoor.

Good attendance, fine fellowship, excellent weekly programs, monthly club assemblies and strong committee work are the keys to the club’s success. In December, 2001, the Rotary Club of Shades Valley celebrated its 38th Anniversary.

Nominating committee selects 2004-05 RI president

Glenn E. Estess Sr.

On 9 September, the RI Nominating Committee selected Glenn E. Estess Sr., of the Rotary Club of Shades Valley, Ala., USA, as president of Rotary International in 2004-05.

Estess is the chairman of the Membership Development and Retention Committee. He served as RI vice president in 1991-92, RI director, Rotary Foundation trustee, governor of District 6860, and chairman of the Audit and Operations Review Committee. He has been a Rotarian since 1960.

He has retired from Glenn Estess Associates, where he was chief executive officer. Estess was born in Pike County, Miss., USA, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Tulane University in New Orleans.

The Nominating Committee members are: Asbjørn Austvik, Norway; Hipólito S. Ferreira, Brazil; Samuel L. Greene, Calif., USA; Rudolf Hörndler, Germany; Gary C.K. Huang, Taiwan; Hiroshi Maruyama, Japan; Ralph E. McLaughlin, Texas, USA; Robert L. Menconi, Fla., USA; Carlo Monticelli, Italy; Louis Piconi, Pa., USA; William Sergeant, Tenn., USA; Meda K. Panduranga Setty, India; Julio Sorjús, Spain; Barry E. Thompson, Australia; Raymond R. Wells, N.J., USA; Roy J.A. Whitby, England; Wilfrid J. Wilkinson,

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