Rotary District 6890

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'Rotary District 6890'

District 6890 Banner
District 6890 on Florida map


West Central Florida, USA--[1]

Rotary District 6890 administratively serves 41 Rotary clubs in five Central Florida counties, with a total membership of approximately 2,000.

The Tampa club was the first Rotary Club in West Central Florida and the 117th Rotary club worldwide, founded on April 7, 1914 by John A. Turner and 17 other Tampa leaders. Tampa then went on to sponsor several other clubs.


To find a meeting go to District 6890.

Auburndale Avon Park Avon Park Breakfast Bartow Bartow Breakfast Brandon Brandon '86 Brandon South
Fishhawk-Riverview Frostproof Haines City Hardee County Highlands County Lake Placid Lake Placid Noon Lake Region/Dundee
Lake Wales Lake Wales Breakfast Lakeland Lakeland Christina Lakeland North 1973 Lakeland South New Tampa New Tampa - Evening
New Tampa Noon Plant City Plant City Daybreak Sebring Sebring Sunrise Southshore Ruskin Sun City Center Tampa
Tampa Bay Tampa Carrollwood Tampa East Tampa Hyde Park Tampa Interbay Tampa North Tampa Town & Country Tampa West Latin
Tampa Westchase Temple Terrace Valrico Winter Haven Ybor City

In the Beginning

District 6890 started on July 1, 1991. The District consisted of 38 Rotary clubs and 2256 Rotarians in Hardee, Highlands, Polk and Hillsborough counties. The District included Hardee County but we did not have any Rotary clubs in that county. Rotary District 650 sponsored the new District. At that time, only three numbers designated Rotary Districts. Rotary International decided to add a zero to all Districts to allow for future expansion. Thus, we were now, Rotary District 6890.

We did not receive word about the formation of the new District until two weeks before the Rotary International Convention in Anaheim, California. A notice was sent out to the 38 Rotary clubs that would be in the new District to submit names of those Rotarians who wanted to be the District Governor. Three names were submitted and votes were counted on the following Saturday night.

Richard “Dick” Townley was to be the first District Governor of District 6890. I was to be in Anaheim, California for the International Convention and District Governor training, on the following Tuesday.

When I went to register, they did not know who I was and had no hotel reservations for my wife and me. A call was made to Evanston, Illinois to verify the new District. The hotel had no vacancies and they finally found us another hotel several miles away. They also did not have any training manuals for me. Eventually, another incoming District Governor could not attend because of a death in his family and I was given his training manuals.

After returning to Lakeland I immediately contacted all the Past District Governors in the new District for an organizational meeting. We had no officers, committees, visitation schedules, budget, conference locations, Governor Nominee, in fact, we had nothing. I knew very few Rotarians outside of Lakeland so I needed references for officers. I was given a reference for David Lemar for Secretary-Treasurer. I had lunch with David and knew right away that he was perfect. He and his wife Mary were a great help in putting things together and getting organized.

The Past District Governors were extremely helpful. Their advice and counsel was very important in organizing District 6890. I will be forever grateful to all of them, as I doubt I could have pulled it together without them.

I felt a PETS was needed for our incoming Presidents. I arranged for our meeting to be held at Florida Southern College in Lakeland. The Mayor of Lakeland, Frank O’Reilly opened our meeting.

Our first District Conference was held at Grenelefe Resort & Conference in Haines City on October 3-5. Not having a Conference Committee I had to make all the arrangements myself, menu planning and agenda. Rotary International had assigned Geoffrey Pike as President Rajendra Saboo's personal representative to the Conference. Geoffrey was Past President of Rotary International of British Isles. We did not have a Sergeant of Arms, so District 6590 allowed us to use Ernie Thomas, who was their long time Sergeant of Arms. He was a great help to me and did an outstanding job. Our first Conference was well attended by Rotarians in the new District.

The first District Assembly was held on April 23-24, 1992 at the Holiday Inn in Sabal Park. At that time, the District Conference was held in the fall and the District Assembly was held in the spring. In the years to follow, this was changed.

Rotary International assigned a Group Study Exchange team from Australia to us. Don Griffing and his wife Jody volunteered to lead our GSE team to Australia. They selected and trained their own team members. Don was later to become a District Governor of District 6890. We enjoyed the Australian team so much that it was difficult to see them return. A farewell dinner and celebration was held for them at a dining room at the top of a hotel dining room in Tampa. We found Australians are really fun people to be around.

Some of the accomplishments of District 6890 during our first year:

  • Chartered a new Rotary club, Brandon South.
  • Designed a District Logo. In later years additions were made to it.
  • District Governor Elect was Phil Reed from Valrico
  • District wide fundraisers for the 75th anniversary of The Rotary Foundation. A turkey shoot and a golf marathon raised a significant amount of money for The Foundation.

Starting a new Rotary District from such a sudden beginning was a real challenge. Because of great support and advice from some very important people we were able to accomplish a lot. We had a few problems but mostly we had a lot of successes. I felt this beginning would give future District 6890 Governors something to build on as a foundation for success.

District Governors

2016-2017: Joyce Ann Gunter


Governors (District 6890)
1991-92: Dick Townley 1992-93: Phil Reed 1993-94: Donald Griffing
1994-95: Jim Moohan 1995-96: Jorge Blondet 1996-97: Joe Conibear
1997-98: Jackie Asbury 1998-99: Rick Borgstrom 1999-2000: Dennis Viera
2000-01: Ken Hopkins 2001-02: Betty Jo Tomkins 2002-03: George Large
2003-04: Camilo Calvo 2004-05: George Banning 2005-06: Barbara Shayed-Helou
2006-07: Reuben Alfaras 2007-08: Doug Andrews 2008-09: Beverly Hunt
2009-10: Randall Kizer 2010-11: Ed Odom 2011-12: Alan Feldman
2012-13: Thomas Wade 2013-14: George Robertson-Burnett 2014-15: Gary Gunter
2015-16: Tom Wagner 2016-17: Joyce Ann Gunter



Our Path Here

Some Historical Highlights


Area meeting schedule in 1977
Making up a meeting in the past meant long drives. This meeting list was from the 1977-1978 Mount Dora Club Membership Roster.

District Global Studies Exchange

  • 2007 Australia
  • 2008 Philippines
  • 2009 India
  • 2010 Israel
  • 2011 Denmark
  • 2013 Australia
  • 2014 The Czech Republic and Slovakia
  • 2015
  • 2016

Links and Information

Category:Rotary District 6890

1905 Timeline
Rotary Global History Fellowship