Waynesville Rotary

PO Box 1590, Waynesville, NC 28786


Waynesville Rotary meets on Friday at 1:00 p.m. at the Laurel Ridge Country Club off of exit 100 of the Great Smokies Expressway. Lunch is served at 12:30 p.m.

Rotary Logo 16-17


Updated News About Waynesville Rotary!

(February 10, 2017)


Rotary Scholarship Students

Photo by Diana Conard. Pictured left to right are the Rotary Club of Waynesville members with students who were awarded scholarships from the organization: Rotarian Neal Ensley, students Sagan Thacker, Isaiah Lunsford, Garrett Jones and Rotarian Susan Sorrells. Student recipients not pictured are Emily Gaddy and Madison Sugg.

The Rotary Club of Waynesville awarded scholarships to five Haywood Community College students with each scholarship amounting to $500. Recipients are Emily Gaddy, Associate in Arts; Garrett Jones, Associate in Science; Isaiah Lunsford, Associate in Arts; Madison Sugg, Associate in Arts; and Sagan Thacker, College Transfer Pathway.
According to Rotary Club of Waynesville member Neal Ensley, “On behalf of the Waynesville Rotary, we are happy to be able to give funds to help students further their education. The money comes from a foundation that the rotary club set up internally in which the main objective is education. When someone gives you education, it is something that can’t be taken away.”

For more information about scholarships available at HCC, please call 828-565-4170 or visit haywood.edu.



(February 3, 2017)


Waynesville Rotarians voted to return to weekly meetings of the club after a six month experiment with two meetings per month of their regular Friday meetings. The experiment was intended to determine if reduced meetings and some reduced costs would entice younger community members to join the club. Those voting to return to weekly meetings cited the loss of continuity in the meeting schedule as one reason for return to a weekly meeting. Additionally, the experiment did not attract new, younger members as hoped. Effective February 3, 2017, the club will return to the former weekly schedule of Fridays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. with the buffet lunch being served at 12:30 p.m.


Fred Waring Presents Check

Member Fred Waring presents a sizeable quarterly check from Waynesville Auto for their continuing efforts to support our club's MANNA Backpack program.  Our club delivers the backpack food each Friday of the school year.


New Rotary board members for the upcoming year starting July 1, 2017 are Chuck Brown, Jeremy Pressley and Sandy Giles. Also, the next President Elect for the 2017-18 fiscal year will be Ronald (Ron) Leatherwood.

(November 21, 2016)


Thanksgiving 2016

Waynesville Rotary wishes you and yours a very happy and fullfilling 2016 Thanksgiving! Special thanks go out to the many first responders and firefighters that have come to WNC to aid in controling the many wildfires in our communities. We are blessed to have you with us!

Waynesville Rotary WILL NOT MEET on Friday following Thanksgiving. Service projects at Haywood Habitat and Open Door will also be on hold for this week. The Poor Man's Supper next week is our next service project.

(October 28, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary Club WILL NOT MEET on Friday, November 28, 2016. We will return to Laurel Ridge on Friday, November November 4th! Rotarians are reminded to sign up for Bell Ringing opportunities under the Volunteer Here! tab on the navigation menu.

(October 17, 2016)


Yes, the website is back up and running so you may resume signing up for bell ringing slots.

We now have a price for Christmas baskets. Due to the increase in pork prices, the baskets go up $1.00 to $31.00 each this year. If Waynesville Rotarians wish to have their baskets billed on the soon to arrive "Love Notes", please IMMEDIATELY send me a note on how many you wish to sponsor. I hope to have billing out for this week's meeting and need to hear from you ASAP. Otherwise, Rotarians will be billed in January, which is typically a large quarterly bill anyway. If non-Rotarians wish to sponsor a family Christmas basket(s), please send a check to Waynesville Rotary Foundation, PO Box 1590, Waynesville, NC in the amount of $31.00 per basket sponsored. Please note for "Christmas Baskets" on the For line of your check.

Yes, Waynesville Rotary will meet at Laurel Ridge THIS FRIDAY, October 21st on the normal schedule!



(October 7, 2016)

The Bell Ringing schedule for the Salvation Army is now available on-line. Click under Volunteer Here! in the menu above in order to see your options. We will again be at Walmart and Belk.

Waynesville Rotary WILL MEET on Friday, October 7, 2016 at Laurel Ridge Country Club. Lunch is served buffet style circa 12:30 p.m. and the business meeting begins at approximately 13:10 hours. (That's 1:10 p.m. for you non-24 hour clock folk!) Come join us!

(September 29, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary WILL NOT MEET on Friday, September 30th. We return to Laurel Ridge on Friday, October 7th! Lunch is typically served at 12:30 p.m. and the business/program session starts at approximately 1:10 p.m.

(September 7, 2016)

There will be NO MEETING of Waynesville Rotary on Friday, September 9, 2016. The next scheduled meet at Laurel Ridge Country Club is Friday, November 16th. Lunch is typically served at 12:30 p.m. and the business/program session starts at approximately 1:10 p.m.

(September 1, 2016)

Rotary KOM Winner


Tracy Saine of Dahlonega, GA won the initial King of the Mountain competition for the Blue Ridge Breakway on August 20, 2016. Saine covered the measured course from Burnette Siding Baptist Church on Lake Logan Road to the on-ramp for the Blue Ridge Parkway in a winning time of 41 minutes and 27.5 seconds. The KOM is historically awarded the red and white polka dotted jersey. Members of Waynesville Rotary individually donated the $1500.00 needed to sponsor the KOM competition. Debbie Wilson of Canton sponsored the Queen of the Mountain competition, which recognized the fastest female rider over the same measured course. The course was approximately 8.3 miles long and ascended over 2000' in elevation. The overall climb was a mere 200' of elevation shorter than the famous Mount Ventoux climb in France. Congratulations to Saine for setting the initial course record! Thank you to the Waynesville Rotarians for their donations making this event a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Waynesville Rotary joins the Madison County (Hot Dogget) and Hendersonville (Tour du Apple) Rotary clubs in being an important part of the WNC cycling picture!


(August 31, 2016)


President Ed and the Board of Directors invite you to attend and support the following events in September.

Friday - September 2nd - Luncheon meeting at Laurel Ridge CC. Lunch served at 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday - September 6th - UNITED WAY DAY OF CARING prep work. Two volunteers needed. Contact Larry Leatherwood directly to help with pressure washing a deck. Approximate time 2 hours.

Tuesday - September 6th - 5:30 p.m. Mad Anthony's on Branner Ave in Waynesville. This is the SOCIAL event for the month. Come and bring family, friends, and potential new Rotarians! Finger foods or some type of light appetizer will be served. Alcohol purchases are on your own.

Thursday - September 8th - UNITED WAY DAY OF CARING - 7:30 a.m. Weldon Gym at Lake Junaluska. Day of Caring kick-off with coffee. Several volunteers needed to seal deck and carry off trash. Approximate work time one half day. Contact Larry Leatherwood directly or sign up at the Friday September 2nd meeting or (possibly) sign up on-line. (More to come on how to accomplish on-line sign-ups!)

Friday - September 16th - Luncheon meeting at Laurel Ridge CC. Lunch served at 12:30 p.m.

Week of 18th through 24th - "Service Above Self" week - Participate in one of the many available community service activities including Habitat for Haywood, Open Door, etc.

Friday - September 30th - NO MEETING, NO ACTIVITIES PLANNED.



(August 25, 2016)

Week of Service Above Self!

The week of August 21 through 27 is the monthly Week of Service Above Self. Rotarians are involved in community service projects this week. There will be NO MEETING of Waynesville Rotary on Friday, August 26th. We return to Laurel Ridge Country Club on our normal schedule on Friday, September 2nd.

Waynesville Rotary Board of Directors will meet Tuesday, August 30th at 5:30 p.m. on the porch at 66 Walnut St., Waynesville. All members are invited to attend the meeting.

(August 8, 2016)


The Rotary Club of Waynesville will hold its August SOCIAL EVENT at the Allen's Creek pavilion on Friday, August 12th. BBQ and fixins' will be served once again by Holy Smokes beginning at 12:30 p.m. All Rotarians and their family members are invited to attend this annual fun day of fellowship with family members and fellow Rotarians. The pavilion is located approximately 2 miles from the intersection of South Main and Allen's Creek Road. If coming from downtown Waynesville, turn left on Allen's Creek Rd. at the traffic light at the Shell Station on your left and Jim's Drive-in on your right. Stay on Allen's Creek until you see the pavilion and soccer field on your left. If you get to the rock quarry, STOP! You've gone about 50 yards to far.

(August 1, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary will meet this Friday, August 5th at Laurel Ridge Country Club. August 12th is the annual Allen's Creek BBQ with food again prepared by Holy Smokes. This is the social event for August. We return to Laurel Ridge for a meeting on August 19th on the typical Friday schedule. The fourth Friday of the month is dedicated to Community Service. You may see volunteer opportunities and a sign up form under Volunteer Here! on the main navigation menu above.

(July 25, 2016)

Please note the changes/additions to the Waynesville Rotary website. Members may now volunteer for community service projects under the Volunteer Here! button on the navigation bar. Simply fill in the requested data and SUBMIT the form. An email will be sent to the Executive Secretary, who will then forward the information to the appropriate Project Chair. A tutorial on How To Pay Your Account Balance has been added to the Pay Account button on the navigation menu. A pdf reader is needed to read the file, which may be downloaded to your local computer for later reference. Finally, under Club Service members may see the on-line version of our Program of Service annual assignments such as Sgt. at Arms, Greeters, Chaplains, etc.

PLEASE NOTE: There is NO MEETING at Laurel Ridge CC on Friday, August 29th as this week is the designated Community Service week. Members are encouraged to select from those projects under Volunteer Here! and put Service Above Self. There is an additional option for volunteering at Folkmoot this week. Interested persons should contact Rotarian Bob Herrmann directly for that option.


(July 18, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary To Enjoy Finnish Folkmoot Group July 22nd

The Finnish dance group in town for Folkmoot will be the program for this week's meeting of Waynesville Rotary Club. Members are asked to arrive 15 minutes earlier than usual as the program will start sharply at 1:00 p.m. The dance group will be on a tight schedule so please make sure you arrive early. We will meet in the Pavilion are of Laurel Ridge for this meeting.


(July 12, 2016)

There will be NO MEETING of Waynesville Rotary on Friday, July 15th at Laurel Ridge Country Club. We return to Laurel Ridge on the normal time schedule on Friday, July 22nd.


(July 6, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary will meet Friday July 8th at their normal time of 1:00 p.m. This week ONLY we will be seated in the upstairs dining room. The lower doors will be locked so save some steps unless you need them for your daily step count and come straight to the main dining room.


Incoming Board of Directors
Incoming President Ed LaFountaine
The new members of the Board of Directors and new Officers were introduced to the club.  District Governor, Gary Mills, performed the installation oath.  From left:  Bill Owen, Susan Sorrells, David McCracken, Rick Smith and President, Ed LaFountaine. District Governor, Gary Mills, is pinning the new Rotary Club of Waynesville President, Ed LaFountaine.


Waynesville Rotarian Mark Bumgarner was awarded the 2016 Tony Award recognizing his lifetime service to Rotary and to his home community. Bumgarner is a graduate of Tuscola High School and Appalachian State University. Rotarians Mike McKinney and 2015 Tony Award Winner Larry Clark presented Bumgarner with the award and cited his many contributions. One of which is providing the photos and text for Waynesville Rotary events. Unfortunately, Bumgarner failed to take a "selfie" on this auspicious occasion so a photo is not immediately available of his acceptance of the award. We're working on it though... The Tony award is named for long time Waynesville Rotarian Tony Caudle in honor of his many years of Service Before Self.

(June 28, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary will meet for the annual Night of Celebration on Thursday, June 30th, at Laurel Ridge Country Club. A social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by supper at 6:30 p.m. and then acknowledgements of the past year's successes, saying "good-bye" to out-going President Sam, and welcoming incoming President Ed will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. This event is the meeting for the week of Waynesville Rotary. There will be NO MEETING on 07/01/2016. We will return to Laurel Ridge CC for our normal meeting on July 8th. On this date ONLY, we will be seated in the large dining room on the main floor of the lodge.


(June 9, 2016)

For the latest in Rotary activities, check out tomorrow's Rotary Bulleting by CLICKING HERE! The Waynesville Rotary's Annual Night of Celebration will be Thursday, June 30th at Laurel Ridge Country Club. There will be NO MEETING of Waynesville Rotary on July 1, 2016. The weekly meeting for Waynesville Rotary the week of June 12 - 18 will be on Thursday night, June 16th, when Rotarians travel to the Asheville Tourists to enjoy a night of baseball and festivities. There will be NO MEETING on Friday, June 17th.

Rotarians Serve at Open Door

Our volunteers smile while serving up hamburgers, baked beans and salad.  From left:  Larry East, Marcy Onieal and Susan DuFour.


(April 8, 2016)

Hannah Redmond

Our speaker, Hannah Redmond, a long-term employee of Mast General Store in Waynesville and instructor for "No Trace" concepts, walked the club through the key tenants of the "Leave No Trace" program.   They are:
1)  Plan Ahead and Prepare
2)  Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3)  Dispose of Waste Properly
4)  Leave What You Find
5)  Minimize Campfire Impacts
6)  Respect Wildlife
7)  Be Considerate of Other Visitors

Ms. Redmond was accompanied by her fellow Mast General Store employee, Jim Taylor.  The Mast General Store is celebrating 25 years in Waynesville and is considered to be one of the anchor stores on Main Street Waynesville.



(April 1, 2016)

NC Wildlife Commission Poole Educates Rotarians About Bats

Office Tanya Poole

Tanya Poole, Education Specialist with the NC Wildlife Commission, spoke to our club about bats.  We have many species in North Carolina, but these interesting mammals are currently being diminished by what is known as the "White Nose Syndrome".

Waynesville Rotary Honors Tuscola Students

Rotary Students March 2016

Larry Leatherwood introduced the Tuscola Rotary Students of the Month.  They are from the left:  Cora Dodson, Whitley Thomas, Margaret Leak and Scout Powell.  They were awarded gift cards as a token of our appreciation for their accomplishments.

In other news...

Congratulations to the newly elected Rotary board members for the 2016-2019 term:

  Mark Bumgarner
  David McCracken
  Susan Sorrells

(March 23, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary will NOT meet on Good Friday, March 25, 2016. We will return to our normal schedule on Friday, April 1, 2016 at Laurel Ridge Country Club.


(March 17, 2016)


Dr. Michael Trayford

Dr. Michael S. Trayford’s years in specialty and private clinical practices have given him the advantage of seeing a wide spectrum of disorders in clients of all ages. He is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the Apex Brain Center in Asheville, NC.  He is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist with over 16 years of experience in the unique field of functional neurology.  After years of observing firsthand the continued decline in patient management due to the standardization and increasing restriction of quality care imposed by the insurance industry, Dr. Trayford has established a “Brain Intensive” training program built around the concept of neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to learn and grow dependent upon its environment.

A few focus items in his talk centered on what “Biomarkers” tell us.  One of the primary biomarkers relates to a person’s balance.  It takes a good brain to stay aloft.  Walking is an extension of balance.  Tai Chi is a good practice to improve balance.  Another biomarker is blood sugar.  Dr. Trayford has found a correlation between various blood sugar levels and the presence of dementia.  He says we need to watch what we eat and should get a good night’s sleep.  These can make a difference.

Angie Schwab

Angie Schwab, Executive Director of Folkmoot USA, announced to the club the first "Spring Barbeque Music and Showcase" to be held on Saturday, March 19th at 7 PM at the Folkmoot Friendship Center.  This is part of Folkmoot's year round programming.  Featured musicians include the Darren Nicholson Band, Whitewater Bluegrass and Lillian Chase.  Angie noted a highlight of the event will be the naming of the Friendship's auditorium.

(Photos and text by M. Bumgarner)

(February 26, 2016)

YES! Waynesville Rotary will meet today, Friday February 26th, at Laurel Ridge Country Club. The light snow overnight may have closed the schools but, hey, we Rotarians are used to walking places in knee deep snow uphill in both directions! See you at the normal time of 12:30 p.m. (for lunch) and 1:00 p.m. (for program and business).



One millionth backpack
Manna Backpack Vols
On Friday, February 19, 2016,  our member, Larry Leatherwood, was caught delivering MANNA Foodbank's 1,000,000th MANNA Pack to Junaluska Elementary School in Haywood County.  This is the 10th year of the program.  The Rotary Club of Waynesville has been instrumental in expanding the MANNA Foodbanks' Backpack food program outside of Buncombe County.  Our club volunteers to deliver the packs on each Friday.  All activities are done on a volunteer basis.  The Waynesville Rotary Foundation does receive donations to support the cost of the food given each week. The club members who volunteer for this program were recognized by the staff of MANNA Foodbank for their efforts and were thanked for being a part of a program that affects approximately 450 families each week.


(February 19, 2016)


February 12, 2016 Meeting


Holly Demuth
Holly Demuth, North Carolina Director of the Friends of the Smokies talked about the Friends.  Many club members are already Friends.  The Friends is a 501(c)(3) entity with a $2.8 Million budget aimed towards supporting various projects in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park's one-half million acres.  Holly has filled this position for six years.  She is a native of Kingsport, TN and has been an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service.  Some of the recent projects supported by the Friends are the educational programs for school aged children, black bear management, and refurbishing the Ferguson Cabin at the Appalachian Highlands Learning Center.  A current endeavor is to raise $600,000 for an endowment to support a full time ranger at the Purchase Knob facility.  A matching grant of $600,000 will be provided by Catherine McNeil, the benefactor of the 528 acres Purchase Knob property contributed to the park in 2001.
Luke Hyde, an attorney from Bryson City, NC is the Treasurer of the Friends of the Smokies.  He encouraged everyone to participate in the Park Service's 100th Anniversary.  The theme is "Find Your Park".
Luke Hyde


(February 12, 2016 @ 9:00 a.m.)


President Sam has been in consultation with Laurel Ridge this morning following the beginning of today's snowfall. Despite schools being dismissed at 9:30 a.m., WE WILL MOVE FORWARD WIHT OUR MEETING unless conditions rapidly deteriorate. The forecast is for temperatures to rise near or above freezing by meeting time. As always, please make YOUR best decision for YOUR safety and do not take unnecessary risks.


Esther Bailey
Elk Black Bear

Esther Blakely is a certified interpretive presenter and a member of the Elk Bugle Corps for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  She also operates "Cataloochee Valley Tours", a  nature-based eco-tour company operating out of Waynesville, NC.  She told of the last native elk being last seen in the eastern US in 1790.  Beginning in 2001 and following in 2002, 52 elk were brought into Cataloochee Valley in a re-introduction project.  In the beginning, the bears fed upon the newborn calves, but with the help of the park, during the following formative years, the Cataloochee bears were captured and relocated to 20 Mile Station.  After a couple weeks, the bears returned home, but only after the calves were able to mature enough to avoid the bears.  The bear removal was discontinued and in 2009, the project was deemed a success.  While it is hard to determine the current number of elk, the number is believed to be 150 or more.  Not all elk have remained in Cataloochee.  Three offshoot groups of elk have been seen at Balsam Mountain near Black Camp Gap, in Cherokee and also in White Oak community.

 The story of the Elk antlers is fascinating.  The material of the antler is the fastest growing in the animal kingdom.  The glue (testosterone) holding the antlers decreases and they fall off in March.  Within a couple weeks the antler is consumed by providing protein and food for other forest animals.  Immediately, the antlers begin to grow again.  First covered in a protective velvet, they eventually rub it off and by August the antlers are again fully grown and ready for the challenges of the rut beginning in September.  The antlers can weigh up to 40 pounds.

(January 22, 2016)

Waynesville Rotary WILL NOT MEET on Friday, January 22, 2016 due to the impending snow storm. Please be safe! We will resume our normal schedule on Friday, January 29th.

Rotary Students Jan 2016
Fred Waring Donation
Teresa Pennington
The Rotary Students of the Month were introduced to the club.  They are Elizabeth Hudson on the left next to Zoe Leatherwood on the right.  Fred Waring and the Waynesville Automotive Group presented checks totaling $3,155 as a gift to support the Manna Backpack program.
A local and self-taught colored pencil artist spoke of her career in art and how she has grown and prospered with her talents.  Teresa Pennington operates the TPennington Art Gallery on main street Waynesville.  Besides her retail shop, she does 22 travel shows each year.  Starting in 1996, she has incorporated in all of her art work a Pink Lady's Slipper in honor of her mother.  She sells originals, limited edition prints, mini prints, cards and gifts.  She has been commissioned by the Biltmore Estate for 24 years and has completed four series of drawings depicting the house and gardens.  She s know as an "Artist of the Blue Ridge".


(January 15, 2016)



Arnold Howell

Arnold Howell will be moving to Florida to be close to family.  With this being one of his last meetings, he was given one of the club's banners and was honored for his time with our club. During his time in Haywood County, Arnold made many, many contributions to our community and made even more friends. Our best wishes and prayers go with Arnold as he returns to be close to his immediate family. His Haywood County extended family will always cherish our time with him!


Coach Larry Hunter

Western Carolina University (WCU) head basketball coach, Larry Hunter, addressed the club with his approach to becoming one of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) leaders in coaching victories (664-393 prior to the current season).  He is the 17th head coach at WCU after being hired on April 29, 2005.  He is known for his offensive prowess and his team's 3-point scoring record now stands at 274 during the 2009-10 season.  Prior to coming to WCU, Coach Hunter was assistant and/or head coach at Ohio and NC State.  One of his personal mantras he shares with his teams uses ten words:  "Please, Thank You, I Love You and I Will Do My Best".  He says, live up to these simple words, and you will become a well-balanced person.

(January 8, 2016)


Susan Sorrells Bell ringer

No, Susan isn't ringing the bell today for the Red Kettle. She is ringing the bell today to remind you that Waynesville Rotary is BACK! We will meet at our usual time at Laurel Ridge Country Club and get the new year started!

Want to see more Waynesville Rotary News? Visit our Archived News page containing stories back to 2012!


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