Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shades Valley, The Homewood Rotary Club was founded in January of 1982 to expand the opportunity for “service above self” (Rotary International’s motto) in the City of Homewood. Rotary International is a civic organization with more than 46,000 clubs and 1.4 million members worldwide. As members of an international service organization, the Homewood chapter’s impact touches local, regional and international communities, especially by supporting educational initiatives. Here, Homewood Rotary Club President Gregg Wadsworth congratulates the rotary club’s 2023 scholarship recipients and provides insight on the value this organization brings to the Homewood community.

What scholarships did you award to whom for the 2022-23 school year?

The Bill Crawford Education Foundation of the Homewood Rotary Club recently awarded scholarships totaling $25,000 to five 2023 graduates of Homewood High School. The recipients are Olivia Jackson, Michelle Kagwima, Abigail Quinn, Ayana Thompson and Drew Vinson. The Homewood Rotary is proud of its heritage of providing scholarships to Homewood High School seniors to assist deserving students as they embark on their first year of post high school education.

What purpose does the Homewood Rotary Club serve in our community, and how can those interested get involved?

The Homewood Rotary Club seeks to serve the Homewood community by raising funds for worthy causes and supporting city-wide events. One example is the fundraising for the city through our signature St Patrick’s Day Evening in early March, which includes an Irish-themed dinner with silent and live auctions at Valley Hotel. The rotary club also supports the community through SEC raffle ticket sales with the grand prize of a weekend trip to the SEC Football Championship Game. One particular favorite of mine is how the rotary club sponsored four Homewood High School sophomore students to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp in the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. These students were among 99 participants representing 24 rotary clubs throughout North Alabama. Those interested in joining the rotary club can visit homewoodrotaryal.org.

What is your favorite aspect of serving within the club’s leadership roles?

I have been a member of the Rotary Club of Homewood for 16 years. I was asked to serve as President Elect in 2021-2022 and served in the president’s role in 2022-2023. Seeing our club grow in membership and provide more support for the Homewood High School Seniors is one of my favorite aspects of serving. That is really what we are called to do, serve. 

Can you speak on the benefits of community ties between the rotary club and citizens of Homewood?

Homewood rotarians are willing to provide hands-on sweat equity in conjunction with financial support to the needs of our community. Examples of hands-on projects this year have been preparing holiday craft materials for The Exceptional Foundation and organizing food and clothing at Trinity Methodist’s Outreach Hub. A city such as Homewood is made stronger through its citizens coming together through civic organizations such as rotary.

How much in scholarships has the rotary club given out this past year and in total since its inception?

Since its inception, more than $400,000 has been awarded in scholarships with this year’s awards totaling $25,000 for five deserving students.