10/25/11 — Three Eagles Rotary Club named best in its region

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Three Eagles Rotary Club named best in its region

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on October 25, 2011 1:46 PM

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Dr. Ross Wilson, left, shakes hands with District 7720 President Don Johnson at the Rotary Club Annual Conference in April where the Three Eagles chapter was named the 2010 Best Club of the Year. Wilson, who was president of the chapter in 2010-11, attributed the honor to the club's growth in membership and commitment to innovative service projects.

When the Three Eagles Rotary Club spun off from the larger Goldsboro group of Rotarians in the early 1990s, nearly all of its members were active duty military or had some tie to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Those active duty airmen have since retired, but the small group of service-minded individuals has grown to nearly 30 members and finished second in the region in per capita fundraising in 2010-11.

Those kind of statistics get you a lot of clout in the 45-club region, but for then-president Ross Wilson and his fellow Rotarians, the club's performance earned them even more: the regional distinction of being club of the year.

The Three Eagles club was named the 2010 Best Club of the Year for District 7720 in April, and while the win was perhaps a surprise for those who underestimated the small group, it was no real surprise for those involved in the club. Of the 750 points required to receive an "outstanding" rating as a club, the Three Eagles earned more than 900.

Dr. Wilson, a former physician with Goldsboro Ear, Nose and Throat, said he credits the club's distinction to its commitment to innovative service projects and an increase in membership during his time as president. Wilson stepped down from the presidency this summer when his term ended.

The club's most impressive accomplishment, he said, was creating a service club for teens at the Boys and Girls Club known as Interact. The club got the charter for the club.

The club also sends two to three students each year to conferences where they learn leadership skills -- a move that reaped dividends when one student came back with a project to renovate a garden at Herman Park.

The club supported that endeavor and also made volunteer stops at the MERCI center and the Community Soup Kitchen, as well as delivering Meals on Wheels and on the garden behind the former of the Arts Council of Wayne County.

The club received a presidential citation at the Rotary Club's Annual Conference as well, and raised $2,000 for research to eradicate polio, a cause the club has supported at the national and international level since the 1980s. The club also raised another $1,000 for children in Sri Lanka who have lost limbs in land mine accidents, assisting them in receiving artificial limbs.

"It just fell together," Wilson said of how the club managed to assemble such a strong year, noting that good service projects and large growth in membership placed the club ahead of the rest.

The Three Eagles Rotary Club meets Wednesdays at 7 a.m. in the dining rooms at Wayne Memorial Hospital. Rotary meetings, which feature guest speakers each week, are open to the public.