Where We Meet
1650 McFarland Blvd. N
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
A History of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa – Morning
The Club was chartered on November 20th, 1990, as an outgrowth of the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club. The initial meeting of the founding members was held in a meeting room at the offices of Alabama Power Company, and was presided over by the committee of the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club (“Noon Club”) which had been tasked by their club with the establishment of a new club. From the start, the objectives of that committee included (1) to have a club that met at a time of the day other than noon so as to give the Noon Club members a convenient place to make up missed meetings, (2) have a higher percentage of younger members than the Noon Club, and (3) be comprised of new members rather than current Noon Club members.
Our first President was Reggie Smith, who along with Jimmy Hopper, Kyle Johnson, Bill White, Carl Ferguson, Susan Drake, Scott Donaldson, Molly McKay, George Thaggard and Darris Frost, constituted the officers and directors. Our initial meeting place was Shoney’s on Hwy 82 in Northport, but that was shortly changed to Morrison’s Cafeteria (now Piccadilly) in University Mall, as we outgrew the space available and needed a more private meeting room.
Service projects have been a part of the club since the founding. While the first year was spent with the business of organizing, establishing regular meetings and location, and growing membership, during the second year, we undertook our first major fundraiser. We established a golf tournament to benefit the Tuscaloosa Community Soup Bowl. That first tournament was a “homemade” event, with all hands on deck from our small club. Members sold the tickets, solicited the donations of prizes, food and drinks, manned the scoreboard and called out the winners, and even cooked hotdogs and hamburgers on the BBQ to feed the members, players and guests. At the time, there weren’t that many tournaments, and it proved a successful event such that we continued it annually for a number of years.
Over the years, we have had the opportunity to be involved in many service projects, both large and small. In addition to our support of the Soup Bowl, we participated with other clubs in a clean water program in the Caribbean, participated in school literacy programs, sponsored Group Study Exchange participants and served as host for GSE teams from abroad. Further, our club established early on a policy of encouraging each member to contribute to the Rotary Annual fund and has several multiple Paul Harris Fellows in our membership.