Why Rotary?

A weekly message from one of our members - a different one each week.

Why I am a Rotarian

By Rev. Sharri Johnson


I first joined the Rotary when my late husband and I lived in De Soto, KS.  I was impressed by the many local and international service projects that have been initiated or completed by Rotary clubs all over the world.  Naturally, when we moved to Marshall, the first thing we did was look up the meeting time and place for the Marshall Rotary Club. We wanted to build a connection to the community and to find ways to be of service, and we knew where to look!  

The weekly meetings (except for the monthly business meeting) include programs from all over the state of Arkansas, and sometimes, beyond the state.  I am especially pleased by this club's dedication to improving education and providing scholastic opportunities to the youth of the community. I frequently meet people who have been on the receiving end of that dedication, and they are always quick to express their appreciation. Rotary can be, and often is, a family activity, too.  I am always delighted when a second- or third-generation Rotarian comes to visit us.

Why I am a Rotarian

By Jerry Patterson


Good question. Let me begin with outlining my “life goals”. Completing law school at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, I returned to Searcy County and began searching for ways to be of service to the community that had impacted my life as a young adult. As a result, I began a career in politics, First as City Attorney for Marshall, Arkansas, then Municipal Judge, eventually being elected, at the age of 28, as Prosecuting Attorney for the 14th Judicial District of Arkansas (this district included Boone, Newton, Marion, Searcy, Van Buren and Cleburne Counties.)

At the beginning of my second year as Prosecuting Attorney, Dr. Edwin Weaver asked me to be his guest at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Marshall. During this meeting, Walker Guthrie, who was president of the club, invited me to make a short address to the club. During this address, I mentioned that the reason, one of them, for returning home to begin my law practice was to be of service to Searcy County and its several communities. With these closing remarks, one member explained that Rotary was one of the foremost service organizations in the world, that its goals included: service through action, improving the economic wellbeing of local communities, and improving the quality of life through the eradication of polio around the world. He went on to parallel these goals with those mentioned during my address to the club – a light came on! “What better way to be of service to our community than being part of an organization that was working for the same goals as I?” That’s why I’m a Rotarian.

Why Rotary

By Sid Lowrance


I joined the Marshall Rotary after I retired from the USDA SCS/NRCS. Dr. Charles Daniels and Dr. R.E. Weaver was always asking me to speak for their program. They would ask me to join and I would say after I retired I would join, because I would never know if I would be around on meeting day. In my 11 years I have been President twice and attended PETS three times. I believe to be a good member, friend and neighbor of your community you need to belong to a organization like Rotary.    

Why Rotary

By Sue Goodman


I like to be connected to a group of people who enjoy serving their community. I feel that Marsha Rotary is a club that tries to serve the needs of the community. I have seen the good things that they work for to try and make folks’ life a better one. I enjoy being able to do what I can to make our Rotary a better one. I like the fellowship with my fellow Rotarians each week, to spend time learning about the needs of our community and to catch up on what some of the Rotarians are doing. I would like to thank my special friend, Dr. Daniel, for coming by my office and asking me to come and be a member of the Rotary.

Why I'm a Marshall Rotarian

By George Hanna

October 3, 2019

I joined the Marshall Rotary Club about 9 years ago when we moved here from the Kansas City area. I joined initially, at the urging of Jerry Patterson and Charles Daniel, to meet my then new neighbors and become familiar with my then new community. I continued my membership because of the good deeds that the club has consistently done over the years for our community. 

Why I'm a Marshall Rotarian

By Bob Evans

September 4, 2019

I joined Rotary because of my friend, Charles Daniel. Got hooked. Rotary is the best service organization in our Community. We have many projects: 

  • School Dental Hygiene Program
  • Dictionary Give Away Program
  • Backpack Food Program
  • and a couple of Scholarship programs - my favorite is the Single Parent Scholarship Program

Come. Join. It's payback time.

Why I'm a Marshall Rotarian

By Dr. Sharon Williams

August 28, 2019

Why did I join Rotary? Serendipity!

Only months after I retired from an overseas job with the US Foreign Service, I received a call out of the blue inviting me to a Rotary Club meeting. The caller, also retired from Foreign Service, found my name in a directory of retirees and was surprised to find a member of our comparatively small profession living nearby in rural Arkansas.

It felt like kismet to get this call at a time when I was feeling an urge to become more involved in the local community beyond just my church. I was heartily welcomed and embraced by the Marshall Rotary. Now, I find myself looking forward to meetings and discovering what role I may play as a Rotarian.

Why I'm a Marshall Rotarian

By James J. Johnston

August 5, 2019

I belong to Rotary because it is a world-wide organization with local impact. Internationally it has taken on polio eradication. Locally it is providing college scholarships for high school graduates and single parents. I travel 116 miles from Fayetteville to Marshall to attend Rotary meetings in my home town, because I enjoy the fellowship--some of that dates to my childhood -- and doing things to enhance Marshall, such as welcome signs on the highways, and being a source of small finance for school organizations. I also enjoy putting on the annual pancake breakfast for all the graduates of Marshall High School who return for the annual alumni weekend and the community. We have hosted Rotary exchanges who come to Arkansas for a few days. This puts us in touch with young entrepreneurs from around the world. The have enjoyed floating the Buffalo River and visiting Blanchard Cave. For me, the Marshall Rotary Club has been a source of fulfillment, helping my hometown with a truly great bunch of people, and reaching out to the outside world with good deeds.