Some 25 years ago, Charlie Proctor, a Rotary district governor and past president of the Columbia Rotary Club, Columbia’s first club, had a vision to expand Rotary fellowship and service, by forming a second club. The Columbia Rotary Club, now known as the Downtown Rotary Club, had about 100 members at that time At the encouragement of Rotary International and the persistence of Proctor, Columbia’s second Rotary club, Columbia Northwest, received its charter on April 24, 1970.
Proctor said the key to success for a new club is the people selected to be charter members. “If you do a good job of selling the charter members on Rotary, your club will do well.” Columbia Northwest is fortunate to have had such a strong group of charter members under President James M. M. Beauchamp. Early club members who are still active include A.W. “Bill” Klang, Larry Mead, Mark Foreman, William Crabb and Robert Bevins These members have seen many changes as the club grew from 23 to 135 members.
Membership continued to grow when Rotary International, once a male only organization of business professionals, opened its doors to women in 1987. Columbia Northwest quickly followed suit in early 1988, adding Bea Smith as the club’s first woman member.
On behalf of the Columbia Northwest Club a special thanks goes to Charlie Proctor for his persistence and to the Downtown Club for their sponsorship. Columbia Northwest has since helped in sponsoring the Columbia South and Metro Rotary Clubs.
‑ Shara Runyan