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The Rotary Club of Kinver was formed by the Rotary Club of Stourbridge when they identified the opportunity to create an evening club to cater for those for whom membership of Rotary would otherwise have been impossible.

So it was that more than 200 people, including the RIBI President, filled the main banqueting suite in Wolverhampton’s Park Hall Hotel in June 1986 to witness the official presentation of the Charter to founder President Bruce Harris.

Since then the club has become a fully accepted and highly appreciated facet of life in the villages of Kinver and Enville and the Wollaston area of Stourbridge, working on behalf of young and old alike – and raising £245,000 for charities in our area and across the world.

The most high profile of the club’s activities within the communities has been the sleigh which made its first tour of the village in 1986 when the club was chartered, and has done so every Christmas since, only missing two collection nights due to bad weather over the first 25 years. In that time it has raised an eye watering £84,000 for local charities.

The first Harvest Auction was held when the club was in its infancy and, although mainly supported by members and occasionally their personal guests, has raised £13,000 over the years - cash that has been donated to a wide variety of good causes.

The year 2011 saw the 10th anniversary of the Children in Need Quiz, hosted by BBC “Voice of the Balls” Alan Dedicoat who offered to stage the event after he had been the guest speaker at Charter Night in 2001. It has grown over the years to fill the KCA every time and, although Alan has taken on the question master’s role for other charitable groups, the Kinver event remains the biggest. Over the ten years the quizzes have raised more than £10,000 for the charity – the same sum that was given to Help the Heroes in 2010 as the club’s largest single donation to any charity. Other big money earners have been the unforgettable Musical Extravaganza and the Open Garden Weekends which brought hundreds of visitors to the village.

Membership of the club has remained quite constant – around 40. We currently boast 49 full members and two honorary members; seven of the founding group of 40 remain in the club.

During the period we have rewarded five of our members with Paul Harris Fellowships: the late Lawrie Beswick, the late John Fraser and Past Presidents Mike Aston, Roy Sanders (who has also been awarded a sapphire pin) and Mike Deathridge.  Unlike other clubs where it is possible to “buy” these prestigious commendations, the Kinver club has religiously adhered to its decision made in the very early days that Paul Harris Fellowships would be earned and given to members as a token of the club’s appreciation of support over and above the norm. The total tally of Paul Harris Fellows in the club is currently seven as the Kinver club was fortunate to welcome four members from the now defunct Brierley Hill Rotary Club, all Past Presidents and Paul Harris Fellows.

Over the coming years the club will continue to play its part in village life; new members will join; others will leave; and the objectives will remain “Service Above Self”

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