The Sumter Rotary Club was organized late in the fall of 1921 by the Columbia Rotary Club under the local leadership of Dr. S.H. Edmunds, Dr. J.A. Mood, Mr. H.G. Osteen and perhaps one or two others.
The initial application for charter had 25 names; unfortunately, before the application was forwarded, one of the charter members, Mr. John H. Clifton, died and the list was submitted with 24 names. The members elected Dr. S.H. Edmunds president and Mr. S.L. Roddey Secretary. The club held their first meeting during the latter part of December, 1921. They held meetings intermittently until January, 1923 when regular weekly meetings were established.
In its long history, our club has made significant contributions toward community and international service including participation in the YMCA expansion programs, building the first cabin at the Y’s Camp Mac Boykin in Manchester Forest, supporting the Crippled Children’s Fund, the Rotary Scholarship Fund, Foreign Exchange Student Projects, Student Visitation Programs, and most recently establishing the Rotary Centennial Plaza in downtown Sumter.
Perhaps our most significant project has been the establishment of the CART Fund in October 1995. CART stands for Coins for Alzheimer’s Research Trust and is dedicated to providing much needed research dollars with the aim of helping to find a cure and/or a prevention for Alzheimer’s disease. Our members voluntarily started donating their loose change at our meetings as a pilot project. It was so successful all the Rotary Clubs in Eastern South Carolina adopted as a District project in 1996.