City recognizes Carlyle Rutledge

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2009

By Joanie Morris

Kannapolis Citizen

J. Carlyle Rutledge has done it again.

Rutledge, who will turn 97 this month, has been a long-standing member of the community, often giving to those in need through programs like Cooperative Christian Ministry and others.

His contributions include service on the N.C. House of Representatives and in the N.C. Senate, as well as charitable contributions around Kannapolis and Cabarrus County.

This time, it’s the city of Kannapolis that will benefit from Rutledge’s largess. Rutledge donated $50,000 to the Parks and Recreation Department in order to get the train engine that will run around a track at Village Park named after one of his favorite groups — the Kannapolis Rotary Club.

“He’s done a lot for this community,” said Gary Mills, director of the Parks and Recreation Department. Mills met with Rutledge about two months ago because “Mr. Rutledge wanted to do something.”

Mills told Rutledge, “You will win first prize this evening.”

Rutledge was honored by the city on Monday night with a proclamation making Dec. 11, 2006, J. Carlyle Rutledge Day in the city of Kannapolis.

He spoke at the meeting about seeing the engine and knowing he had to do something for the city.

“You’re going to look forward to seeing something great,” said Rutledge. “It’s beautiful …

“This gives me a little opportunity to do something for the city that will last,” Rutledge said. In addition to “Rotary Express” on the engine of the train, “J. Carlyle Rutledge” will go on the coal tender, behind the engine.

“I wanted very much to be a part of it,” Rutledge said.

The Kannapolis Rotary Club has sponsored a golf tournament for the past two years and raised $30,000 to help build the train station that will house the engine. It will be called Kannapolis Rotary Station.

“Everybody around Kannapolis is going to be proud,” Rutledge said.

Contact Joanie Morris at 704-932-3336 or