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South Y Service club celebrates 25th anniversary

Jack Thomas said, “I was just part of a team that had a dream.” Thomas was one of the 23 members who formed the South Rowan Y Service Club, which was officially chartered on May 7, 1988. Those members and the 25th Anniversary of the club’s charter were celebrated with a lot of pleasant memories and more than just a few laughs and tears on Tuesday night at the J. Fred Corriher YMCA in Landis.
The South Rowan Y Service Club is a part of Y’s Men International, a worldwide association of Christ-centered service clubs with a common loyalty to the YMCA. The worldwide Christian fellowship includes men and women of all ages, races, nationalities, religions and socio-economic levels. Together, with mutual respect and affection, the Y Service Clubs believe that they can put Christ’s teachings into action through active service. During this process they hope to make communities, and ultimately the world, a better place to live and raise our children.
Master of Ceremonies Terry Bradley kept things lively and moving following dinner with his own version of humor while giving credit to many deserving individuals. Gay Roberts, current President of the South Y Service Club, welcomed everyone after Bradley reminded the audience that her husband was the first club president 25 years ago and how good it was to see Gay finally on board. Pastor Jon Sherrill brought the invocation while focusing the audience of the importance of service.
Charter members on hand were recognized. Those attending were Don Zimmerman, Jack Thomas, Charles Johnson, George Knox, Bruce Miller, David and Gay Roberts. Surviving spouses Sue Tadlock, representing Frank Tadlock, and Joyce Lunsford, representing Bill Lunsford, joined the original charter members for a group photo. Members of the Research and Development Committee, as well as current club members and guests were also recognized.
Charles Johnson, retired YMCA of Rowan County CEO, remembered that he wanted to start a Y’s Men’s Club at the South Rowan YMCA. He was told that there was certainly too many clubs in the area already. Johnson worked with David Roberts to start the club, and remembered a request he made to the Y Service Club to provide a reliable bus. Johnson asked them to purchase a used bus for about $15,000. Frank Tadlock asked Johnson to find out the cost of a new one. Johnson did and was surprised to find that the club bought and paid for a brand new bus worth $35,000 within six weeks. Tadlock then told Johnson that the Y Service Club could spearhead the cost of a new YMCA, approximately $3.5 million dollars. History proves that Tadlock was correct.
David Roberts, first President of the South Y Service Club, followed Johnson’s comments with a brief history of the club. The YMCA began offering programs in the China Grove and Landis areas in 1979 with Thomas as director.
Roberts remembered that every charter member said, “Build a YMCA.” Once construction was complete, a similar group was inspired to follow suit in the East Rowan area and plans were drawn for another new YMCA. Roberts reminded the audience, “God is not through with us yet.”
Final speaker for the evening was Jamie Morgan, current YMCA of Rowan County CEO. Morgan quickly recounted his own memories of the first YMCA bus, and how the Service Club’s new bus made the difference in reliable transportation for youth programs in the area. That bus is still in use today. Morgan thanked the past and current club members for the a remarkable 25 years, and said, “We have had such key people in leadership of this organization. The club continues to help kids and make a difference. I look forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Y Service Club.”
Past Y Service Club member Pat Shoe added, “This YMCA has been great for China Grove and Landis. The Y kept a lot of children out of trouble.”
Bradley closed the celebration by thanking many who helped make the evening a success. Then, just like a good servant, Bradley said, “We meet the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m., right here in the front meeting room at YMCA. We would love to have you join us.”

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