Rotary Club opens a Midtown chapter

By Anne Eikner
Midtown now has its own Rotary club. The group, which has 29 members, held their charter celebration in a VIP tent at the Levitt Shell. Frank Givens, the Rotary District 6800 Governor, presented the charter from the stage just before a performance by The Dynamites. The club’s founding president is Maury Tower, owner of Tower Marketing & Media.

“I joined the Memphis Rotary Club in 1994,” Tower said. “I resigned from the Memphis club to start this club. There were a number of us who wanted to go in a different direction.”
Instead of having luncheons, the new club meets from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays at The University Club, 1346 Union Avenue. “With some people’s schedules, it was hard to get away for lunch,” Tower said. “Since we serve hors d’oeuvres instead of a weekly lunch, it’s not as expensive.”

Membership costs $150 a quarter. Tower joked that her motto for the club is “more fun, less funds.” Opting to have the charter celebration on a Friday evening at a free concert series in the heart of Midtown went hand-in-hand with that goal. The club’s sergeant-at-arms/social director, Steve Smart, grilled all the food.

“We believed there was a need in Midtown for a Rotary Club,” Tower said. “Our service projects will be focused primarily on the Midtown community.”
Anyone interested in visiting a meeting or joining the club can contact the group by looking for the Midtown Memphis Rotary Club on Facebook or by emailing Tower at

“We want to keep the club at about 50 members, so everybody can get to know each other,” Tower said. “Plus, a smaller club makes it easier to host off-site meetings, which also allows for more socializing. In this day and age people are struggling for members, so we’d be thrilled to reach 50 members. The average membership for Rotary Clubs around the world is 40.”
The club’s other officers are Pan Awsumb, president-elect; Dan Murrell, vice president; Mary Kay Campbell, secretary;  and Susan Scott, treasurer. The members of its board of directors are Carl Awsumb, Charlotte Hoyle, Al Harvey, Joyce Springfield-Collins, and Ellen Weirich.

Founded in Chicago in 1905, Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, promote high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. More than 1.2 million Rotarians are members of over 33,000 clubs in nearly 170 countries. The organization is committed to humanitarian service by working to combat hunger, improve health, provide education and job training, and promote peace. For more information, visit


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