The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary is proud to host "Day at the Lake" for the foster kids and families of Lincoln and Catawba counties, held in early June. The families arrive mid-morning on the scheduled date, greeted by the Rotarians and have the opportunity for land and water activities. Our site is on Lake Norman and the kids have the opportunity to go boat riding, fishing, skiing and tubing. On land, there is a huge slide, horseshoes and other games plus a pool, which seems to attract the most!

Lunch is burgers and hot dogs with all the fixins and is provided for about 250 kids, their families and Rotarians in a typical year.





The August DAM2DAM charity ride, sponsored by the Denver Lake Norman Rotary starts at the Beatty’s Ford Park after a Bojangles breakfast. At 8AM, the participants mount their jet skis and get ready for the almost 60 mile trip.

The riders headed south to the Cowans Ford Dam, then turn and start on the longest leg of the ride, the entire length of Lake Norman, including several miles up the Catawba River to the Lookout Shoals Dam, a distance of nearly 30 miles.  The DAM2DAM Jet Ski Charity Ride then turns and heads back down the river and the lake to a small island at marker 5, where there is a catered lunch by Village Inn Pizza.

Proceeds from the charity ride are split between the Denver Lake Norman Rotary Foundation and the club’s efforts to support Rescue Squad Park.

“Our Rotary Club is one of the most active clubs I have seen” says Charles Bohlen, 2013-2014 Denver/Lake Norman Rotary president.  “This idea came from Dave Fuller, a club member who doesn’t even own a jet ski and is typical of our members.  The Rotary motto is "Service Above Self" and each of our Rotarians is an example of this motto.  From this charity ride, Music in the Park, the Day at the Lake and Rescue Squad Park, our club is very active in supporting our community.”

Race to Reading Program - Andy Scriven Memorial
A program designed to help children gain access to books.  Rotary has placed books at four Doctor's offices in Lincoln County as well as at the Lincoln County CAPC.
Group Study Exchange


Rotary features many exciting international projects, and one that the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary has been involved with is GSE.

The Rotary Foundation’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) program is a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for business people and professionals between the ages of 25 and 40 who are in the early stages of their careers. The program provides travel grants for teams to exchange visits in paired areas of different countries. For four to six weeks, team members experience the host country’s culture and institutions, observe how their vocations are practiced abroad, develop personal and professional relationships, and exchange ideas.

Our district, which covers western North Carolina, pairs with districts in other countries to provide this wonderful opportunity. In the past, we have hosted visiting teams from the Czech Republic, Nigeria and India and exposed them to as much of the local cultural and business environment as we can.



The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary has been involved in the construction of two houses for the Habitat for Humanity organization. The Habitat for Humanity organization helps low income families with good credit to achieve the goal of home ownership. Volunteers perform much of the construction labor for the homes. The homeowners work with the volunteers during the construction to build up their "sweat equity", which accounts for their down payment.

Currently the club is working on a matching grant to help fund smokeless stoves and water filters for indigenous people in Guatemala.

Interact Club


For East Lincoln High School, North Lincoln High School and Lincoln Charter School

The Interact Club is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 14 to 18. Currently, the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary sponsors the Interact Clubs of East Lincoln High School North Lincoln High School and Lincoln Charter School. These Interact Clubs are self-governing and self-supporting, however as a sponsor, the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary provides support and direction to its members.

Each year, Interact clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of

  • Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
  • Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
  • Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
  • Advancing international understanding and goodwill

Some Past Interact Club Projects Include: Make a Wish Foundation, CROP Walk, Relay for Life, Big Sweep 09, American Red Cross Blood Drive and Earth Day Activities.

Junior Achievement


The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary is actively involved in bringing the Junior Achievement (JA) program into Lincoln County. JA is an international organization that seeks to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy through a variety of programs aimed at young people in grades K-12. JA and Rotary share a common desire to help young people be prepared to succeed as they progress into adulthood.

After participating in an International project supporting a JA program in Guatemala, several members of the Club joined together to pursue bringing JA to Lincoln County. The Lincoln County JA Board of Directors was formed in 2004, consisting primarily of Rotary Club members and Lincoln County School System staff, and began working with JA and the Lincoln County School System to bring a JA program into the local schools.

The Board decided to begin in the elementary schools with the third grade JA program. The first sessions were done in the fall of 2005 in the third grade classes in eastern Lincoln County, with the majority of the classroom volunteers being members of the Rotary Club.

The program was well received and, with the support of the Lincoln County School Board, it was decided to offer the program to all third grade classes in the Lincoln County School system. From the 2006/2007 school year to the 2014/2015 school year, all third grade classes in the Lincoln County School System have been offered the JA Third Grade program, with nearly 1,000 students each year participating.

Beginning with the 2015/2016 school year, the Lincoln County JA Board determined that the JA program would fit more appropriately with the 4th grade schedule. Beginning in September 2015, the fourth grade JA program was offered to all 4th grade classrooms in the Lincoln County. Opportunities to volunteer for this program may be found at

The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary provides significant financial support annually for this JA program and participates in fundraising activities for JA. Members of the Club continue to participate as classroom volunteers and members of the Lincoln County JA Board of Directors.

Reading Program


For Kindergarten Students at Rock Springs Elementary School and Lincoln Charter School

Once a month, the Denver/Lake Norman Rotary reads to the kindergarten students of Rock Springs Elementary and Lincoln Charter School after its Wednesday morning meetings. The children are always excited to have a special guest read to them and it is even more fun for our club members to read to the students.

Y Readers

“Last week while volunteering, I noticed that my mouth was hurting and I thought to myself: Why is my mouth hurting? I thought about it and then realized that I hadn’t stopped smiling since arriving!” – Trudy Crawford

Y Readers is a nationally recognized literacy program that serves students in grades K-3 who are reading below grade level. The program operates as a six-week summer camp as well as an afterschool program. The purpose of Y Readers is to provide the additional support that students need to be proficient in reading by the end of third grade. This is accomplished through a focus on improving students’ literacy skills and self-confidence in the classroom.

The Y is committed to helping all children discover and live their true potential. By combining an engaging curriculum with enthusiastic teachers and volunteers, Y Readers gives students the skills and confidence they need to read on grade level. Y Readers now serves over 700 students each year in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Lincoln County Schools, and Mooresville Graded School District. Students are recommended for Y Readers by their classroom teachers and principals based on need for the program.

Locally in Lincoln County, 32 students are served at Iron Station Elementary and each child attends the program for 6 weeks free of any cost to the families. The cost per child is approximately $1300 and those funds are raised through the YMCA's Annual Giving Campaign through individual donors and businesses, local grants, and the United Way. The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary chose to sponsor two children and also received a matching grant from the district totally $2600. 17 volunteers, many of whom were Rotarians, also gave of their time and 17 volunteers served over 60 hours with the teachers to provide one-on-one reading activities each week for the children.

For more information on the Y Readers Program, click here:



The Denver/Lake Norman Rotary Club helps support the relief of suffering from natural and man-made disasters by financially supporting ShelterBox. The purpose of ShelterBox USA, Inc. is to provide victims of disaster with shelter, by supporting the efforts of the ShelterBox Trust.

ShelterBox is a grassroots Rotary project, started in England, which has rapidly expanded worldwide. The ShelterBox mission is to deliver immediate relief to victims of natural and other disasters anywhere around the world. Disasters to which they have responded include earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, floods, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and typhoons, including the hurricane that struck New Orleans. It achieves its mission by providing rugged 10-person tents to be used as emergency accommodation and other survival essentials as required.

As of January 2008, ShelterBox has sent aid to over 40 different countries, providing shelter for approaching 500,000 people. Each ShelterBox is a large, rugged, green plastic container that holds a 10-person tent and a range of other equipment. In general, typical box contents could include:

  • Thermal blankets and insulated ground sheets
  • Waterproof ponchos and bin bags
  • A multi-fuel stove that can burn anything from diesel to old paint!
  • Cooking pans, utensils, bowls and mugs
  • Collapsible water containers and water purification tablets
  • A basic tool kit – hammer, axe, saw, pliers, hoe head, trenching shovel, rope etc
  • A small, children’s pack containing drawing books, crayons, pens etc.

However, a range of equipment is kept in stock. This allows ShelterBox to be flexible and adjust the contents of the box according to local conditions and what is most urgently needed. Sometimes, particularly if other resources are available locally and the overwhelming need is for shelter just tents are sent, packed two in a box.

Student Loan Fund


For the last 16 years Lincoln County Rotarians have held an annual auction for EDUCATION to raise funds to provide low interest student loans to anyone in Lincoln County that wants to go to college or full time institutions of higher education. They have made annual individual contributions and solicited items from area businesses and individuals to sell in our 3-day televised auction. To-date, over 1.7 million dollars has been raised. Thanks to their efforts and the tremendous support of Lincoln County residents and businesses, the Lincoln County Rotary Student Loan Fund, has provided 1,225 individual loans totaling over 2.76 million dollars to students all over the county.

Rotarians and their family and friends give of their time and financial resources so students from our county can afford higher education. This fund is for any full time Lincoln County student that has a 2.0 GPA and has two cosigners from our county. It is neither merit based, nor need based. In today?s economy, many middle-income folks simply fall through the cracks when it comes to financial assistance for higher education. Lincoln County Rotarians wanted to make sure that did not happen in our county. As many students face the national loan crisis, students in our county are able to receive a low interest loan (3 percent for the life of the loan) with repayment terms that don’t break the bank. Many students return to our county to make a positive contribution after completing their education. Many come back to serve by helping with the Rotary Auction for EDUCATION.

As you may know, Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self”. When it comes to the Lincoln County Rotary Student Loan Fund, Lincoln County Rotarians embody that motto to the highest degree. Lincoln County Rotarians, with the tremendous support of our community, work for months to raise the funds, making it one of the largest and longest running fundraising events in our county, and they do it all expecting nothing in return, but to make our community a better place to live.

Hundreds of items are auctioned live each year at the Rotary Auction for EDUCATION held at the James W. Warren Citizen’s Center thanks to Charter Communications Channel 10 from 6-11pm each night and streamed live at where folks watched the auction thanks to Information Technology Services.


Gaye Howard
CEO / Administrator
Lincoln County Rotary
Student Loan Fund, Inc.
PO Box 682
Lincolnton, NC 28093-0682
(704) 732-0867-Office