Traveling together for a cause can be an interesting experience and its no difference when it comes to representing the Rotary Club of North Raleigh in Guatemala. This month, two gentlemen from this club travelled to Guatemala for a life-alliterating experience. Guatemala is one of the poorest and most illiterate nations in the Western Hemisphere. Traveling there is an experience in itself, but traveling there to visit rural schools is challenging.
Past President Terry Hutchens made his second trip to Guatemala in 2014. As the president when this project was brought to the club, he has been instrumental in this effort for the club. He has previously co-sponsored a Computer Center with former member Jeff Taylor and continues to be active with his sponsorship of a scholarship student.
Terry joined the club in 1992, shortly after moving to Raleigh. He joined at the behest of a friend at his previous club in High Point, NC. He counts the friendships as the mitigating factor to his experiences at this club. Like many members, he has created the type of friendships where he has spent time outside of the club like the Alaskan cruise he shared with Jeff Taylor several years ago. He has served in virtually every position within the club, which is indicative of members who are committed to the club. Most recently, he has served as Sargent-at-Arms and introduces the guest.
Steven has a similar story, but with much less time with the club. He joined the club in 2007 and quickly got involved with the first project being the Take a Kid to the Ballgame project. In 2010, he joined the board as Director of International Service, which predicated his initial tour of Guatemala. Traveling this year for the third time, each trip has made a greater impact on him. Currently, he sponsors a scholarship for a student as well as being a spokesperson for the organization with presentations at several area clubs over the years. He is serving his final months as president of the club with a major focus on membership growth.
He counts the benefits of friendship as the reason he continues to be associated with this organization. Like Terry, he has developed some close friendships that have evolved to playing golf and traveling with other members. He has had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala and New Jersey on behalf of the club. “The New Jersey trip was a unique experience”, Nelson recounts, “We traveled there to work on a home, devastated by Hurricane Sandy and the condition of the home and the community is something I will always remember”.
In addition to serving as president of the club, Steven is overseeing the social media for the club to include a Facebook page and a blog. “My hands have been full this year”, Nelson said of his year as president, “but it has been rewarding and a pleasure”.
Terry is the principal at TCP Leasing and has been in this industry for 40 years. His lovely wife of 35 years works with him in this business. He has two boys from a previous marriage, but the apple of his eye is his dog, Humphries. To know Terry is to know about his passion for his dog. When not in Raleigh, he can be found in the air or at the beach. As a pilot, he feels at home while soaring over the state of his birth, North Carolina.
Steven is a broker and Realtor for Back Nine Homes at Keller Williams Realty in Raleigh. He has been in this field since 1999 and in North Carolina since 1998. Originally from Kalamazoo, he moved to South Carolina as a child, never to return to the cold winters of Michigan. His wife, Jan, is a reformed attorney to retired from the NC Attorney General’s office. They do not have any children, but again, there is a dog. A miniature Schnauzer named Snicker.
“As president of this club”, Steven told us, “It has been my pleasure to work with many of the past presidents such as Terry who have been so open and welcoming to the changes I have brought to this club. I have heard horror stories from other presidents with much pushback from the established members. I haven’t had that issue and they have actually been my greatest supporters. Thanks to members like Terry and the many other past presidents, we will finish this year on a high while establishing a trend for future years”.
Terry and Steven can be seen most every Wednesday for lunch at the Sertoma Arts Center. Each has several years of perfect attendance. Terry is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow and Steven earned his first Paul Harris Fellowship last year. A Paul Harris Fellowship means the individual has donated $1000 to the Rotary Foundation, which is the charitable arm of Rotary International.