The history of the Columbia Sertoma Club is as storied and widely known as any in all of Sertoma.
The Columbia Sertoma Club was chartered as the Cooperative Club of Columbia, June 10, 1950, with William W. Bruner as the charter president and William F. Dibble as the first Chairman of the Board. The name was changed to Sertoma (SERvice TO MAnkind) a few months after the founding when the national organization’s name became Sertoma International. Of the 61 Charter members, 2 are still active in the Club. Prior to his passing, Charter member Tucker Weston had perfect attendance since the charter date (more than 50 years) and was a past President of Sertoma International.
The Columbia Sertoma Club has sponsored and built 30 new Sertoma Clubs in the State of South Carolina since it’s beginning. Starting in 1967, we built a new club each year for 29 consecutive years – a record that is unequaled in all of Sertoma International. Gold Honor status in Sertoma International was also achieved for 26 years in a row beginning in 1968. This is the longest consecutive streak in all of Sertoma.
The mission of the Columbia Sertoma Club is to generate funds to donate to charity organizations local to the Columbia area, and this is accomplished by coordinating fundraisers. Through the years our major fund raising projects have included the annual Carolina Childrens Home Campaign, operation of the Grand Strand Concession at The State Fair, selling concessions at 3 Rivers Music Festival, selling concessions and operating gateways at St. Patrick’s Day in Five Points, Super Garage Sales, Art Auctions, selling concessions at events such as MayFest and Columbia Bomber baseball games and The Farewell Farms Eastern DeBroke Horse Trials in Blythewood, and many, many others.
Major sponsorships over the years have included The Carolina Children’s Home, RiverBanks Zoo, EdVenture, Camp Sertoma, The Sertoma Foundation, the Palmetto Baseball League, and too many others to list here. The campaign to raise operating funds for The Carolina Children’s Home has raised in excess of $3.3 million to date and last year the club donated funds to more than twenty-six (26) local charities.
Over the years, several Sertoma Club members have distinguished themselves and their club by making contributions that have helped the organization become what it is today, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Without them, this history wouldn’t be possible.
Dr. Tucker C. Weston, a charter member who was President of Sertoma International in 1959-60 and was instrumental, along with Lyle Noll, in establishing the Sertoma Foundation.
Nelson McDonald who wrote, edited and published our bulletin for 27 years.
Ernest Lawhorne who was President in 1968 when our streak of building Clubs and the Carolina Children’s Home Campaign began and who now solicits and collects contributions from more than 40 donors annually.
Colonel Richard Coulter, who prior to his death, photographed every Sertoma event and compiled a scrapbook he presented to the outgoing President for over 25 years beginning in 1970.