The Inner Wheel Club of Baton Rouge is a non-profit organization dedicated to service and friendship. Since 1990, Inner Wheel Baton Rouge has worked in the Baton Rouge community to raise funds for area non-profit through the “Attic Trash and Treasure Garage Sale” which is usually held in March.
History of the Inner Wheel Club of Baton Rouge
In 1988, Rotary decided to have a garage sale to raise money for Polio Plus. The sale was held in the old Gus Mayer’s building and was chaired by Margaret Broussard and Jan Gilbert. There was active participation by the Rotarians, but the sale was generally run by their spouses.
In 1989, Rotary had no plans to continue the fundraiser. However, D.H. Holmes and other businesses continued to donate merchandise throughout the year. It became evident that another sale was possible. Jesse Harlan (Executive Director of Rotary) chaired the second sale. The entire proceeds of the sale were donated to the Rotary Foundation.
In 1990, the wives really looked forward to the camaraderie of the sale, and hated to see it abandoned. Ruthie Kean and Bootsie Hundermer agreed to co-chair the event if they could donate the money to abused children. After the sale, $6,000 was donated to abused children and the remainder went to the Rotary Foundation.
Later that year, in a meeting at the Rotary office with Fred Grace, President of Rotary, Jesse Harlan, Ruthie Kean and Bootsies Hundermer in attendance, Fred informed the ladies that Rotary was no longer interested in continuing the sale. Fred advised them that while he was at a Rotary convention, he learned about inner Wheel. If the wives wanted to continue the sale, why not form their own club?
Fred suggested that Ruthie and Bootsie meet with the President of Inner Wheel who lived in New Orleans. They did this and, with the blessing of National and International Inner Wheel, or local organization was formed and our fundraiser “Attic Trash and Treasure” was continued. Keigh Ballard was elected the first president, and a board was chosen. Our Inner Wheel has been visited many times by International and National representatives, and we have presented a program at a National convention.
We have so much to be proud of – we are recycling giants. We have raised over $1.8 million dollars for Baton Rouge. But most of all, we have formed lifelong friendships within our membership, with our friends who help, and with our customers who come year after year, and we have so much fun doing it!
The Inner Wheel Story
Inner Wheel is the story of a women’s movement which began in the simplest possible way, through the help given by wives to husbands in their efforts towards the public good.
During the war years in England, the Rotary men were overburdened with service needs so they asked the wives to help. Women joined together, formed a bond, and found they enjoyed meeting other wives of Rotarians – women they probably would have never known. When the pressure of war times was over, they realized they did not want to disband—so the first idea of forming a club began.
One January 12,1924, Mrs. Oliver Golding, became the first President of an Inner Wheel Club in Manchester, England. The idea of Inner Wheel spread quickly and many clubs were soon formed. The Manchester Club became the model upon which the movement is based. Due to the leadership, inspiration, and vision of Mrs. Goldberg and a Mrs. Nixon, the Clubs were grouped into Districts. Together, the Districts formed the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.
International Wheel began in July, 1967.