Cessnock Wine Country Rotary Club has handed in its charter after 16 successful years helping the community.
Falling membership and the inability to attract new, younger members was the main reason for the decision.
Club president Bill Hoye said it while it was sad occasion, the club can look back with pride on making a major contribution to the local community as well as Rotary International with its support for the PolioPlus scheme.
He said the club through its fundraising efforts contributed more than $50,000 to worthy causes.
Among the major donations were $32,000 to the Children’s Medical Research Institute, $7000 to the Rotary Foundation, $4400 to Hunter Valley Special Olympics and $2500 to Relay for Life.
In its formative years the club donated $2800 worth of equipment to Cessnock West Public School Library after thieves broke into the building.
A special occasion at a dinner where the club officially disbanded was presentation of a Paul Harris Fellowship award to member Noel Sugui.
The award is the highest honour Rotary can bestow on a member and recognises the member’s outstanding effort and commitment to the club and Rotary in general.
Mr Sugui, a local businessman, has been a member for 13 years.
Mr Hoye said closing down the club was not all bad news as it will be re-born as a Cessnock City Supporters Club for the Children’s Medical Research Institute.
He said the group has been officially recognised and will announce more details once formalities have been completed.
He added that all remaining funds in accounts held by Cessnock Wine Country Rotary Club will be transferred to the new supporters group.