“Sign” Smith began his long and varied career in magic at age 10; at 16 he was known as the Boy Wonder; at 18 a professional whose magic included fire-eating, wire-walking, hypnotism, card tricks and magic. He settled in Eureka in the early 1920s and opened a sign-making shop. In 1928, Glyndon “Sign” Smith joined the Rotary Club of Eureka. For the next 69 years, until the time of his death at the age of 98, he never missed a weekly meeting. Sign and his wife Ruth lived an exciting, rich life, enjoying their love for each other until Ruth’s death in 1991. In 1995, this legendary Rotarian significantly contributed to the Rotary Foundation and became our club’s first Rotary Foundation Major Donor. Sign was a charming and loving man who gave much of himself to people of the North Coast. He died in April, 1997.
Sign had perfect attendance. Although he and his wife Ruth traveled extensively, he made a point of being where he could make up meetings at various Rotary Clubs around the world. Sign, supported by Ruth, was a dedicated Rotarian. At the time of his death, through his donations and from his estate, he had established a fund now worth $712,645.77 for the use of Eureka Rotary, to benefit the community.
The basic provisions of this Agreement are: That the first community service project was to build softball and soccer fields at Washington School (approximately $50,000) and a donation of $10,000 towards the purchase of a new Bloodmobile for the Blood Bank.
In 2000 the Board of Directors established a Committee of Past Presidents who developed policy and procedures for the expressed purpose of providing “guidance for the management and use of the Funds.” The Board of Directors approved this “Policy Statement of the Sign Smith Endowment Fund” on May 22, 2001. The policy states that: The Fund will be managed by a Committee of all Past Presidents that serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors.
Annually the Committee solicits and evaluates grants for projects. Solicitation is coordinated with the Club’s Service Fund Committee and the Board of Directors. Prior to Committee approval of grant(s), grant recommendation(s) are presented to the Board of Directors for Board comment.
Income from this fund is “used for Rotary service projects as recommended by Rotary Club of Eureka.” The Fund currently provides approximately $35,000 per year to help community projects.