VANDALIA — The Vandalia Rotary Club celebrated its 60th anniversary with special proclamations last Thursday during its normal meeting time.
The club held its first meeting on March 7, 1958 at Butler High School and its first president was Charles Rowley.
Ohio Governor John Kasich and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor congratulated the club on its milestone.
“Throughout the past six decades, you have made a remarkable difference in the Vandalia area by volunteering your time and resources to changing lives in your community and around our state,” Kasich wrote. “Your efforts have made our state a better place to live, work, and raise a family and we thank you for the positive impact you have had.”
Ohio Representative Mike Henne (R-40) echoed those sentiments along with Ohio Speaker of the House Clifford Rosenberger.
“All those associated with the Rotary Club of Vandalia are to be commended for their foresight, dedication, and selfless donations of time, energy, and ability far beyond what was required,” they wrote.
Vandalia Mayor Arlene Setzer declared March to be Vandalia Rotary 60th Anniversary Month.
“We are grateful for the many contributions of our local Rotarians who have offered leadership, service, and monetary assistance to our community for 60 years,” said Setzer.
A power point presentation recalled many of the club’s projects over the years such as dictionary donations to third graders, donations to Aullwood Audubon Farm, Cub Scouts, neighborhood beautification, Hurricane Katrina collections, and the Rotary Bridge that connects the Vandalia Art Park and the grounds of the Historical Society of Vandalia-Butler.
In a reminder of our society’s not so distant past, the presentation also included an article in the Drummer News’ predecessor publication, the Crossroads Chronicle, in which an honorary member of the club, Marj Hildebrand, the editor and publisher of the Chronicle, could not remain as an honorary member because of a vote by Rotary International to continue excluding women.
Ms. Hildebrand was welcome to continue attending meetings, but the controversy carried significant weight with the article noting that the “District Governor gave us a hard time…We argued for an hour, but no use.”
Fast forward to 2018 and women are not only full members, but many serve on the club’s board of directors.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.