Sixty local Rotary Club members and spouses, current and former, celebrated 75 years of our club in Pella on May 14th at the Central College Sutphen Room. District 6000 representatives in attendance included Terry Geiger, current District 6000 Governor and his wife Peggy, and Past District Rotary Foundation Chair Corliss Klaassen and wife Jeanne. Thirty some special guests who belong to the club only in spirit now, Pella Mayor Jim Mueller and John Van Berkum whose membership dates back to 1967 as well as several past presidents, also attended. Current members Dick Van Zante in his 45th and Orville Duncan in his 40th year as Rotarians, current president Chris Huston and beneficiaries of Rotary’s international programs Jessica Klyn, former Ambassadorial Scholar and current Austrian Rotary Exchange student Barbara Alliger added to the total attendees proving Rotary is alive and well in Pella.
The event was organized as a group effort of 10 members. The evening started with members and guests being welcomed with a commemorative program outlining the club and organization activities over the years since 1938 when the Pella Club was sponsored by the Oskaloosa Rotary Club. Special acknowledgements included the major donations by Mr. Fultz and Francis Huyser and of the leadership provided by former presidents who maintained the Rotary spirit over the 75 years. A social hour with members reminiscing with the help of Rotary memorabilia and awards commemorating innumerable exchanges and events and a slide show of club activities and members was followed by dinner, a special business meeting and program all in a lighthearted celebratory mood.
The meeting included the normal rites that members share every Tuesday noon. The program, emceed by member Wes Chaplin, included presentations by Ms. Klyn, a review of the wide ranging help that Pella Rotary has been to the community and world by treasurer Dan Bogaards and a summary of the aid provided to handicapped people around the world through the local PETS group by its president and Rotary member Bill Bruxvoort. The evening continued with addresses by District Governor Terry Geiger and District Rotary Foundation Chair Corliss Klaassen, presenting the Club’s 2013 Paul Harris and Rotarian of the Year awards and a raffle drawing benefitting PETS and PolioPlus. The evening ended as all meetings do with the Four Way Test revisiting the major tenants of Rotary International.