histories of Rotary's First 100 Clubs
Rotary Club of Harrisburg 23
Rotary International District
The Rotary Club of Harrisburg
Organized - May 3, 1911
The 23rd club to be formed
Charter Granted - July 13, 1911
Charter Members - Of the first year group the last surviving
members was Brook Trout who died in January 1975.
Membership - One hundred by May 1912, two hundred in 1947, Present
membership approximately 190.
Club Paper - "Tachograph" the official Club paper, was adopted March 1914.
The publication is now known as "Rotary Roundup".
First Ladies Night - February 6, 1912.
Rotary Flag - The Rotary Flag was unveiled on April 13, 1915.
World War I -
Rotary sponsored a contingent company unit in the U.S. Army training at
Gettysburg. Fund established for sending magazines, tobacco, candy and other
small gifts. The Board of Directors passed a resolution, "that upon their
return from service the Rotary Club pledges itself to use its best endeavors
to procure employment for those who need it, etc. " The club also sponsored
an amateur minstrel show to boost the sale of War Thrift Savings Stamps;
receipts totaled $6,363.15.
World War II -
Members of the club served in the Armed Forces of the United States. The
club membership, as a whole, aided in every war project on the home front:
Civil Defense; U.S. Coast Guard; Auxiliary Salvage Campaigns; Blood Donor
Service; Clothing collections; Book collections; Entertainment of military
personnel from nearby military camps and depots.
District History - The Rotary Club of Harrisburg was part of what was
called the Eastern Division in the early days of Rotary International. In
1915, Harrisburg together with the area including the Philadelphia, Reading,
Baltimore and Washington Clubs were incorporated into the 3rd, later the 5th
District. When separated from Philadelphia and Reading in 1922, Harrisburg
was relocated in the 34th District. In 1937 this became the 180th, which
still included Baltimore and Washington. In 1945, this District was
re-divided, and the Rotary Club of Harrisburg was placed in the 181st. In
1950, the 268th; in 1958, the 739th, and in 1994, the 7390th District.
Past District Governors - The following Harrisburg Rotarians served
as District Governors:
Howard C. Fry- 1918-1919
George F. Lumb - 1922-1923
Richie Lawrie, Jr. - 1933-1934
Albert S. Schmidt - 1943-1944
John L. Tivney - 1954-1955
J. Bernard Schmidt - 1960-1961
George E. Reimer - 1973-1974
Francis R. Grady - 1985-1986
Robert J. Hall - 1997-98
Clubs Organized - The Rotary Club of Harrisburg has organized the
York - 1916
Waynesboro - 1920
Carlisle - 1921
Lykens - 1926
Mechanicsburg - 1938
West Shore - 1938
Steelton - 1944 (reorganized to Harrisburg East - 1995)
Hummelstown - 1946
Harrisburg Capital City - 1990
Harrisburg Keystone - 2005
In turn, these clubs organized other clubs, so the Rotary Club of Harrisburg
now has over a score of "grandchildren."
General Activities -
Throughout the history of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg
is found much evidence of the activities of the club in the four avenues of
Rotary service. Its membership has been active in Boys’ work, the
organization of the Boy Scouts (1916), Girl Scouts, Aid in Christmas Seal,
Community and War Chest campaigns, Red Cross, Tri-County United Way and
others. Crippled Children’s work was organized in 1927. PolioPlus Campaign:
The members of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg contributed over $110,000 in
1986-86 in support of the PolioPlus Campaign. Community Service Award: In
1977, the Rotary Club of Harrisburg created the Community Service Award to
annually honor a member of our Rotary Club for community service. Service
Above Self: The Service Above Self Award was established in 1986 to annually
honor the non-Rotarian uncompensated volunteers working in the area of human
service, who best exemplifies the Rotary’s ideal, "service above self". 75th
Anniversary: The Penn Harris Motor Inn and Convention Center was the
location of our 75th Anniversary Celebration, which was well a attended by
members of Rotary locally, nationally and internationally. Place of
Meetings: Rotary club meetings were held in the Penn Harris Hotel until its
demolition in 1972, at which time meetings were moved to the Ramada Hotel
(formerly the Holiday Inn Center City). Since 1990 we have held meetings at
the Harrisburg Hilton & Towers.
Grants - Since 1947, all local philanthropic activities of the club
have been centered in the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation which handles both
the maintenance of a central fund and the disbursement of donations and
grants. To date, the Harrisburg Rotary Foundation has contributed funds of
approximately $500,000 to eligible non-profits.
Special Recognition - Evan J. Miller was a member of the Rotary Club of
Harrisburg from April 1, 1920 - 1997. In 1995 Evan was recognized and
honored for his 75 years of service in the Rotary Club of Harrisburg. He
died at age 101, attending one or two meetings each year until he died.
Female Members - The first woman member was inducted in 1987. In the
intervening years four woman have served as president of our chapter..
The 50th Anniversary of the Club was held on May 3, 1961 in the Plantation
Rom of the Penn Harris Hotel.
The 75th Anniversary of the Club was held at the Penn Harris Motor Inn and
Convention Center. It was attended by local, national and international
The 90th Anniversary of the Club was held on May 3, 2001 at the Harrisburg
Hilton and Towers. Rotarians and guests enjoyed dinner, IMAX Movie and a
dessert celebration with prizes.
DISTRICT CENTENNIAL EVENT
Honoring the century of community service on the local, regional and
national level that has been at the core of Rotary since its founding by
Paul Harris, the Harrisburg Rotary club hosted the gala District Event with
a champagne toast, dinner and dancing.. More than 170 Rotarians from
throughout central Pennsylvania celebrated Rotary Internationals' 100 years
of civic service during a dinner-dance, December 13, at the Harrisburg Hotel
Student members of the Youth Community Development Team, the Harrisburg
Club’s Centennial Project, also joined in celebration. Leading the evening
with the ceremonious Centennial Bell Ringing was our District Governor,
Steve Messner and President, Jim Enders. Our partnership with America’s
Promise was evidenced with the symbolic red wagon and distribution of mugs
highlighting this effort.
Philadelphia, was next in line to receive the Centennial Bell, as it makes
its way to visit the first 100 Rotary Clubs. It’s with enthusiasm, that we
looked forward to joining Rotarians, the world over, at the 2005 RI
Convention in Chicago. We are honored and proud to be Rotarians this