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Contributions to RGHF by RID 81/83 Dr. Edgar (Ted) D. Gifford
Historians who continue this project
PRID Dr. Edgar D. (Ted) Gifford D.D.S.
Charter President Rotary Club of La Grange 1958-"59 District 644
Governor 1964-'65 Director Rotary International 1981-'83. Joined
Rotary Global History in February of 2006
Rotary Recognition Awards: Presidential Humanitarian Citation 1981, Service Above Self Award 2003, and District 6450 Spirit of Rotary Award 2003.
He and his wife Caroline are level four Major Donors, Benefactors
of The Rotary Foundation, and there is an Endowed Foundation Fund in
Also see "Why I am a Rotarian"
(2005 Photo with his wife Caroline)
|I am a Rotarian because on August 8, 1958 I
telephoned the Rotary International Secretariat in Evanston,
Illinois and spoke with Beth Maveety of the Extension Department
about the possibility of organizing a Rotary club in La Grange,
Illinois U.S.A. Miss Maveety told me she would inform District 644
Governor Mitchel P. Davis of my interest.
I was inspired to make that call because my uncle, a Perth Amboy, New Jersey Rotarian, who had taken me to a meeting of his club in 1949, and my wife Caroline's father and grandfather who had been president of the Manistee, Michigan, and charter member of the Red Creek, New York Rotary clubs respectively.
On September 3rd, 1958 District 644 Extension Chairman Thor Holter, and a former Rotarian and La Grange minister Russell Kerr, met in my dental office. Four weeks later 27 La Grange area business and professional men applied for a Rotary charter.
After Past Rotary President Herbert J. Taylor spoke about "ROTARY PROGRESS WORLDWIDE" at our charter banquet on November 19, 1958 Chesley Perry (Rotary General Secretary 1910-42) addressed our club about Rotary Global History, and Australian Ambassadorial Scholar Brian Wiseman told us about his country and impressions of the U.S.A. during early weeks of our club's existence which made me realize what enriching and rewarding opportunities Rotary membership provides.
For me it marked the onset of opportunities to assist others in our community, and opened a doorway for worldwide involvement and friendships with service-minded people. Why am I still a Rotarian after 47 years? Why do I continue to attend meetings and participate in other Rotary events?
Past D6450 District Governors, in 2005, PRID Gifford is third from
"Here's more about the interesting story
Dr. Clark Wilder Hawley, the instigator of the initial "hat
passing collection" of $150.00 at a 1906 Chicago Rotary Club
meeting to provide a young MD with a much needed horse for his home
Dr. Hawley, the eye and ear specialist, was a graduate of The University of Michigan and Rush Medical School in Chicago, and from 1890 until his death maintained his medical office in Chicago. Prior to purchasing a home for his family and moving to La Grange in 1894, they had resided in a farther west community, Aurora, IL. The home in La Grange which no longer exists was located at 208 S. 7th Avenue. Some of the information about Dr. Hawley was obtained from The La Grange Area Historical Society of which I am a past president.
Another La Grange resident was also one of the original 30 Chicago Rotarians. He was Robert C. Fletcher who resided at 224 S. Stone Ave., which was just a block and a half from the home in which I grew up, and his youngest of four children Mrs. Clemwell Fletcher Wheeler, was a classmate of mine in grade school and high school, and now resides in Savannah, GA. Mr. Fletcher was an architectural graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and a member of the renown Louis Sullivan architectural firm in Chicago of which Frank Lloyd Wright was also a member, and he was the President of the Lyons Township High School Board when Clemwell and I were students there.
In addition in attendance at the July 19th event (see above) was Mimi Kay Altman Makar, granddaughter of Herbert C. Angster our area's first district governor in 1915. Her mother was the late Mimi Angster Altman, and was one of the first women to become a Rotarian after women were allowed to join Rotary clubs in 1987. She served as the president of the Deerfield, IL Club in 1992-'93, and Dist. 6440 Governor in 1995-'96 and she was, like her father Herb Angster, an outstanding motivational Rotary speaker, and served as my keynote speaker at our Zone 27-28 Institute for past, present and future R.I. officers in Omaha, Nebraska in 1981.
Mimi Kay was the 2000-2001 president of the Highland Park-Good Morning, IL. Rotary Club." Ted Gifford