Nacogdoches Rotary Club celebrates 90 years of service

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Ninety years is a long time of service. The Nacogdoches Rotary Club wanted to commemorate the day in style. The club celebrated with a reception and ribbon cutting Wednesday evening at the Fredonia Hotel.

The gathering still stuck to tradition with a clang of a bell and a rousing song. Today's selection was one all could join in.

"R-O-T-A-R-Y, that spells Rotary," sang members gathered for the event.

"It's a marvelous meeting place. It's just the most natural thing in the world to say, ' See you after Rotary,'" said Dr. Archie McDonald, a member and resident historian.

Every member steps through the door and selects their badge. The lower the number on the badge, the longer they've been of service.

We found number 7, Harold Bogan. "I joined in '63. 1963," said Bogan.

The Nacogdoches Rotary is jokingly called the 'old man's club. They didn't like women as members. Today, women are welcomed. They've had two as presidents.

"I would say our club is more about building lives and building futures," said Lisa King, a former president.

The club's service includes Polio Plus, a mission to wipe out the disease in third world countries. "We're hoping to have polio eradicated around the world by 2012," said member Bob Dunn. He's a Paul Harris recipient, an honor named for the international club's founder.

Also important is community service. " There's an awful lot of charities that go on that are not heralded and public," said McDonald.

At the top of the list is supporting the youth with exchange programs and scholarships.  " Last year we gave over $13,000 to Nacogdoches high school graduating seniors," said member Francis Spruiell.

The club has done a lot for a community in 90 years.

" Best part of it is our motto--Service Above Self," said Bogan.

The Nacogdoches Rotary Club welcomes guests. Application is necessary and requires a vote, but members support continued growth. The club meets each Wednesday at 12noon at the Fredonia Hotel.

©2011 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.