Washington Rotary marks 100 years of service A gala event to mark its centennial recalled some of the milestone projects which were appreciated by the elite gathering as they had benefitted communities across the world.

Outgoing Washington Rotary President Richard Podgurski, right, inducts new President William Price during the club's birthday celebration and President's Night on June 12.
Outgoing Washington Rotary President Richard Podgurski, right, inducts new President William Price during the club’s birthday celebration and President’s Night on June 12.

From rehabilitating the Main Pavilion at Washington Park, to providing dictionaries to area students, to raising thousands of dollars to help eradicate polio, members of Washington Rotary Club (Pennsylvania, US – D 7330) are fulfilling their mission to serve neighbours here and around the world a century after their founding.

To mark the anniversary, the service organisation held a 100th birthday celebration and President’s Night on June 12 in the Doubletree by Hilton Meadow Lands, during which new leaders were inducted, with President Richard Podgurski passing the gavel to President-elect William Price.

The club also recently held a luncheon where they presented the Rotary Academic Achievement Scholarship to Emily Adams of Avella; Victoria Carnes of Burgettstown; Alexander Nemec of Fort Cherry; Emily Durila of McGuffey; and Maci Ward of Washington.

The Dr Douglas A Masciola Scholarship was awarded to Zachary Dinch of Trinity and the Clyde J Tracanna/Washington Rotary Club Scholarships were given to Chelsea Geer of Trinity, Matthew Marasco of Washington and Erich Durbin of McGuffey.

In addition to providing scholarships, Washington Rotary supports students by hosting an annual all-star high school basketball game and distributing dictionaries to third-graders in seven area schools.

“It’s a really neat organisation,” said Thomas Drewitz, who has been a member for more than 30 years.

Drewiz recalled a Rotary meeting in the 1970s when a speaker from Ghana talked about the meager resources available to schools in his nation.

Rotarian Andy Uram wanted to do something, so he approached publishers to donate books.

In partnership with Brother’s Brothers Foundation, the group was able to send thousands of textbooks to Ghana.

About 10 years later, the Ghanaian ambassador to the United States visited, tearing up when he told members what a difference their donation had made.

The club sent thousands of books to Russia, Lithuania and Poland in partnership with Rotarian and former Observer-Reporter Editor Park Burroughs’ Books for the World organisation.

Over the years, Washington Rotarians have hosted international students in exchange programmes and hosted group study exchanges, in which men and women from other countries would stay for several weeks to observe their profession being practised in the United States.

Washington Rotarians have traveled overseas in reciprocal programmes.

The group raises money for China Little Flower, an orphanage in Northern China that cares for abandoned and ill children.

Before moving to the area, member John Tecklenburg and his family lived in China and volunteered there.

Here at home, in addition to revitalising Washington Park’s Main Pavilion, the Rotary club donated $12,000 to Citizens Library for a new reference desk, and erected Patriot’s Pavilion to honour Washington’s service members.

Rotarians volunteer at almost every civic event, including the Pony World Series, Main Street Farmers Market, Whiskey Rebellion and Washington’s Got Talent.

Source: Observer Reporter

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