Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary marks 90th birth­day

Record Observer - - Front Page - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — For the past 90 years, like-minded Cen­tre­ville res­i­dents have gath­ered all with the same mis­sion and pas­sion: to help the com­mu­nity in which they live, work and play.

Propped up at the front of the ta­ble next to the speaker’s stand was the orig­i­nal procla­ma­tion that char­tered the club, which stated it had

been made of­fi­cial on May 20, 1927.

Dur­ing the Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary Club’s Thurs­day, June 8, meet­ing at the Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church meet­ing room, mem­bers new and old cel­e­brated the club’s 90 years of serv­ing the town and re­gion. With cake, cup­cakes and can­dles, the mem­bers rem­i­nisced about old projects and shared laughs about times spent work­ing to­gether for the bet­ter­ment of the com­mu­nity.

Ro­tar­ian Harold Reece said though the club has had longevity that didn’t mean the group had it easy all those years, but through ups and downs the club has sur­vived.

Be­fore for­mer Ro­tar­i­ans took the mi­cro­phone and ad­dressed the au­di­ence, Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Tim McCluskey pre­sented the club with a procla­ma­tion. Hav­ing grown up in a New Jer­sey town sim­i­lar in size to Cen­tre­ville, McCluskey spoke about how Ro­tary was present through­out his child­hood, leav­ing a mem­o­rable mark early in his life.

“When I see Ro­tary it re­ally means com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and help­ing out,” McCluskey said.

The procla­ma­tion rec­og­nized the var­i­ous pro­grams the club holds an­nu­ally, such as pro­vid­ing schol­ar­ships for Queen Anne’s County and Kent Is­land high school stu­dents, giv­ing each third-grader in the county a dic­tio­nary, op­er­at­ing a home in Cen­tre­ville for bat­tered spouses and their chil­dren and fundrais­ers held over the years to raise money to aid in the erad­i­ca­tion of po­lio. McCluskey said Ro­tary In­ter­na­tional has raised more than $1 bil­lion in that ef­fort.

Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Jim Beauchamp was also present at the meet­ing.

Reece thanked the the Town Coun­cil for its con­tin­ued sup­port of the Ro­tary club.

Ed Ca­porin, a for­mer club pres­i­dent, was a mem­ber 25 of the club’s 90 years, he said, and wished he had started at an ear­lier age. Ca­porin said his fa­ther-in­law was a long-time mem­ber of a Ro­tary club in Syra­cuse, New York.

For Ca­porin, Ro­tary “is where the rub­ber hits the road.” He spoke about cre­ation of the fruit sale, a pro­gram that be­gan in 19881999. Ca­porin rem­i­nisced about the early morn­ings be­fore the sun was up un­load­ing the fruit pack­ages with fel­low mem­bers from the back of the truck.

“It’s about the fel­low­ship,” Ca­porin said.

Ac­cord­ing to the 20152016 Ro­tary Club’s Re­port to the Com­mu­nity, the fruit sale has raised more than $150,000.

The an­nual Ar­ti­sans Fes­ti­val, Dic­tionar­ies for Third Graders, Cit­i­zen of the Year and Law En­force­ment Of­fi­cer of the Year awards and the var­i­ous ex­change pro­grams were all fond mem­o­ries for Ca­porin. He said his first ex­pe­ri­ence with the Ro­tary ex­change pro­gram was send­ing his god-child to Brazil, which created a last­ing friend­ship and re­la­tion­ship.

He said peo­ple from all over the world would stay with his fam­ily and each was a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

His part­ing words of ad­vice to the mem­bers: if you have the op­por­tu­nity to visit other Ro­tar y clubs, take it.

For Bob Bar­ton, a 44-year mem­ber of the club, said he too en­joyed the stu­dent ex­change pro­grams that were held dur­ing his time as a mem­ber. Set up through the In­ter­na­tional Ro­tary Club where stu­dents would spend time in other coun­tries to learn the cul­tures and gain new ex­pe­ri­ences, Bar­ton said his fam­ily hosted five groups.

“I en­joyed ev­ery last stu­dent,” Bar­ton said.

Bar­ton told a story about how one day when he was tak­ing the ex­change stu­dents on a tour they stopped at the Crab Claw for lunch after go­ing to Pin­tail Point.

When the meal was fin­ished and the wait­ress handed over the check, Bar­ton was stunned when they restau­rant didn’t ac­cept a credit card — it was a cash only es­tab­lish­ment. Wor­ried the group might have to wash dishes, Bar­ton some­how man­aged to strike a deal. He re­called one of the stu­dents at the end of the day say­ing how it was the most in­ter­est­ing day of their life.

Though not ac­tive with the club any­more, Bar­ton said he still fol­lows and keeps up with “the great things you all do.”

Reece, sum­ma­riz­ing some of the ma­jor projects the club has con­ducted over the years, said he was stag­gered when a lo­cal bank raised more than $25,000 for the Ro­tary House. He said that shows how sup­port­ive the town and peo­ple are to the club. He thank the County Com­mis­sion­ers and the Town Coun­cil for their sup­port of that project.

From the Ar­ti­sans Fes­ti­val, which was created to help peo­ple un­der­stand how peo­ple do that as a pro­fes­sion by not only hav­ing ven­dors sell their prod­ucts but hav­ing ac­tive work ar­eas, to all the stu­dents who have re­ceived schol­ar­ships to fur­ther their ed­u­ca­tion, to sup­port­ing well drilling projects in coun­tries in Africa, the club, he said, has had a hand in many pos­i­tive projects.

“Happy Birth­day to the Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary Club,” said Reece, end­ing the meet­ing with.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @mike_k­ibay­times.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

The Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary Club cel­e­brated its 90th birth­day dur­ing the club’s Thurs­day, June 8, meet­ing at the Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church.

PHO­TOS BY MIKE DAVIS

The Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary Club cel­e­brated its 90th birth­day dur­ing its Thurs­day, June 8, meet­ing. The orig­i­nal char­ter that created the club, left, was present at the meet­ing.

Cen­tre­ville Town Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Tim McCluskey reads a procla­ma­tion hon­or­ing the work the Ro­tary Club has done over the years dur­ing its Thurs­day, June 8, meet­ing at Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church.

For­mer Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary Club Pres­i­dent Ed Ca­porin speaks dur­ing the club’s June 8 meet­ing at Cen­tre­ville United Methodist Church while it cel­e­brated its 90th birth­day.

For­mer mem­ber Bob Bar­ton rem­i­nisces about his time serv­ing in the Cen­tre­ville Ro­tary Club dur­ing its Thurs­day, June 8, meet­ing.

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