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