After 75 years of fundraising, carol singing, and supporting students, the Rotary Club of Melfort decided to party.
The club celebrated their 75th anniversary during Rotary Week, which ran from June 20 to 27 in the community. The week kicked off with a Rotary Flag raising at City Hall in recognition of the contributions the club has made and will continue to make.
“Rotary in Melfort was established on June 26, 1947 so 75 years later we are still going strong,” spokesperson Gailmaire Anderson said. “We had a celebration and we inducted a new member as a point of progress, so that was great.”
Throughout their time in Melfort, the club has sponsored a number of major projects — both for fun and for fundraising. They have included the Rotary Carol Festival, which has been ongoing for over 70 years.
The Rotary Club also began hosting and sending inbound and outbound exchange students in the last 1970s. The inbound program began in 1977, while the outbound program started in 1978.
Anderson said there’s no doubt the Rotary Club is an important part of the community.
“I think it’s really important. I think the community appreciates everything that Rotary does,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know what we do, so we are trying to get it out there in the public how much of a help we are to our community.
“I mean, we help with NEOSS, we help with Habitat for Humanity, we have Shelterbox but we also do so many things in the community to help people.”
Melfort City Council declared Rotary Week during their regular meeting on June 13. With the addition of their newest inductee, the club now totals 29 members.
To help celebrate, they’re holding a 75-day 50/50 draw online. Tickets were available as of June 28
“We think that’s going to be very good,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be drawn for on September 10 which is exactly 75 days later.”
Anderson said the Rotary Club not only benefits the community, it helps out its members too. On Canada Day, the club provided the barbeque at Memorial Garden. Anderson said the club helps give members a drive and a sense of purpose.
“It’s very meaningful to us that Rotary is still here in Melfort,” Anderson said.
According to a history on their website, the Rotary Club of Melfort was officially chartered on June 26, 1947. The original club had 20 members when they opened, but within the year they’d grown to 30.
The club was exclusively all male until 1992 when Marlene Bittner became Melfort’s first female Rotarian. The Melfort Rotary is part of District 5550, Anderson recently served as District Governor for 2020-2021.
For more information visit melfortrotary.org. For those interested in becoming a Rotarian, the process is open to all who want to make a difference in the community.