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Pieces of History from Easton Rotary

Circumstances resulted in the last-minute postponement of our scheduled speaker. Fortunately, the Staff at the Felloe swooped into action. The crack Historical Investigating Unit of Sherman and Peabody utilized their Wayback Machine to deliver a stunning review of the entire history of the world. This admittedly edited edition centered on a service organization known as Rotary and, specifically, a single Easton, Pennsylvania-based branch of that organization. The whirlwind historical romp took us through five years of their 106-year history including:

1997-98: John Eisenhard served as Club President. This year featured the inaugural Easton Rotary Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament. The event would later be named in honor of Jack Bennett. The event was originally held at Lafayette College before NCAA rules forced us to move to the Easton Middle School. Clubs from around our District participated in the Curitiba Housing Project in Brazil. District 7430 contributions enabled the construction of 50 houses. Don and Pat Lockard hosted exchange student Fredrik Grondahl. The Easton Rotary Service Foundation reached $260,000; far above the initial goal of $75,000.

1926-27: William B. Plank served as Club President. The District Governor was Charles Puff, Jr. from Jenkintown. The District Conference was held in Easton. There were 1,406 registrations for the event. Sessions were held in the Embassy Theater. There were dinners at the Memorial Gym at Lafayette College and a Governor’s Ball at Eddyside. Ladies’ entertainment included a motor trip to the Delaware Water Gap, Lunch at a Country Club, and a Reception and Tea hosted by the Women’s Club of Easton.

2003-04: The Club President was Pete Reinke and BJ Metz served as District Governor. BJ was, and remains, only the third DG from Easton. The world-wide polio campaign estimated that 5 million people had been spared from polio-related paralysis. This number is now over 17 million. D7430 Rotarians participated in a Rotaplast mission in Peru where they did life-changing surgery on 90 children. Jim and Carol Palmeri hosted Ecuadorian exchange student Estefania Riofrio. Jim reports that she is now married, a mother, and living and working in New York. Paul and Paula Braden celebrated their first anniversary. The Barefoot family had a busy year. Mamie reported sailing on an America’s Cup boat and golfing at St. Andrew’s. The Celtic Fest ice cream stand netted over $3,000. Easton Rotary hosted the District Conference in Harrisburg. Polio is now endemic in only 7 countries. The Staff at the Felloe produced their 500th edition of the Club newsletter.

2015-16: Lew Fish served as Club President. The District Governor was Doug Cook from Collegeville. The Easton Rotary Service Foundation pledged $100,000 to the Kellyn Foundation to purchase a truck and trailer for their mobile food market. The Club celebrated our 100th anniversary with a special evening at Northampton Country Club. The night was highlighted by the unveiling of the world’s largest pinata (courtesy of Terry Pundiak), and entertainment by a local comedienne. We had a visit from Michael Colasurdo, Sr. who is a Past Director and Past Treasurer of Rotary International. Programs included a talk by former Major league Baseball pitcher Jack Fisher, and a trip to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Easton.

1939-40: The Club President was Charles Churchman who would go on to become the first District Governor from Easton. Our Club had an extended visit from Colonel Roger Q. Williams who was celebrating the 10-year anniversary of his trans-Atlantic flight from New York city to Rome. Numerous Easton Rotarians reportedly had their first plane rides courtesy of Col. Williams. Easton Rotary celebrated the Club’s 25th anniversary with a gala at Hotel Easton. There were 283 attendees. District Governor Samuel T.J. Bennett from Philadelphia was an honored guest. The featured speaker was Wesley Heiberger who was the first President of the Rotary Club of Easton.


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