Le Mars Rotary Celebrates 100 Years With Awards Banquet


(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Rotary Club celebrated its 100th anniversary as a local civic organization by holding an awards banquet Tuesday evening at the Willow Creek Golf Course Country Club. According to the featured key-note speaker, Greg Podd, a former Rotary International Vice President, the Le Mars chapter is among an elite and unique group of Rotary organizations.

Podd informed the gathering of the more than 35,000 Rotary clubs worldwide, only 446 have achieved the status of celebrating 100 years as a continuous organization.  Even more impressive for the Le Mars Rotary Club is the fact they have achieved the distinction of having 100 percent of its members contribute, or pledge, to the Paul Harris Foundation.  Harris is credited with starting the Rotary International Organization. Podd says only about ten percent, or more specifically, 3,623 clubs of the more than 35,000 worldwide have a 100 percent membership for the Paul Harris Foundation.  Podd says the Le Mars Rotary Club obviously has had great leadership through the years to survive as an organization for 100 years, and to also have a 100 percent membership involvement in the Paul Harris Foundation.

Rotary’s primary goal is the worldwide eradication of polio.  Podd says although it may still be a few years away, Rotary is making great strides and progress to achieving its goal of eliminating polio.

The Le Mars Rotary has 26 members.  Podd says the challenge facing Rotary is to encourage more people to be members of the civic organization.  It is a challenge facing nearly all civic organizations.

The former Rotary International vice president says Rotary has identified six other focal points which will be given additional attention in the coming years.  He says the six points certainly follow the Rotary motto of “Service above Self.”

Dr. Wayne Mitchell, a former music professor at Westmar College,  and a one-time president of the Le Mars Rotary returned to Le Mars to assist with leading the members in singing.

Rotary Scholarship recipient Katelyn Langel accepts the scholarship certificate from Le Mars Rotary President Chris Becker.

Pictured are the latest Le Mars Rotary members to donate to the Paul Harris Foundation.  Le Mars Rotary President Chris Becker receives a banner from the District Governor of Rotary.  Shown are from left to right: Steve Albert, Opal Anderson, Peter Streit, District Governor Dave Lorenz, President Chris Becker, Joel Johnson, Deb Young, and Jim Klein.  Missing was Matt Washburn.

Rotary Club “Citizen of the Year” Was Awarded to the Four Women That Organized “Josh’s Ride”.

Beth Meyer

Kim Koons

Deb Parmalee

Chelsi Hector