MARTINSBURG – The Rotary Club of Martinsburg celebrated 100 years of civic engagement and community service last week with its Diamond Jubilee, where several members were honored, and the club welcomed its new leaders, while considering future ones community impact projects.
According to the club’s history, the Martinsburg Rotary Club was founded on April 18, 1921, at a Monday evening dinner meeting at the former Berkeley Hotel. where 22 local businessmen formed the organization and elected its first senior officials – President AC Nadenbousch and Vice President JR Poland.
This first group of Rotarians gathered every Thursday for lunch at the Berkeley Hotel, where they spent an hour figuring out how they could best exemplify the group’s core values - fellowship, integrity, diversity, service and leadership. – throughout Berkeley County.
From those small roots, the Martinsburg Rotary Club now has around 120 active members and strives to have a positive impact on the community, especially in light of the stressors and struggles people have faced throughout. throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s a charity and civic club. The club was and is a group of civic-minded businessmen who work to deliver projects for and in their communities, ”said Pete Mulford, President-elect 2021-2022. “Rotary is the essential club for business leaders that meets the needs of the territory. The camaraderie has always been there, and being able to do good works in your community is amazing. “
“We are here and continue to generate money in this community for 100 years. It’s amazing, ”said Pam Wagoner, the most recent past president.
To thank its members for all they do to make the club such a success, one person received the Charles Brown Rotarian of the Year Award, and other club members were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows.
The Charles Brown Rotarian of the Year Award honors Brown’s many years of service to local club projects and the Rotary International Foundation, according to Mulford.
The past recipients and the club’s executive committee unanimously selected Manuel H. Washington, Jr. as the 2020-21 recipient. Manuel, the former owner of Groves Cleaning Services, LLC in Martinsburg, joined the Martinsburg Rotary Club in June 1991.
“He has been noted as a loyal and extremely participatory member in all club projects during this period. He has been active in many fundraising / friend of the club projects, which have benefited the Berkeley Parks lodges. and Rec, zone school / kids projects, Rotary’s Polio Plus program, the Berkeley Youth Fair and several area charities, ”according to Mulford.
During its 100 years of service, the Rotary Club of Martinsburg has led a multitude of fundraisers and community projects, including its Taste of the Town fundraiser, which raises funds for a number of organizations in local charities; provide funds to help build two pavilions at War Memorial Park and Poor House Farm Park; donated thousands of dictionaries to third-graders in Berkeley County schools each year; funded the “Ozobot” robotics learning program in all elementary schools in Berkeley County; purchased and built a playground at the Ashley House in Kearneysville, a sober living home for women recovering from drug addiction; and continues to sponsor three Interact clubs and two Rotoract clubs in high schools and technical colleges in the region.
In addition to its enormous local impacts, the Martinsburg Rotary Club has had positive impacts internationally, including raising thousands of dollars for the Polio Plus Rotary program, donating thousands to the club’s Shelterbox project. and providing funds to support educational efforts in South Africa.
After this milestone, the club also welcomed their new group of officers to their Diamond Jubilee, during which Steve Truax was officially named president and Mulford was named president-elect.
Also during Thursday night’s Jubilee, more than 18 club members and their families were recognized as new and permanent Paul Harris Fellows. The Martinsburg Rotary Club has raised more than $ 433,000 to support The Rotary Foundation and its international humanitarian projects since the launch of the program in honor of Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary.
According to Mulford, Wagoner’s outgoing remarks and Truax’s incoming remarks highlighted the many exciting and mission-oriented projects of the Rotary Club of Martinsburg, as well as the club’s ability to “get through” this past and “the most unusual. “. year.
“The Martinsburg club are one of the few that has experienced membership growth thanks to its active membership development committee,” he said.
Editor’s Note: Kelsie LeRose contributed to this article.