The Selinsgrove Rotary Club started over eighty years ago with a meeting held on April 8, 1927 at First Lutheran Church, now Sharon Lutheran Church, in Selinsgrove. Edgar R. Wingard, a member of the Sunbury Rotary Club and appointee of District Governor John Uhl, presided over the meeting. While no record of the meeting exists, it is assumed that the initial charter members were signed up and plans were made for a formal chartering ceremony.
The actual chartering ceremony took place on June 27, 1927 in the Horton Dining Room of Seibert Hall at Susquehanna University. The Selinsgrove Rotary Club was the 2,553rd club to be chartered into Rotary International. As reported in the Club’s 50th Anniversary booklet, “records indicate that the chartering ceremony was a truly gala affair, with 270 persons representing 15 Rotary Clubs from the surrounding communities”.
It was not long into its history before Rotary International adopted the motto “Service above self – He profits most who serves best,” and is the ideal that guides Rotary Clubs throughout the world in initiating and carrying out service projects and activities.
June 27, 1927 – Charter night in Seibert Hall. Because Dist. Gov. Edgar R. Wingard is a Selinsgrove native, a large attendance of over 270 persons is present. Speakers for the evening are past Dist. Gov. Ezra Ripple, of Scranton; J.P. White, of Lewisburg; Ed Glenn, of Berwick; Gen. Chas. Clement, of Sunbury; Dr. Jacob Diehl, President of Susquehanna University; and Frank Eyer, of Selinsgrove Area Rotary Club. Fifteen Rotary Clubs are represented.
December 1928 – Rotary starts sale of health bonds at $5.00 each to benefit the Christmas Seals. Sales totaled $1,000.00.
April 1934 – Rotarians & wives travel to Danville for an intercity meeting with the Danville Rotary Club.
March 1935 – Rotary supports crippled children foundation by selling seals in Snyder County.
February 1941 – Rotary raises $100.00 in five minutes to benefit a Snyder County Girl who was a victim of infantile paralysis in 1925, and one of the first to receive therapy at Geisinger. The girl was offered a position on the premise that she would take advanced training. Her family has raised some money, but still needed $100.00 to secure the training. When Rotary learned of this need, the $100.00 was raised in five minutes.
October 1943 – Rotary sponsors banquet for the football squad, a practice that continues for two years. The Club also sponsors the Boy Scout movement in Selinsgrove, with A.T. Soper in charge of the scouting program.
April 1945 – Rotary sponsors clothing drive for the United National Clothing Collection for countries devastated by the war.
March 1947 – Rotary raises money to buy the Selinsgrove High School Band new uniforms.
July 1950 – Rotary purchases first uniforms for the Selinsgrove Little League baseball teams.
December 1950 – Rotary hosts Christmas party for crippled children.
September 1951 – Three day block carnival held with proceeds to build bleachers at the Moose playground ball diamond. Chairman Nick Ebert, publicity; Ralph Witmer, negotiations; and Max Valsing, bingo. Proceeds were $729.79.
April 1952 – After a discussion on little league baseball led by Leroy Harro and Nick Ebert moved that Rotary sponsor the program, the motion is carried. This motion was prompted by the lack of volunteers in the community.
May 1953 – Rotary installs mail box beside the post office to permit mail to be deposited by automobile.
August 29, 1953 – Rotary purchases 17 building lots from Ms. Catherine Snyder on North Broad Street. The site is to be a permanent home for the Little League field, which has been in use at this location for two years.
October 1953 – Rotary contributes $615.26 to High School Band Uniform Fund.
July 1955 – Art May, Bob Montgomery, Percy Miller, and Graydon Ranck burn the mortgage on Rotary Field.
December 1955 – Rotary sponsors gifts for 40 crippled children in Snyder County.
August 1956 – First Rotary-Kiwanis Picnic held at Rolling Green Park. After the meal, Rotary goes on to win the softball game.
February 1957 – Rotary co-sponsors County Science Fair at West Beaver High School.
February 1958 – First meeting of the West Snyder Rotary Club held at Leo’s in Beaver Springs. Art May assists the new club until its charter is received.
August 1958 – Col. Harlan Sanders of Kentucky speaks on frying chicken.
November 1958 – Rotary sponsors joint meeting on Snyder County Service Clubs. The Selinsgrove and Middleburg Kiwanis; Shamokin Dam, Freeburg, and McClure Lions; and Selinsgrove and West Snyder Rotary clubs are in attendance.
October 1959 – Community Chest organized by Rotarians Nick Ebert, Dick Cox, Mel Wolfbert, Art May, Gil Heiser, and Charles Lyle.
September 1960 – Rotary block party on East Walnut Street nets $320 in three days. Lou Mayo directs.
November 1960 – Rural-Urban Night at Schriners Church. Lou Jacobson chairs the meeting.
January 1961 – Ladies Night in Hershey for dinner and a hockey game.
April 1961 – Club decides to erect a building on the Rotary Field.
July 1961 – Simon Rhoads shows films of his India tiger hunt.
November 1961 – Homer K. Smith speaks on the possible construction of a rubber dam made by Firestone Rubber Company, which would be the largest in the U.S.
December 1961 – Selinsgrove Planning Commission meets with Rotary to discuss plans for a Selinsgrove bypass.
May 1962 – Rotary sponsors stand at Selinsgrove State School Fair.
July 1962 – Rotary-Kiwanis Picnic at Rolling Green Park. Ball game is cancelled when no ball or bat was included in the plans.
March 1963 – Club sponsors Rotarieties variety show to support the Student Loan Fund. Total benefits are $600.00.
December 1963 – Santa “Simon” auctions off $187.25 in gifts for special projects.
February 1964 – Tom Armstrong presents slides of Hawaii. Miss Yvonne Otani then demonstrates several versions of the hula dance. It is agreed that this is Tom’s best program yet!
July 1964 – Rotary sponsors Swedish exchange student Eva Blomgren, who stays with Bill and Izzie Miller.
December 1964 – Salvation Army receives $125.00 from Rotary “bell-ringers”.
June 1965 – Family Picnic at Sudico Club. Bill Miller and other members provide houseboat tours of the river.
July 1967 – Rotary sponsors Ruth Mary Schaeffer as an exchange student to Australia, and Trudy M. Gaugler as an exchange student to Japan.
August 1968 – Euell Gibbons speaks to Rotary on the natural foods in our area.
March 1969 – Rotary sponsors “Johnny Unitas Night” at Susquehanna University with over 300 persons attending. Bill Mahoney and WSEW are in charge of publicity.
May 1969 – Joe Paterno speaks at the All-Sports Banquet.
August 1968 – Rotary sponsors South Wales exchange student Kerin Henderson, who stays with Bill and Izzie Miller.
April 1970 – Rotary donates $250.00 to Dauntless Hook & Ladder for the New Truck Fund.
June 1970 – Ladies Night at Hotel Magee, along with a tour of Magee Carpet Factory.
August 1970 – Jim Knepp offer Rotarians several hints on “Dealing with the Liberated Woman”.
October 1970 – Dental Unit donated in Perdoes, Brazil.
April 1971 – Art Bowen provides a slide talk on “Submarines”.
May 1971 – Rotary visits the Princess Homes Plant.
September 1971 – Rotary donates kickboards to the Selinsgrove Swim Team.
– Rotary raises funds for kidney machine for Rotarian Don Kline in Danville.
January 1972 – Rotary presents “The Odd Couple” under Bill Mahoney’s direction.
June 1972 – Rotary sponsors “The Hoxie Bros. Circus”. Bob Soper is the chairman, and reports proceeds of $1,029.70 in spite of the ’72 flood. 169 State School residents attend as guests of their ‘Circus Daddies’.
July 1973 – Rotary meets at the Moose Club following a fire 24 hours earlier at the Hotel Governor Snyder.
August 1973 – Rotary donates $250.00 to install recreation equipment at Selinsgrove Elementary School.
August 1974 – Rotary sponsors a Chicken BBQ at the Rotary Field. Proceeds are $720.00.
May 1975 – Rotary supports the PA Jr. Academy of Science for their Science Fair.
June 1975 – Rotarians volunteer to install equipment at two new mini-parks in the borough of Selinsgrove. Ken Miller coordinates with the borough.
August 1975 – Rotary sponsors Lewis Bros. Circus.
July 1976 – Rotary Music Scholarship awarded to Terri Hunt.
April 1977 – 15 trees planted on April 6 at the Rotary Field.