From time to time there has been confusion, even among Rotarians, about the relationship of several different Selinsgrove non-profit groups and Rotary. The following is a brief explanation of each of these groups and is intended to provide you with a better understanding of how each group came to be and how they are inter-related.
The Selinsgrove Rotary Club was chartered June 27, 1927. It has operated within the rules and operating guidelines of Rotary International and is without a doubt the longest established service club in the community. The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self” and many of Rotary’s initiatives, both locally, nationally, and internationally, are driven by this creed.
Annually, the club elects a Board of directors consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. In addition to these positions, the Board consists of the immediate Past President, a Director of Community Service, a Director of International Service, a Director of Club Service, and a Director of Vocational Service. Members are encouraged to participate in the various avenues of service. The club meets weekly on Thursdays from 11:45am until 1:00pm. Meetings generally have a program and often the program consists of outside speakers.
Throughout the year the Selinsgrove Rotary Club sponsors a chicken BBQ, a booth at the Selinsgrove Market Street Festival, a LL Baseball tournament at Rotary Field, scholarships, and other financial support of local initiatives. The Club has also sponsored foreign exchange students to go abroad for a year of study as well as hosting incoming foreign exchange students. The Selinsgrove Rotary Club has also been a generous supporter of the Rotary Foundation.
The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs. A major activity is the Ambassadorial Scholar Program for college graduates. The Foundation is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of service to humanity. The Rotary Foundation was started in 1917 and has received contributions of more than $1 billion dollars to date. The Selinsgrove Club has always encouraged members to make contributions to support the Rotary Foundation, but this remains an individual choice of members. Any Rotarian who contributes a total of $1,000 (over any length of time) is recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.
The Selinsgrove Area Youth Foundation (SAYF) was founded in 1993 by members of the Selinsgrove Rotary Club. It’s mission statement says, in part: The Selinsgrove Area Youth Foundation is incorporated exclusively for charitable, recreational, and educational purposes, particularly to benefit the youth of the Selinsgrove Area School District of Snyder County, PA. Its major activity has been to fund scholarships for local high school students. It has grown in assets and today supports a wide array of local needs.
The initial funds used to start the SAYF came from proceeds raised by Rotarians in the first annual Rotary Golf Classic. Later, the Selinsgrove Rotary Club actually contributed funds from their account to fund the SAYF. Since then, Rotary members have hosted an annual golf tournament each fall. It has always been understood that even though this was called a “Rotary” golf tournament and it was organized and run by Rotarians, the funds that were raised were for the benefit of the SAYF. The success of this fundraiser has in part been due to the fact the SAYF is a 501 c (3) entity and thus anyone who participates may deduct some of the costs.
The SAYF has a Board of Directors made up of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and two Directors, all of whom must be active Rotarians. In addition to these, the Board also includes the Superintendent of the Selinsgrove Area School District (or his designee), the President of Susquehanna University (or his designee), and a member of the community at large.
Selinsgrove Recreation, Inc. is an entity that was formed in the 1950’s when members of the Selinsgrove Rotary Club purchased land on Broad Street in the Borough of Selinsgrove. This site is now known as Rotary Field and for the past 50+ years Rotarians have maintained and developed this site for the use by a number of youth sports programs. At the time, Rotary clubs were not allowed to own property. The formation of this entity allowed the Selinsgrove Rotary Club to develop it and control its use without breaching any of Rotary’s governing rules. Selinsgrove Recreation, Inc. has a Board of Directors made up of 8 Rotarians. Today, Rotary clubs are allowed to own property, however, in reviewing how things have worked for many decades, the Selinsgrove Rotary Club sees no need to alter the arrangement that has been in place and worked well over the years.