Posted by Chris Madden on Dec 21, 2018
Hudson-Litchfield Rotary Celebrates 47th Anniversary of Charter
 
At its regular meeting on Thursday December 20, 2018,  members of the Hudson-Litchfield Rotary Club celebrated the 47th Anniversary of “Charter Day” for the Hudson Rotary Club. Chartered on December 17, 1971, the Hudson Club subsequently expanded in 1986 to become the current Hudson-Litchfield Rotary Club. The Club was honored to have two guests who were instrumental in the establishment the Club's establishment in 1971, Peter Dolloff and Jack Atkinson.
 
Peter Dolloff was a Charter Member of the Hudson Rotary.  At the time, he served as Superintendent of Schools for Hudson.  He spoke about the other Charter Members, their businesses, and the early history of the Club.  In the early years, the club rotated (harking back to the origin of the name “Rotary”) among several locations. That tradition continued, with a change of venues every couple of years. Peter remembered the types of service projects the Rotary supported in those early years, such as the development of Merrifield Park, working to eliminate Polio through the Rotary “Polio Plus” program, painting the Hills House, working to eradicate hunger, providing scholarships to graduating seniors, and support for the Salvation Army.  The latter three continue to this day to be supported by the Club.
 
Early fundraisers included a Carnival, yard sales, Bingo at the Kiwanis Hall, and a Tennis Tournament which was held for 7 or 8 years. Peter also shared stories of episodes of fellowship at various functions and stories of visits to other clubs. Peter served two terms as President, 1993-1994 and again in 1998-1999.
 
Jack Atkinson was President of the Nashua Rotary at the time and was given a challenge by Mr. Ed Fitch (known as “Mister Rotary”) at the District level to help establish three new clubs: Hudson, Nashua-West, and Merrimack.  Jack got a service project going to spark interest in potential members.  They selected high school students who participated in a “Junior Achievement” style business and helped support them. Jack noted with pride how successful and business-like the students were.  
 
Jack served as sponsor of the Hudson Club at its Charter Night Dinner on February 17, 1972 in Nashua, where the Charter was presented by the District Governor to the first President of Hudson Rotary, John R. Sarris.  As per the program of that night, Jack provided the Closing Address to the Charter Night Dinner.
 
The current members of Hudson-Litchfield Rotary warmly welcomed their guests and appreciated their comments on the origin and early history of the Club.
 
 
Current Hudson-Litchfield Rotary Club President Jack Madden (center) presents Jack Atkinson (left) and Peter Dolloff (right) with a Rotary challenge coin to remind them of their visit and the Club they were instrumental in forming.
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