History of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs

About Our Club

 
During the autumn of 1915, Francis Edward Bumstead, owner of a small plumbing and heating business located in the 400 block of East Dale Street, worked diligently to organize Rotary Club in Colorado Springs. His enthusiasm had been sparked by meetings of the Denver Rotary Club that he had the privilege of attending as the guest of MJ. O'Fallon, President of a large plumbing supply company in the capital city. As the initial step toward making his dream come true, Mr. Bumstead called a meeting of some 50 business and professional men at the Acacia Hotel on the evening of October 26, 1915, to consider the feasibility of organizing a Rotary Club in Colorado Springs. After considerable discussion, the group authorized him to take preliminary actions.

In the beginning, he encountered numerous difficulties. Believe it or not, many of the community's leading citizens declined to affiliate with such an organization, fearing it would duplicate the work of the Chamber of Commerce. A second obstacle was the reluctance of the National Association of Rotary Clubs (later, Rotary International) to grant a charter in any community having a population of less than 50,000 . They believed it was impossible for a club to function effectively in a smaller community. In 1916, Colorado Springs boasted a population of less than 30,000. Still another roadblock was the fact that few citizens of the Pikes Peak Region had even the slightest comprehension of Rotary. This is  understandable given that only slightly more than 200 clubs existed at that time. 

Mr. Bumstead himself was not too well informed as to the purpose and goals of Rotary. Fortunately, whatever he lacked in information was more than offset by his boundless enthusiasm and determination. He spoke knowingly of "Service Above Self." Despite such high-sounding phrases, most interested businessmen were considerably bewildered as to what Rotary was "all about." 
However, one point a prospective member readily grasped was that only one representative of any business or profession was eligible for membership. Frequently, in a subdued tone and with a sly wink, Mr. Bumstead would emphasize this angle. It was not difficult to understand that if you were "IN," your competitor was "OUT."

Those who knew our club's organizer intimately remember him as a man of varying moods: elated today, downcast tomorrow, impulsive, temperamental, tenacious, irresponsible, and, above all, a man with a big heart and a deep-rooted love of his community and fellow man.In our club history, the name of Francis Edward Bumstead should be recorded in indelible ink ... for it is to be seriously doubted if, in that long-ago year of 1916, there was another man in the entire region having the drive and dynamic energy necessary for such achievement as his. At long last, after overcoming what at times appeared to be insurmountable difficulties, 39 good and substantial citizens decided to launch a Rotary Club. At 5:30  the evening of February 26 1916, they gathered at the bandstand in Court House Park and proceeded to the Santa Fe Station, where they were joined by approximately 30 members of the Rotary Club of Pueblo, sponsor of the club. Shortly thereafter, the evening train brought a sizable delegation of Denver Rotarians, headed by Jolm E. Zahn, then District Governor of Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho Utah, and Montana. Following an exchange of cordial greetings, the entire group headed by the Elk's Band, paraded through the business district to the Alamo Hotel, where they enjoyed a sumptuous banquet . District Governor Zahn addressed the gathering and, for the first time, the local group gained a real insight and understanding of Rotary. His informative and challenging address was followed by equally inspiring talks from members of the Pueblo Club. At this meeting, seven of the Colorado Springs group were elected club directors and authorized to proceed with the formalities necessary to secure a charter from the National Association of Rotary Clubs for a club to be known as the Rotary Club of the Pikes Peak Region. On March 7, 1916, the seven directors met and elected Francis Edward Bumstead (Plumbing & Heating) the club's first president; George S. Elstun (Rancher and Hotel Manager), Vice president; Floyd C. Brown (Business College, secretary;. Henry C. Graves (Hardware), treasurer; and Vernon N. Honey (Furnace & Metal Work), sergeant-at-arms. Albert W. Marksheffel (Automobile Dealer) and Edwin S. Powell (Sporting Goods) were the other members of the board. Following presentations of the club's charter at the Alamo Hotel on May 1, 1916, the newly created Rotary Club of the Pikes Peak Region was off to a flying start. Ours was the 2l8th affiliate of the National Association of Rotary Clubs and the first service club organized in the Pikes Peak Region. On August 16, 1917, the name was changed to the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs. The effervescent enthusiasm of President Bumstead proved contagious, and the club grew in numbers even as it did in understanding of Rotary and its responsibilities. Five names were added to the club's roster in the interval between organization and formal charter meeting for a  a total of 44 charter members. 

The memory of an elephant would be required to recall and enumerate our club's many contributions to community welfare. Unquestionably, the most outstanding of all the projects were those in behalf of underprivileged children. And no history of the Colorado Springs Club would be complete without paying tribute to the dedication and selfless devotion of Dr. George W. Bancroft and Dr. E. L. Timmons in this worthy effort. During the depression of the early 1930s, want and misery was rampart throughout the nation, and here in Colorado Springs literally hundreds of children were undernourished. For many years, Dr. Timmons, known as "Timmy," was the guiding spirit of the Nutrition Camp at Beth El (now Memorial) Hospital. He enlisted the support of our club in ministering to the urgent need of these unfortunates. "Timmy's" salesmanship was both unique and colorful. Hee would often bring a group of these children, dressed only in shorts, to club meetings and have them stand on the speaker's table while he directed attention to their pitiful physical condition. Although times were  rough in those days, members responded generously to his appeal for financial assistance. A few months later, when he returned with the same children, a miracle had been wrought. The listless and emaciated youngsters were now healthily plump, bright-eyed, and rosy-cheeked, and all present were thankful that?? t had been their privilege to exemplify the spirit of Rotary. 

Equally successful was the club's efforts in behalf of handicapped children.  /The late Past District Governor, Bert F. Scribner of Pueblo conceived the idea of assisting them. Although this was a district project, little was accomplished until Governor Scribner enlisted the support of Dr. George W. Bancroft. Next came the wholehearted assistance of Rotarian Guy M. Hanner, then Superintendent of Beth-EI Hospital, and in a matter of weeks the program was in full swing. In this activity, Dr. Bankroft was ably assisted by other club members who were practicing physicians. He also received the enthusiastic cooperation of all other club members, who gave generously of both finances and personal service. The program was further enhanced by the generosity of Rotarian C. W. Daniels, who gave a considerable sum of money for constructing and equipping a building known as "Rotary Crippled Children's Recreation Hall" on the hospital grounds. When this program was discontinued because the need had been fulfilled, hospital records revealed that Dr. Bancroft had personally performed well over 1,500 operations. For this service, the value of which cannot be estimated in mere dollars and cents, Dr. Bancroft received no compensation other than that greatest of all rewards, the satisfaction that always comes to those who selflessly serve others. 

In the limited space for this brief history of the Colorado Springs Club, it would be impossible to enumerate all worthy individuals and the significant contributions made to the community, but a few of the projects included concrete bleacher seats at the baseball field in Monument Valley park and the development of a picnic area with some 30 tables in the same park; playground equipment for the Colorado Springs Day Nursery; shuffleboard courts in Acacia Park; construction of complete cabin at Y.M.C.A. Camp Shady Brook; Conejos Street playgrounds; construction of a cabin in Bear Creek Canyon for the Pikes Peak Council of Boy Scouts - christened "Camp Vessey" in honor of our late beloved Past District Governor, Bernard Vessey; generous assistance to the Boy Scouts in development of Camp Alexander and sponsorship of "Scout-O-Rama;" generous support of the Young America Baseball Program for more than 10 years; Foreign Exchange fund for students of Colorado College and Palmer High School; Palmer Park Youth Camp; Cerebral Palsy Training Center; Fort Carson Hospital parties; Christmas Unlimited; Student Loan Fund; hydrotherapy equipment for Beth-EI Hospital; Hope House (now known as the Rocky Mountain Rehabilitation Center); and campership programs for underprivileged children. In 1951, a Rotary Service Fund was created to carry our charitable benevolent and educational work as approved by our Board of Directors. Once each year, all members would be given an opportunity to contribute to this fund. The phenomenal growth of Colorado Springs since the founding of the city's first Rotary club necessitated the organization of additional Rotary Clubs. With the unstinted cooperation of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs, additional clubs have been founded over the years, increasing by several hundred the number of active Rotarians in the city. It is unusual to find a city with a Rotary Club meeting every weekday. 

The passage of time has brought the deaths of long-time members who contributed much to the success and growth of the club and to the progress of Rotary in Colorado Springs. The last surviving Charter Member, Roy A. Davis, District Governor 1926-1927, holder of many Club offices, State Senator,  Legislator and prominent businessman, died August 20, 1997. Dr. George W. Bancroft, Club President 1946-1947, died May 30, 1979. Finally, Lester R. Howard, Club President 1936-1937 and Secretary for 30 years, 1936-1968, who promoted the formation of additional clubs in the Pikes Peak area, died October 8 1979. Throughout the decade of the seventies, members of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs continued to be active in public service and prominent on the boards of the principal charitable and social service organizations in the community. Significant contributions to the Pikes Peak area continued, mainly through our Rotary Service Fund. The major annual programs were the Boy Scouts Scout-O-Rama and Christmas Unlimited. Support of projects providing Christmas gifts for children started in 1923 and has continued to this day. The Christmas Unlimited activity started with its organization in 1947. Other important community projects were the purchase of an AmbliCab, a van modified to carry persons in wheel chairs, manikins for use in Red Cross First Aid courses, picnic tables for Antlers Park and benches for Alamo Plaza, the Physical Fitness Trail in Monument Park, and similar work. Perhaps the club's most interesting project during this period was a joint effort by District 547, the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs, and a few other clubs in this part of the District. Funds were provided to purchase radio equipment for the U.S. Army MAST helicopters, stationed at Fort Carson, to enable them to communicate with State Patrol, police and county sheriffs during their rescue and evacuation flights. One of the first such missions was to remove club member Dr. William G. Shaner, who had suffered a broken leg while climbing Mt. Yale. By means of the radio equipment provided by Rotary, the Chaffee County Sheriff guided the MAST helicopter to the scene and was able to arrange a nighttime helicopter evacuation with the assistance of volunteers who indicated the route to Buena Vista with automobile headlights. Beginning in the 1980,s the club supported the hospice program to assist terminally ill persons. In 1986, the club launched a Character Education Program, beginning with Wasson High School and its feeder elementary and junior high schools in District 11. The club gave $25,000 to finance this initially, in the hope that with this catalyst the moral and civic education could be given needful attention in an ever-widening group of schools. In the late 1980s, the club gave considerable support to Rotary International's Polio Plus program to wipe out polio throughout the world. To provide additional financing for such projects as have been described above and to contribute to the Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, the club began in 1985 to cosponsor with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Museum annual Artists of the Rockies exhibit and sale of western art. Beginning with an opening-night gala, the exhibit ran for a month. Interest in international activities continued to be an important part of the club's program. Many of these international projects were sponsored by The Rotary Foundation on the District level. Several local college students named by the club were selected to be Rotary Scholars. The club also maintained contact with foreign students attending Colorado College and supported the Group Study Exchange Program. The club's affiliation with the Fuji-Yoshida Rotary Club led to the construction of the Japanese Garden. An important achievement was the establishment of the Pikes Peak Area Rotary Endowment. This was initiated by our Club but was open to all Rotary Clubs in the area. Its purpose was to accumulate an endowment fund, the income from which will be used for charitable and educational projects sponsored by local Rotary Clubs. 

Quality membership has always been a major emphasis of the club as members have strived to attract and retain outstanding citizens and community leaders while recognizing the importance of age and occupational distribution. In 1987, Rotary International voted to admit women members, a position which the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs quickly embraced. Shortly thereafter, Sister Myra James Bradley became the club's first female member. Polio Plus was established aroundsame time, and each club in the world was challenged to participate. Harlan Ochs accepted that challenge for the club and a goal of $39,000 was exceeded by over $2,000 in a few weeks. The 1988-89 Rotary year saw the development of a new expanded format for the Pikes Peaker Bulletin. As the club entered the 1990s annual giving through the Service Fund had reached the $18,000 range with many new community needs being met. Jim Mundt's tour as President began in January 1990 after Kirt Mertger was transferred to Texas. This was the club's 75th Anniversary year, and a banquet was held in honor of the event. Jim reported it was a successful year due in large part to the efforts of Hugh Funkhouser as the Executive Director, and the wonderful people who served on the Board of Directors. Interesting habitats for the less successful members of the community were discovered as the membership successfully completed a cleanup project along 1-25. In 1991, the first of several Zoofests was held to benefit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and involve the members of all the Colorado Springs Rotary Clubs. Adna Wilde spearheaded the development of a collector's coin program called the Colorado Historical Series of .999% pure silver commemorative coins to benefit the Pikes Peak Rotary Endowment. Rotary Year 1994-95 began with a changeover in the organization's professional leadership. Hugh Funkhouser decided on his retirement from the position of Executive Director, and the Club engaged Bob Elliott as the club's Executive Secretary. A wonderful club meeting social paid homage to and poked good-natured fun at Hugh Funkhouser. It was enjoyed by all. The club's leadership had embarked on a mission to undertake a new hands-on-project. It sought contact with a nonprofit agency doing good work in our community. The club found Beth Haven, a home for the chronically mentally ill, as an agency that could use our help. The agency had been receiving dollars from the Rotary Service Fund, but in this case they needed more than just dollars. The agency was in the process of renovating a wonderful old home once owned by Fannie Mae Duncan into a residential facility for 24 chronically mentally ill residents. It needed money, it needed Rotary scrounging, and it needed the sweat the club could provide. Bob Elliott accepted the position of Project Coordinator for the Beth Haven project. Club funds went into commercial washers and dryers for the home's laundry, and members' scrounging resulted in furniture, carpet, fixtures, and linens. The sweat was also provided in abundance by club members, doing landscaping and move-in activities so that the house could open on time. It was truly a wonderful getting-together of the club's members to perform good works. The Beth Haven Project was named, "The Outstanding Hands-On-Project" in R.I. District 5470. An outgrowth of this project was the house was named, "The Fannie Mae Duncan House" in tribute to its former owner, one of the city's African-American pioneering ladies who provided accommodations for many black entertainers who could not stay in local hotels. As a follow-up to the Beth Haven project, Fannie Mae Duncan was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs. There was no Art Show during the 1994-95 year, deliberately so. Club leaders elected to maintain the Art Show but to change its form. A major plan was in process to find a collaborative partner for the Art Show, and that partner was found in the local Junior Achievement organization that who would provide many hours of volunteer time to ensure the Art show's success. Another project that was in the planning stage was the club's involvement in literacy. Ross Harrop was assigned to develop in conjunction with School District 11, a hands-on literacy program that would involve members of the club. It became known as Read-to-Succeed, and was to kick off in the 1995-96 Rotary year. An international project begun by a club in Mexico to irradiate parasitic borne disease attracted attention in District 5470 and captured the heart of Luisa Graff who gave unselfishly of her energy and time, both here in planning and there in working. Vigorous activity occurred in the areas of Paul Harris Fellowship, attendance, and member recruitment---all of which attained their particular goals and objectives. Under the leadership of Mike McGrath, the Program Committee had a diversity of programs. 

The 1996-97 Rotary Year began with our 80th Anniversary Celebration held onstage at the Pikes Peak Center with a catered steak dinner. The Singing Rotarians set the atmosphere for the evening by singing a medley of WWI songs and "America the Beautiful" from the upper balcony. Rhea Woltman's antique car was favorite backdrop for memorable photographs. Three members with 50+ years in Rotary were inducted into the Rotary Hall of Fame. Performing artist and native son, Max Morath, entertained us with songs and stories titled Living a Ragtime Life. The 12th annual Artists of the West Exhibition and Sale was held at the Colorado Springs Day Nursery and raised $10,000 for the local Boys and Girls Club. During Joe Henjum's year as president, 15 new members joined the club and attendance increased from 63% to 80%. The club presented four $1,000 scholarships to outstanding students at Palmer and Wasson. Thirty members conducted mock job interviews for about 150 students. We helped develop the new World Arena by selling $3,000 of decorative tiles and $900 in commemorative medallions. The generosity of our members allowed our Rotary Service Fund to present $22,000 to 12 worthy programs in the community. The number of members contributing to the Rotary Foundation increased by 312% along with a 525% increase in contributions raising the per capita gift average from $20 per person per year to $125 per person per year. As the year ended, the club received the D.D. Monroe Award as the outstanding Rotary Club in R. I. District 5470. The club continued its commitment to international programs throughout 1997-98, with 94% of club members contributing to the Rotary Foundation. Members hosted a Group Study Exchange group from India as well as an exchange student from Germany. Nominees for Ambassadorial Scholarships were recommended to the district, and one was awarded a three-month cultural exchange scholarship. A new Hole-In-One fundraising effort yielded more than $8,000, which, along with proceeds from the whiffle ball fundraiser enabled the club to gift $10,000 to the Boys and Girls Club. Other beneficiaries of gifts from the Rotary Service Fund included Camp Alexander, the YMCA's camp Shadybrook, and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, among many others. The club was recognized with a Partners in Education award for it's contributions to the Read-to-Succeed program at Adams Elementary School. One unusual gift went to provide assistance to victims of the floods in western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Ever committed to building a stronger Rotary Club, the board circulated a survey among members that yielded generally high praise, especially for the overall organization of the weekly meeting, the regular presence of local high school students, and the quality of the club bulletin, the "Pikes Peaker." The weekly luncheon fare, on the other hand, received mixed reviews. Spaghetti was especially disparaged. One club member recalls club president

Mary Jean Larson saying "No spaghetti and no com on the cob. No lady can eat them properly." As he assumed the role of president in July 1998, Paul Clarkin challenged members of the club to "1) Renew your support of The Object of Rotary; 2) Be responsive to and support your Rotary leaders; 3) Participate in the club's activities; 4) Renew or increase (or begin, if you have not already done so) your support of our 501(c)(3) corporations - Rotary International and our own local Rotary Service Fund [since renamed as Rotary Community Service Fund]; 5) Build and renew this club by identifying top quality membership candidates and ASK THEM to join you at Rotary; and 6) Help all of us have fun along the way." "Fun along the way" included, among other things, support for "Generation Journey," a fundraising variety show staged at the Pikes Peak Center that featured performers 55 years of age and older. With proceeds from this and other fundraisers (as well as direct support of members) the Rotary Service Fund continued to make a difference in the community: two students from the Globe Charter School (where club members also gave presentations on the 4 Way Test) received Rotary Youth Leadership Awards; $1,000 went to support the Super Saturday program at the Western Museum of Mining and Industry; and a gift of $1,000 helped Hope and Home purchase a computer (to name only a few). Club members again sent support out of state for victims of Hurricane Mitch. On the international front, club members increased their financial commitment to the Rotary Foundation, setting a record of more than $23,000 in gifts. A Strategic Planning Committee, under the direction of Ross Harrop, spent much of the year developing a vision for the future, and, as the year closed, the board adopted a club strategic plan for the years 1999-2004. The year end also brought recognition to the club in the form of a citation from the president of Rotary International "for outstanding achievement in the four avenues of service." 

During the 1999-00 Rotary Year, the forward march of technology brought a new Website for the club as well as an increasing number of cell phones going off during meetings. This was also a year of recommitment to the fundamentals of club fellowship (many members and spouses enjoyed an evening at the home Craig and Penny Whitney) and strong membership, as the board developed a new membership application process. The hope was that individuals would join the club with a greater awareness of the opportunities and responsibilities of being a Rotarian. The year's big fund raiser for the year was a raffle, which raised $15,000 for Adults Helping Children. Internationally, the club hosted a group of business people from Russia through a program called PEP (Productivity Enhancement Program) as well as a Group Study Exchange delegation from Brazil. The club also participated in the Mexam project. Sadly, this was a year of loss for the club, with the death of club member and former president Mary Jean Larson (1997-98). Members of the club joined many others throughout the community in mourning the loss of a great leader and friend, and the board made a contribution toward the bronze memorial sculpture "Double Eagle" that was placed in Larson's honor on the corner of Pike's Peak and Tejon. The year ended on a positive tone, however, as President Mike McGrath (the first club president to serve in two different centuries) informed the membership in May of five different awards given at the annual district convention, including recognition as the Best Club in Rotary District 5470 with more than 150 members. The club's 85th anniversary year, 2000-01, brought a special focus of funds and activities on the students and families of Adams Elementary School. In addition to the Read-to-Succeed program, the club sponsored field trips, a vocational shadow day, a computer training course for parents, a bicycle giveaway and rodeo and a service day on which Adams students did yard work for senior citizens in the surrounding community. President Harrop and his team joined the North Colorado Springs Rotary Club in sponsoring a new Northgate Rotary Club, which had its first official meeting in July 2001. Seeds of a new high school interact program were planted during this year as well. Club members were busy hosting international visitors from Israel and Mexico, and the club made a gift of $1,000 to a school in Korea for much needed facility repairs. On May 11, 2001, members of the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs celebrated the 85th anniversary of the club's founding with a black-tie event at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Another social highlight of the year was "An Evening at the Zoo" for members and families. As club president Steve Martin and his board assumed leadership in July, 2001, a program to recognize outstanding high school teachers was just taking shape. With inspiration from longtime educator Jack Kinney, this program would eventually become the Diamond Awards program and provide much needed moral support for the best educators (as judged by the students themselves) in several District 11 schools. Another longtime educational support program, the Merit Scholarship awards, received a boost during this year when scholarship amounts were increased from $1,000 to $1,500 per student. The club's already strong support for the Champions dinner, recognizing outstanding high school athletes in the region, took a new twist as the regular club meeting for the week of the Champions dinner was canceled to encourage members to attend this important event. Other community support went to the Pikes Peak Community Action Agency, Camp Shadybook, and the Red Cross Homeless Shelter Summer Program. The club's largest gift of the year ($15,000) went to Pikes Peak Mental Health, and one of the "hands-on" service projects involved work on the Veterans Affairs Clinic facility. This year's international visitors included a Group Study Exchange team from Sweden. In February 2002, Governor Bill Owens spoke at the annual World Peace and Understanding Luncheon. On a lighter note, in November 2001, the club entered it's first float in the Festival of Lights Parade. Throughout 2002-03, President Ed Ward and his team threw themselves into Rotary International's Polio Eradication Campaign. The club contributed $18,000 to the campaign, the majority of which came from the direct support of individual members. With encouragement and leadership from club member Dan Gornell, the club also made a gift in support of a mobile dental Clinic in Azerbaijan. Finally, the World Community Service Committee was formed in the spring of 2003. On the home front, club member Elaine Gibbs spearheaded a "hands-on" service program called "Smiles for Seniors," the major fundraiser for the year was the Lobster Rodeo, and the first local Interact program was chartered at Palmer High School. The club's social life also began to pick up, as the board committed to offering members a major social function each quarter. Finally, work began during this year to identify a centennial service project for the club. Under the leadership of Bill Kettles, 2003-04 saw the founding a Rotoract Club at Colorado College - the first such club in District 5470. Hands-on projects included bell-ringing for the Salvation Army, judging Mock Trial Debates, and the Read-to-Succeed and Shadow Day programs at Adams Elementary School. During this same year the club supported the "Chairs with Wheels" program, organized to provide wheelchairs to those injured in Iraq, as well as a dental program in Baku. The year's big fundraiser was an event organized around the screening of a film about the life of Bobby Jones the club raised $6,600. With help from the new Interact group at Palmer High School, the club again entered a float in the Festival of Lights Parade. As the year closed, the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs was recognized with a Rotary Foundation Award, for having the highest total giving ($24,700) for clubs over 80 members in District 5470. Rotary International President Glenn Estes' theme for 2004-2005 was "Celebrate Rotary." The Colorado Springs Rotary Club, under President Wally Miller and the board of Directors, proceeded on that course. The year was one of celebration for the 100th Anniversary Year of Rotary International and the 89th year of the Colorado Springs Rotary Club. Two Centennial year Projects were key parts of club activity: the handicapped playground renovation and overhaul for the Keller Elementary school in which 40 Colorado Springs Rotarians participated and the Freedom Memorial, planning for which was begun and continued throughout the year. The bulk of club activity was outwardly-focused in service to others and enthusiastically supported by active Rotarians pursuing their individual passions for service through a wide array of club and Rotary-sponsored programs. In total over 40 different programs and projects were conducted by members during the year. PDG Warren Hill headed up district 5470 GSE efforts and the club hosted 5 GSE team members from the Philippines. He also spearheaded a project coming to fruition in late 2005 totaling $24,000 in matching Foundation grants to provide two badly needed fire trucks to Mexico through the Rotary Club of Nuevo Casas Grandes. This project was initiated without club funds by two Colorado Springs Rotarians, each of whom personally contributed $1,000 "just to get the ball rolling." Dan Gornll continued his leadership efforts networking 5 different Rotary clubs across the country and the Rotary Foundation to support dental health projects in the orphanages of Baku, Azerbaijan. The World Community Service Committee held a successful fundraiser at Craig and Penny Whitney's home and continued funding, with matching Foundation grants, in support of the "Friendship Bridge."

Micro-lending efforts in Guatemala.
Each of these projects has topped $25,000 in support, due to our club's efforts and Rotary matching grants. An incoming Youth study Exchange student was canceled, but another, sponsored by Dennis Shoemaker and his wife, was scheduled in from France. The Ambassadorial Scholarship program continued to be a success. Namrita Singh, a Colorado College student selected to compete by our club, won District 5470 competition and was awarded a fully-funded nine-month Ambassadorial Scholarship to study overseas for 2006-2007. Several members volunteered their time for a wide range of other projects. Some painted parts of the interior of the Veterans' Coalition house, others rang the Christmas bells for the Salvation Army again, Smiles for Seniors was a great success in area nursing homes, and Merit Scholarships (for area high school seniors) and Diamond awards (recognizing outstanding area teachers) along with the Champions program were other important projects again this year. Complementing these "human" contributions, many other local programs were supported through direct grants from the Community Service Fund Committee. Early in the year, President Miller appointed a new Military Affairs Committee which sponsored scores of Ft. Carson soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan at Friday luncheons, welcoming them with standing applause in recognition of their service and sacrifice. The committee also developed the concept, design, support, and municipal approvals for a $75,000 Memorial Park monument honoring members of the U.S. military who fought and died in the Global War Against Terrorism.. Ground breaking and dedication of the memorial are scheduled for the fall and early winter of 2005. In January, ten-year club secretary Bob Elliott was honored on his retirement and Rotarian Ken Schinstine was appointed new Club Administrative Secretary. The club office was moved to South Sierra Madre near our meeting place at the Antlers Hotel. The club's number of Paul Harris Fellows, Paul Harris Sustaining Members and contributors to the Community Service Fund all increased. Members were honored for 100% attendance in June. The list was headed by president Wally Miller, with the longest period of perfect attendance on our club roster, recognized for 30 years perfect attendance. Rotarian Bernie Larino, a member of a Houston, Texas Rotary Club, but a frequent visitor to our club,was honored for over 66 years of perfect attendance. This year's overall club budget topped $170,000, which included member contributions to the reorganized Community Service Fund of nearly $15,000 from 67% of the membership. Contributions to the Rotary Foundation were over $33,000: $15,000+ for the Permanent Fund and over $18,000 for the Foundation's continuing efforts. Eighty-five percent  of the club made contributions to the Foundation. Tuck Aikin headed the program committee and brought us outstanding speakers which included candidates for the Senate from both the Republican and Democratic parties, continuing Rotary's long tradition of non-partisanship. The Committee Service Fund was reorganized to better address community needs and accommodate additional charitable projects. A Sponsorship Program Committee headed by Bill Casey was formed and began efforts to seek additional organizational funds, in addition to those contributed by individual members, for support of CSF activities throughout the year. The Board of Directors approved fund-raising plans for late 2005-2006 submitted by Glenn Pierre's Fundraising committee. Past President Mike McGrath served as our club webmaster and won the District 5470 award for producing the best web page by a large club. Secretary Jack Donley rallied the club to support the Bar Association's Mock Trial competition and received "rave reviews," commendations, and appreciation from officials throughout the state for our club's community involvement. Our club's support of a literacy program called "Read to Succeed" deserves special mention. Members, their families, and friends who volunteered their time to read to young students at the Adams Elementary School took pride as that school raised its standardized reading scores by 60% in one year. "Service Above Self" really does mean something! In all Rotary's Avenues Of Service, the Colorado Springs Rotary Club continues to contribute to the betterment of where we live and honors those who deserve and need support. ***