Rotary Club of Faribault

Posted by Murray Hanson

Faribault Rotary Club

Last Wednesday, we celebrated our 99th anniversary to kickoff the countdown to 100 years on May 1, 2020. Over 60 people attended including Rotarians past and present, the next two district governors, family and friends. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a success.  The following speech was given by President Keith:
 
May 1, 1920- May 1 2019
 
 
 The Faribault Rotary Club was established 99 years ago today on May 1, 1920 as Rotary's 596th club with 22 charter members and by the end of the first-year membership had reached a total of 35.   
 
E.B. Johnson, representing the district governor of the International Rotary Clubs, and three other members of the Minneapolis Rotary Club met with our charter members.  The first President of the Faribault Rotary Club was Frank W. McKellip.
 
Meetings were held on the first and third Monday of each month and on the evening of the fourth Monday. By 1927 the weekly meeting time was moved to noon on Wednesdays and remained there to this day. Over the years the club has held its meetings at the Elks Club, Harvey Hotel, Bluebird Inn, Hotel Faribault, Evergreen Knoll, Faribault Country Club, the Elks Club (again,) Bernie’s Vintage Ballroom and now and possibly for the next 99 years ------The Inn at Shattuck.
 
By next year at our 100th anniversary, our club will have had approximately 5000 weekly meetings with our 61-year member, Rod Mahler attending over 2800 of those meetings.  
 
 
Our club has sponsored four other clubs: 1) Owatonna- 1922 2) Northfield- 1925 3) Cannon Falls- 1954 and 4) The new Rotaract club at South Central College this year.
 
Youth service whether local or international has been one of our objectives over the last 99 years. Some examples include the following:
  • In 1924 the club held a picnic for 290 boys at Roberds Lake.
  • The Youth Camp on Cedar Lake was dedicated in 1963 and is stayed an important part of our club to this day.
  • In 1994, our club sponsored a shelter for the street children of Santarem, Brazil which provided a place for them to meet in groups and participate in life improvement activities.
  • In 2010, we sponsored the Rotary youth soccer fields area at Bahl fields in the Faribault Soccer Complex and provide shirts every year through the “Little Feat” program.
  • In 2017, we were involved with the Buddy Benches that were installed at local elementary schools.
 
We have established a number of traditions that are still an important part of the Faribault Rotary Club.  In 1939 the Faribault High School Choir started a Christmas Concert tradition which will celebrate 80 years this December.
 
 
In 1965, the Faribault Senior High Band, Choir and Orchestra performed with the proceeds used for the benefit of the Faribault Youth Services Inc. This October will be the 54th year.
 
Rotary luncheon programs are varied and interesting. We have had Senators, congressman, state and local politicians come to report their views. Programs over the years included topics such as:
-The question in 1941 was “Does Faribault need an airport?
- “A program on Direct Dialing telephones and the new Highway 35 progress were highlights in 1961.
- In the last 10 years we had historically informational and international adventure programs from our own Rotarians George Wickstrom and Dick Huston.
Our program chairmen and members over the years have provided excellent programs
 
Our club has had six district governors and the last one, Layton Hoysler, was in 1974. We look forward to the next club member who fills that role in the future.
Women were able to join Rotary starting in 1988 with Janine Sahagian as the first to join our club and was president in 1999-00. This year we celebrate the installation of Amy Amundson as our 100th president for the 2019-2020 Rotary year on June 26th.  On May 1, 2020, one year from today, the Faribault Rotary club will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a pledge to continue service above self for the next 100 years and beyond!