About Gallipolis Rotary

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On November 21, 1928, twenty-five business and professional men of Gallipolis, Ohio joined together to form the Gallipolis Rotary Club.  Such names as Leo Bean, MD; Charles E. Holzer, MD; Gilbert Bush; Augustus P. Kerr; E. Wood Mills; and J. Paul Mossman were a few of these civic visionaries. A local club foundation was established to honor Paul Mossman and to provide a separate non-profit organization to hold funds to be used locally.

The Rotary Clubs of Wellston, Ohio and Pt. Pleasant, WV sponsored and provided guidance to our club during the first year.  The organizational meeting of the club was held in the Palm Room of the Lafayette Hotel, recently constructed by one of the new Rotarians, George Tabit.  The formal chartering of the club was held on January 25, 1929, with 121 Rotarians attending representing 13 clubs including Athens, Chillicothe, Columbus, Jackson, Middleport, Marietta, Elyria, and Wellston, Ohio clubs; Pt. Pleasant, Charleston, Huntington and Ripley, WV clubs; and the club in Ashland, KY.

The club’s earliest service projects consisted of a Twilight Baseball League benefiting needy children in the area, and establishing the local Chamber of Commerce.  During the 40’s the club sponsored War Bond drives.  A Rural-Urban dinner was started in 1943 to pay tribute to local leaders in agriculture.  Our tradition of holding a Farmer’s Night dinner continued through recent years.  A student loan fund was established in 1944,  to help local students and continued for a number of years until the funds were turned over to the Rotary Foundation.  Gallipolis Rotary continues to award Rotary Scholarships to area graduating seniors and is the primary focus for our fund raising projects.  During the 1950’s the club officially recognized teachers and educators with a special annual Education Night dinner.  A combined Rotary-Lions-Kiwanis dinner was also established during the 50’s and the annual RO-LI-KI dinner still continues.

An impressive history of international service from Gallipolis Rotary began in 1943 with the club sponsoring an Institute of International Understanding.  In 1976, Rotarian Paul Hawks, led a Polio Inoculation program to Bangladesh and distributed 10,000 doses of vaccine.  Today Rotary International’s prime effort is the eradication of Polio which is conducted through the Rotary Foundation..  Our club has taken part in District 6690 efforts around the world to drill water wells, distribute medical supplies, provide nutritional services to needy students,and distribute medical equipment.  Today, our club supports PDG Mel P. Simon’s “Operation We Care” a medical mission to the Philippines and the French 500 Free Medical Clinic. Our club also works locally to encourage literacy through the distribution of Webster’s Dictionaries to all 5th graders in Gallia county, distribution of hard bound childrens’ books to elementary schools, and encouraging Rotarians to read monthly in the county elementary schools to all first grade classes.

Gallipolis Rotary celebrated its 60th anniversary of its founding on November 21st, 1988 and on November 17, 2003 celebrated its 75th anniversary.  Well done, Gallipolis Rotary!