The world's first Rotary club was formed in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois, which became the headquarters for the Rotary movement as it expanded. The first organizational structure was a national association formed in Chicago in 2910, with 16 clubs all in the United States. The fledgling organization was transformed into the International Associate of Rotary Clubs in 1912 after new clubs had been organized in Canada, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, and Scotland. Today there are over a million Rotarians in 163 countries.
For more information go to the Rotary International website.
As Rotary grew it formed larger units called Districts. Brockport Rotary is a part of District 7120 which includes 11 counties (Allegheny, Chemung, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Stuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates). It also includes the Town of Pavilion in Genesee County. Currently there are 68 clubs.
For more information go to the District 7120 website.
Brockport Rotary History
On September 11, 1969, at Deerfield Country Club, twenty buisiness men were inducted into the new Brockport Rotary Club sponsored by the Hilton Rotary. Frank Donahue was elected Charter President. The next year, vice president Richard Benoit was named district conference keynote speaker in Lancaster, PA.
The Blub's bulletin (newsletter) has been published continuously from 1969 to 2013 when publishing became intermittent. In 1978 Potpuorri received the District's best bulletin award. In 2003 the Brockport Rotary News received a third place award; in 2004-06 and 2009-10 The Bridge was awarded first place in its class and second place for 2012-13.
In 1989-90, James E. Wilkison served as the Club's first district governor. The Club also hosted the District Conference held in Pittsburgh, PA. Cynthia Gibbons was elected the Club's first female president in 1993.
On July 13, 1995, the Brockport Club celebrated its 25th anniversery of service. The highlight of this event was a dinner cruise on the Erie Canal. That year also saw the Club recieve the prestigious Community Service Award.
To help celebrate Rotary's 100th birthday, Brockport and four other Area 9 Clubs met to read a Proclamation from New York State. In June 2009 the Club helped celebrate the chartering of the Rochester NW Club which it helped mentor for the previous three years. In 2009, The Club celebrate its 40th anniversary with a large party for members, friends and local dignitaries.
Notable Club's projects over the years include:
- Installing a miniature railroad, dock, and boathouse at original Camp Haccamo
- Providing considerable equipment and funds for the Lakeside Hospital
- Erie Canal Cleanup
- Construction of a clothing center at the Episcopal Church.
- Continued bell ringing for the Salvation Army
- Sponsoring Boy Scout Troop 111
- Providing support for the Amani Children's Home in Moshe, Tanzania.
As a founding member if BISCO, the Club helped build two community playgrounds, a skateboard park, plus landscaping for the Senior Center. For years the Club sponsored a Career Shadowing Day for high school students and now provides a yearly graduation scholarship. In 2014, it hosted its 28th SeniorBreakfast (re-named for Lois and Frank Gurnett) at McDonald's. The Club renamed its Citizen of the Year award for former president Rudy Smith in 2012.
Past Fundraiser Include:
- Roaring 20's Dance, gas day
- Firemen's carnival
- Basketball shoot
- Popcorn sales at sidewalk sales
- Snowmobile races and a snow queen contest.
- Food tent at the Monroe County Fair
- BBQ and Music festivals
In 1973, an annual Oktoberfest was born and for 15 years was the Club's largest and most successful fundraiser. The Ziti Dinner fundraiser is also 24 years old. The Club has participated in 20 BISCO Arts Festivals. BISCO began as a joint effort of Brockport service clubs (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Elks Lodge, and the Fire Department). Arts Festival proceeds have been used to help fund construction of Brockport community playgrounds and fill many other community needs in addition to helping publicize the village.
The Club's 30 year participation in the LPGA ended in 2008. Currently there is not big distric fundraiser. Camp Haccamo (now at Sunshine Campus) is still supported with efforts to landscape the Haccamo Express track area. The Club's first Rotaract club began at the College at Brockport in fall of 2013.
Brockport Rotary is an active and successful club engaged in supporting numerous community projects.