Salt Lake Rotary Club celebrates its 100th birthday

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 1 2011 3:12 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Most everyone enjoys a party, and commemorating a century of community service is certainly a milestone worthy of celebrating.

The Rotary Club of Salt Lake City honored its members at its first February meeting on Tuesday — recognizing the organization's 100th year in Utah.

With a player piano in the background along with many of the board members clad in long gowns and old-style tuxedos, the mood of the luncheon was decidedly festive and upbeat in the ballroom of the Downtown Marriott Hotel.

"We're recalling that we were the very first service club in Utah and the fact that we've sustained that tradition for a hundred years is really exciting," said Jay Jacobson, Rotary Club board president.

The Rotary Club of Salt Lake City was founded in January 1911, about six years after the first Rotary Club was organized in Chicago in 1905. The name "Rotary" was derived from the early practice of rotating meeting locations among members' offices.

When the Salt Lake Club initially received its charter, it became Club 24 and was the only Intermountain Club between Chicago and the West Coast.

Today, the Salt Lake Rotary chapter includes more than 300 members, and Club 24 is one of the largest among Rotary International's clubs worldwide.

Under the motto "service above self," Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders who offer humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world, a news release stated. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 33,000 clubs chartered in 166 countries around the globe.

With its long history and rich tradition of serving the local community, board member Mike Korologos said.

"Club 24 is a "pioneer in the Rotary movement," he added.

Among the local programs the club is involved with are Rotary Youth Exchange providing tutoring for elementary school students and providing financial support for service projects through grants from the Salt Lake Rotary Foundation.

"They have taken such an active interest and involvement in this city," said Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker. "It ensures that our city will be an even better place to live into the future."

Among the visiting Rotarians in attendance for the anniversary celebration was Jagdeep Chadha, sergeant-at-arms of Club 83084 of Chandigarh, India. He said to be able share in such a historic occasion was special.

"This is what Rotary is about," he said. "We are serving a noble cause."

e-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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