My history moment today is going to jump ahead in time considerably. Why?  Well due to a nice note I received from past president Charlie Zumkehr  now in Key Largo, FL, along with a very generous donation to our 100th anniversary book project.  He questioned why I hadn’t covered the period of time from the 60s to the 80s. When I started this in June of 2020, I started with the first book of our history representing the first 25 years. I am now in the second book of our history 1945 to 1984. Since it appears that with our 100th anniversary being celebrated on the 25th of this month, I will not have time enough to finish even our second book. For that reason and Charlie‘s request I’ll skip to the 60s and 80s with apologies to the following presidencies of Dick Donaghy, Leland Keller, Bob Dix, George Bowman, Vic Yahner and Bob Green, ending the fifties.
The 50th anniversary of the founding of the Kent Rotary club was held November 5, 1970 at Silver Lake Country Club, President  Al Smith presiding. Author James Michener, writer of many historical novels, was the speaker.  He was wrapping up his work in Kent on a book about the city and the University especially since the events of May 4th of that year, 1970. Bob Dix, current President of the Board of Trustees at Kent State made the statement: Kent State is the hottest news game in the United States. Kent is the focal point of the nation. Unfortunately Kent’s newsworthiness centered around the May 4th shootings.

A significant event occurred at a meeting in March of that year. There  was a need to raise $325 to make a gift to Amigos de las Americas. A decision was made to have an auction of some fine things that had already been donated. Guests were urged to be invited. I was program chairman that day and learned that Ron Roskens, Vice President of KSU had been an auctioneer. That first auction raised $812.50. For instance a Honda motorcycle sold for $125,  a piece of pie for five dollars and so began the  many years of our Rotary auctions.

After several years of successful auctions raising nearly $100,000. the Kent Rotary Foundation was formed during the Presidency of Glenn Saltzman.  The first board of trustees, consisted of members, Glenn Saltzman, Jim Schubert, Tom Myers, John Flynn, and Charles Zumkehr.  It continues to this day and is in the midst of expanding!

That’s history, that’s still making its mark for our club and serving our community.

Jim Myers