Greenville Rotary reflects on 100 years

GREENVILLE —The Greenville Rotary Club celebrated it’s centennial Tuesday afternoon with a luncheon at the Radiant Lighthouse Christian Center.

Instead of telling the Greenville Rotarians why he believes their club is vital, District Governor Greg Birkemeyer invited the Rotarians to discuss why they think their Rotary is still important to the community while in its 100th year.

Rotarian Justin Sommer said he appreciates the large impact the Rotary has had on the city of Greenville. He referenced the club’s Rotary Park that’s just off the traffic circle in downtown Greenville, which he believes will have a positive impact on local businesses in the community for years to come.

Rotarian Doug Fries said the club’s most famous fundraiser, the Rotary Lemonade Shake at the Great Darke County Fair, remains a great way for them to provide grants and scholarships.

“We talk about it at just about everywhere we go,” he said. “It’s a wonderful fundraiser and because we’re successful with our fundraisers, we’re successful with a lot of our grants. I think a lot of groups rely on that money and are glad to get that help. We’re also able to give a lot of scholarships to high school kids so I think the fundraiser goes a long way in helping people in the community.”

Birkemeyer said he was glad to see an inclusive group of Rotarians at the luncheon.

“You know what I noticed with this club?” He asked. “The diversity. There’s so many young people. A lot of clubs are really struggling. The Dayton Rotary Club’s average age is 58, I don’t think this club has that problem. I also noticed the great mix up of male and female members. My club is about 26 percent female.”

Rotarian Alex Warner echoed Birkemeyer’s sentiment.

“When I joined the club, it was all males,” he said. “But over the years, it’s been so vitally important to the club that the women have come in. They’ve been the lifeblood of the club. The other thing is the youth of the club. It’s evolved over the years, but the main thing is we continue to do good work for Greenville and Darke County.”

The Greenville Rotary Club was established on April 1, 1921. In honor of the club’s 100th anniversary, Birkemeyer awarded the club with a centennial plaque. The luncheon was catered by Tolly’s Gastropub.

Assistant District Governor Stan Evans, District Governor Greg Birkemeyer, Ben Studabaker and Ray Laughlin (shown, left to right) were among attendees at the Greenville Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary celebration.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_IMG_0039-5.jpgAssistant District Governor Stan Evans, District Governor Greg Birkemeyer, Ben Studabaker and Ray Laughlin (shown, left to right) were among attendees at the Greenville Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary celebration. Abigail Miller | Darke County Media.

The Greenville Rotary Club celebrated it’s centennial Tuesday afternoon with a luncheon at the Radiant Lighthouse Christian Center. Shown are District Governor Greg Birkemeyer and Greenville Rotary Club President Christy Bugher.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_IMG_0041-4.jpgThe Greenville Rotary Club celebrated it’s centennial Tuesday afternoon with a luncheon at the Radiant Lighthouse Christian Center. Shown are District Governor Greg Birkemeyer and Greenville Rotary Club President Christy Bugher. Abigail Miller | Darke County Media.

Celebration attendees included (back row, left to right): Ray Laughlin, Douge Fries, Brian Wagner, Kyle Lehman, Darren Leis and Alex Warner; (middle row, left to right): Alisha Weiss, Lucie Pohl, Ben Studabaker, Justin Sommer, Jennifer Williams, Lauren Henry; (front row, left to right): Jamie Welch, Julie Lecklider, Vice President Melissa Riethman, President Christy Bugher and Marsha Murphy.
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/web1_IMG_0043-2.jpgCelebration attendees included (back row, left to right): Ray Laughlin, Douge Fries, Brian Wagner, Kyle Lehman, Darren Leis and Alex Warner; (middle row, left to right): Alisha Weiss, Lucie Pohl, Ben Studabaker, Justin Sommer, Jennifer Williams, Lauren Henry; (front row, left to right): Jamie Welch, Julie Lecklider, Vice President Melissa Riethman, President Christy Bugher and Marsha Murphy. Abigail Miller | Darke County Media.
Greenville Rotary Club founded April 1, 1921

By Abigail Miller

DarkeCountyMedia.com