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Rotary Club celebrates 100th anniversary

by Anakin Bush | March 18, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Anakin Bush/Fulton Sun Fulton Rotary Club President Allen Huggins welcomes Rotarians at the club's Centennial Celebration recognizing the club's 100th anniversary. Several others spoke at the event, including Fulton City Councilmembers and Rotary District 6080 Governor John Horton.

The Brick District Playhouse returned to the Roaring 20's on Wednesday to celebrate Fulton Rotary Club's 100th Anniversary.

The club was originally chartered by Rotary International on March 15, 1923. There were 22 founding members of the club.

The Centennial Celebration was themed after the Roaring 1920's, as this was the decade in which the club was founded.

Around 80 people attended the celebration, with many wearing outfits that fit with the Roaring 20's theme.

The event began with an introduction speech from Allen Huggins, Fulton Rotary Club President. He read headlines from the Fulton Sun the week of the club's founding to highlight what Fulton was like at the time.

"We live in a world that cries out for good influence on every level. Responsible and ethical leadership is as essential as oxygen, in every context, from the family dinner table to the legislative chamber, and yet it seems that we know leadership best. For its failures, rather than its successes," Huggins said.

Huggins introduced and recognized several individuals at the celebration. Among those recognized were John and Mary Bell, who served as honorary chairs for the event. They are grandchildren of a founding charter member, Ovid Bell.

Rotary dignitaries from other Rotary Clubs, community representatives, past Fulton Rotary Club presidents, Raymond McCallister Rotarians of the Year, Paul Harris Fellows, and centennial chairs and committee members were recognized at the event.

Later in the evening, two videos were shown to congratulate the club on 100 years. The video messages were from Jennifer Jones, Rotary International President, and Elizabeth Usovicz, Rotary International Director.

Mike West, Deupty Mayor and Ward One councilmember, Jeff Stone, Ward Two councilmember, and Brad Leuther, Ward Three councilmember, presented a proclamation to the club from the City of Fulton.

Mayor Lowe Cannell officially presented the proclamation to Huggins at Tuesday's Fulton City Council meeting. The proclamation recognizes the club's 100th anniversary.

"Now therefore, we the Mayor and council of the City of Fulton, extend 100 birthday greetings to the Rotary Club of Fulton, Missouri, and express our hope for the continued interplay of the city and the club as it begins its second 100 years with the model service above self," Cannell said at the city council meeting.

Videos were shown at the celebration highlighting each decade since the 1920's. Each video featrued Fulton Rotarians.

Rotary District 6080 Governor John Horton was at the event and congratulated the club on 100 years.

"What a blessing this club has been to the Fulton community for 100 years. I want to congratulate your club from the bottom of my heart, you have made a tremendous difference here locally, around the world, and especially in Rwanda and Tanzania. Please keep up the outstanding service work you do," Horton said.

Only five clubs in District 6080 have reached 100 years, Horton added.

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