The 1980's was a special time in the life of the Lebanon Rotary Club because the club celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary. This anniversary of the club was celebrated in 1986 with the coordination of a three year project to support the newly formed Rotary Foundation program called Polio Plus. Our Club pledged, worked, and raised a total of $28,500 toward the Polio Plus Program over a three year period from 1985 to 1988. The goal of the Polio Plus program was to vaccinate the children for polio in all third world countries of the world by the year 2000. (Pictured right/above - Change of Leadership in July of 1986)
The Lebanon Rotary Club began sponsoring a teacher's picnic in the early 1980's. All of the Lebanon RIII school teachers and their family members were invited to a picnic for a time of fun and fellowship in Nelson's Park, which was later moved to Atchley Park. This event was scheduled on a Thursday evening in early September and would take the place of the noon meeting for the Rotarians.
The Lebanon Rotary Club continued its service to the youth of the community in a number of programs. In 1984 the club began the "Salute to Excellence in Education" luncheon which honored all graduating senior honor students.
The club also purchased the honor cords for the top academic students to wear at graduation. (The club continues to support both of the activities today - Pictured above is the 2009 Academic Banquet) Our club continued to award several scholarship to Lebanon High School seniors through the Lebanon Rotary Club Scholarship fund and the Melva Palmer Ellis Scholarship fund.
(Pictured left/above: 1986 Scholarship Recipients)
During the 1980's the Lebanon Rotary Club was instrumental in the origination of many community projects or other organizations. The Farmer's Market was organized under the auspices of the Lebanon Rotary Club, and financing was assured during the first year or so of its operation. Other projects that can be attributed to Rotary are the playgrounds at W. T. Vernon Park and Atchley Park. The ideas of the Lebanon Area Foundation, and later, the Lebanon Education Foundation, were also dreams of the Lebanon Rotary Club.
Our club continued to support international services by sponsoring Clark Mershon as a Group Study Exchange Team member to Taiwan in 1984; and Rebecca Baldwin, a graduate from LHS, received a Rotary International Scholarship to the University de Bordeau, France in 1984. Also during our Fiftieth Anniversary in 1986, the club coordinated a visit from a New Zealand Group Study Exchange Team, and hosted another Group Study Exchange Team from Bangladesh.
Community Service subcommittees during the 1980's included: Handicapped, Rural - Urban, Lebanon Foundation, Shoe Fund, Melva Palmer Ellis Scholarship, Interact Club, Senior Citizen, Teacher's Picnic, and Pancake Day.
During the mid 1980's the club began its support of the "Share Your Christmas" program. This program helps families in need during the Christmas Season to provide clothing and gifts for children and other family members. (Pictured right/above: Steve Scott and Dr. Tom Luthy working in 1987's Share Your Christmas)
Many pleasant memories for members of the Lebanon Rotary Club often revolve around the work at many Rotary functions such as Pancake Day where Rotarians work as a team, but have a good time getting acquainted with fellow Rotarians. Rotarians also reminisce about different members of the club and the antics that separate some members from the rest. (Pictured left /above: Charter Members of the Club, Dr. C. B. (Tommy)Thomas and Ellis Rainey receive their 50 Year Service Awards (1936 to 1986) from Rotary President Will Bradley)
Some of the funnier memories include: Dr. Vic Slaughter's traveling note card show, Dr. Thomas and his cat brought to a treasure hunt, and the one question that Dr. Tom Luthy could never answer with a straight face. Another "tradition" that was often performed is the "stealing of silverware". No one knows who started it, but Dr. Tommy Thomas and Paul Bobbitt were the most frequent practitioners.
In 1989 the Rotary Club moved its meetings to the Lebanon Country Club (Pictured right/above) after the dining room facility was constructed.
Rotarian Glen Cummins