Rotary Club History of the 1970's


In the 1970's the Shepherd Hills Restaurant closed its doors, and in 1975 the Lebanon Rotary Club moved its meeting place to the Wyota Restaurant (Pictured Right /above).  In about 1970 the Lebanon Rotary Club purchased a canteen trailer for $6,000, along with a huge charcoal cooker to be used as a fund raiser at the county fair and other Rotary activities. The canteen trailer would be used for over 35 years, until it was refurbished and donated to the American Red Cross in 2008.


Two of the events the Lebanon Rotary Club's canteen trailer (Pictured left/above)  was used for the Sadie Hawkins Night and Hillbilly Days, which began in 1974. Sadie Hawkins Night was scheduled in downtown Lebanon the Thursday evening prior to the start of Hillbilly Days at Bennett Springs on Friday and Saturday. The Lebanon Rotary Club organized the events and activities for Sadie Hawkins Night, and served concessions at the events for almost 30 years.  The Rotary canteen trailer was also used in serving food at the Laclede County Fair on a yearly basis.


One of the most notable committees of the Lebanon Rotary Club supporting young people during the 1970's was the Scholarship and Student Loan Committee. It was during this time that the Club established a Rotary Scholarship Fund to assist students going to college. Also, in 1979 the Melva Palmer Ellis Scholarship program was established, and it was administered by the Lebanon Rotary Club. The scholarship began by awarding funds annually to students entering the field of education from Laclede and Camden Counties.

These scholarships are given in memory of Melva Palmer Ellis who was a long time educator in the community.   This scholarship fund continues today with an amount of more than $200,000 in scholarships having been awarded to our young people going into the field of education.  (Pictured Above:  Paul Bobbitt and Will Bradley with the Melva Palmer Ellis Scholarship recipients) 

Other Community Service subcommittees included: Community Safety and Crippled Children, Rural - Urban Relations, Handicapped Children, Interact, Youth & Student Guests, Fort Wood Relations, and Milk Bottle Fund.

During the 1970's the main committee of the Vocational Services became the Occupational Information Committee. The International Service Committees included the International Youth Project and the World Community Service Committee.

 In 1972 the Lebanon Rotary Club sponsored two young professionals, George Kastler and Jacqueline Grimes, as Rotary International Group Study Exchange Team