Rotary Club of La Porte to mark 75 years

Submitted photoThe Rotary Club of La Porte will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Saturday. New officers for the coming year will also be installed at the event. Pictured, from left, are Ted Taylor, program chairman; Leigh Morris president-elect; Kathy Heinrich, vice president; Kendall Schaeffer, secretary, Danielle Eigenmann, president; and Brett Binversie, past president.

La PORTE - The Rotary Club of La Porte will celebrate its 75th anniversary at the same place it was initiated.

The club will mark its anniversary on Saturday in La Porte's Masonic Temple, stating with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the third floor parlor with dinner and the program following at 6:30 p.m. in the adjacent dining room.

New officers for the coming year will also be installed at the event.

Barry Rassin, 2018-19 Rotary International president, recently congratulated the Rotary Club of La Porte on its anniversary.

“Your club has been a part of helping Rotary do its job in the world better. When we work together to take action, not for ourselves but for the good of others, there’s nothing we can’t do,” Rassin wrote in a letter to the La Porte Club. “The success of a club depends on a number of factors, including a strong, active member base and a dedication to helping others. By reaching this milestone, your club has made a commitment to represent Rotary in your community, as well as Doing Good in the World through sustainable, meaningful service.”

The formation of Rotary in La Porte began when three members of the Warsaw Rotary Club, Arthur Raabe, William Chinworth and Thomas Walter, decided to do something about the fact that the organization was not represented in La Porte, one of the older cities in Northern Indiana.

With the sponsorship of Warsaw Rotary, 18 La Porte businessmen met to organize the Rotary Club of La Porte on June 12, 1944. Charter Presentation Night was held June 17, 1944 with 212 people in attendance in the dining room of the Masonic Temple.

Several gifts were presented to the new club. The Goshen and Elkhart Rotary Clubs gave a Rotary banner. A Secretary’s Kit came from the South Bend Club. The Valparaiso Club gave an American flag. The Michigan City Club presented a Rotary Shield. The bell came from the Warsaw Club. The Plymouth Club gave Rotary pins for each member. Chester A. Ragland presented a picture of Paul Harris, founder of Rotary, on behalf of the Chicago Club.

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