Members at Large:
Curwensville Rotary Club History
The Curwensville Rotary Club was organized on April 27, 1927, with sixteen active members. Charter members were:
Dr. H. A. Blair, M.D. – President
Harry Gates – Vice President
Grant Norris – Secretary
Ai McNaul - Treasurer
Members - Rev. Fr. Urban Barrett, Dr. A. B. Crissey, D.D.S., Droze Dotts, Ed M. Hayes, William A. Hipps, Jacob Kantor, Hugh Irvin, J. W. Murphy, R. H. Lininger, Fred Robison, P. G. Robison and Thomas Sheridan. (The officers also held office as Directors.)
The charter was presented to the club at a dinner held in the Curwensville United Methodist Church on April 23, 1927, by the Honorable Singleton Bell, President Judge of Clearfield County. This meeting was presided over by Howard Stewart of the Sponsoring Clearfield Rotary Club. Dr. Blair received the Charter in the name of the Curwensville Rotary Club. Grant Norris, Club Secretary and Supervising Principal of the Curwensville Schools, then introduced the main speaker of the evening, the Honorable Harry F. Hurst, United States Senator from Arizona. One hundred and fifty visitors and guests were present at this occasion, representing clubs of Clearfield, DuBois, Philipsburg, Altoona, Punxsutawney, Bedford, Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Salisbury, Maryland. The new club decided to hold its meeting each Tuesday at 6:00 PM, the day and time that remains in effect today.
Curwensville Rotary Club meetings were held at the Park Hotel for many years, during which Mr. and Mrs. Wolfgang Kneisel were the host and hostess. Piano music was provided by Mrs. Margaret Errigo and, after her retirement, by Dr. Leslie Leach, the Curwensville Superintendent of Schools. Mr. and Mrs. Kneisel sold the hotel in 1977 and on November 10th of that year, the club began meeting in the banquet room of the Central Hotel on Meadow Street. The hotel owners, Dee and Jim Null provide excellent food service for the club as well as a private, comfortable room for the club’s meetings, to this day.
In 1944, the former mansion of C. S. Russell, prominent local banker, was purchased by the Clearfield Cheese company and was turned over to the community as a civic and youth center. This project was managed by the Curwensville Rotary. That building was eventually torn down and a modern, one-story brick building, located on Curwensville School District property near the athletic fields, was built and continues to be of service to this day. Mr. J. Hamer Tate, Treasurer of the Clearfield Cheese Company as well as a Rotarian, was instrumental in planning this unique and visionary project. The building is now known as the Curwensville Community Center and the Curwensville Rotary Club is actively involved in projects to improve and support this Community landmark.
In 1947, the Curwensville Rotary was responsible for sponsoring a new Rotary Club in Coalport, PA. The Charter was presented by Ernest E. Church, District Governor.
In 1977, the Curwensville Rotary Club celebrated its 50th anniversary and its 75th anniversary in 2002.
Through the years, the Rotary Club of Curwensville has had a montage of members who are responsible for its success. Men and women alike have come from all walks of life to make the Curwensville Club an enterprising entity. Business and professional people, craftsmen, laborers, artists and service people have come together to create a well-oiled machine that functions according to the precepts laid down by founder Paul Harris; chief among these functions being “Service Above Self”.
Since its inception, the Curwensville Rotary has had no less than 75 persons acting as president. The current slate of officers is:
Shelia Williams, President
Bill Williams, President Elect
Bob Veihdeffer, Vice President
Kathy Gillespie, Secretary
Bobbie Sopic, Treasurer
The Curwensville Rotary Club is involved in a monumental amount of community projects, including the annual Christmas Light/Seasonal Banners in the downtown area, the Third Grade Dictionary Project, the Curwensville Community Center, the Alan Fairman Center, Adopt a Highway program, C.O.G. (Curwensville on the Go), bi-annual Community Blood Screening, annual College Scholarship program, annual Service Above Self/Citizen of the Year Award and many other annual and incidental projects. Among the international projects they support are Polio eradication, the Million Meals project, the Water for Haiti project and RYLA (Rotary Youth Exchange Leadership Awards), to mention just a few.
In summary, the Rotary Club of Curwensville is full of dedicated, generous individuals who truly embody the slogan “Service Above Self”. The Curwensville Rotary is able to do great things due to its cooperative members who put the good of community before their own gain and take great pride in a job well done.
This History was prepared from excerpts from “The History of the Curwensville Rotary Club” by Charles B. McCarl, by input from the memory of Lex W. Curry, Sr. and from the document “Curwensville Rotary Club History and Activities” by Past Secretary Robert Veihdeffer., and was compiled by Bobbie Sopic - 4/28/2018.
With programs like the Dictionary Project, Student Exchange and the Annual Blood Screening, we help our friends and neighbors by promoting education and good health habits. The Christmas Lighting Project, Banner Project and the Park Bench Project are just some of the ways we help beautify and support the town of Curwensville. Annual fundraisers, such as Chicken Barbecues, Raffles and our new Rides on the Ridge Car and Bike show help fund the above, not to mention international projects like Polio Plus, A Million Meals and more!
We have an extremely active Rotary club and would like to invite you to join us!
Shelia Williams, Curwensville Rotary Club President 2018-2019
© Copyright. All Rights Reserved