About Our Club

History of Rotary

The first Rotary club was founded in 1905 when four friends met in Chicago to discuss how they could work together to help the wider community. Rotary has since grown internationally to more than 1.2 million members across 200 countries.

“Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves”

Our organization started when Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney, had an idea of forming a club where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the early practice of rotating meetings between the offices of each member.

Today Rotary continues to respond to the needs of an ever changing world, while retaining its strong founding principles.

About Our Club
Chartered November 4, 1921, the Rotary Club of Petoskey has been a leader of service to our community and world from Petoskey, Michigan. Currently we are over 100 members strong.  We have produced three Assistant Governors and five District Governors. We have hosted Youth Exchange Students and participated in many of the District activities. 
We meet every Wednesday; 12:15 p.m. at the Stafford's Perry Hotel in the winter months and Bay View Inn in the summer months. See you there!
Our History
In the summer of 1921, Homer Sly, Morgan Curtis, Norman W. Well, George W. McCabe, and Frank Quinn met with Glen W. Power, Dr. Johnson and Adrian Cole from the Traverse City Rotary Club and the District Governor, George Barnes at a luncheon meeting at the Cushman House to discuss forming a Rotary Club in Petoskey.

After a successful meeting, on August 31, 1921, Mr. Sly was appointed chairman of the Temporary Organization Committee by the International President, Crawford C. McCullough, to proceed with their plans. Messrs Curtis, Well, and McCabe completed the committee.

Charter members of the Petoskey Rotary Club included Homer Sly, a tall lanky automobile dealer; George W. McCabe, a hardware store partner; Norman W. Well, a coal dealer; George S. Danser, a wholesale grocer; Morgan Curtis, a stone quarry owner; John L.A. Galster, a cement manufacturer; Charles J. Gray, a dentist; Ralph Engle, a physician; Guy Hankey, a miller; Dana Hinkley, the newspaper owner; Benjamin Halstead, a lawyer; Park Lantz, the Superintendent of Schools; William McCune, an Insurance agent and George Rice, a leather manufacturer.

On October 31st the Charter Members attended a luncheon at Braun’s Restaurant, adopted resolutions, and set up a temporary organization. Homer Sly was elected to be the temporary chairman and Norman Wells, temporary secretary. The chairman then named committees for a permanent organization. Curtis, Halstead and Hinkley were to prepare a Constitution and By-Laws. McCabe, Galster and Henry F. Beese were to nominate directors.

Friday evening, 11/4/1921, following dinner at Braun’s the Rotary Club of Petoskey was made a permanent organization. District Governor Representative, Glen W. Power, and 16 Traverse City Rotarians attended the meeting. The Constitution was adopted and the following men were nominated for directors, Beese, Curtis, Danser, Halstead, McCabe, Wells, and Sly. The first set of officers were elected and installed. President - Homer Sly, Vice President - George McCabe, Secretary - Norman Wells, Treasurer - Morgan Curtis, and Sergeant at Arms - Henry Beese.

Glen W. Power declared the club organized and instructed the officers to make application for affiliation with the International Association of Rotary Clubs. On 11/17/1921, Secretary General Chesley R. Perry gave notice that the club had been formally voted into affiliation and, that as of 11/1/1921, it would henceforth be known as Club 1026.

The first regular luncheon meeting was held 12/14/1921 at Braun’s and regular committees were appointed. The Charter was presented by District Governor George Barnes on January 9, 1922 at the first Ladies’ night.
Petoskey Rotary Service Projects

February 1, 1922, George Rice and his committee were given the go ahead to proceed with a project to acquire a full time director of boys’ activities, in and out of school. In 1923, with Rotary approval, the Petoskey School Board appointed Walter MacMillan, physical education director. He also maintained a city-wide recreation program.

In 1924 MacMillan conducted the first organized summer camp for boys, adjacent to the present Camp Daggett property. Dana Hinkley was appointed to investigate the possibility of securing a permanent site for the camp. He called upon Rotarian Bert Cook, whose relatives Mrs. Harper and Mrs. Daggett, gifted the land where Camp Daggett is now located. The camp opened in 1925, with a cabin paid for by Mr. Cook and water provided by a well; for which Mr. Rice covered the expenses. The current status and growth of the camp was the result of a joint effort by the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Petoskey, as well as other service clubs in Emmet and Charlevoix counties and other generous individuals.

Over the years, Rotary has donated a great deal of time and money to the camp. During the 1980’s, the Petoskey, Boyne City, and East Jordan Rotary Clubs raised money to help build the new lodge with winter sleeping quarters and also donated free labor to help with the construction.

In 1925 a minstrel show was given by the Club to provide funds for a crippled children’s clinic. Dr. Charles Gray chaired this project and 28 children were examined by Dr. Badgley, an Orthopedic Surgeon from Ann Arbor. A second clinic was held in 1928 and 51 more children were examined. Rotarians traveled throughout the county to get the children to the clinic. After this the state authority used welfare funds to finance this work, although the county nurse continued to send patients to Dr. Badgley.

In March of 1926, Robert Tripp was appointed chairman of a committee to approach the city officials about working out plans for municipal tennis courts. The waterfront tennis courts were eventually completed in June of 1935.

In November 1924, a committee was appointed consisting of Chairman Robert Tripp, Norman Wells, and T. Arthur Treloar to investigate sites for an athletic field and stadium. In 1925 they reported that a site had been secured through the generosity of Rotarian Morgan Curtis who donated a piece of land. Building plans were presented to the club by Home Sly in 1926 and the Club backed the building of a stadium.

On 9/27/1927 the entire Club journeyed out to the new stadium and inspected the completed project. The first game was played against Gaylord there on October 1, 1927 and the dedication was held on October 7, 1927 when Petoskey played against Harbor Springs. The Northmen still use this facility today.

The first meeting in regard to a county airport was held with the Rotary Club on January 11, 1927. Supervisor McLain of Pellston was the instigator and a committee was appointed to work on the project. Soon afterwards work was competed on Sexton’s Corners, the site now known as the Harbor Spring Airport.

A report was made by William McCune regarding the possibility of developing an adequate winter sports program. P.T. Mitchell called a meeting on August 8, 1927 to discuss the organization of a committee to promote winter sports; and at a meeting held September 7th, the following officers of the first Winter Sports Committee were elected: Rotarian Homer Bates, President; Rotarian Watson Snyder, Vice-President; Kiwanian Glen Townsend, Treasurer; and Kiwanian Bert Kenny, Secretary. The first organized Winter Sports Program was held February 1928.

The Petoskey Rotary Club hosted the Annual District Convention on June 3rd and 4th, 1928. About 800 Rotarians were in attendance at this highly successful event; a tribute to Clarence Christopher, the General Chairman. District Conferences were also held here in 1957, 1967, 1986, and 1996.

In 1935 and 1936 the Rotary Club joined with the Kiwanis Club in encouraging the pasteurization of milk and maintained a milk fund for the public school.

The Club purchased land for a scenic turnout at the top of the hill on US 31, entering Petoskey, in 1937. A lodge and rest rooms were built and a sign, “Rotary Park”, was installed. The view of Little Traverse Bay was magnificent. When the land between the park and Little Traverse Bay was to be sold, the Club purchased the threatened land for $23,000 over a four year period. The scenic property was later deeded to the State.

In 1942 and 1943 the Club again joined hands with local Kiwanians in a project to gather milkweed for Army and Navy Life jackets, and also cared for the families of servicemen overseas.

In 1943, Rotary financed five boys to attend Camp Daggett and promoted a music talent quest, awarding two scholarships to the Bay View School of Music.

In December 1943 a shipment of Christmas trees was sent to Corpus Christi, Texas, to be distributed to the military camps, bringing a little holiday cheer from the northland.

The Rotary Foundation began sponsoring Ambassadorial Scholarships for better international understanding throughout the world in 1947. These scholarships are now worth over $18,000 per student, covering transportation, housing, and educational expenses.

We began ringing the kettle bell for the Salvation Army Christmas donations in 1947, and continue to do so at numerous locations in the area. In 1947 the Club also purchased a scoreboard for High School Athletics and sent a student to Camp Emory, a leadership camp for men and women near Muskegon.

In 1957 we sponsored a new Rotary club in Gaylord and, in 1978 we sponsored the Charlevoix Rotary Club.

1959 saw the Club taking an active role in training Teacher’s Aides to care for disabled children at the Edgewater School for handicapped children. This continued until 1965 when the school was abolished and the students transferred to Ottawa School.

Many of these projects are still a part of the Petoskey Rotary Club’s service to the community and the world.
A Closer Look at the Past 25 Years

Over the past 75 years the location of Petoskey’s Rotary Club meetings have included Braun’s Restaurant, the Bay View Country Club, the Perry Spruce Room, and we currently meet at Stafford’s Bay View Inn in the summer months and the Perry Hotel in the winter months. Of course there isn’t space to mention everything we’ve been doing, but you will see that we haven’t been sitting idly by.

In 1972 the membership included 65 men. In 1996 we were 102 strong including 6 women. In a move that many thought might be the beginning of the end of the Club in 1989, Ernie Mainland proposed Patricia Ryde to be the first woman member of the Club. She was also the first Club nominee to receive a Paul Harris Graduate Fellowship and studied in England during the 1975-1976 school year. 1989 was also the year Rotary International changed its by-laws, making it acceptable to install women members throughout the world, following the lead of the United States.

Our first exchange student arrived in 1972; Jose Da Rocha of Brazil. In 1974 our first outbound exchange student, Lee Slight, was sent to Japan and Ann O’Ryan arrived from Australia. That same year the Club erected a sleeping cabin at Camp Daggett and awarded Bill Steffens of Petoskey High School the Best Educator Award. $750 was donated toward the purchase of a bus for the high school Drum & Bugle Corps.

1975 saw us sending the proceeds from 50/50 drawings to feed two hungry boys in Asia while, closer to home, our Rotary Park project was designated Project of the Year by our District Governor.

The old city clock bell rang again in 1976 thanks in part to our $100 donation. Another $100 was sent to assist earthquake victims in Guatemala. Coed camping began at Camp Daggett and Charlotte Ross Lee began playing piano at our weekly meetings.

Brigitte Beyer arrived from Denmark in 1977. In 1979 we agreed to support the Winter Sports Park as an ongoing project and spent time physically fixing up the area, as well as making a donation to the site plan fund. Greg Williamson was sent to Denmark as an exchange student. We sponsored a flag football team and the Summer Rotarians donated a drinking fountain to the city.

1980 was the year we deeded Rotary Park to the State Department of Transportation, acted as judges at the Winter Sports Carnival, donated $1,000 toward the purchase of the Methodist Church property for the Virginia M. McCune Arts Center, bought a computer for a local girl with a disability, participated in a Group Study Exchange (GSE) with Australia/New Guinea, donated to the Petoskey High School free-style wrestling team, sent $1,200 to the Health Hunger and Humanities program to help eliminate polio, and Art Treloar became our second Paul Harris Fellow (PHF). Another $45,000 was spent on the Winter Sports Park and a drinking fountain was installed outside the Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Petoskey.

Myrna Magnuson arrived from Brazil in 1981. The Club built another cabin at Camp Daggett; funds were given to the Humane Society, the Winter Sports Park, and the American Music Theatre (the Young Americans). Bob Simpson represented our area on the outbound GSE team to Australia.

In 1982 the Club offered matching funds to increase our number of Paul Harris Fellows. We sponsored a Little League team, gave out $1,000 in scholarships, paid for 12 campers at Camp Daggett, supported the Youth Soccer Association financially, and received a visit from 11 folks who were here from our Sister City; Shiga, Japan. By the end of the year John Carpenter had purchased his first of many PHF’s, including one for the Dalai Lama, and we acquired 10 more sustaining members.

The Humane Society, the local Cancer Society, the Arts Center, the Friendship Center, the Speed Skating Club, Parents in Action and others received donations in 1983, along with high school students, who shared $800 in fine arts scholarships from us. Bob Sorenson was awarded a Teacher of the Handicapped Scholarship from RI and Ernie Mainland’s name was submitted as a candidate for District Governor for 1985-86. It was also the year we purchased a doughnut machine.

In 1984 Sarah Salan was sent to Finland. We did our usual bell ringing, provided scholarships, and helped fellow human beings in many ways. I’m sure missing newsletters could provide a lot more detail.

Ernie Mainland became the first District Governor from our club in 1985-1986 and Cesar Reyes came over as an exchange student from Colombia.

1986 was another busy year. We paid for two students to attend the World Affairs Seminar in Whitewater, Wisconsin, sent medical equipment to the Philippines, helped provide for a mobile dental lab in New Guinea, hosted 20 children on the Great Lakes Tour, awarded our first Service Above Self Scholarship to area students. There was a GSE from Ecuador, Julie Raddatz went to India and Leah Neiderstat was sent to Norway. We hosted the District Conference in honor of Ernie’s year as Governor.

We sent our district’s group to Ecuador in 1987, started a Rotary Interact Club in Alanson, Lee Ann Behr came to us from South Africa, Jobst Blachy went to Norway, a GSE team was sent to South Africa, and another from India visited here. The first Annual Camp Daggett Interclub Dinner took place and the first Rotary Calendars went on sale to help Rotary’s Polio Plus program, wipe out polio throughout the world. The Petoskey Rotary Club donated over $53,000 to this project through club donations and individual donors.

In 1988 we held our first Club Assembly to critique ourselves and our work. Louise Miller joined us from Australia and Oscar Ramon from Bolivia. The exchange GSE team arrived from Southern Africa and we sent Ann Marie Salan to New Zealand and Dennis Festerling to South Africa. The first calendar winners were announced and a record 1063 people were served at the Annual Spaghetti Dinner. The Blue Suit Committee came into being to help local individuals through hands on projects. The first female Rotarians arrived for makeup meetings with our Club, and Ernie began to recruit females for our club. It didn't take him long to successfully induct Pat Ryde, the first female to join the Rotary Club of Petoskey in 1988.

We hosted a GSE team from Korea and sent one to them in return. Petoskey Rotary Charities, Inc. came into being, allowing us to better provide funds for local projects. Heather Wills went off to Norway and Jan Reinders visited from the Netherlands through the exchange program.

Medical supplies we sent to the Philippines in 1986 finally cleared customs in 1990 and arrived at their destination. Sylvie Boone of Belgium was with us for a year and a GSE team from the Netherlands paid us a visit. Our scholarship donations were over $10,000 this year, including a Rotary Transfer Scholarship for $5,000. We also spearheaded a project to erect a new building at the Winter Sports Park and eventually put a roof over the hockey rink. $206,573 was collected for these improvements and with help from the city and the state, the building was completed; a great credit to our club.

Judy and Ernie Mainland escorted our district’s GSE team to the Netherlands in 1991. That same year we kicked off our campaign for funds to rebuild the track at the stadium, donated funds to the Hospitality House, and donated manpower to finish the new lodge at Camp Daggett. Our club had the privilege of eating the first sit-down meal in the new building. Kelly Smith visited Belgium and Penny Centenara joined us from the Philippines. I do believe she made it through customs in less than four years.

In 1991 we “adopted” a 3 mile stretch of US 131 and enjoyed the first of our many hikes to clean the roadway. Dialysis machines were sent to Nigeria that year as well.

John Carpenter went to Lima, Peru on behalf of Rotary International in 1992 to set up the Street Boy’s Project with local Rotarians. In a joint effort between Petoskey, Lima, and matching funds from Rotary International, we were able to establish a broom factory, a shoe factory, and a bakery where, boys could live and learn a trade to keep them off the streets. Tanya Guaggel visited from Germany and we sent Dave Williams off with a GSE team to Sweden. We served dinner to children with cancer at Camp Quality as well.

In 1993 we supported the Senior Graduation Party, helped with the Emmet County Paint Blitz, and collected used skates for the Winter Sports Park. Lots of traffic, a GSE team to and from Malaysia and one to England. Katsura Nakagama came over from Japan, for a year as well.

Emmanual Berreau visited us from France in 1994. It was also the year Ernie Mainland started the Strive program at Petoskey High School. We financially supported the D.A.R.E. Program, the hockey program, nature trails at North Central Michigan College, $300 to Who’s In Charge?, and $1,000 to Junior Achievement. $3,100 was donated to set up a latchkey program at the Winter Sports Park and help with furnishing the new building, and $1,200 was given to Camp Daggett. Kim Kaminski was sent to Mexico and England sent a GSE team to us.

Bob Blantz escorted a district GSE team to Australia after we hosted a group from there.

In 1995 Jennifer Srigley represented us as a Rotary Fellow in Australia. Annina Piirto gave us a taste of Finland and we donated $5,000 to Rotary’s World Community Service program to build water wells in Malaysia, provide a fire truck and an ambulance to Peru, and provide dental equipment in Rio de Janiero. We hosted two local blood drives, assisted postal workers in collecting food for United Way and Salvation Army, sponsored flag football, and gave $1,200 to pay for campers at Camp Daggett, This was the year Bob Brummeler became the 2nd District Governor from our Club.

Doris Schaller began playing the piano for us in 1996 after Charlotte became ill. Bob’s Affordable District Conference was held in Petoskey with over 400 attendees who were treated to a live lobster dinner, prepared and served by our own Rotarians and their spouses. Carolina Estrada Portillo came to us from Colombia. We sent a local student off to the Life Leadership Conference, chose a Teacher of the Year, supported the Youth Soccer program, donated to PRIDE, the new drug awareness program at the Middle School, gave $1,000 to Junior Achievement, provided over $7,000 in scholarships, and donated $1,000 to be used for TB medicine in Russia and the year wasn’t even over yet. We even approved Ernie Mainland to serve on the Rotary International committee to select directors.

Along the way we’ve helped out numerous individuals, who shall remain nameless, with financial and physical assistance in their times of need. Whether they needed a hearing aid or, help splitting wood, there is no project too big or too small for the Rotary Club of Petoskey to tackle. All requests and needs are assessed and responded to, based on their merit and our ability to assist.
2007 saw the third District Governor and first female in this position from our club. Chris Etienne did an excellent job and represented our district very well.
2011 saw the fourth District Governor from our club and the second female in this position; Jane Millar.
Dianne Litzenburger was Assistant Governor in 2009 - 2012 and 2012 - 2014.
Dave Thomas was the Assistant Governor from 2015-2018 and District Governor from 2019-2020
Our club has recruited or developed many fine leaders through the many opportunities they have had to serve, either by being on our board of directors, becoming the president or, chairing one of the many committees that serve to do good in our community and the world we live in.
Petoskey Rotary Money Raising Projects
In the 1950’s we held a pancake dinner in the St. Francis Church basement. The following year we tried a fish fry, and the next year it was a spaghetti dinner. The Annual Spaghetti Dinner is still a yearly tradition and, 2020 was our 68th annual dinner where, we served 867 people.

Rotary Fool’s Day was held for several years on April 1st. Ads, in a mainly humorous vein, were sold over the phone and read by Rotarians on a local radio station.

With the start of Sidewalk Sales in Petoskey in the 1960’s came the Bizarre Bazaar. Food and other items were sold on the street downtown. This evolved into the Brat & Corn Tent from which we still sell food during the annual event.

The Rotary Radio Auction was another fund raiser for a few years. Donated articles were assembled at the Holiday Inn and auctioned off by telephone.

In 1985 and 1986 we sponsored a 3-ring circus in Petoskey. Often referred to as the William McCune Memorial Circus, ticket sales were good and the Club made a profit.

The most successful project to date for our Club has been the sale of calendars. Doubling as raffle tickets, they sell quite well. They are also wholesaled out to other Rotary Clubs in Michigan. Through the energetic sales efforts of all our members, we have been able to raise a considerable amount of money each year to defray much of our expenses and contribute to many charitable causes.
Our club continues to evolve and grow. We sold our Rotary Park prior to the Great Recession of 2008 and invested the proceeds in perpetuity in to the Petoskey Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. We assess the yearly earnings from the initial investment and take 80% of the profit and make it available for worthwhile grant applicants from our community. We have garnered another large fund through several years of calendar sales profits which are made available for grant applicants twice per year. Because the corpus will never be spent, both funds exceed $1 million dollars, which will continue to grow and fund many fine projects in the community, far in to the future.
In 2013 President of the Rotary Club of Petoskey; Terry Newton, had the distinct pleasure of distributing the largest amount of money ever granted through the Rotary Park Fund. Seven organizations shared $110,000 in proceeds from the Rotary Park Fund which included:
-- Crooked Tree Arts Center, was awarded $17,000 toward lighting improvements in its Ross Stoakes Theater
-- Petoskey Youth Soccer Association, was awarded a grant of $45,910 for use in constructing a permanent pavilion at the Click Road soccer complex
-- Petoskey High School's cross country program, was granted $6,000 toward the purchase of a chip-based timing system for use at running events
-- Women's Resource Center of Northern Michigan, was awarded $5,000 to help fund security features for the organization's main office site in Petoskey
-- Pellston Public Schools, was awarded $6,918 toward replacement of auditorium curtains
-- Petoskey Department of Parks and Recreation, was granted $5,400 toward replacement of fencing at the Winter Sports Park's hockey rink and a public address system at the park
-- St. Francis Xavier School, was granted $23,500 toward a project to reconfigure the school's playground and obtain new equipment for it.
During 2012, two committees were formed. The first committee formed would determine a project worthy of raising a large sum of money. Since the Rotary Club of Petoskey had been involved in large projects in the past, like Camp Daggett and the Winter Sports Park, the current project would need to be as large. The other committee would determine a signature event our club would develop to fund the project. Joe Blachy led the project committee and another group was chaired to determine the large fundraising event. The project voted on was the Athletic Complex at Petoskey High School and Diamonds & Denim was determined to be the fund raising event.
2014 saw the first Diamonds & Denim event which raised money for the Petoskey High School Athletic Complex, of which a millage was voted on by the citizens of Petoskey. This athletic complex will be beneficial for the youth in our community and the community at large for many years to come. We presented in excess of $100,000 towards this project.
2015 Diamonds & Denim event partner was the Top of Michigan Trails Council project. They proposed the purchase of the stone house on M-119 which would become home to the Trails Council’s headquarters. Diamonds & Denim 2015 was a smashing success, a complete sell out again and far exceeded our monetary expectations. We raised over $55,000 and gave an additional $25,000 from the Rotary Park Fund to the Top of Michigan Trails Council.
2016 saw the partnership of the Rotary Club of Petoskey and the Great Lakes Center for the Arts. They received a check in the amount of $52,500 for their project and increased awareness of their organization throughout our community. They had their Grand Opening in July 2018 and promise to be a cultural destination for Petoskey for many years to come.
2017 partner was the Petoskey Band Boosters in which our Diamonds & Denim event was held at the Lange Center at the Bay Harbor Yacht Club due to the growing popularity of the event and the growing support of our community. Our event exceeded all expectations and was a huge sell out. We presented a check to the Petoskey Band Boosters in the amount of $60,000.00
2018 was the McLaren Northern Michigan Foundation for their capital campaign towards Building a Better Future for Healthcare. We presented a check to McLaren Northern Michigan in the amount of $45,000
2019 was the YMCA of Northern Michigan. A portion of the proceeds from this year’s sixth annual event will provide the YMCA of Northern Michigan resources to support further expansion. We presented a check to the YMCA in the amount of $55,000.
We did not hold an event for 2020 because of COVID though we do have plans for 2021 as it is the Centennial Year of the founding of our Club and we have a big community project planned. At present, the Rotary Club of Petoskey is contributing approximately $277,315.85 towards the Winter Sports Park in putting a roof over the hockey rink which will shield it from the elements and keep it usable in spite of inclement weather. The Winter Sports Park is part of the parks system in the City of Petoskey and they will have to secure additional funds in order to fulfill this project and make it a reality. Keep watching for further progress on this project.
Tribute to Those no Longer With Us
Over the years we have lost several very fine Rotarians who were also community leaders and mavericks in their own right. Year in parentheses is the year of their death. These have included Rodney Saxton (1991), Erwin Lemble (1993), Charles Parks (1996), Warren Luttman (1997), Richard Lundberg (1997), William McCune (1998), Kirk Schaller (2001), William Todd (2001), John Newton (2001), Walter Boese (2004), Don Friend (2007), Arthur Nikkel (2008), Michael Buckingham (2008), Mark Littler (2009), John Myers (2011), Robert Brummeler (2011),  Walter Knowles (2011), Robert Blanz (2011), John Carpenter (2013), Russell Langs (2013), John Johnson (2013), Jack Waldvogel (2014), Thomas Postelnick (2014), Patrick McGee (2016), Dave Williams (2017), John Jeffrey (2017), Frank Wangeman (2017), Bill Brown (2018), Dick McMurray (2018), Lawrence ‘Larry’ Beck (2018), BJ Shawn (2019), Doug Basel (2019, Ernie Mainland (2021), John Stover (2021), Bob Metzger (2021), Bob Banwell (2021), Summer Rotarian Julian Magnus (2022), Tom Smith (2022), Michael Landi (2023), Dr. James Beno (2023), Dean Burns (2023), Bob Maldegan (2023). We honor their memory and the many contributions they made to our club and the community they loved and called home.
The Future of the Rotary Club of Petoskey
Our biggest challenge now is to solicit younger members to Rotary as, membership continues to age out and the younger generation does not consist of joiners to service clubs. The Rotary Foundation and Endowment Fund have over $1 billion dollars a piece in assets, which make them among the largest of any service club. We continue to work on eradicating polio and are extremely close to meeting that goal formed in the 1980’s. Once achieved, Rotary will more than likely tackle another disease which is as destructive as polio is.
The club continues to raise a large amount of revenue to support STRIVE, presents five annual  $1,000 scholarships for area high school students, two $1,500 scholarships for nurses students at North Central Michigan College, and many other worthy projects. The signature event project raises more money than calendar sales and will continue to fund large mega projects. An example is the $137,000 presented to Petoskey Schools for the Athletic Complex; paid from Petoskey Rotary Club Charities, Inc., Rotary Park Fund and the Rotary Club of Petoskey respectively.
If the Rotary Club of Petoskey continues to be committed to large fundraising efforts, which a Diamonds & Denim event can produce, there will be a lot of worthy projects accomplished with our assistance. These activities and events will continue to brand the Rotary Club of Petoskey as; "The go-to service club" for getting large projects funded and will also serve to attract new members for being known as the group that gets things done.
There exists a storied past for The Rotary Club of Petoskey and a very bright future as we have reached our centennial year.