Rotary (Lawrence, MA)

_MCA6944The Library has Lawrence Rotary records from 1920 to 1999.

The first meeting of the Lawrence, Massachusetts Rotary Club was held at the rooms of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Friday, March 26, 1920 at 6:00 PM.  The organization chairman was the Rev. Donald H. Gerrish, pastor of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church.  Rotary International was represented by Past President Charles D. White and Secretary Leonard O. Philbrick of the Haverhill club.  This was the first service club in the City of Lawrence.  The charter was dated May 1, 1920, numbered 701.  The club successfully finished its first year with a drive for funds for the Lawrence Tuberculosis League in the amount of $6,200.  The club also paid for and planned an excursion for 1000 boys to Canobie Lake Park.  Other recipients of Rotary largesse over the years includes: The Boy’s Band, Kenison Neurological Clinic, Boy’s Club, YMCA, Community Chest, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Essex County Training School, The Protectorate of Mary Immaculate Orphan’s Home, Girl Scout Camp, Greater Lawrence Boating Program, and Holy Family Hospital.

In those early years a women’s auxiliary was formed called the Rotary-Anns.  Women were voted into the club in 1989.  The first women members were Kathy Boshar, Karen Carpenter, Mary Doherty, Betty Hoehn, Connie Miragliotta, and Lillian Pease.  That same year the group established the Adopt-a-school Program at the Hennessey School.

In later years Lawrence Rotary took responsibility for the Cerebral Palsy Clinic at the Burke Hospital and Realty, Inc., an organization of former drug addicts dedicated in the rehabilitation of addicts and education to prevent addiction.  Lawrence Rotary has also funded a variety of scholarships and purchased equipment for the Lawrence Fire Department, the senior center, the boating club, the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, and the Lawrence Public Library.

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