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A History of Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Rotary Club


Proclamation read by the Mayor on the night of the Program



Rotary Foundation History

The Foundation was created in 1917 by Rotary International's sixth president, Arch C. Klumph, as an endowment fund for Rotary "to do good in the world." It has grown from an initial contribution of US$26.50 to more than US$73 million contributed in 2000-01. Its event-filled history is a story of Rotarians learning the value of service to humanity.

History of The Rotary Foundation


Arch C. Klumph,
1916-17 president of Rotary
International and founder of
The Rotary Foundation





In 1917, Arch C. Klumph, Rotary's sixth president, proposed to the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the creation of an "endowment fund for Rotary . . . for the purpose of doing good in the world in charitable, educational, and other avenues of community service." A few months later, the endowment received its first contribution of $26.50 from the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

In 1928, when the endowment fund had grown to more than US$5,000, the fund was renamed The Rotary Foundation, and it became a distinct entity within Rotary International. Five Trustees, including Klumph, were appointed to "hold, invest, manage, and administer all of its property. . . as a single trust, for the furtherance of the purposes of RI."

Two years later, the Foundation made its first grant of US$500 to the International Society for Crippled Children. The ISCC — created by Rotarian Edgar F. "Daddy" Allen — later grew into the Easter Seals organization.

The Great Depression and World War II both impeded significant growth for the Foundation, but the need for promoting a lasting world peace generated great post-war interest in developing the Foundation. After Rotary founder Paul P. Harris died in 1947, contributions began pouring into Rotary International, and the Paul Harris Memorial Fund was created for the purpose of building the Foundation.

That same year, the first Foundation program was established — Fellowships for Advanced Study, which was the forerunner of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships program. Then in 1965-66, three new programs were launched — Group Study Exchange, Awards for Technical Training, and Grants for Activities in Keeping with the Objective of The Rotary Foundation, which was later called Matching Grants.

The Health, Hunger and Humanity (3-H) program was launched in 1978, with the Rotary Volunteers program being created as a part of 3-H in 1980. The PolioPlus program was announced in 1984-85, and the following year saw the introduction of Rotary Grants for University Teachers. The first Peace Forums were held in 1987-88, leading to the establishment of Rotary Peace Programs. Then in 1989, 1963-64 RI President Carl P. Miller and his wife, Ruth, donated US$1 million to establish the Discovery Grants program.

Throughout this time, support of the Foundation grew tremendously. Since that first $26.50 donation in 1917, the Foundation has received contributions totaling more than US$1 billion. More than US$68 million was donated in 1998-99 alone. To date, some 726,000 individuals have been recognized as Paul Harris Fellows — that is, someone who has contributed US$1000 or has had that amount contributed in his or her name.

Such strong support and involvement of Rotarians worldwide ensures a secure future for The Rotary Foundation as it continues its vital work for international understanding and world peace. 


Past Presidents of the Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale

1922-23 John D. Sherwin

1923-24 Charles E. Fritz

1924-25 Reverend R.D. Tracy

1925-26 C.J. Joiner (½ year)

1926-27 J.S. Rickards (½ year)

1927-28 A.J. Beck

1928-29 Russell Snow

1929-30 William A. Glass

1930-31 J.A. Raymond

1931-32 Ulric Bennett

1932-33 Maxwell Baxter

1933-34 C.C. Freeman

1934-35 J.B. Fannin

1935-36 W.J. Eastman

1936-37 Dr. O.C. Brown

1937-38 August Burghard

1938-39 Jackson McDonald (½ year)

1939-41 Holt McPherson (1 ½ year)

1941-42 W.M. Ketchin

1942-43 Howard Pierce

1943-44 Dallas Swindle

1944-45 Carlyle Sweet

1945-46 Harry Randel

1946-47 Paul W. Myers, Sr.

1947-48 J.B. Patterson

1948-49 A.W. Putnam

1949-50 E. Thomas Wilburn

1950-51 C.I. Pierce

1951-52 Robert A. Childers

1952-53 Robert V. Roberts

1953-54 Richard W. Ward

1954-55 Harlow Davock

1955-56 E. Peter Clements

1956-57 Mark S. Bibson

1957-58 Grant I. Clarke

1958-59 Ernest N. Orr

1959-60 William B. Hulett

1960-61 Thomas A. Cook

1961-62 William J. Burke

1962-63 Thord M. Marshall

1963-64 Sam O. O’Bryan, Jr.

1964-65 A.W. Saarinen, Jr.

1965-66 Robert H. Six

1966-67 John C. Miller

1967-68 Ben A. Bolinger

1968-69 Clem E. Bininger

1969-70 Walter F. Dunn

1970-71 Robert E. Shepard

1971-72 Robert H. Pfeifer

1972-73 E. Birch Willey

1973-74 Clinton D. Hamilton

1974-75 Charles Creighton

1975-76 J.B. Richner

1976-77 Mitchell J. Alles

1977-78 Donald T. Glenn, Jr.

1978-79 Charles H. Bolton, III

1979-80 Ralph A. Marrinson

1980-81 Harvey E. Ramsey, III

1981-82 James E. Houston

1982-83 I. Fred Anderson

1983-84 R. William Weimer, Jr.

1984-85 Allan C. Sorensen

1985-86 William L. McGee, Jr.

1986-87 Romney C. Rogers

1987-88 Eugene M. Jones

1988-89 G. Wilkerson Gilbert

1989-90 John Dorner

1990-91 Ian C.R. Gail

1991-92 Thomas L. Tapp

1992-93 M. Scott Whiddon

1993-94 Roger Arndall

1994-95 R. Stephen Botkin

1995-96 Gene A. Whiddon, Jr.

1996-97 Walter L. Morgan

1997-98 Lloyd Rhodes

1998-99 John Siegle

1999-00 John Carroll

2000-01 Lynn Hayes

2001-02 Melissa Aiello 



2002-03 Dan Arnold III

2003-04 Steve Picha

2004-05 Michael Grimme

2005-06 Marvin Chaney

2006-07 Jon Erik Gundlach

2007-08 Marty Kurtz

2008-09 Ray Williams

2009-10 William Gundlach, III

2010-11 John Gustafson

2011-12 Robert M. Easton, Jr.

2012-13 Charles Felix

2013-14 Steve Leinicke

2014-15 Anthony J. Abbate

2015-16 Mike Sanchez