Local History

The Rotary Club of DuBois Pennsylvania was organized in the year 1918

The motivating personality behind its organization was Dr. Spencer M. Free who was ably assisted by M. C. Kenny, Sam Finch, C. J. Henderson and the rest of the organizing committee.

The service work of the club during the first decade of its existence revolved around the project of crippled children's work.

On May 24, 1924 a crippled children's clinic was held in the Elks ballroom with two noted Orthopedists from Pittsburgh in attendance. A tremendous amount of good was accomplished at this clinic. During this year the sum of $150.00 was voted for the use of the crippled children's committee. Later on this same year when it was found that this sum was insufficient to carry on the work of the committee the sum of $ 1000.00 was borrowed from the back and turned over them to use as they saw fit.

The 1924 Rotary International Convention was held in Toronto, Canada. It was the pleasure of the DuBois club to entertain the clubs of Clearfield and Phillipsburg at a luncheon before these clubs entrained for Toronto. This luncheon was held in the rooms of the Acorn club. Before the year ended, the club make another cash contribution to the community in the form of a check for $100.00 to the public school milk fund.

During the year of 1925 work on the crippled children's project continued. A general assessment of $1.00 per year per member was made for the Crippled Children 's Society of Pennsylvania, and a crippled children's night was held in October. The club also purchased an anti-tuberculosis bond this year. On May 27, 1925 a meeting with inter city interest was held at which time the DuBois club entertained Pittsburgh Rotarians who were visiting here on the Golden Rule Special,

in January of 1926 the club elected W. T. Evans and Dr. S. M. Free delegates to the International Society of Crippled Children which convened in Pittsburgh in February.

In 1927 the stellar project of the club was again very much in evidence. During the year each member was again assessed the sum of $1.00 for the Crippled Children's Society of Pennsylvania. W. Tone Evans was the clubs delegate to the crippled children's convention that was held on February 3rd through the 4th. During the month of May, bills totaling $510.00 were paid by the club for hospital services to crippled children. This year also saw the purchase of a $25.00 Christmas Seal bond and a donation of $100.00 to the milk fund of the public schools. The club also underwrote on half of the expenses of taking the G.A.R. members to the state convention in Union town.

The year 1928 had a few additions to the service work of the club. Supplementing the crippled children's work was a gift to the DuBois public library in the form of the Encyclopedia Britannica. In a sense, the gift was to act as a memorial to deceased Rotarians. Upon the death of a member one of the volumes was to his memory. Another anti-tuberculosis bond was bought this year and another $100.00 was presented to the public school milk fun. The fund of the crippled children's committee was swelled by proceeds from a benefit band concert at the Avenue theater by the American Legion band of Clerfield. Dr. S.M. Free attended the Rotary International at Indianapolis as the delegate of the club.

It was in 1929 that the student of the month plan was inaugurated. This plan, which we still observe, called for the attendance of a student from the public school and a student from the parochial school at each meeting. Dr. S.M. Free was again the clubs delegate to the International convention. This year it was held in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Free was again elected president of the DuBois club when two other elected candidates refused to serve.

The year 1930 was marked by the election of Dr. Free as president for the fifth time. During this year he served as the clubs delegates to the International convention. The club once more contributed to the anti-tuberculosis bond and its crippled children's work carried on as usual.

The year 1946 DuBois Rotary Club sponsored the beginning of the Ridgway Rotary Club. Current president James Damus and incoming president Jack Sheffler assisted.

The year 1947 Rotary founder, Paul Harris, died.

The Rotary year 1951 to 1952 was unique for the DuBois club. It was in effect a first , a first that we are very proud of for it was during this that the DuBois club was honored by being able to present one of its outstanding members to District 728 of their District Governor. This member was Dr. Nels Walter, a local Osteopath who has been a member of the DuBois Rotary club since 1935 and, in addition to other outstanding qualifications, a perfect attendance record.

Governor Nels was presented to the annual conference of District 728 at its May meeting in Sharon, PA. The best wishes of the DuBois club goes to Nels for a successful year as district governor.

Several other outstanding activities were carried out this year under the capable leadership of Bill Schneider. The DuBois club accepted their share of the financial burden of establishing a blood bank in each of the local hospitals. The other service clubs along with the Business and Professional Women will each be responsible for $700.00. A local talent play was underwritten by the DuBois club in a fund raising effort. The proceeds went toward the blood bank project.

New road signs were authorized for erection at the four main entrances to the town.

The year 1968 seen another DuBois Rotarian serve as District Governor 728, E.E. "Gene" Monnoyer. Gene has been a member of DuBois rotary since the late 1930's.

The year 1969 DuBois Rotary played host to the District Conference. Held at the Lithuanian Club, chairman Frank Costanzo was assisted by fellow Rotarians, Dean Holmes and Hays Chambers, Jack Donald and may other faithful Rotarians. This was also the 50th anniversary for the DuBois Rotary Club. On March 1, 1969 recognition for the golden anniversary was received from the President of Rotary International, Kiyoski Togasaki.

In 1987 DuBois Rotarian, Mac McClure was honored as the DuBois Area Man of the Year.

In 1987 DuBois Rotary Club inducts its first women member, Dr. Jacqueline Schoch, campus Executive officer for Penn State DuBois. District Governor, Jack Stefanick was present to congratulate Dr. Schoch on her induction. Another occurred this year with the formation of the DuBois Rotary "Interact Club", Through the support of DuBois Central Christian high school.

In 1994 DuBois Rotary Club was honored for 75 years on membership on March 1, by RI President, Robert R. Berl. A celebration was held on May 14, 1994 at the DuBois Country Club.

In 1996 the DuBois Rotary Club committed to a long term obligation to benefit the development of a local soccer complex. Funds in the amount of $25,00 were pledged dor four years, then and additional $3,000 for the following three years.

In 1997-1998 our membership of 43 members (total) stayed the same for the year , but to accomplish this we inducted ten new members (8 ladies and 2 men), which dropped our average age to just about 45. Our luncheon meetings were change from the Ramada Inn, where we met for 13 years to Tommy D's beginning on May 1, 1998. Our annual Radio Auction was moved to the upper floor of S&T Bank on the Boulevard and we netted just over $25,00. Fireside chats were implemented for the first time this year to get better aquatinted and discuss improvements for our club. On May 8-10, 1998 the District #7280 held its Annual Conference at the Holiday Inn, third time ever in DuBois, which was a great success.

In 2002, the club donated 15,000 to create the Rotary Tuition Program at the DuBois Area Catholic School. The program was established to assist families with the cost of tuition. The program is available to all families, regardless of income, with children from Pre-School to Grade 12 . The program sold $ 1,148,707 worth of certificates in 2002. Families use these certificates at local businesses and receive a discount towards their children's tuition.

In 2003-2004, the club officially began to participate in the ROVA program. ROVA (Rotary Outstanding Vocational Award) is a 2 day event held each year to recognize vocational students with leadership qualities. The club sponsors 2 students from Jeff Tech . Another milestone occurred when Rotarian Harold Leech was recognized for his service to the club by not missing a meeting in forty years.

2004 and 2005 was a milestone for Rotary International as it celebrated 100 years of service. The DuBois Club celebrated alongside the Clearfield and Curwensville clubs at a dinner held in Clearfield at the Moose Lodge. The DuBois Club also ran radio commercials promoting Rotary for its years in service.

In 2005-2006 we saw the creation of two additional interact clubs. The Brockway and DuBois Are High Schools both formed clubs. All clubs (DuBois, Brockway and DuBois Catholic) participate in the annual radio auction.

In 2006-2007 the club received a $1,500 public relations grant from from Rotary International. The grant was used for radio advertising and the club launched its own web site -- www.duboisrotary.org. Another milestone occurred when the Rotary Tuition Rebate Program sold $2,062,353 in certificates.