GJ Rotary Club marks its 90th year of service to valley

Kim Giannone and Walid Bou-Matar enter the Grand Junction Rotary club meeting with an award declaring the local club the best in the district. Members donated over $85,000 this year or an average of $357 per person. This is the 90th year of service of the Grand Junction Rotary.

It was good to be a Grand Junction Rotarian in 1919.

That’s because you had a decent shot every Wednesday to make the day’s front page.

A week after the club’s charter was introduced on Sept. 18, 1919, Daily Sentinel founder and Rotary organizer Walter Walker showed up at their weekly luncheon to introduce one of his feature writers, Merle McClintock.

McClintock’s job description for the nearly a quarter of a century was set.

She attended and regularly reported on the Rotary Club’s meetings for the next 23 years — her last meeting was July 15, 1942.

The club made more news Wednesday.

Local Rotarians honored the past during the club’s weekly luncheon, celebrating 90 years. Wednesday’s luncheon included a brief overview of the club’s history from Grand Junction resident Pat Gormley, 80, one of four people to be members for 50 years or longer.

The other 50-year honorees were Herb Bacon, Mike Kercheval and Lynn (Jess) James.

“When you’ve been around long enough, you’re asked to do this more times than probably what the audience wants to hear,” Gormley told the club.

The club first meeting was June 12, 1919, in an office in the 500 block of Main Street. The organizational committee included The Sentinel’s Walker, Sterling Lacy, Fred Coe, J.H. Rankin, J.W. Swire, Scott Heckman, R.E. Tope and Ollie Bannister.


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