Youngstown Rotary Celebrated its 99th Anniversary on Saturday, February 1, 2014 with a bang, not only reviving the tradition of honoring those from the community and members as Paul Harris Fellows but also revealing a new Youngstown Rotary Centennial Logo.
The Paul Harris Fellowship is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905 and is one of Rotary International’s highest honors. The Fellowship was established in his honor in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution to the humanitarian and educational activities of The Rotary Foundation. These activities are funded, implemented and managed by Rotarians and Rotary Clubs around the globe. Rotarians also designate a Paul Harris Fellow to recognize another person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of The Rotary Foundation to build world understanding and peace. This year, Youngstown Rotary has re-established this tradition, and sought nominations from the membership community members this evening.
Rotarian Elayne Bozick, District Governor Debbie Esbenshade, Rotarian Sharon Letson and clubb President Sccott Schulick present the Paul Harris Fellowship Award to Dr Richard Billak.
The certificate for the Paul Harris Fellows states, “In appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations between peoples of the world.” Those members honored as Paul Harris Fellows are; Msgr. Robert J. Siffrin, Carlton A. Sears, Carol Chamberlain, and John B. Slanina. Community members honored as Paul Harris Fellows were Brian Corbin, Lawrence Bozick, Frank Matyi, Dr. Richard Billak, and Janet Murray.
Elayne Bozick, DG Debbie, Janet Murray, Paul Harris Fellow recipient, President Scott and Rotarian Carol Sherman after presenting the Fellpowship award to Janet.
President Scott and President Elect Paul Garchar Schulick and Paul Garchar rang the Rotary bell together to kick off the Centennial celebration and yearlong festivities. The Centennial Committee revealed the new Youngstown Centennial logo created by Keynote Media. The logo highlights the changing nature of Youngstown’s skyline over the past 100 years, with smokestacks, skyscrapers, and prominent education buildings. Each attendee received a new logo pin as part of the celebration.
Youngstown Rotary received its official charter from the International Association of Rotary Clubs, now known as Rotary International on February 1, 1915. It became the 137th club, of what is now 34,000 clubs worldwide comprised of 1.2 million members. Youngstown Rotary is the first club founded in what is now Rotary District 6650, comprised of 48 clubs in northeastern Ohio. It holds a special place in the early beginnings of the Rotary movement; sponsored by the Rotary Club of New Castle, PA, with assistance from the Rotary Club of Cleveland. Youngstown Rotary was founded by architect Charles F. Owsley, who with his son, designed many buildings of historical significance in downtown Youngstown and throughout the community.
Youngstown Rotary founded and established the Boys & Girls Club of Youngstown in 1968, and was instrumental in the founding of several other key civic organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau. Most recently, activities have focused on the adoption of Harding Elementary School, where Rotarians have operated an award winning mentoring program. The Youngstown Rotary Foundation, Inc., has provided scholarships annually to seniors from each public and parochial high school in Youngstown to attend Youngstown State University. Additionally, the Club’s local foundation has provided over $1 million of support to local charitable projects since its founding.
Seven Youngstown Rotarians have served as Rotary district governors, including Debbie Esbenshade, the current governor; Leonard T. Skeggs served as Vice President of Rotary International in 1925, and was key YMCA leader and founder of Youngstown State University; and most notably, Atty. Robert A. Manchester II, of Harrington, Huxley and Smith law firm, served as President of Rotary International, 1976-77.