THE ROTARY CLUB OF GALVESTON CELEBRATES
 103 YEARS OF SERVICE, 1913-2016
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The year 2004-2005 was a special year, not only for Rotary International but also for our club. On February 23, 2005, Rotary celebrated its 100th Anniversary and our club participated in that celebration with a number of centennial activities and projects. Our celebration actually began with the ringing of the Centennial Rotary Bell at the March 3, 2004 club meeting. Five of these bells were circulated by RI to the first 100 chartered Rotary clubs worldwide. Later celebration highlights were: the City’s proclamation of February 23, 2005 as "Rotary Day" in the city of Galveston; a 24-page insert “Congratulations Rotary"in the Galveston County Daily news (put together by the eight Rotary Clubs in Galveston County); the Centennial Banquet on February 23, 2005 in the Galveston Island Seawall Convention Center, with 156 Rotarians, spouses and friends of our club participating; and on June 18-22, 2005 seven members of our club (Ulli Budelmann, Chester Burns, Jack Bushong, Harold Fattig, Sr., Brett Kirkpatrick, Roney McCrary, and Linda Ott-Thompson) attended the Rotary International Centennial Convention in Chicago; during that convention, the President of our club (Ulli Budelmann) placed a signed copy of the accomplished goals of the Rotary Club of Galveston for the Centennial Year 2004-2005 in the Rotary Time Capsule that will be opened in 100 years at Rotary’s 200th Anniversary.

Another special year – however in a very different sense – was the year 2008-2009. During that year the club had hoped to follow the RI Theme and “Make Dreams Real”; unfortunately, however, the year became very challenging and difficult instead, not only for the club itself but for everyone on Galveston Island. On Saturday, September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike hit Galveston fully and left a terrible devastation. The storm itself was not that strong but the water (back) surge that came with it (in downtown Galveston between 8 and 10 feet) was ferocious and flooded most of Galveston Island. The meeting on September 10 already had to be cancelled to allow everyone to prepare fighting the impending storm, secure their belongings, and then evacuate. The damage to the island was so severe that Galvestonians were not allowed to return before Wednesday, September 24. As was almost every place downtown, the club’s meeting place at Fisherman’s Wharf was heavily damaged as well. In fact, for several weeks there was nowhere a place to meet. Finally, on October 13, Fish Tales on Seawall Boulevard was ready to accommodate the club’s first post-Ike meeting; the club members met there through January 28 and moved back to Fisherman’s Wharf on February 4. Right after Hurricane Ike, the club received over $33,000.00 in generous recovery donations from Rotary Clubs in Orlando (Florida), Babylon (New York), Wilson (North Carolina), Dallas (Texas), and from our own District 5910 Relief Fund. Most of that money was given to those non-profit groups in Galveston that served the Galveston community in one or the other way during the recovery from Hurricane Ike and with whom members of the club were affiliated. The surge of Hurricane Ike certainly washed away dreams and many belongings of those who lived in Galveston; however, the surge could not wash away the clubs spirit of “Service above Self” and, at the end, the year 2008-2009 under the leadership of Bets Anderson still became a very successful Rotary year.

During the following years, when disasters struck other parts of the world, the Club “paid back” the support it had received after Hurricane Ike: $10,000.00 to
Marcy Ships and Shelter Box, USA for Haitian relief; $10,000.00 to the Christchurch Rotary Club in New Zealand to help local earthquake victims; and $10,000.00 to the Japan Disaster Recovery Fund. In 2011, the Club started another fundraiser beside the annual Chili Supper: under the leadership of Scott Livanec and with the help of the Lighthouse Charity team we enjoyed a successful Crawfish Boil at Moody Gardens. In 2011, also for the first time, the Club applied for a District Simplified Grant and was awarded $2,056.00 (an amount matched by the Club) for the installation of “Drive Carefully – Protect our Children” safety signs at all Galveston school campuses. In 2012, the club was awarded another District Simplified Grant in the amount of $3,000.00 (again matched by the Club) for the purchase of school supplies for underprivileged students in the Galveston ISD, and in 2013 a grant for 200 teddy bears for the Galveston Police Department for use on calls involving distressed children.

The year 2012-13 was the Club’s “Centennial Year”. On the evening of June 1, 2013, we celebrated the Club’s 100th Anniversary with a banquet at Moody Gardens. Twenty Past-Presidents of the Club attended the celebration.

 



Standing (left to right):  Bobby Smith, Neil Nathan, Bill Glenn III, Bill Glenn Jr., Fred Raschke, Randy Klibert,
Richard Ivey, Mike Cowan, Brett Kirkpatrick, PE Kevin Harrington, PND Keith Bassett, Don Gartman, Harold Fattig. 
Seated (left to right):  Frank Jackson, VJ Tramonte, Tom LaRue, Linda Ott-Thompson, Bets Anderson,
Ulli Budelmann, PN Lonnie Cox.   

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