Ongoing History Project


Compiled by Past President Jack Altdoerffer, who welcomes additions and updates.

When I joined the club in 1985, there were still members from the early days of Utica Rotary, not many, but they knew the club history. Gib Jones, for example, joined Rotary in 1948 and would share memories from when his dad was a member. Now, with such firsthand knowledge gone, I thought an online record should be available for viewing.

Over its 100-plus years, our club has a rich and generous history.

Some interesting highlights

1949 Rotary meeting at Hotel Utica
Rotary Club of Utica in 1949 at Hotel Utica.


Our club raised  $330,000 in Liberty Bonds  in 1917, and we were mentioned in an article about that in the November 2018 Rotarian Magazine (page 38). In the 1980s our club raised $90,000 for the Polio Plus Eradication projects. In 2004 we raised $40,000 to help with landmine removal in war zones.

Within our Utica, NY geographic area, our club has contributed more than $10,000 to Hope House over the years, and we have, either as the sole club or in cooperation with other area clubs, worked on (hammer and nails and funds) the Utica Zoo Pavilion project, the Columbus Elementary School Courtyard project, the rebuilding of the playground at the Utica Salvation Army, The ARC Christmas Party, the Lock 20 picnic for intercity kids, and the building of a house for Habitat for Humanity. We have honored students and their teachers with the Columbus School Explorers, the Rising Star Awards, Educator of the Year Awards, the Pride of Workmanship event, the Rotaract Project, and the College Internship project. We helped serve breakfast to Adrean Terrace children and we have served meals at Hope House.

I am sure there are more worthy projects that should be included in this history.

Members can search it for dates, people, events and projects; and are welcome to add to it.

Through the Years

1915 (March 12) Utica Rotary is born, with R. Seymour Hart as president
1915-1916 Builds building at Camp HealthMore at Lake Moraine.
  Utica Hospital projects, raising $12,500
1916-1917 Liberty Bonds: $330,000 (first World War fundraising)
1920-1921 Father and Son's Banquet for Newsboys
1924-1925 Past President Clarence B. Williams serves as district governor
1930-1931 Club members help buy Butler Lake, setting up residential camp with six 24x40-foot buildings and tennis court.
1939-1940 Club members take children to the circus. (Future Club President 16-yeaer-old Gib Jones helps his dad drive the children.)
  Student Loan Fund started.
1941-1942 Past President Charles A. Miller serves as district governor.
1944-1945 Junior Rotarians started, with high school students attending meetings.
1950-1951 Group Study Exchange and Youth Exchange are new programs for the club.
1955-1956 Instrumental in providing permanent home for Children's Museum in Bagg's Square.
1960-1961 Instrumental in opening the North Utica Bike Way
1961-1962 Utica Rotary helps start New Hartford Rotary Club
  Past President Robert F. MacFarland serves as district governor.
1968-1969 Utica helps start North Utica Rotary Club.
  Utica Rotary joins with The Lions and Kiwanis clubs to finance the Utica Police Community Relations Patrol.
1971-1972 Past President Andrew C. Treiber serves as district governor.
1973-1974 President Jack Dale leads a group to the Southern Tier to help with flood damage relief.
  Youth Exchange: Anne Weckdtrom (Finland) and Claire Chambers (Australia).
1974-1975 60th Anniversary Celebration
  Youth Exchange: Maureen Danny (New Zealand) and Keikjie Tomaschewsky (Germany).
1976-1977 Youth Exchange: Susan Bartlett ( New Zealand) and Christopher Broux (France)
1977-1978 Youth Exchange: Tracey Blumer (Australia), Rubens Martin (Brazil), Beneta Larson (Finland), Andrea Murdock (Australia)
1978-1979 Youth Exchange: Heather Crocher (Australia), Andreas Vonn Meyer (Germany)
1979-1980 Youth Exchange: Jean Peres (France)
1980-1981 Crist Brown establishes joint meeting with Utica Chamber of Commerce.
  Youth Exchange: Romulaldo Devito (Brazil), Joel Roques (France), Marian Ceballos Acedo (Mexico), Monica Olsson (Norway)
1981-1982 Youth Exchange: Ella Peterson (Denmark), Heloisa Dias (Brazil,) Georgette Jaldon (Philippines)
  Past President Paul Stratton serves as district governor.
1982-1983 Steve Johnson's weight loss fundraiser for World Community Service raises $5,000.
  Youth Exchange: Eduardo Ansieta (Chile), Alexander Grellard (Norway)
1983-1984 Youth Exchange: Tatiana Endora (Ecuador), Eve Hyvonen (Finland), Carla Finocchario (Italy)
1984-1985 "Pennies for Polio" raises $90,000, with Larry Calabrese chairing the effort. (PolioPlus begins in 1985.)
  Youth Exchange: Allan Hampshire (England), Agenta Hagstrom (Sweden)
1985-1986 ARC Christmas Party effort begins
Youth Exchange: Frederic Peyutu (France), Wakako Gotoh (Japan), Arturo Guillermo Murra (Mexico)
Group Study Exchange to Argentina. (Future Rotarian Joe Caruso was part of the group.)
Youth Exchange: Jason Hull (Australia), Christophe Allard (Belgium), Morten Qvist (Denmark), Samir Kadiwala (India)
1987-1988 Women asked to join as Rotarians
  Group Study Exchange to India (Dick Rosen chairs).
  Youth Exchange: Frederick Bremstrom (Sweden), Tomonori Kitagawa (India), Jose Rawlins (Chile)
  Past President Dr. Clark Case serves as district governor.
1988-1989 Dr. Clark Case Fund established for Youth Exchange students.
  Berlin Wall falls. Youth Exchange student Jennifer Patterman of New Hartford was there.
  Youth Exchange: Estele Trepat (Argentina), Gisele Dumsch (Brazil), Inga Lummerzheim (Germany)
1989-1990 Diamond Jubilee: 75-Year Celebration.
  Youth Exchange: Monica Jijon ( Ecuador), Juan Rico (Spain), Lana Dejagen (South Africa)
1990-1991 Pride of Workmanship, with John Wolfe, Lou Steppelo and Norma Montagnino-Gemza heading it.
  Youth Exchange: Camilla Gorme (Australia), Dieta Kruese ( Netherlands), Astrid Nordmeyer (Germany)
1991-1992 Group Study Exchange to Brazil with PP Linda Allen & Mark Mohave leading the effort.
  Youth Exchange: Schinchiro Nakamura (Japan), Pauline Legacy (France), Larrise McKenzie (New Zealand)
1992-1993 Utica Rotary Fund at Utica Foundation (precursor of Community Foundation).
  Spaghetti Dinner raises $11,000 for Gift of Life and Hope House.
  Another $15,000 raised for Hope House.
  Youth Exchange: Mia Iwan (Sweden), Scott Marshall (England)
1993-1994 Aids Awareness at Grace Episcopal Church; $1,000  raised.
  Spaghetti Dinner.
  Past President Jim Raymunda serves as district governor.
  Youth Exchange: Markios Paivio Helainen (Finland), Danilo Souza (Brazil), Dan Smith (Australia)
1994-1995 Poets for Polio.
  Youth Exchange: Lucas Leff (Argentina), Nievues Munzoledo (Mexico), Noa Sakazaki (Japan)
1995-1996 Medical supplies to Poland, with Dr. Dick Chmielewski.
  Habitat for Humanity house, with Carol Gilberti chairing the effort.
1997-1998 Lock 20 Canal Picnic for kids with chair Dave Jones and Urban Concerns Committee.
  Columbus School project, led by Nick Ide & Mike VanStrander
1998-1999 Linda Allen becomes first woman president of Utica Rotary.
  Carpet for Columbus School reading corner.
2002-2003 Past President Don Reese serves as district governor.
2003-2004 Quiet Givers Award established, chaired by Roger Breslow.
2004-2005 $40,000 raised for land mine removal in war zones, with Dave Jones and Dominck Passalaqua as chairs.
  Zoo pavilion project, chaired by Angela Vanderhoof.
  Youth Exchange: Maiko Sasaki (Japan), Marie Marcignac (France), Ashlie Hopewood (Australia). YE Chair Shawki Elgarhi.
2005-2006 Youth Exchange: Katrin Brunner (Switzerland). YE Chair Shawki Elgarhi
2006-2007 $1,000 raised for water purification, chaired by Steve Gassner.
  Youth Exchange: Daniel Valdivieso (Ecuador), Katrin Brunner (Switzerland), James Huang (Taiwan). YE Chair Shawki Elgarhi.
2007-2008 Youth Exchange: Sachi Dobaria (India), Jacqueline Mistry (Denmark), Akos Molnar (Hungary). E Chair Shawki Elgarhi.
2008-2009 Firefighting equipment to Chile, chaired by Don Reese and Jim Turnbull.
  Youth Exchange: Audrey Rakover(France), Tasuku Hashimoto (Japan), Valentin Augsburger (Switzerland), Saam Kraisdacha (Thailand), David chun-Yu (Taiwan), Lennart Bach, (Germany), Sophie Kobler (Austria). YE Chair Jack Altdoerffer.
  Past President Larry Calabrese serves as district governor.
2009-2010 Youth Exchange: Janos (Switzerland), Vincent Uyttendaele (Belgium). YE Chair Jack Altdoerffer.
2010-2011 Youth Exchange: Sophia Moellers(Germany), Dori Bekesi( Hungary), Yaiza Palazon (Spain). YE Chair Jack Altdoerffer.
2012-2013 Past President Lou Steppello serves as district governor.
  Youth Exchange. YE Chair Heather Beebe.
2013-2014 Youth Exchange. YE Chair Heather Beebe.
2014-2015 100th Year Celebration, chaired by Linda Iannone.
  Youth Exchange. YE Chair Heather Beebe.
2015-2016 Youth Exchange. YE Chair Deborah Burke.
  Dinner Theater raises $3,000.
2016-2017 Youth Exchange: Paula Germerhausen (Germany). YE Chair Deborah Burke.
2017-2018 Youth Exchange: Arnaud D'Leige (Belgium). YE Chair Deborah Burke.
  Help for Puerto Rico, chaired by Heather Beebe.
2018-2019 Youth Exchange: Ophelia (Taiwan). YE Chair Steven Turnbull.
  $1,200 in goods and services for Adrean Terrace; chaired by Michelle Brandstadt.
  Pins for Polio raises $1,000; chaired by Steven Turnbull; sponsored by North Utica Rotary.
  $2,000 for Hope House; led by club's board of directors.