Bob Polenzani, Bob Fisher, Bruce Baumberger laugh remembering club's early days.

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Over 100 members, former members, guests and charter members of the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club gathered to celebrate 25 years of successful Service Above Self on Monday, May 16, 2011.  The Club, chartered in 1985, was the first breakfast Rotary club in the area. The Evanston Rotary Club formed the new club in response to people who wished to be Rotarians but were unable to meet during the luncheon hour. The club membership has grown from its original twenty-five charter members to its current membership of over 80 business, professional and community men and women who meet weekly and support community, educational and international projects and organizations. 

Paul Brown, past president and charter member, served as master of ceremonies for the evening dinner celebration which was held at Zhivago Restaurant. Charter members were honored and all guests were invited to offer comments on the successes of the Rotary club over the past 25 years.  More than half of the living charter members were in attendance, several still using the key rings presented to them on the charter night.  Recognition was made of the club’s contributions to local efforts to improve Evanston life as well as the many international projects spearheaded by club members.  

Recent projects that were highlighted included the lakefront exercise trail installed in Centennial Park to recognize Rotary International’s 100th anniversary. The donation of manpower and $40,000 for the rehabilitation of the kitchen at Mary Lou’s Place, a domestic violence shelter for women and their children, managed by the YWCA, honored the Lighthouse club’s 25 years of service as did the seed money of $10,000 given to start Evanston150, a community-wide initiative that engages all of us in imagining our future.  The fellowship shared by club members was one of the club qualities appreciated by members and the quality of the weekly program speakers was praised. 

In addition to the anniversary celebration and the special gifts to the community, a history of the club was assembled by charter member Bob Teska. A photo montage of past club activities was created by club member Jim McGuire and shown at the celebratory dinner in honor of the club’s anniversary year. 

The Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club is part of Rotary International. Rotary International is the world’s first service club organization, with more than 1.2 million members in 33,000 local clubs worldwide. Rotary club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally, and internationally to combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, provide education and job training, promote peace, and eradicate polio under the motto Service Above Self. Funds to support charitable activities are raised by the sale and delivery of fruit, hams, nuts and holiday flora by Lighthouse Rotary members as well as other fundraising efforts throughout the year.  Donations by members and other friends are also accepted. 

Club meetings are held at 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday mornings at the Hilton Garden Inn in Evanston. Visitors and those interested in membership are invited to attend.