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Muncy Rotary: 80 years of unquestionable service

By Staff | Apr 1, 2015

PHOTO BY RUTH FRY/The Luminary Celebrating 80 years, the Muncy Rotary held a dinner and program at the Pennsdale United Methodist Church on March 21st. Co chairs were Sandy Putney and Susana Falck.

PENNSDALE – On Saturday, March 21st the Muncy Rotary celebrated 80 years of service at the Pennsdale United Methodist Church’s Social Hall. A testimonial of many accomplishments was given throughout the dinner program that exemplify their motto “Service Above Self.” Monika Casale, current club president gave a welcoming speech and made introductions before the invocation by John Smay.

Paul Putney presented the Rotary’s “Four Way Test” of the things “we think, say or do.” He asked, “Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build goodwill and will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

After dinner David Wallis, Susana Falk and Sandy Putney presented “Reflections of the Club” and gave a broad prospective of the Muncy Rotary’s accomplishments since it began in 1934.

The program guide scopes the eighty years with a marvelous beginning. “Rotary International was only 29 years old in the spring of 1934, when William H. Foucar, Muncy Attorney, was stirred to get a local involvement into this organization. Bill took his telephone in hand, called a number of the leading citizens, and asked them, ‘How would you like to join Rotary Club in Muncy?'”

Foucar persuaded 28 men and the first organizational meeting was September 14, 1934 in the Methodist Church.

PHOTO BY RUTH FRY/The Luminary Dave Wallis described the past accomplishments of the Muncy Rotary since it began in 1934 during the 80th Anniversary celebration on March 31st.

It was also noted that the Muncy Rotary Club was one of three to be organized in the United States since the origins of Rotary, July 1, 1934. The Muncy Charter was granted October 34, 1934. A charter was issued on Novermber 16, 1934 at their tenth meeting. Following Foucar as President were Wesley Mann, Vice President; Foster Myers, Secretary; and Eugene P. Bertin, Treasurer.

In the next 20 years over 100 citizens joined the organization.

These are just some of the biggest accomplishments over the past 80 years for the Muncy Rotary:

Founded Little League in Muncy

Established a scholarship fund of $300, now extended to $2000 for a graduating senior

Established a student loan program

Sponsored new clubs in Hughesville and Montgomery

Sponsored the Heart Fund by canvassing the community with wheelbarrows

Purchased and hung Christmas lights in town

Sponsored an Inter-Act club

Began a long series of donations to the Muncy Valley Hospital starting with $3,000, now over $50,000)

Helped to establish the community swimming pool

Started the Dictionary Project at Myers Elementary School.

Current member and Secretary, Sandy Putney pointed out another crowning achievement which was the inauguration of the Student Exchange Program in 1964 under the direction of James Dow, Muncy’s first Rotary Fellow. “We have hosted over 50 foreign exchange students,” she said.

The international projects have been successful due to the efforts of Susana Falck who utilized matching grants and gifts from foundations. Over $750,000 worth of supplies, computers and medical equipment have been provided overseas in just the last few years. Falck was also the first woman President of Muncy Rotary in 2006-7.

The first District Governor was Fred B. Heal followed by Eugene Bertin. Five members are still remaining from membership since 1984. They are Harold Bishop, Richard Langer, Robert Mertz, John Smay and David E. Wallis, son of Charter member, Howard E. Wallis. Since 1975 he has served as president four times.

The evening ended with fun and entertaiment by the live band “Miz Ida & The All-Nightas.”