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Happy 100th Purcell Rotary


Congratulations to the Purcell Rotary Club on the occasion of its 100th anniversary.

The club was chartered March 30, 1923 and was the first Rotary Club in the world in a city under 3,500 population.

At the guidance of Betty Gerhard the club had a big birthday celebration when it turned 90 – which was smart so long-time members like Bill Williams could attend.

He along with names like George Kernek, Ron Fishburn, Mark Wright, Sam Ganster, Corky Anderson, Bob Tupper, David Sparlin, Don Sherman and Lynn Shirley aren’t around for the 100th celebration but they are not forgotten.

The list of past presidents, including many of the above named members, is a very distinguished group of Purcell business and civic leaders.

If you’ve ever used the Rotary Pavilion and playground at Purcell City Lake or sat on a bench at the Senior Citizens Center, the lake or the Veteran’s Memorial you can thank Rotary.

If you’ve ever enjoyed looking at the beautiful Bradford Pear trees along Green Avenue you can thank Rotary.

They not only planted the trees but watered the little buggers when they were young to withstand the harsh Oklahoma summers.

If you’ve ever run, jumped or thrown at the Rotary Track Meet you can thank Rotary.

There’s no telling how many hot dogs, nacho orders, pieces of pizza, candy bars and drinks Rotarians have served up at that track meet over the years.

And, over the years all the scholarship winners who used that money to further their education, thank you Rotary.

At its zenith the club’s roster grew to almost 70 members when it wasn’t uncommon to have over 60 members present for lunch at Trinity United Methodist Church.

And speaking of Trinity, Purcell’s Rotary Club is known far and wide as having the best food in District 5770.

The Rotary Cooks are famous and sling together outstanding meals week in and week out.

It’s been a good ride for the first 100 years. Now on to the next.


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