The lakeshore rotary story


Lakeshore Rotary 

                     35 Years and Kickin’

                                                              by Dr. Fred Schmidt


In 1973, Bill Galbreath and Fred Schmidt both worked in the Superintendent’s Office at Lakeshore Schools.  Bill commented to Fred, ‘We should have a Rotary Club in the Lakeshore Area’.  Bill had been a past Rotarian in the Climax Club (just South of Battle Creek).  Fred was convinced.  Despite invitations to join the St Joseph/Benton Harbor Club, Bill and Fred persisted in forming a new club.    Staff


First rotary project was a garage build for Deac Nye. I was not involved. Our first major project was the car raffle. We sold 200 tickets at $100.00. This included a dinner for two at Lake Mich. college and several other door prizes. Every one had a great time and we raised $7500.00 toward public restrooms at the Lakeshore football field. Our rotary emblem and plaque is still attached to the side of the restrooms. I look at the plaque every time I pass by the restrooms, and I am still proud of our club.     Klett


The first meeting of what would become the LAKESHORE ROTARY CLUB was held at McGrath’s Restaurant in January 1974. William Galbreath chaired the meeting assisted by Bill Menser, Hal Perry, Edgar Ott, Fred Schmidt and a couple of other interested fellows including Charlie Fields from the St. Joseph Club. The order of business was to review the procedure for starting a club and preparing a list of local business and professional men to invite to join in this united effort.

We got busy. The idea of ROTARY was new to most of those on our list but the SPIRIT of service and dedication soon became apparent. An informational meeting was held in the basement of the First National Bank located on Red Arrow just north of Glenlord. Harry Zick catered the food. We sang some songs and committed ourselves to starting a Club.

The FIRST club bulletin, THE SHORELINER, edited by Fred Schmidt, was released on March 15, 1974. It showed that at the previous day’s meeting, there were 19 committed members, 3 guests and 6 visiting ROTARIANS present. Our acting Treasurer, Deac Nye, reported a balance of $293.37 in our Treasury.

Our Charter was granted on April 23, 1974 and the Charter Night was celebrated on May 14, 1974. This milestone event was held in the Lakeshore High School gym with 28 CHARTER MEMBERS and upwards of 500 visiting ROTARIANS and guests present.