History of the Camillus-Solvay-Geddes Rotary Club
In February 1966 the Camillus Rotary Club was just a gleam in the eye of the Marcellus Club. At that time, Stan Monroe and Tom Dyer, Marcellus Rotarians, contacted Ernie Larter and Jim Connell about the possibility of organizing a Rotary Club in Camillus. Marcellus had completed an extensive survey as to potential members in the Camillus area.
Camillus was charted as a full-fledged Rotary Club on October 18, 1966 with 22 members. The club’s first step into community service was to send 3 children with disabilities to camp Goodwill, at that time operated by the Syracuse Rotary. Our next opportunity for service arose when the Cerebral Palsy Center moved from Elmcrest Children’s Center to Van Dyne Hospital. Dewitt Rotary asked us to take over the monthly birthday party and gift program for the patients.
Community service requires some funds–after investing many ideas, the club in 1967 adopted “The Hole in One Contest” as our main fundraiser. This fundraising event continued through 2004. The club today has had a corporate appeal to local industries, an annual Awards and Recognition luncheon and for the first time in 2007 our 1st Annual Pancake Breakfast. Club projects include The Village May Flower planting, Meals on Wheels and room renovations at Chadwick House, a program for women at risk.
In 1972, we became involved with the Rotary student exchange program. Almost every year we have sponsored a foreign exchange student.
Camillus Rotary is located in District 7150–many of our members have served on district committees over the years.
As we look around today the Town of Camillus is in a growth mode and has many natural attractions to include the Erie Canal, and trails, beautiful rolling hills, and Nine Mile Creek. Camillus also has begun the expansion of housing developments and many new businesses are choosing Camillus as a home.
A Historic Change:
On August 30, 2012 the Camillus Rotary Club with a majority of the members present and a written survey of its membership elected to change the name of the Camillus Rotary Club to The Camillus Solvay Geddes Rotary Club. The purpose of the change is to offer an opportunity for the community to serve an underserved community and to expand membership to Rotary.
The club will be servicing the Camillus Solvay Geddes area by providing member volunteers to sort and package school books from the Solvay Middle School for Books of the World program to send to third world countries in September, and assist in our local Meals on Wheels program to bring lunches to residents in need. Our assistance to local residents also includes a distribution of turkeys on Thanksgiving and Christmas and a collection of pet foods to be given to the Humane Society’s animal shelter. The club also supports many local organizations and is providing funds to both the MacDonald House and the capital expansion of the Cancer wing of SUNY Hospital and the Children’s wing.
To enhance membership, visits will be made to local businesses, community organizations both private and public, and religious institutions inviting them to join Rotary as well as an open invitation in our local press to the community to participate in the newly named Camillus Solvay Geddes Rotary Club. Needs assessment will also be taken as we talk with community representatives.