The Chesterton-Porter Rotary club recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary
with a gala at Barker Hall in Michigan City. Over 100 people attended,
including the first President of the Club, James M. Read, and Warren
Canright, the only active remaining charter member.
According to the event organizers, past Presidents David Perry and Jim
Jeselnick, the evening was a big success.
A delightful cocktail party, complete with gourmet cheeses, assorted
spreads, salami, Bruschetta, grapes, and Italian Port Wine and Mushroom
Meatballs, started the evening while Elizabeth Chamberlain Marks provided a
piano music background.
President Christine Newton called the meeting to order and recognized
Shirley Caylor, the President of the Gary Rotary club and Sharon Kish, the
President of the Valparaiso Rotary Club, who presented Chesterton-Porter
with a new base for their bell, inscribed with the names of all past
Presidents. Both Valparaiso and Gary helped to sponsor the Chesterton club
on their induction, April 7, 1960. Newton and past President Jim Read rang
the bell to open the meeting.
Martha Bucksbarg led the Invocation, Dave Perry led the Pledge, Tim Harris
the Four Way test and Will Lewis the song.
A scrumptious dinner of a deluxe salad station, fresh green beans almondine,
skin-on mashed potatoes, and rolls accompanied the main courses of prime
rib, turkey and Shrimp De Johgne. Guests enjoyed four types of anniversary
Following the meal, Secretary Brock Lloyd introduced the guests including
District Governor Floyd Lancia and his wife Betty Lou; District Governor
Elect Steve Van Scoik and his wife Linda and District Governor Mike Crabill
and his wife Teri. In addition, there were several visiting Rotarians,
guests, and spouses.
Special guests were the five members of the Group Study Exchange Team who
are visiting the District from Korea.
District Governor Floyd Lancia presented the club with a special anniversary
certificate and told club members what a great job they had done over the
past 50 years to promote Service Above Self in the Duneland community.
Past President Steve Walker then recognized all the past presidents of the
club who were in attendance. District Foundation Chair Dan Ryan recognized
all of the Paul Harris Fellows as well as all of the Paul Harris Society
members. In addition he praised the club for its generosity in giving to the
Rotary Foundation and being one of the top giving clubs in the District for
the past several years.
Jim Jeselnick presented special gifts to Jim Read and to Warren Canright and
thanked both for their vision in helping to start the club 50 years ago.
Christine Newton, the current club president, was also given a gift for her
dedicated service during this Golden Jubilee year. Jeselnick was also
recognized by President Chris for being the first and only District Governor
from the Chesterton-Porter club.
Nine past Presidents from the club then talked about Rotary Through the
Decades, accompanied by an extensive slide show organized by member Phil
Baugher. The stories were both humorous and touching as each past president
recalled what made the club special.
Past President Lee Lathrop, who drove from Holland, Mich. to attend the
event, talked about the clubís on-going commitment to the Rotary Polio Plus
program and how the club has been a leader in donations to this world-wide
Rotary service project.
Rick Hokanson remembered that the first $500 donation to help start the
Chesterton Food Pantry came from the Rotary club. Also mentioned were the
three Welcome to Chesterton signs that were donated.
The entertainment for the evening was provided by the Wolffgang Singers from
Hobart High School following which President Christine Newton closed the
go the eventís five major sponsors, Lakeside Wealth Management, Anton
Insurance, Express Employment Professionals, Professional Appraisal
Services, and Trout Glass and Mirror. Additional thanks go to Matt and Ed
Kis of Great Lakes Catering, as well as their staff, for the meal.