Randolph Rotary to Celebrate 50 Years

By Henry M. Holden 

When the Rotary discovered a Randolph student needed a camera for his school work they donated  a Canon EOS Rebel T 7. Here we see Brandon N . with his mother Maria N. to his right. Some of the Rotarians who made Brandan’s gift possible share his happiness. (credit Kelly Carmona)

On February 19, 2022, the Rotary Club of Randolph will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The club was first formed at the 1972 international convention. 

The Rotary Club started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on February 23, 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. 

Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Rotary members now span the globe, working to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.

Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision extended to humanitarian service. Members have a long track record of addressing challenges in their communities.

After a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Randolph Rotary Club was back, and it was like they never put their commitment on hold during the pandemic. 

“Over the years, when there’s been a fire, or someone has cancer, and the insurance has not yet arrived, we will give them a cash stipend for immediate needs such as clothing, food etc., even before the insurance adjuster gets there,” said Andrew Shaw, a 48-year veteran of the Rotary and three-time president of the organization.

“When the pandemic hit, Kelly Carmona organized local restaurants, and we would buy the food and give it to first responders. There was a lot of sharing during the pandemic.” She also organized efforts to address the food pantries. 

“We had to do many things differently,” said Shaw, “Now there were people locked-down, and they were cut-off from friends and relatives, and everyone had needs which we tried to address.”

Every Thanksgiving the Rotary gives away 12 complete turkey dinners with all the fixings to needy of the local families. “The turkeys are donated by our members, and we deliver them right to their doorstep.”

Rotary usually gives the high school a scholarship so that the students use the money properly, for their education.

“This year the Rotary teamed up with Randolph Township and held a very successful Country Fair,” said current president Christine Brain. “The Fair created an opportunity for exposure, and we had an outstanding attendance,” 

To staff the Fair, the Rotarians turned out 100-percent of the membership. The members participated by taking the tickets, putting the crafters where they needed to be, and more.

As the second year as president, Brain knows the Rotary is moving in the right direction. “The Fair brought in a few new members, so we’re building our membership. That gives us an opportunity to do more in the community. Everyone had a wonderful time and learned what Rotary does.” 

The Fair has been going on a long time. “Its purpose is to bring the community out and bring them together and enjoy the day as a community,” said Brain.

“For the 50th anniversary we are planning a cocktail party,” said Kelly Carmona who chairs the 50th anniversary celebration committee and has a team of three to help her with all the logistics for a successful 50th anniversary party.

“We decided to have a cocktail party!  We just want to have a friendly gathering, no stiff shirt theme or grandiose affair. We’re just ordinary people so it’s a business/casual dress and we’re planning to have a fun evening to celebrate 50 years of the many Rotary Club successes.”

For the last half century, the Rotary has been fulfilling the needs of people locally, and for an organization to survive for 50 years they must be doing something right.

Some of the arrangements were tentative at this writing. But Carmona says the location planned will be the Ironia Fire House Number 4, next to Saint Matthews Church. Tickets will be approximately $30-$50 and Kelly is expecting a handful of original founders to be present at the evening’s ceremonies.

“I think we’re a great team and we have great ideas,” said Carmona, “and we work well together. I’m looking forward to the celebration.” 

The dual mottos of the Rotary are, “Service Above Self,” and “One Profits Most Who Serves Best,” can be traced back to the early days of the organization. And it is obvious in the lifeblood of today’s modern Rotary Club. 

Next year’s Country Fair will be Saturday, September 24, 2022, at Veteran’s Park – Calais Road in Randolph.



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