Vineland Rotary Club Celebrates 100 Years of Service Above Self!
The Rotary Club of Vineland was founded in 1920 by two Vineland businessmen, Charles Ackley and Howard Sharp. These men had attended the International Association of Rotary Clubs Convention in Atlantic City in the summer of 1920. Later that summer, while strolling on the beach in Wildwood, the 2 men decided to pursue a Rotary Club for their own community. A formal organization took place on October 15th at the Hotel Maretti and the club later became chartered on December 20th at The Palms.
The Rotary Club of Vineland has a long history of community service including leadership in the initial Tiny Tim Caroling efforts and holiday parties for youth at the YMCA in the 1940’s and 50’s. During the 1960’s the Club created the Vineland Rotary Charities Foundation and continued awarding scholarships to high school graduates. The 1970’s saw the Club host a concert by the United States Marine Corps. Band and established an exchange with Rotarians in Penge, England. Vineland Rotarians continued to be active throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s with annual holiday parties for the special need’s children in the Vineland Schools and recognizing local Service minded individuals with Vocational Service Awards. In 2003 and 2004, the Club led and coordinated the efforts to construct a building with ADA compliant restrooms at the Cunningham Park Little League complex. The club raised over $400,000 in cash and in-kind donations to create the facility. The Club followed this with establishing and managing a Challenger League division for children with special needs to participate in baseball.
The Club has focused on “food security” in our community for the past several years by hosting events to create non-perishable meals as part of the Feeding Children Everywhere program. More than 20,000 meals were created and stayed in the greater Vineland community. We will be holding a “COVID safe” version of this activity in April 2021. This year we continue to focus on “food security”. Once a month, we are sponsoring the weekend lunch program coordinated by the Spirit in Truth Ministries. We will be holding two “Take Out Only” spaghetti dinners this coming winter. The first dinner on February 7th will have dinners available to the public for advance purchase. All of the meals prepared for the second dinner on March 7th will be donated to family’s dealing with “food security” challenges.
Donations to support any of these community projects can be made online by using the “Donate” button on the right. Donation payments may also be made payable and sent to Vineland Rotary Charities Foundation, P. O. Box 7, Vineland, NJ 08362-0007.
To celebrate our 100th year of Service, we will be producing a 100th Anniversary print ad in the SNJ Today news in the month of December. For more information about placing a congratulatory ad in this 100th Anniversary print ad, click on the link : Vineland Rotary Charites Foundation Fund Raising 2020-2021 forms or use the “Contact Us” feature at top of the page.