MILL HALL - The 25th anniversary of the admission of women to Rotary was commemorated at a recent luncheon meeting hosted by the Rotary Club of Lock Haven and attended by members and guests of the Mill Hall Sunrise and Downtown Lock Haven clubs.
The program included the video "Celebrating 25 Years of Women in Rotary."
Thirty-year member Chuck Sweeny recalled the Lock Haven club experienced no problems welcoming and admitting women members. He did recall, though, that several Rotarians resigned because their wives did not like the idea of their husbands working on service projects with and meeting socially with women. Sweeny said the first female club member was Jeannette Cruse, an education professor at Lock Haven University, and Wendy Stiver, now a member of the Downtown club, was the host club's first female president, serving in 1995-96.
Female members of the Rotary clubs of Lock Haven, Mill Hall Sunrise, and Downtown Lock Haven were honored for their service to their clubs and community at a recent luncheon hosted by the Lock Haven club. Helping to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the admission of women into Rotary membership were, from left, Rotarians Bonnie Hannis, Lynda Carey, Loretta Coltrane, Nancy Merinar, Jerri Alrich, Alyce Baker, Jacinth Maynard, Diane Whitaker, Maj. Marie Harris, Betty Schantz, Gail Nestlerode, Sue Foust and Rev. Nancy Lee Goff.
Chet Pribble, a Rotarian since 1957, talked about the former Rotary Anns, saying his wife Ellen and the late Ann Ulmer were among those who actively participated in the auxiliary organization.
Richard Stuempfle spoke about the involvement of his late wife DiAnn in the Mill Hall Sunrise club and her pioneering efforts as a Rotarian and mayor of Lock Haven.
Bill Bastian was an active Rotarian in Michigan when the issue of admitting women was debated in the 1980s. Being from "the old school," he admitted, he was then opposed to the idea but now sees it has been good for the organization.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary, female members from the three Rotary clubs were presented a "Women in Rotary" pin by Assistant District Governor Brent Jones. Receiving pins were Lock Haven Rotary club members Alyce Baker, Beverly Bower, Ramona Broomer, Lynda Carey, Loretta Coltrane, Patty Davis, Elizabeth Eckley, Marie Harris, Cynthia Love, Jacinth Maynard, Nancy Merinar, Joan Porter, April Welshans and Mary White; Mill Hall Sunrise Rotarians Bonnie Hannis, April Henry-Bittner, Bobbie Way, Kassy Titus-George, Karen Johnson and Cheryl Orndorf; and Downtown Lock Haven Rotarians Jerri Alrich, Jeanne Baker, Suzanne Foust, Nancy Lee Goff, Gail Nestlerode, Paula Neyhart, Betty Schantz. Wendy Stiver and Diane Whitaker.
Today Rotary has 1.2 million members worldwide, and more than 200,000 of them are women.
The Rotary Club of Lock Haven meets Tuesdays at noon at Haywood's on the Green. The Downtown club meets Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. at KCnet, and the Sunrise club meets at Fox's Restaurant at 7 a.m. the second and last Thursday of each month.