Eureka Springs Rotary Club marks 90th year, honors Randy Wolfinbarger

Saturday, May 11, 2013
Randy Wolfinbarger

The Eureka Springs Rotary Club is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

As part of that celebration during the Wednesday, May 1 meeting of the Eureka Springs Rotary Club, Randy Wolfinbarger, general manager of the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks, was made an honorary Eureka Springs Rotarian. The club also named him a Paul Harris Fellow.

Paul Harris Fellows are awarded when a person or Rotary Club donates $1,000 in a person's name to the Rotary Foundation.

Harris was a lawyer in Chicago early in the 20th century. After setting up his law practice in Chicago, he conceived of an organization for local professionals to meet for fellowship and collaboration.

Harris proposed the idea to several business associates, and on Feb. 23, 1905, they held what would later become known as the first Rotary Club meeting. Harris deferred any club leadership duties until February 1907, when he was elected the third president of the Rotary Club of Chicago, a position he held until the fall of 1908.

Toward the end of his club presidency, Harris covertly worked to extend Rotary beyond Chicago.

Initially, some club members resisted extension, not wanting to shoulder the additional financial burden it would involve. Harris and other Rotarians persisted, and by 1910 Rotary had expanded to several other major U.S. cities.

Harris either gave or prepared a message to be read at every Rotary convention from 1910 to 1946.

The Rotary motto "Service Above Self" conveys the humanitarian spirit of the organization's more than 1.2 million members. Strong fellowship among Rotarians and meaningful community and international service projects characterize Rotary worldwide.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised around the world for such projects as polio eradication, clean drinking water wells for third world countries, medical supplies around the world and too many other projects to mention.

The Rotary International Website has more information about Harris and the club's activities.

At the May 1 meeting, Wolfinbarger also accepted an award for the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks and himself for dedication and commitment to Rotary.

The Eureka Springs Rotary Club meets every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. in the Pine Room below Myrtie Mae's Restaurant at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks.

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