Rotary Club of Annapolis Celebrates Centennial 1921 – 2021

Don Roland

Annapolis, MD (January 31, 2021) The Rotary Club of Annapolis will proudly celebrate its 100th birthday on February 11, 2021. To mark the Centennial, an entertaining history of the Club is being written, outlining characters who have shaped the Club and Annapolis for 100 years. During the year, the Club will erect and dedicate a flagpole to honor the City, hold a Centennial gala, and most importantly - highlight the many individuals, nonprofit organizations, and institutions intertwined in the Club’s rich history and community roots.

Rotarians - 1.2 million strong around the world - are people of action working in the spirit of “Service Above Self.” Rotary International (RI) projects include programs to eradicate polio from the globe, promote conflict resolution through Peace Centers, support United Nations’ initiatives, and provide funding for clean water, healthcare resources, and humanitarian missions.

Locally, Annapolis Rotarians - often in their signature red polo shirts - serve crabs and corn to 2,000 guests at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium every August; ring bells for the Salvation Army during the holidays; repair homes with Rebuilding Together; collect coats for school children; collect food and pack boxes at the Food Bank; provide meals for first responders and healthcare workers; clean up Rowe Boulevard to welcome USNA visitors for Homecoming and Commissioning Week; award college scholarships; distribute dictionaries to elementary schools; host an annual gala to benefit a local charity; develop Little Free Libraries; sponsor leadership development programs; and contribute approximately $115,000 in direct financial support each year to nonprofits serving the community.

Rotarians have given time, talent, and treasure to improve life for our friends and neighbors for 100 years and will continue to do so. In the past dark year of Covid, the Club has strengthened its resolve to address community needs - pivoting to Rotary Crabs To Go to raise funds; distributing grants more quickly; increasing foundation donations; and establishing a new program to help nonprofit organizations needing quick, short-term volunteer manpower.

The Club sponsors dynamic Rotaract and Interact Clubs to encourage youth volunteerism and leadership. Rotaract is made up of 18 to 30 years olds who manage their own priorities and fundraisers. Interact Clubs, in partnership with Annapolis High School, St. Mary’s High School, and Rockbridge Academy learn community engagement.

The Rotary Club of Annapolis is a welcoming and diverse group of people from 30 to 100 years old, with business owners, architects, engineers, realtors, teachers, pastors, Naval officers, doctors, nurses, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit leaders represented. Meetings (currently virtual) are held at three different times to make attendance convenient: every Thursday (Lunch Group), monthly (Breakfast Group), and monthly (Happy Hour Group). To learn more about Rotary, please contact Liesel Schopler 202-489-3879 or lieseldanjczek@hotmail.com and see www.annapolisrotary.org.