Lamar Rotary Celebrates a Century of Service

Crampton and Sarlo-Koehler


Rotarians and the Lamar community-at-large gathered this past Friday, November 5th to celebrate the centennial observance of the Lamar Rotarian organization which was founded in 1921.

David Northrup

Co-President for 2021, Anne-Marie Crampton, emceed the historic event which was held at The Max Hotel, East Olive Street in Lamar.    Crampton introduced guest speaker, Kris Sarlo-Koelher, the Rotary District 5470 Assistant District Governor who told the gathering how pleased she was to be invited to the celebration, noting the history and impact of the local Rotary throughout Lamar and how member dedication benefitted southeast Colorado.  George Small, former District Governor was also introduced by Crampton.

Numerous ‘thank-you’ mentions were presented including Judy Turpin for the number of hours she invested in the occasion as well as David Northrup and Rick Robbins.  The Max Hotel staff was also recognized for their professional presentation of beverages and hors d’oeuvres.  The original Maxwell Hotel predates the Rotary Club by about 10 years, originating in Lamar in 1911.  Crampton drew a parallel between the new building and Rotary which serves to provide a relevant and vibrant offering to the community-at-large.

Pamela and David Northrup Entertain

Rotarian David Northrup provided a history of the origins of the Lamar Rotary which was also of a personal note for him, as his great-grandfather, John Martin Williams, was one of 19 men selected by founder, L. Wirt Markham to begin the Rotary in Lamar in 1921.  Northrup named each of the charter members and their occupations and noted the number of international Rotary Clubs which began in the same year.  Pamela Northrup entertained with a voice of professional quality and experience from showboat, accompanied by her father, David, on guitar.

Numerous Guests

A friendly, competitive spirit was evident between Lamar Lions members and the Rotarians through a portion of the evening, revolving mostly around which group had been the oldest members, but it could have been a tie.

Past presidents were recognized for their service including George Gotto, Dr. Linda Lujan, Mike Renken and Judy Turpin who had served for at least two terms and Crampton recognized Gotto and Renken as five-time Paul Harris Fellows, awarded each time a member reaches the thousand-dollar mark in contributions to the Rotary International Foundation.

The Rotary was recognized for developing international student exchanges as well as the local free dictionary project, library book donations, numerous youth projects,  the Willow Creek Gazebo, public bench donations, Ducky Dash and other local events such as downtown with Santa Day.

Crampton also highlighted the efforts conducted by Rotary towards the elimination of polio across the globe, “There are only two countries left where we’re working hard to have that situation improved,” she stated.

James Adeyelo, originally from Nigeria and currently a respiratory therapist at Prowers Medical Center, was present, noting he had been a Rotary member in two other Colorado clubs before moving to Lamar.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of LamarEventsFeaturedHistoryThe Arts


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