Our Club's History

The Oldest Club in Idaho
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Celebrating 103 Years in Idaho

The Boise Rotary Club charter was granted on June 17, 1917. Boise was the 320th Rotary Club formed.

The move to organize a Rotary Club in Boise began with a letter dated June 30, 1916 from R. R. Alexander, later the club’s first secretary, to Dr. F. C. Witherspoon of Montana, the Governor of the District 14 International Association of Rotary Clubs. Subsequent correspondence with Dr. Witherspoon and International Secretary Chesley R. Perry resulted in the designation of Charles E. Cochran, President of the Portland Club, as acting Deputy District Governor, to assist the Boise Club with its organizational plans.

On March 2, 1917 a list of 100 approved classifications was received from Secretary Perry and the Organization Committee began its work. Chairman Alexander and the committee worked rapidly and on March 29, 1917 a selected group met for luncheon at the Chamber of Commerce and created a temporary organization. It was moved, seconded and carried that April 28, 1917 be fixed as the date for the ceremonies establishing the club at eight o’clock in the evening.

The second meeting was held April 5, 1917 and the following officers were elected: C. A. Barton, President, H. F. Lemp, Vice President, R. R. Alexander, Secretary and Rev.Willsie M. Martin, Treasurer. C. C. Anderson, F. F. Johnson, Joel L. Priest were elected directors and F. B. Jones became Sergeant-at-Arms. On April 28, 1917 the Boise Rotary Club was installed at an Owyhee Hotel Banquet attended by more than 100 prominent business and professional men from Boise, Portland and Salt Lake City. Charles E. Cochran of Portland, Deputy District Governor who installed the above listed officers, conducted the simple ceremony of installation. A copy of the front page of the Idaho Statesman dated April 29, 1917 covering the installation is in the Boise Rotary Office and the archives at Boise State University.

Formal application for membership in the International Association of Rotary Clubs was made May 27, 1917. The charter membership roster closed on that date named 50 members holding 41 classifications. The Boise Rotary Club charter was granted on June 17, 1917. Boise was the 320th Rotary Club formed. Future meetings were set for luncheons on Thursday and the tradition remains to this day.

In January 2002 the History Committee asked Arthur A. Hart, noted historian of Boise, to prepare biographical information on the Boise Rotary Founding Fathers. The original document is in the Boise Rotary Office and a copy is in the archives at Boise State University.


Use the according below to learn more about the club history and the founding members.

Year Established

Starting Members


Founding Members and Club History



Recent Club Presidents

Beth Markley

Beth was introduced to Rotary early on in her career as a nonprofit development professional when she would attend Rotary Club of Boise meetings as a guest of her boss, the executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Idaho. Subsequent bosses with Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Girl Scouts of the Silver Sage Council were also members. In 2005 she was selected to be a part of the Group Study Exchange team representing District 5400 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upon returning, she joined the Rotary Club of Boise where she first served on the board in 2007. Beth and her husband, Mike, a member of the Rotary Club of Boise Southwest, have been active with the Rotary Youth Exchange program, having hosted nine youth exchange students. Beth is now the Rotary Youth Exchange Outbound Chair for the district, and Mike heads up the district exchange committee. Their older son went on a Rotary Youth Exchange to Denmark for the 2016-17 school year, and is currently earning his degree in business consultancy in Austria. Beth served as club president in the 2020-2021 year.

Ben Eastman - A Charter Member of Boise Rotary

March 28, 2013


On March 29, 1917, a committee of twelve business and professional men completed the organization of the Boise Rotary Club and set the date for our first meeting in the OWYHEE HOTEL on the 28th of April with one hundred founding members who decided to meet for lunch on Thursdays. We continue to meet on Thursdays but we left the Owyhee in 1957.

Each year near the club’s anniversary we recall one of our founding members. This year we remember BEN EASTMAN who was one of Boise’s most prominent business men. Ben’s life and career is inseparable from the story of three pioneer families and with the Owyhee mines, the development of Boise, some of our most interesting buildings, with early success and final tragedy.

Ben’s father was HOSEA EASTMAN who left New Hampshire in 1861, with his brother Manse, looking for gold in California. They were not successful as miners so they worked as ranchers and moved to Oregon. Hosea and Manse bought a small band of cattle and left Oregon to sell the cows in Idaho but they lost the cattle from raids by the Indians. Finally, in 1864 they arrived in Silver City with only two dollars between them.

Along the way they met TIMOTHY REGAN who had emigrated from Ireland and joined the rush for gold in the new Idaho Territory. Timothy worked cutting timber for the mines while the Eastman brothers prospected for gold.

Both Tim Regan and the Eastman brothers were successful and by 1867 they had enough money to buy and improve the IDAHO HOTEL in Silver City.

Hosea and Tim began to court two young ladies, who were the sisters of Frank Blackinger, the owner of another nearby hotel. Hosea married MARY BLACKINGER in 1872 and Tim Regan married Rose Blackinger in 1875. Manse Eastman never married.

The stock market crash of 1875 ruined the east coast investors who lost most of their Silver City mines. Hosea, Manse, and Tim bought them out at bargain prices and operated them while the market recovered. Within four years, Hosea and Tim sold most of their mine holdings with huge profits and suddenly they were millionaires.

Their new wealth would not keep Hosea Eastman and Tim Regan much longer in Silver City. They moved to Boise in 1877 with their young wives and bought the OVERLAND HOTEL at the northwest corner of 8th and Main Streets. Manse stayed in Silver City to manage their properties. They immediately improved the Overland and began to acquire other businesses. The need for reliable water in the hotel led them to start a new city water company using the hot springs on Warm Springs Avenue. They called it the Boise City Artesian Hot and Cold Water Company. It was successful and they owned and managed the company through the rest of their lives.

Hosea and Mary’s first son was Frank, who was born in the Overland Hotel in 1878. Our founding member, Ben Eastman, was born in 1882 also in the Hotel. Hosea sent the boys to the Phillips Exeter Academy in Andover, Massachusetts and then to Yale. Ben graduated from Yale in 1902 with a degree in engineering.

While Ben and Frank Eastman were growing up and away to school, their father became a founder and president of the Boise City National Bank and was elected to the Boise City Council. Hosea then arranged for the hiring of John Paulson, a Montana architect, to design the Boise City Hall in 1891. Paulson then designed the famous NATATORIUM pavilion and hot water swimming pool on Warm Springs Avenue for Hosea.

Paulson also designed the EASTMAN MANSION which stood for sixty-five years at 1215 Warm Springs Avenue. With 26 rooms, it was the largest house in Boise and was Hosea’s and Mary’s home and that of their children and grand- children. Frank married Mabel Simpson in 1906 and they had three children: Hosea, Elizabeth, and their last child, Frank, Jr., who was born in 1911, after Frank, Sr., his father, tragically died in an automobile accident.

In 1894 Hosea demolished the Overland Hotel. In 1905, Hosea, Ben and Frank together built the Overland Office Building (EASTMAN BUILDING) on the same corner of 8th and Main. The sons’ pioneer father, Hosea, died in 1911. In 1913, Ben added three floors and a new 8th  Street ENTRANCE LOBBY and he renamed it the Eastman Building in honor of his father, his brother Frank, and his Uncle Manse.

What did all of those Silver City people look like?

In 1907 the Blackingers, Regans, and Eastmans gathered for a picnic and posed for a picture. Standing to the left is Frank Blackinger. Next to him are his sisters Rose and Mary – Mrs. Tim Regan and Mrs. Hosea Eastman. Next is Hosea, himself, back in the shadows. The older lady with the cane is his sister-in-law, Mrs. Frank Blackinger. Next to her, the young man looking away, is Frank Eastman. Next to Frank, with the white hat, is Manse Eastman and the man at the far right is Timothy Regan. Sitting on the ground to the left is Lily Regan, Tim and Rose Regan’s daughter. Our Ben Eastman is the young man in the middle. And in the white dress on the right is Mabel Simpson Eastman – Mrs. Frank Eastman.

Ben Married EDITH KADING of Schyler, Nebraska in 1908. Two years later Edith and Ben had a son who died as an infant. Later they had two daughters, Mary and Margaret. Ben added more rooms to the Eastman mansion to accommodate Frank’s wife and children and his uncle Manse.

One of the rooms that Ben added was a sun room where this PORTRAIT OF MARY AND MARGRET, was taken. It is a photo worthy of Vogue and is a look at Boise’s society in the 1930’s. The photographer was Ralph Sigler who was the president of our club in 1932. Both of Ben and Edith’s daughters went to Stanford – where they met and married Californians. Neither they, nor Mabel Eastman’s children, lived in Boise and they retuned only to visit or to attend funerals.

BEN EASTMAN suddenly died in his home on Warm Springs Avenue on December 18, 1945. Edith continued to live alone in that huge house – all of her older Blackinger and Regan in-laws had also passed away. Ben’s Natatorium building was demolished ten years earlier after being severely damaged in a summer wind storm.

During the night of February 17, 1956, Edith Eastman died in the fire that burned down the big house at 1215 Warm Springs Avenue. All of it was demolished except the front garden wall of Boise Sandstone.

The Eastmans did not live to see the Eastman Building catch on fire in January 24, 1987, and be demolished after five years of neglect by the Boise Redevelopment Agency.

People and buildings may pass on but the land stays. The infamous hole in the ground that had been the Eastman Building is now the site of a much grander structure – the ZIONS BANK BUILDING whose eighteen floors will be the third notable building at Boise’s historic 8th and Main corner.

And good residential lots do not stay vacant forever.

About thirty years ago a fine old house on Idaho Street owned by the Eberle family was moved to the 1215 Warm Springs Avenue site. The front yard stone wall, built by Hosea Eastman one hundred and twenty- two years ago, is still there.

Presented by Charles Hummel, March 28, 2013

Club Presidents first 50 years - 1917 to 1966


Dues were set at $2.00 per quarter with a $5.00 initiation fee. The Secretary would be paid an annual salary of $25.00 On June 17, 1917 the club raised $2200.00 for the Salvation Army with 30 people committing money at the meeting. In addition, the club voted to raise $2500.00 for the Red Cross.

The Club in February 1919 moved to raise money for the new YMCA building.

Leo Falk joined the Club in June 1919. The Club’s membership consisted of the Who’s Who of Boise.


The Club in December 1919 formed a committee to study the need for increased teacher salaries and take recommendations to the School Board.

The committee on Train Service between Boise and Nampa reported on April 1, 1920 that the service would be increased within the next two weeks.

Boise hosted its first District Conference March 26 and 27, 1920 with Joe T. Young of Pocatello as District Governor. International President Bert Adams of Atlanta spoke.


Lew Ensign addressed the Club on August 26, 1920 in reference to securing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance in Boise at a cost of $2500.00.

Harry Morrison, founder of MK, was proposed for membership on September 23, 1920.

On January 20, 1921 Fred Bicknell brought up the matter of starving babies in Europe. The Owyhee Hotel agreed to donate next week’s luncheon if each member brings an invisible guest and the proceeds would go to helping these starving children. $804.10 was raised.

On April 14, 1921 the Club met at the Interurban Depot and rode the train to Nampa to visit the Nampa Club, which received its charter on April 1, 1920.

Sam E. Brookover, father and grandfather of current members Gordon and Gary Brookover, was welcomed as a new member on April 21, 1921.


Clint Norquist on August 4, 1921 reported the Boys Committee had made arrangements for the necessary trucks to take the Boise Council of Boy Scouts to their summer camp at Smith Ferry and return.

The Boys Committee reported on September 1, 1921 that the committee had taken the children from the Children’s Home to the Selis-Floto Circus.

On February 9, 1922 the Club set up a revolving fund of $100.00 to assist high school students who are working their way through school.

By the February 23, 1922 meeting the Club had grown to 77 members.

Ladies Night was held March 2, 1922 at Fred Bicknell’s home with 100 in attendance.

In April 1922 the Club sent $50.00 to the Moscow Idaho Rotary Club to be added to the loan fund for students at the University of Idaho.

The first Rotary Golf Tournament was held on May 18, 1922.

In June 1922 the Club paid the expenses to send six Boy Scouts to summer camp.


In October 1923, one meeting was held at a special place: the 17th Street Power Station of Idaho Power Company. The club gave $60.00 to the Near East Relief to take care of an Armenian girl for one year.

The District Governor spoke in November and reported the club had an 81.27% attendance record.

Ladies Night was held in December and the format was a regular meeting followed by dancing.

In January 1923 the Club gave $100.00 towards the Railroad Main Line to Boise Fund.


In July 1923 the board agreed to pay the expenses for five Boy Scouts at summer camp.

In August a memorial meeting took place honoring the deceased U. S. President Warren Harding. Various speakers including Idaho Governor C. C. Moore emphasized the love and esteem in which he is held by the American People. The club stood and bowed their heads for three minutes, then faced the American flag and sang the Star Spangled Banner.

Upon a motion by Joel Priest, the Secretary was instructed to purchase a picture of President Coolidge to hang at club luncheons.

In October the Secretary announced the resignation of Harry Morrison, founder of the worldwide construction firm Morrison Knudsen. He was unable to attend meetings due to his heavy travel schedule.

President Upham of the University of Idaho spoke in November to the Club and highlighted the football team.

In December the Club sent a truckload of apples to the Children’s Home.

Judge Chalfant asked for five volunteers to sponsor juvenile delinquents.

The Annual Ladies Night was held in January 1924 at the Owyhee Hotel. The “Bucket of Blood” orchestra provided excellent music. Entertainment included three vaudeville numbers and the Club Talent Committee presented special stunts.

In March 1924 the Public Affairs Committee reported that it would confer with educational authorities on the matter of a Junior College in Boise.

Tom Hoscot reported on May 5, 1924 that the Educational Committee was concentrating on the boys who would graduate from grade school in June to motivate them to attend high school. Rotary was supplying each student a leaflet “Why I Should Go to High School” and a Rotarian was addressing each graduating class.


U. S. Senator William Borah spoke on August 14, 1924 on the subject “Observations on States’ Rights”. He called attention to the dangerous drift of the times in centralizing the government and taking away from the states matters, which inherently belonged to them. A bureaucratic government, wasteful, corrupt and inefficient will be the outcome, he said.

On August 29, 1924 Colonel Padgham spoke on National Defense and especially on the reason for “National Defense Day” which is September 12, 1924. He stated that the Defense Act of 1920 provided for a small standing army with the second line of defense composed of National Guard and Reserve Corp. In case of national need, the great body of the army would come from the citizenship, and Defense Day is for the purpose of finding out if this act is feasible.

On December 18, 1924 the Boys Choir from Saint Michaels Cathedral rendered a program of Christmas carols. A check for $50.00 was given to the Salvation Army Rescue Home and $25.00 to the Salvation Army.

On February 24, 1925 the board authorized Clint Norquist to use part of the Special Children’s Home Fund to endow a bed in the new addition in the Children’s Home.

Dr. Sam Forney with classification of Physician joined the club on March 26, 1925.

On March 31, 1925 Harry Yost appeared before the board on behalf of KFAU and asked for a donation to help meet the expense of making Boise a class B radio station. The board approved $50.00.


The Club took the children from the Children’s Home to the circus on August 6, 1925.

On November 5, 1925 the Crippled Children’s Fund was created. The project involved screening crippled children in Boise area under the supervision of a specialist from the Mayo Clinic. Rotarians involved with the project were Sam Brookover, Sam Forney and Ralph York.

The Club donated $50.00 to the Salvation Army Maternity Home on December 22, 1925.

On June 2, 1926 a letter from the Principal of Whitney School thanking the Club for the 8th grade Boys picnic was read.


Money was given to send needy Scouts to Boy Scout Camp in August.

Charley Sensil reported on November 2, 1926 that the Boys Work Committee with the Superintendent of Schools, Probate Judge and the Children’s Home were arranging to look after delinquent boys. Also the Committee was again planning to put on the Boy’s 8th grade picnic.

Herb Risley reported on December 2 that the Crippled Children’s Committee had arranged a clinic for crippled children with Dr. Henderson from the Mayo Clinic and the Boise medical fraternity on December 29.

On December 21, 1926 $50.00 was donated to the Salvation Army Maternity Home.

At the May 24, 1927 meeting the following donations were made; $100.00 to the Boy Scouts and $50.00 to the Red Cross Flood Relief. The Boys Work Committee was authorized to purchase the necessary number of booklets “Will It Pay Me to Go to School” to be distributed to the 8th grade pupils.

Charles T. Wrightson, Manager of Varney Air Mail Lines, discussed the “Problems of Aviation” at the June 6, 1927 meeting.

Funds were needed to send eight boys to Boy Scout Summer Camp. Donations were solicited at the June 30 meeting.


John Philip Sousa spoke at the October 13, 1927 meeting.

Captain Aussoner of the Battleship Idaho spoke at the October 28, 1927 meeting and Mayor Hanson presented him with a picture to be hung on the ship.

The Boy Scouts were given $100.00 at the December 6, 1927 meeting.

At the February 9, 1928 meeting J. P. Congdon spoke on the History of the YMCA.

On May 15, 1928 $20.00 was appropriated for the St. Anthony Industrial School Field Day.


The request from the Business Women’s Club to sponsor a Bathing Beauty was denied on August 7, 1928.

On August 16, 1928 Professor Musatti of the University of Southern California spoke on Beneto Mussolini.

On December 18, 1928 the Board of Directors authorized the usual Christmas shopping for the Salvation Army and the Children’s Home.

On April 7, 1929 Ed Peasley of the Boys Work Committee reported on the case of a crippled child. Doctor Coates volunteered his service and the club would cover expenses up to $50.00 to care for the child.


Rotary International informed the club on July 18, 1929 of the plan to form a $10,000,000.00 Foundation.

The October 3, 1929 meeting was turned over to Reilly Atkinson of the International Service Committee, who introduced Signor Marco Barone, whose subject was “Women, Tramps and Burros”.

At the November 7, 1929 meeting Home Hudelson gave a splendid talk on Armistice Day and the meeting closed with a band playing the Star Spangled Banner.

A case of oranges was given to the Children’s Home and $50.00 to the Salvation Army Maternity Home on December 17, 1929.

Miss Lucy Higgins, President of Business and Professional Women’s Club of Boise spoke on January 9, 1930. Her subject was “Better Business Women for a Better Business World”.

At the January 9, 1930 meeting the Davidson Grocery Company passed out “Spud” cigarettes.

On May 20, 1930 Ed Peasley proposed F. C. Hummel for membership.

At the June 10, 1930 meeting $15.00 was donated to Flag Day exercises at the St. Anthony Industrial School and plans were made to have a float in the Pioneer Day parade.


The American Legion Drum Corps played at the July 3, 1930 meeting and it was described as “good but loud”.

On November 11, 1930 $100.00 was given to the Boise Welfare Bureau through the Community Chest and on December 11, 1930 $50.00 was given to the Salvation Army.

The National Red Cross was given $50.00 on January 22, 1931.

On March 5, 1931 Mr. J. J. Hansaker spoke on “Prevention of War”.


$50.00 was given to the Salvation Army on December 15, 1931.

On January 12, 1932 the cost of luncheons was reduced to 55 cents and quarterly dues to $12.00.

At the March 10, 1932 meeting Bishop Barnwell announced that the Episcopal Church had decided to open a Junior College at St. Margaret’s School.


On August 30, 1932 the club decided to discontinue weekly publications due to the depression.

The Salvation Army donation was reduced by $100.00 on December 13, 1932 due to limited funds.

On March 25, 1933 the club decided not to have a Ladies Night due to finances.

The Club on June 6, 1933 sent $10.00 to St. Anthony School for Flag Day.


The Club on November 14, 1933 gave $100.00 to the Community Chest for Emergency Relief.

On February 13, 1934 $25.00 was donated to the Sea Scouts to assist in moving a boat from Seattle.


On December 4, 1934 $35.00 was given to the Salvation Army Maternity Home.

Jess Hawley moved, on April 2, 1935, that the Club sponsor Troop 32 of the Boy Scouts and that the Boys Work Committee be in charge of the project. The motion was seconded and carried.


The Club on December 3, 1935 gave $50.00 to the Salvation Army Maternity Home.

Ladies Night was held on February 27, 1936.

On April 14, 1936 $25.00 was given to purchase band music for the Penitentiary Band.

Troop 32, which was sponsored by the club, on April 23, 1936, put on a drill program.

At the June 4, 1936 meeting the sons and daughters of Rotarians entertained.


On July 14, 1936 $50.00 was donated towards improvements at the Boy Scout Camp in McCall.

The first Past Presidents Day was held on October 29, 1936.

At the December 3, 1936 meeting F. W. Auburn, Director of the YMCA in Jerusalem, Palestine spoke on the conditions in Palestine.

On December 29, 1936 the Club donated $10.00 to the Society of the Blind for Idaho.

The Red Cross for Flood Relief received $25.00 on January 26, 1937.

Mr. M. A. George, the Federal Representative in Boise in charge of the Social Security Act, on January 21, 1937, explained the act as far as he was able to do so and answered questions as far as his limited knowledge of the act would permit.

On February 9, 1937 the club purchased Boy Scout uniforms for needy boys and they would repay on a monthly basis as they earned money.


At the September 9, 1937 meeting Henry de la Chapelle of E. W. Dalton and Company spoke on the “Economic Outlook” which he pictured in very dark terms.

On October 12, 1937 Ken Hartzler was elected to membership with a classification of “School Music”.

The club donated $25.00 for rose bushes in the Rose Garden on November 16, 1937.

The Salvation Army received a donation of $50.00 on December 14, 1937.

On April 12, 1938 the club purchased leather goods and tools for use by crippled children.

Jay Hill, a blind organist, entertained on the Hammond Electric Organ on May 28, 1938.


At the September 22, 1938 meeting Miss Virla Hinshaw, who had recently returned from seven months in Germany spoke to the Club.. Her talk was “Hitler Pro and Con” and she saw no evidence of war preparation.

The Club decided on November 15 to arrange with the YMCA to give memberships to deserving boys.

Harry Morrison, playing his guitar, led a quartette at the December 29 meeting.

On February 9, 1939 the Club quartette, composed of Fred Cahriton, Mack Dodds, Art Holland and Ken Hartzler performed. “It was pretty rotten”.

A joint meeting with the Kiwanis was held on March 23, 1939. The Rotary and Kiwanis Quartettes performed. The Kiwanis group was good.


On September 24, 1939 Dr. Frank Sprague introduced Superintendent of Schools Vincent who spoke on the evils of marijuana.

Fred Gans of the Philip Morris Co. spoke, on September 28, 1939, on the evolution of the Tobacco and Cigarette Industry.

In December 1939 $50.00 was given to the Salvation Army and $25.00 was appropriated for crippled children at hospitals.

The January 25, 1940 meeting was cancelled due to the funeral of Senator William Borah.

On May 2, 1940 $25.00 was given to the Junior Baseball League.


DR. HUGH B. CULVER 1940-1941

The annual golf tournament was held October 10, 1940 at Hillcrest Country Club.

On October 29, 1940 the Student Loan Fund was established and had loaned $420.00 with a balance of $147.00 on hand.

On November 26 $100.00 was given to the Salvation Army Maternity Home. Radios were purchased for the crippled children’s ward at the hospital.

At the April 3, 1941 meeting, Joe Dollard, April program chairman, introduced Frank Church. He was the recent winner of the National American Legion Oratorical Contest. He delivered his winning oration entitled “The American Way’.

On April 15, 1941 $25.00 was donated to the Junior Baseball League.

As of April 22 luncheon at the Owyhee Hotel would be 75 cents.


In August 1941 the club paid $112.08 to send boys to the YMCA camp.

At the November 4, 1941 meeting the Club appropriated money to provide shoes for needy children.

On December 2, 1941 mirrors were purchased for two hospitals so crippled children could watch themselves exercise.

In December 1941 the following donations were made: $25.00 towards the purchase of a piano at Gowen Field, $100.00 to Defense Red Cross Drive, $125.00 for a new refrigerator in the Salvation Army Maternity Home, and $25.00 to the Rotary Relief Fund.

Programs throughout 1942 dealt with the war and a lot of entertainment came out of Gowen Field.


On July 7, 1942 $100.00 was authorized to send underprivileged boys to Boy Scout Camp.

The Club purchased a $100.00 Defense Bond on September 11, 1942.

At the October 8, 1942 meeting Ken Hartzler led the singing, which was his farewell performance before leaving for the Navy.

On December 2, 1942 $500.00 was approved for Boys Work Committee projects.

At the January 14, 1943 meeting, Elaine Barker of the OPA spoke on the Point Rationing of Food. Her comments were rather unintelligible.

The American Red Cross received a $100.00 donation from the Club on March 14, 1943.

HENRY L. SENGER 1943-1944

On November 14, 1943 the Club helped underwrite the deficit from operations at the YMCA Recreation Center.

Two hospital beds were purchased for the Salvation Army Maternity Home for $70.00 on December 19, 1943.

Robert S. (Bob) Gibb and future District Governor joined the Boise Rotary Club on February 3, 1944.



On February 5, 1946 $25.00 was appropriated for the Music Committee.

Membership for the Club stood at 91 on March 14, 1946, which was a new high.

The Club gave $50.00 to the Girl Scouts on May 21, 1946 to be used for the girls at the Children’s Home.

On May 28, 1946 it was reported that our attendance passed 80% for the first time since 1938.


On December 3, 1946 the following donations were made: $25.00 to the American Red Cross for the Veterans Hospital, $50.00 to crippled children, boxes of candy to the Children’s Home and Christmas gifts to hospitalized veterans.

The Club gave $20.00 to send a boy to Boy’s State on May 6, 1947


The Club paid $110.00 for eight boys to attend YMCA Camp on August 21, 1947.

On September 14, 1947 the annual picnic was held at Harold Finch’s farm home on Curtis Road. O. C. Marler was chairman. Over 190 attended the gala affair and Bud Finch’s Orchestra provided music.

The Club provided a float in the American Legion Parade on September 18, 1947.

At the December 9, 1947 meeting $50.00 was approved to give to crippled children for Christmas.

On June 8, 1948 R. E. Gustavel was approved for membership and the Club voted to open each meeting with the singing of “America”.


In August 1948 the Club sent three boys to Boy Scout Camp, three girls to Girl Scout Camp and six boys to YMCA Camp.

On September 1, 1948 interest free student loans were made available up to $500.00.

The Club organized the Knot Hole Club, which allowed boys under 16, who could not afford the admission to attend athletic events. The Club provided potatoes for underprivileged children’s lunches.

On October 5, 1948 the Knot Hole Club took 37 children to the Boise-Meridian Football game.

Dr. Richard Forney, a future District Governor, became a member on October 14, 1948.

Lt. J. C. Whittaker, second in command to Captain Eddie Rickenbacher, spoke to the membership on October 20, 1948.

At the December 8, 1948 meeting the Club voted to give support to obtaining a swimming pool at Boise Junior College.

The Club sent old clothes to a Rotary Club in Greece on January 11, 1949.

At the February 9, 1949 meeting it was suggested that every Rotarian send a letter of self-introduction to an overseas Rotarian with the same classification.

The Club approved, on April 2, 1949, to send two high school students to summer music camp at the University of Idaho.

As of April 28, 1949 only Fred Bicknell, Will Northrop, Reilly Atkinson, C. C. Anderson, J. Lyle Cunningham, and Don S. Whitehead are the remaining charter members of the Club.


At the May 18, 1950 meeting R. E. Gustavel introduced Morley Nelson who exhibited a falcon and the movie hunting with a falcon.

The Youth Service Committee donated the following: $50.00 each to the Knot Hole Club, YMCA Camp, YWCA Camp, Boy Scout Camp, Girl Scout Camp, Salvation Army Music Camp in Portland and the University of Idaho Music Camp.

As of June 1, 1950 the best attendance records were held by Harold Finch 99.2%, George Fields 97.5% and Dick Forney 96%.

“Women of Rotary” was founded to foster friendship among Rotarian’s wives.


On September 6, 1950 the Club approved funding the Scramble Calf Raising Activity. Rotary puts up money to buy a calf, which is entered in the fair with calves from other sponsors, which are then turned loose in an enclosure. Boys catch the calves, raise them, and sell the calves with half the profit going to the boys and the other half to the sponsor.

In November 1950 the Club sponsored five boys to the annual YMCA Summer Camp.

The Board of Director decided in December 1950 to revive the annual Bean Feed at the YMCA with the proceeds going to membership for needy boys.

At the December 27, 1950 meeting Bob Gibb said, “I resolve not to subject the club to singing ‘Stodola Pumpa’ this year”.

In May 1951 the Board of Directors established policy for student loans. The maximum annual amount to a borrower is $500.00 with a total amount of $1000.00


In October 1951 Harold Finch proposed Boyd Brown for membership. George Richardson, a future Club President, joined the club in December.

Dues for the Boise Rotary Club were raised to $22.50 per quarter in February 1952.


On July 28, 1952 George Richardson was appointed to head the “House Committee” whose function will be to air and listen to the gripes about meals and other annoyances.

Gail de Witt, chairman of the Youth Service Committee, was appointed to represent Rotary on the Bogus Basin Snow Removal Committee on September 23, 1952.

On December 19, 1952 Rotarians volunteered to help the Red Cross set up and take down movable blood donating machines.

Rotary International announced on March 31, 1953 that George Fields of the Boise Rotary would replace Philip Lovejoy as Secretary of Rotary International.


Harold Finch was apprehended on July 15, 1953 for flying his airplane within 50 feet of Boise businesses and dropping “I Like Ike” buttons. Among those hit by the falling pieces of metal was Rotarian George Richardson.

As of September 1, 1953 only one student has taken advantage of the Student Loan Program. It was felt that the program needed to be evaluated.

On January 14, 1954 future District Governor Dr. Bill Forney became a member of the Boise Rotary Club.

During March 1954 the International Information Committee sponsored an essay contest, for high school students, with the subject “America and Peace Today”. The Rotary Club provided prize money.


Future District Governor Mendenhall was elected President of the Boise Rotary Club and announced that starting next week there will be a special table that will serve salad. The table will be placarded and anyone who sits there will receive a salad.

The annual Rotary Picnic was held August 12 at Harold Finch’s farm on South Curtis Rd.

In September 1954 Morley Nelson became a member.

When Bob Gibb walked into the Rotary meeting on November 30 a spontaneous outbreak greeted him for being named a life member of Rotary.

On February 8, 1955 the Club gave the Crippled Children’s Home a tape recorder.

Steve Brown, age 9, son of Rotarian Boyd Brown and grandson of Rotarian Harold Finch was introduced at the February 15 meeting that focused on scouting. Steve is a Cub Scout and gave a fascinating speech without a note.


Attendance was discussed at almost all meetings as the Boise Club has had difficulty in maintaining good attendance. The Club started this year with 147 members, added 15 and lost 9.

On August 30, 1955 the yearly budget for donations was: Youth Service $250.00, Music Scholarships $135.00 and miscellaneous $150.00.

Leo J. Falk, a long time member, passed away and the Club had a moment of silence in his honor on August 20, 1955.

The Club gave on January 10, 1956 a TV set to the children’s ward at St. Alphonsus.

The election of new officers for the Boise Rotary took place on March 15, 1956 and three ballots were needed to elect Joe Wright as Vice President.

On May 22, 1956 the cost of lunch was raised to $1.25.

The Club sponsored Boise High students at the summer music camp at the University of Idaho.

Foreign student, Inge Krupe from Germany, attended Boise High and was sponsored by Boise Rotary.


Democrat Eddie Springer on July 3, 1956 was admitted to the Club so that the club could boast that it had a two-party system.

On July 24, 1956 five members of the Rotary International Visitors (now called Group Study Exchange) spoke to the Club.

The Community Service Committee reported on August 14 that they had provided a camping experience for six underprivileged boys.

Dues were raised on October 23 from $22.50 to $25.00 per quarter.

On December 4, 1956 a Special Drive was made for the Rotary International Foundation and 25 members responded at the meeting with contributions.

The Youth Committee, chaired by Gus Rosenheim, announced that over 300 young people attended the Y-Rotary Teen-Age Dinner Dance on New Years Eve sponsored by the Club. Rotarians and their wives were hosts and hostesses for the affair.

Gus Rosenheim also chaired the Polio Drive (March of Dimes) for 1957.

At the June 13 meeting Tom Charrey, Chairman of the Special Project Committee, announced a special project to build an infirmary on the YMCA grounds on Payette Lake. Rotarian Cecil Jordan checked the plans and offered suggestions to assure efficiency. Many Rotarians offered volunteer help and others agreed to furnish a day’s pay. The maximum cost was set at $3000.00 and the funds were available. R. E. Gustavel, Youth Service Chairman, filled the Club in on many details and spoke highly of the work done by E. R. Hooper and George Hjort.


The dedication of the Rotary Health Lodge, the new infirmary on the YMCA grounds on Payette Lake, took place on August 11, 1957.

The Club again participated in the Scramble Calf Raising Activity. The format changed slightly with two-thirds of the proceeds going to the boys and one-third going into a revolving fund to purchase calves the next year.

The children from The Children’s Home were taken on a shopping tour for Christmas.

At the May 6, 1958 meeting Nancy Huntley, pianist, and Karen Roberts, vocalist, were given scholarships to the Summer Music Camp at the University of Idaho.


Special Projects for the year included sponsoring boys to Boy’s State, taking orphans to the Puppet Theater and giving music scholarships for the University of Idaho Summer Music Camp.

On January 13 President Gustavel announced that 244 young people attended the successful Y-Rotary New Years Dinner Dance and that 100 pounds of fried chicken was served.

C. C. Anderson, the last remaining charter member of the Boise Rotary Club passed away on January 20, 1959.

Rotarian Dr. Jerry Burton on April 28, 1959 gave a report on crippled children. The Boise Rotary Club has been very active in supporting crippled children activities since the Club was chartered. Also at the meeting Vic Clemones, Chairman of Community Service Committee, announced that the Club had contributed to the new permanent shelter at Bogus Basin.

At the June 2, 1959 meeting President Gus Gustavel commended Rotarian Ken Hartzler for the excellent handling of Music Week.

A. C. Jones, Chairman of The Special Project Committee, announced that the Club gave $350.00 to build a Rotary Fireplace in the new Ann Morrison Memorial Park.


On July 14, 1959 the Club contributed $209.50 for Musical Scholarships.

At the July 21 meeting President Campbell announced with considerable pride the President of Rotary International Harold T. Thomas would be at the Boise Rotary Club meeting on August 13, 1959.

Program Chairman, Gus Rosenheim, presented a program on the pros and cons of a new Coliseum in Boise.

The Ladies of Rotary staged another one of those wonderful Rotary Picnics on July 28. There was plenty of good food and Bingo led by Bill Brownfield at the cage.

The Boise Rotary Club was the first Rotary Club in the United States to have the President of Rotary International, Harold T. Thomas from New Zealand as a visitor and speaker. He spoke to the Club on August 13, 1959.

At the September 15 meeting it was announced that quarterly dues would be raised from $25.00 to $27.50.

Rotarians contributed an even $200.00 to the Children’s Home at the September 29 meeting.

The Club with 175 members had an attendance of 74.48% for October. It placed the Club 39th out of the 46 Clubs in the district.


The Club contributed $500.00 of improvements to the Children’s Home playground.

A new Rotary flag was flown outside the Owyhee Hotel each Thursday.

New attendance records were set for both the annual picnic and Ladies Night. Average attendance for the year was 74%

The Club continued to support the Rotary Foundation Fellowship for students.

At the June 29, 1960 meeting the Mayor of Boise, Eugene Shellworth spoke.


On July 6 Roger McGinnis of the Boise Chamber of Commerce spoke to the Club. His topic “Boise a Second Class City” disturbed many Rotarians.

Bill Campbell, designated the outstanding young man in Boise in 1957, joined the Club on July 18, 1961.

President Gottenberg on July 25 urged all Rotarians to learn “The Four Way Test”.

At the September 28 meeting Bob Morris of Mountain State Telephone spoke on the use of satellites by private industry.

On October 5 the members viewed the World Series on TVs provided by the Owyhee Hotel.

Ernie Day spoke on October 19 about the proposed Wilderness Bill currently under consideration by Congress. Art Roberts of the Southern Idaho Timber Protective Association spoke the following week on the negative aspects of the bill.

At the December 5, 1961 meeting the Classification Committee outlined the many open classifications as a method of gaining new members.

The Club celebrated International Student Day on February 22 with foreign students from BJC and local high schools as our guests for lunch.

Music Week was observed on April 12 with students from Boise’s two high schools providing the entertainment.

The Special Project Committee and the Board of Directors recommended to the members on May 1, 1962 that the Club assist the YMCA with a new dining hall at Camp Ponderosa. The Club will match member’s contribution up to $1000.00.


On August 9 the family picnic was held at Julia Davis Park.

Rotarian Len B. Jordan was appointed to the U. S. Senate.

On August 16, Colonel Bragg, a member of the board, presided over the meeting. It became his assignment (unfortunate duty he called it) to remind the members of the attendance rules of Rotary International and the Boise Rotary Club. He said the Board of Directors has no alternative but to cancel the membership of any member who misses four consecutive meeting without a legitimate excuse. Also if one’s attendance falls below 60%, he is subject to dismissal.

On October 11 The Right Reverend Norman L. Foote, Bishop of Episcopal Church of Idaho, spoke on the “Ecumenical Movement”.

Rotarian Cal Wright, Director of IRS for Idaho, spoke on February 7, 1963, about the new Travel and Entertainment guidelines.

Ladies Night was celebrated on February 28 in the Crystal Ballroom.

As of April 23, 1963 seven Boise Rotarians have qualified as “Paul Harris Fellows”.

President Johnson on May 7, 1963 announced that the Club’s attendance was dismal as usual. The Club was ranked in the Below Average Category.


John H. Smythe, Attorney General of Sierra Leon, Africa spoke to the Club on August 21. His topic was “Transition from Colonialism to Independence”.

Kristin Timothy, daughter of Rotarian Bob Timothy, participated in “Operation Crossroad Africa” in Nyassland. She spoke to the Club on September 2 about her experience in Africa.

On October 8 the Club viewed the World Series on TV sets provided by the Owyhee Hotel. Former major leaguer, Larry Jackson, provided the commentary.

On October 31 Rich Jordan presented President Boyd Brown with the trophy for the Rotary Club wining the “Y-Lympics”, which is athletic competition among all service clubs in Boise sponsored by the YMCA . The program for the day was Tom Roach, a member since 1925 and President of Idaho Power, who spoke on “Bonneville Power”.

The Club was saddened by the death of Bishop Frank Rhea of the Episcopal Church. He was an active member of Boise Rotary from 1930-1957 and President 1936-1937.

On November 12 Dr. Gus Rosenheim, Chairman of Rotary Foundation Week announced that $1.00 would be added to each Rotarian Quarterly Bill as a contribution to The Rotary International Foundation.

Colonel Bragg reminded Rotarians to fly the American Flag on Christmas and New Years Day.

On December 19 the Boise High School Choir presented a Christmas musical program.

Vern Emery on February 6, 1964 read the Horoscope of the 15 Rotarians at the birthday table.

Rotarian Bryce Bennett, Head of Idaho Transportation Department, spoke on February 20 about “Boise and the Interstate”.

On March 3 the Owyhee Hotel announced a 10 cents increase in the cost of lunch. The Board increased the quarterly dues by $1.30.

The Rotary International Foundation received $39,295.83 from a trust set up by Paul P. Harris.

Robert Hansberger, President of Boise Cascade Corporation, spoke to the Club on June 18, 1964.

C. H. BRAGG, PRESIDENT 1964-1965

Alan Sheppard, Idaho Attorney General, spoke on July 30. His subject was “Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Apportionment”.

The annual picnic was held on August 6 in Julia Davis Park with the Boise Elks Band entertaining.

On August 11, 1964 the Boise Rotary Club contributed $3543.16 to Rotary International Foundation.

Florence Jones, a 13-year-old victim of rheumatoid arthritis went to Camp Easter Seal with assistance of the Boise Rotary Club.

On September 8, Rotarians Bob Hendren and Glenn Lundgren were elected to the Boise School District Board of Trustees.

Ralph Harding, Congressman from the 2nd District, spoke to the Club on October 29, 1964.

The Club sponsored James Thomas to the 1964 Gem State Boy’s State.

The Boise Rotary Bowling Team Captain, John Eklund, contends on December 10 that we should no longer be called “The Old Man’s Club” since we won the Bowling Tournament Trophy—by forfeiture, no less.

Don Day, prominent Boise Businessman and future Rotarian, presented a live wire discussion on the need for a four-year college in Boise at the December 17 meeting.

President Colonel Bragg on January 28 reported that the Club attendance hit rock bottom in December. Of the 48 Clubs in District 542 we were number forty-eight.

On March 2, 1965 the Club was honored as a 200% Club for its contributions to the Rotary International Foundation.

Don Bailey, Chairman of the Special Projects Committee, indicated that the Club would match individual member’s contributions up to $2000.00 for a much-needed utility building at the Boy Scout Camp in McCall. Members at the April l1 meeting pledged $880.00 and the remaining funds were pledged by the end of the month.


The process to foster another Rotary Club in Boise was started but was not acceptable to the majority of members. Until the early 1980s membership in the Boise Rotary Club was the who’s who of Boise. Membership criteria were: the active member should be an adult male person of good character and good business or professional reputation. He should be engaged as proprietor, partner, corporate officer or manager of a recognized business or profession.

Carol Ann Mortimer was the winner of the Rotary Scholarship to the University of Idaho Summer Music Camp.

President Frye announced on December 14 that the special fund he had been collecting from fines would be distributed as follows: Community Christian Center $100.00, The Glen Haven Home $100.00, The Day Care Center for Retarded Children $150.00, The Children’s Home $100.00 and Booth Memorial Hospital $82.33.

Ladies Night was celebrated February 10, 1966 with Rotarian Dick Vandenburg’s Orchestra providing the music.

During Boy Scout Week the Club gave the Boy Scouts a check for use at their camp in McCall.


On December 1, 1966 members volunteered to man the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles.

Don Bailey mentioned the discourtesy shown by members to speakers by encroaching upon their time and then taking an early exodus from the meeting..

Dr. Gerald Larson and Rod Johnson reported on March 16, 1967 on the proposed project of the construction of a dock at Camp Alice Pettinger with an estimated cost of $4400.00. The Boy Scouts already have $1000.00 and the Club donated the remaining funds.

At the April 20, 1967 meeting President Bob announced the following contributions for summer activities: Boy’s State $40.00, Camp Easter Seal $40.00, Girl Scouts $45.00 and YMCA $45.00.

The 50th Anniversary of the Boise Rotary Club was celebrated with a dinner on June 15, 1967 in the Crystal Ballroom of the Boise Hotel. Eugene C. Dorsey, Publisher of the Statesman, acted as Master of Ceremonies.

On June 22. 1967 a check was given to the Girl Scouts as the Club’s first installment on our pledge for waterfront improvements at their summer camp.

Researchers Note: The material covered is intended to give a broad perspective of a variety of projects, familiar names in the community and activities in which members were engaged over the years. Material contained in this history was obtained from club minutes, bulletins and documents which are located in the archives at Boise State Library. In addition living Past Presidents contributed information on their term of office

Club Presidents second 50 years - 1967 to 2016


On August 3, 1967 John Barnes, the new President of Boise State College, spoke to the Club.

Dick Vandenburg, Chairman of the Special Events Committee, conducted the December 14 meeting at Bogus Basin so that the membership could view the improvements that Rotary’s contribution has made.

Dues were raised to $34.00 per quarter on January 16, 1968 due to increase in postage, and the meal cost increased to $2.00.

The Rotary team again won the Y-Lympics on February 6, 1968. President Gus was fined $21.00 for not attending the event.

After 51 years, the Boise Rotary Club left the Owyhee Hotel to make room for the Ore-Ida Processing Center. The last meeting took place on May 16, 1968 and master host, Phil Murelaga, Owyhee Manager and member of the Club provided a memorable departure with hard hats, prime rib, banana leis, songs and the beginning of the demolition by President Gus. In the 51 years the Boise Club has grown from 50 members to over 200. In the words of Colonel Clarence Bragg: “We have survived two world wars, a police action and 2652 luncheons”.

On May 23, 1968 the Club moved its meeting place to the Downtowner where Rotarians Marion Stillwell and John Pengilly are Innkeepers. Idaho Governor Don Samuelson was the speaker for the first meeting.

President-elect Don Bailey inherited the ermine robe a year earlier than he planned and took over from Gus Rosenheim on July 1, 1968. Loryn Kopan, formally elected President in April and slated to begin his term in July was transferred by the Veteran’s Administration to Montana in July.


On July 9, 1968 quarterly dues were raised to $38.50.

At the August 20, 1968 meeting Gene Dorsey and Del Low presented the financial problems of the YMCA. The club voted to invest $2500.00 in 7% debentures. (The Club forgave the bonds when they matured.)

Russ Viehweg made an appeal, on September 24, for funds to send the children from the Children’s Homes on a Steam Train Excursion to Huntington, Oregon. The members assured the trip by giving the needed $450.00.

As of November 15 the Club needed $1098.00 in contributions to reach the 300% level of gifts to the Rotary International Foundation. The goal was met.

At the November 22, 1986 meeting the Club donated two rescue toboggans to the Bogus Basin Ski Patrol.

Past President Gus Rosenheim almost had his fellow Rotarians rolling in the aisles as he introduced the October birthday honorees.

On April 24, 1969 four students were awarded scholarships to the University of Idaho Summer Music Camp.


Bob Beatty, a future Assistant Secretary of Health and Welfare under President Nixon, and Cyril Radcliff developed the plan for a major Youth Service Project. The project was known as “RSVP” which stood for Rotary Student Vocational Program. Student teacher/counselors and a Rotarian would be teamed and would invite students to explore vocational possibilities.

Music scholarships for a student at the University of Idaho and Sun Valley Music Camp were increased.

On February 4, 1970 the Club gave the YMCA $1000.00 for their Special Education Swimming Program.

The Club gave the Boise Art Association on April 28, 1970 $1500.00 for their Summer Art Program.

The District Conference was held in Boise with DG George Fields presiding.

A program to send U. S. Servicemen in Vietnam “ditty bags” was organized.

The custom of having new members serving on the button board was started.

Membership increased by ten percent.


Youth Service Project “RSVP” was started and continued for approximately 10 years. It required a lot of personal time and coordination between the school’s counselors and Rotarians.

Meal cost was increased to $2.75 on January 26, 1971.

Outward Bound received $100.00 on March 22.

At the May 25 meeting the Club gave the Easter Seal Society $500.00 for audio equipment.


President Norm announced on January 10, 1972 that the following Rotarians had 100% attendance: George Fields, Harold Finch, Norm Lee, Jake Stephens, Tom Reynolds, Leon Scott, Sam Smith and Winfield Jones.

The Boise Rotary Club sponsored the first new Rotary Club in Boise. The Boise Southwest Club was granted a charter on January 20, 1972.

The program for the March 30, 1972 meeting was presented by New Club Members, headed by Bill Woolley, consisted of tantalizing potpourri of fun, entertainment, information and games of skill. The games of skill pitted the new members against older members and the losers contributed to the Rotary Foundation.

The following contributions were given to: World Partner Alliance $300.00, Day Care Center for Retarded Children $250.00, Friends of the Elderly $50.00, Salvation Army $100.00, Boise Green Belt $300.00, Summer Workshop for Teachers $300.00 and Boise Hot Line for Drug Abuse $100.00.

On June 8, 1972 John Roning and Bill Woolley chaired the huff and puff extravaganza at Crane Creek Country Club. John Sailors hit seven golf balls into the canyons and at the award ceremonies John Roning presented him a bag of cement so he could cement the canyons.


On July 3, 1972 Mary Lynette Myers, of Boise and a graduate of Boise State College, received a Rotary Foundation Scholarship to study at the University of Stockholm. She was the Boise Rotary Club’s first scholarship winner. Roger Martell was responsible for her arrangements.

The Ada County Association of Retarded Children was given $250.00 on July 24.

After President Farley finished fining everyone in attendance, Dick Forney introduced the speaker, Ken Griffiths a London attorney, who roving Dick met in the African bush.

U. S. Secretary of Interior Roger D. Morton spoke to the Club on September 7, 1972.

On November 30 Rotarian Morley Nelson presented his film “Eagles, Hawks and Birds”.

Governor Cecil D. Andrus spoke to the Club on May 31, 1973. The title of his speech was “How to Get Along with the Lt. Governor in 10 Words or Less”.


The Club purchased $1000.00 of Series D 6% Debenture due June 1, 1985 issued by Bogus Basin Recreational Association. (This was forgiven on maturity)

Donations for the Rotary year 1973-74 were: Handicapped Children $600.00, Scholarships $300.00, International Youth $400.00 and Good Samaritan Home $1000.00.


Loryn Kopan replaced John Sailors as President-elect when IBM transferred John to New York.

On September 19, 1974 Frank Chipperfield, a Rotarian from Melbourne, Australia and Secretary of the State Electric Commission spoke to the Club.

At the October 2 meeting President Loryn was in a fining mood and all the proceeds went to the United Way. Membership now stood at 244.

Eagle Scout Kim Larsen, Boise High Orator, won the Rotary Regional Competition and met with U. S. President Gerald Ford in February.

Senator Frank Church spoke to the Club on October 31 on the subject” Why I Favor Witches and Hobgoblins”.

At the December 16 meeting the following donations were made: Salvation Army $339.88, $1000.00 to the Good Samaritan Home and $500.00 to the Student Loan Fund at BSU.

On June 23, 1975 a film on the 1974 World Series was shown and hot dogs and beer were served for lunch.


President Jordan started the tradition of singing “Here We Have Idaho” as part of our opening ceremony.

The Club donated $1000.00 to the Good Samaritan Home.

President Rich was known as the fining President. His typical fine was $50.00.


Rather than have many small projects it was decided for the first time to develop a large project that would span several years. John Chapman was named chairman to explore and find a project. His recommendation was to build a playground in Ann Morrison Park that was handicapped accessible. He worked with John Cooper, Boise City Parks Director in developing the plan for the playground. The board approved the project in May 1977 with a budget of $25,000.00.

The Club donated $1250.00 to the YMCA for kitchen improvements.

The District 542 Conference was held May 12-15, 1977 at the Roadway Inn, Boise with DG Robert S. Gibb presiding.


John Chapman worked with John Cooper, Boise City Parks Director in developing the detailed plan for the Candy Cane Playground with ground breaking scheduled for the fall 1978. The total cost of the playground would be $50,000.00 with the Rotary Club providing $25,000.00

In March 1978 the Club donated $100.00 to Junior Achievement.


Ground breaking ceremonies took place in September 1978 with our President Bodmer, Barbara Allumbaugh, Vice President Boise Board of Park Commissioners and Mayor Dick Eardley turning the first shovels of dirt. The Candy Cane Playground was completed and opened in November 1979.

On December 15, 1978 Dr. Richard Buffington was named to Chair the Boise Rotary Club creation of the Robert S. Gibb Scholarship at BSU. Bob Gibb was our club President 1966-67 and District Governor 1976-77 who lived and breathed “The Four Way Test”. The Robert S. Gibb Memorial Bridge, connecting Julia Davis Park and BSU, was named in his honor.


Cy Radcliff, a Past President, chaired bringing “Crime Stoppers” to Boise. The club provided the first $1000.00 of reward money and subsequently continued to fund this project.

On November 20, 1979 30 members attended the ceremony dedicating the New Candy Cane Playground in Ann Morrison Park. Retiring Park Board member Alice Dieter and Major Dick Eardley accepted the $25,000.00 Rotary check from Special Project’s Chairman John Chapman. President Bill Forney and past presidents Bill Woolley, John Crim and Bernie Bodmer, in whose administrations the project was initiated and developed, made brief remarks. A student band from North Junior High provided music, students from Garfield School test ran the playground equipment and John Chapman on the slide and Bernie Bodmer on the teeter-totter performed for TV. A handsome bronze plaque at the site recognized the Rotary Club’s sponsorship.

The Club donated the following in 1979/1980: $500.00 Elks Rehabilitation Hospital, $720.00 Junior Achievement, $356.00 YMCA, $500.00 Boy Scouts and $1500.00 Health, Hunger and Humanities.


On August 14 the Club sponsored a ride for Boise Valley Sunset Home residents on the Tour Train.

President Dick initiated a program with Bill Hatch of KBOI presenting a daily summary of the news at each meeting.

October 13 was declared Cece Jordan Day. He celebrated 50 years of being a Rotarian and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow.

R. C. Pasley on December 12 led the Club’s Salvation Army Bell Ringers and raised $4411.84.

Cy Radcliff led the Group Study Exchange team to India in January. He wrote: “Traveling by car in this country is a harrowing experience. We are in the interior where the roads are narrow and poorly maintained. You try to hold the center of the road, contending with people, bullock carts, goats, trucks, buses, bicycles, water buffalo, pushcarts, you name it. You aim directly at the opposition and hold your ground, hoping the other guy will chicken out”

George Richardson was recognized for his leadership in the formation of the new Meridian Rotary Club on March 5, 1981.

On March 23, 1981 Cecil D. Andrus, the 42nd U. S. Secretary of Interior, spoke to the Club.

At the May 19 meeting $100.00 was given to Junior Achievement.


President Stan tried to improve the dress code with the wearing of ties and chided those attending in their gardening attire.

Attendance was improved by 30% due to excellent programs.

$1000.00 was donated to Crime Stoppers. This Community Service Project is a real winner. Citizens have become very active in combating crime and the project is having phenomenal success.


At the August 16 meeting Mike McMurray, Chairman of the International Youth Project Committee, introduced our two international students who will be in Boise for the school year.

On October 25, Past President Dick Bullington presented the Club with a $500.00 check for the Bob Gibb Memorial Fund. Dick and BSU President John Keiser propositioned Boise Rotarians that they would run so many laps around the stadium in return for contributions to the Bob Gibb Memorial Fund. Dick got sick and Rotarian John had to run alone.

Tom Stitzel led the Rotarians as Salvation Army Bell ringers and raised $7514.22.

On January 15 Dan Stern reported on the Rotary Young Artist Competition held at the BSU Special Events Center and the winner will perform with the Boise Philharmonic in February.

Rick White worked hard and took his assignment on the Attendance Committee seriously. A long list of Rotarians had preceded him in the impossible dream of improving attendance. President Dan said, ” Poor attendance helps the treasury.”


Under Tom Wright the Community Service Committee in 1983 funded the Child Care Outdoor Learning Center for children of BSU faculty and students on the BSU Campus, with a grant of $35,000.00.

The committee of Dr. Richard Forney, Lyman Wilbur, John Alsip Jr. and Cy Radcliff proposed and developed the Boise Rotary Foundation which was incorporated February 24, 1984. Originally it consisted of our club but has been expanded to include all six Ada County Rotary Clubs and is now named The Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. Today the endowment is over $600,000.00.

Donations made in 1984 were: $235.00 Handicapped Children and $500.00 Senior Citizen.


The Robert S. Gibb Fellowship was started, whereby individual Rotarians giving $1000.00 or more will be designated a Robert S. Gibb Fellow and be presented with a printed certificate. The month of June 1985 was designated the Boise Rotary Foundation Month.

Under Chairman Larry Kissler the Rotary Club assisted in raising $12,000.00 for the Restoration of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Crime Stoppers has recovered over $1,000,000.00 of stolen property since the project was started in 1980.

Joe is the jeweller that created the coveted Club President pin, complete with diamond, that no club president wears for fear of loosing the pin.


President and future District Governor Phil in 1985 created a committee of past presidents, Stan Burns, Clair Bush, Chuck Hummel and Joe Robinson to recommend a major project. From this grew the Willow Lane Soccer Project.

The Club contributed $5000.00 to The Birds of Prey Foundation so that Rotarian Morley Nelson could produce a film on the activities of birds of prey.

New songbooks and gold colored table bowls were introduced.

The Club contributed $250.00 to the Boise Hotline, $350.00 to the Holiday Parade Association and $250.00 to the Rotary Rose Bowl float.


On September 15 the Club gave $250.00 for the Rotary International Float in the Rose Parade in Pasadena on January 1, 1987. In addition $1000.00 was given to the Boise Hospice Program.

Bruce Cadwell won the Rotary International Golf Tournament held in Sun Valley September 19-23.

On November 13 $500.00 was given to Crime Stoppers.

The Rotary Bell Ringers raised $6500.00 for the Salvation Army.

On April 27, 1987 Pat O’Connor, Chairman of World Community Service Committee, advised that used dental equipment, through the efforts of Dr. Jarl Gibson, had been donated for use in Guatemala. The equipment was moved from Coeur d’ Alene to Boise, through a donation by Bill Woolley’s Tennyson Transfer, for refurbishing by Mountain States Dental. Toby Gandy arranged for the Air Force to fly the equipment to Guatemala.


Steve Brown is a third generation President of the Boise Rotary Club. His father, Boyd Brown, and grandfather, Harold Finch, were Presidents of the Club.

During Steve Brown’s term over $100,000.00 was raised and pledged for the Willow Lane Soccer Project. In addition Rotarian and Adjutant General of the Idaho National Guard, Darrell Manning committed the Guard Engineers to move the dirt to create the field. The field is used as Boise High’s home field.

Jarl Gibson chaired the club’s Polio Plus campaign and raised $70,000.00.


On August 18 the annual Rotary Picnic was held in Julia Davis Park with rides at the Fun Zone Amusement Site.

On September 21 President Pat announced that the Board of Directors approved a $200.00 donation to the Rotary Rose Parade Float Project and $1000.00 to the Salvation Army Booth Home.

President Pat fined Jack Rucker, Donn Miller, Leon Doane, John Crim and Jack Little $25.00 each as our speaker Rotarian Dale Blickenstaff mentioned the Moore Financial Group.

On May 13 $200.00 was donated for Students to attend Business Week sponsored by Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry.

U. S. Senator Steve Symms spoke to the Club on May 28, 1989.


President Newhouse led the dedication of the Willow Lane Soccer Complex on October 19, 1989.

The first women members of the Boise Rotary Club were Judge Deborah A. Bail and Tamara C. Brandstetter who joined the Club on October 12, 1989.

At the December 14, 1989 meeting Dennis Wheeler, President and CEO of Coeur d’ Alene Mining Corporation spoke to the Club.

On February 8, 1990 six Rotarians; Wayne Travis, Hal Hall, Tom Charrey, Jack Waddill, J. Pat O’Connor and Jim Massie were honored for their perfect attendance.

The March 8, 1990 program consisted of three speakers. Michael D. Crapo, President Pro Tempore Idaho State Senate, Rear Admiral David R. Oliver Jr., Nuclear Submarine Base Commander and Michael Swindell, West Point Cadet presented a very interesting and varied program.


In 1991 fund raising was started for the original YWCA’s Battered Women and Children Shelter. This project developed into the Community House with our club contributing over $50,000.00.

Kathleen Simko was a member of District 5400 GSE team to Sweden in 1991. Upon return, she joined the Rotary Club of Western Treasure Valley and joined the Boise Club in 2003.


The 75th Anniversary of the Boise Rotary Club was celebrated with a dinner at the Red Lion Riverside on May 21, 1992. Dr. Gus Rosenheim served as master of ceremonies. The Boise Rotary Club produced a professional movie on the 75 years of Rotary in Boise and it was premiered at the 75th Anniversary dinner.

Gary Mahn and his wife Kathy led the GSE Team to Bavaria in the fall of 1991.

On June 24, 1992 Rotarian “Bullet Bob” Kiesel spoke to the Ontario, Oregon Rotary Club. His subject was winning the Gold Medal with the 400 Meter Relay Team at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games.


Gil Gilbertson led the GSE team to England in 1993. Team member Vicky Cutshell joined the Boise Rotary Club upon their return.

The Boise Southwest Rotary and the Sunrise Club joined with the Boise Rotary Club in changing the Boise Rotary Foundation to the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. With this change all Rotary Clubs in Ada County would participate in the Foundation.

Money was raised in December to provide Christmas presents for sixteen needy young people nominated by the YMCA.

The Club raised $13,340.00 for the Salvation Army by manning the Bell Ringing Kettles.

$3000.00 was donated to the Community House in lieu of gifts for the ladies at the Rotary Ball.

The Club and the Southwest Boise Rotary conducted a Shoe Donation Event. This was part of the Frankie Laine’s Concert at the Morrison Center with over 4000 pairs of shoes being donated to the homeless.


In 1993 Ed Dahlberg and the Community Service Committee outlined the need for better immunization of preschool children and started working with Central District Health. The following year the committee led by Jim Donald with a technical assist from Baldy Pontefract provided the hardware and software to track immunization for Central District health at a cost of $5000.00. From this Rotary District 5400 developed immunization into a statewide project.

President Fields initiated regular monthly meetings of the presidents of all the Ada County clubs, to discuss joint activities and other topics of mutual interest and to share ideas for programs and projects.

A vocal minority of members expressed their concern that our invocation prayer was not “Ecumenical”. President Dick asked Gil Gilbertson and the Chaplain Committee to present their recommendation. In January the Club started using”Ecumenical Invocations Only”.

The District 5400 Conference was held May 1994 in Sun Valley with DG Philip Sansotta presiding.


Entertainment by various musical and theatrical groups was instigated once each month. President Gilbertson opened each meeting with a cartoon shown on the overhead projector.

Under President Gil the Club formally adopted the policy of “Ecumenical Invocations Only”.

Athletic equipment valued at $600.00 was sent to the Republic of Georgia for the Friends of Georgia project.

Kevin Learned received a Rotary Foundation grant to teach for the summer of 1994 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Kevin Learned worked with Gaberiel Acevado of the Guadalajara, Mexico Rotary Club on a joint project to assist a school for underprivileged children in Guadalajara. The Boise Rotary Club contributed $5000.00. In February 1995 Rotarians Ann Hester, Kevin Learned, Tom Wilford and Bill Woolley visited the school and attended the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Guadalajara Rotary Club. It was truly a gala affair with bottles of tequila on each table.


The club made a major contribution to the new Shakespeare Theater on the Boise River.

In February 1996 Rotarians Kevin Learned, Phil Sansota, Tom Stitzel and John Wagers attended the Festival of Brotherhood sponsored by the Rotary Club of Guadalajara in Mexico.

At the September 14, 1995 meeting David Frohnmayer, President of the University of Oregon spoke to the Club.

On November 2 George Wilhelm honored Rotarian Alan Lambuth as Senior Volunteer of the Month for his service to the Discovery Center of Idaho.

Governor Phil Batt spoke to the Club on February 1, 1996.

The first joint meeting of all Boise Rotary Clubs took place on February 7, 1996 at the Boise Center on the Grove.

The Club honored Lyman Wilbur by singing Happy Birthday for his 96th Birthday on May 9, 1996.

Rotarian Ron Gardner, news anchor on Channel 2, kept all awake at each meeting with his “News One Liners”.


In addition to the $50,000.00 gift to the Community House, the Club led by President Kissler completed landscaping the property.

At the September 27, 1996 meeting Dr. Charles P. Ruch, President of Boise State University and future Rotarian spoke to the Club.

On November 14, 1996 Tom Stitzel noted that November is Rotary International Foundation Month. He presented a Paul Harris Fellowship to Cecil Andrus paying tribute to the former Governor’s life long example of “Service Above Self”.

Steve Trott, U. S. Applete Court Judge, and President of the Boise Philharmonic Association spoke to the Club on December 19, 1996.

President Kissler was hospitalized due to a near fatal automobile accident and Vice President Jim Everett stepped in as acting President.


After a strategic planning session, with Jim Everett, Dan Stern and Kevin Learned, it was decided to create opportunity for more hands on projects. The club had a great history of financial support of projects but had few projects that required the member’s labor. This was the start of participating in “Rake Up Boise”, “Paint The Town” and Shaffer Butte Picnic area clean up.

Shane Hill proposed the Whitney School Reading Program in 1997 to assist students to better understand the importance and enjoyment of reading. Jerry Schroeder and Tom Stitzel contributed to the program.


Junior Achievement was given a contribution in 1999 and Tom Hays, Baldy Pontefract and Pierce Murphy were teacher-advisors to the Jr. Achievement companies.

The Boise Rotary Club hosted a breakfast on September 22, 1998 for Alberto Cardenas, Governor of the State of Jalisco, Mexico and five members of the Guadalajara Rotary Club. At the breakfast the sister club agreement with the Guadalajara Rotary Club was signed.


The Club’s by-laws were modified to reorganize the Service Committees into Service to Communities and Service to Individuals and the creation of the Financial Support Group.

A joint project with the Rotary Club of Guadalajara, Mexico to purchase hearing aids for children at a school for the deaf and blind in Guadalajara was completed with a matching grant. This was the first time our club used a matching grant. The cost of the project was $30,000.00 with the Boise and Guadalajara clubs contributing $5000.00 each, District 5400 $5000.00 and Rotary International $15,000.00. Don Lojek, Cindy Olson and Mark Smith attended the formal dedication in Guadalajara.

The District 5400 Conference was held in Sun Valley with DG Richard C. Fields presiding.


The Club returned to the Crystal Ballroom as its permanent meeting place.

President Gary missed his first meeting as President and Vice President Pam covered for him.

The annual picnic was held at “Boondocks” on August 24, 2000.

On November 2, 2000 President Gary introduced himself to the Club and thanked Pam Ahrens and Scott Richardson for filling in so well.

The Club participated in “Rake Up Boise” on November 18, 2000.

The Boise Rotary Club donated $2500.00 to help put on the Cancer Kids Christmas Performance and Party on December 23, 2000.

At the February 8 meeting Mike Rettig introduced Natasha, the leader of our Russian Visitors.

The group was sponsored by the State Department, the Boise Rotary Club and Sunrise Rotary were hosts while the group of 13 educators were in Boise. The purpose of the visit was to gain insight for their private school operations.


Pam Ahrens was the first woman President of the Boise Rotary Club.

The history committee under Chuck Hummel started presenting “vignettes” of Boise Rotarians in 2002.

The District 5400 Conference was held in Sun Valley with DG Larry Kissler presiding.


Polio Plus was the major campaign of Rotary International for 2002-2003. Kara Craig, Steve Leonard and Kiel Van Inwegen lead our club’s fund raising for this worthy project. Kara Craig was chairman of the All Rotary Dinner and Silent Auction to raise funds for Polio Plus.

Bob Maynard was chairman of the Project to Upgrade the MK Nature Center.

In June of 2003 the club contributed $500.00 to the Small Village Foundation for their project in Ghana.


Under Chairman Tom Hays the Veterans Memorial Walk Archway in Veteran’s Park was started with completion scheduled for the fall of 2004. The budget for the project was $100,000.00. The Southwest, Metro and Sunrise Rotary Clubs contributed along with VFW and Idaho Veterans selling Commemorative Bricks. The Boise Club contributed $10,000.00.

In March 2004 the Club participated in its first project in Ecuador. With a matching grant and a $5000.00 contribution from our club a van was purchased for the El Parvulario School for handicapped children in Quito, Ecuador.

The Boise Rotary Club received the RI Presidential Citation Award.

Kevin Learned led the GSE team to Nigeria in 2004. Team member Denise Dunlap-Taylor joined the Boise Rotary Club shortly after returning from Nigeria.


The Veterans Memorial Walk Archway in Veteran’s Park was completed and dedicated in the fall of 2004. Mayor Carolyn Tertling-Payne, VFW, Parks and Recreation and local National Guard dignitaries were in attendance.

The All Valley Rotary Centennial Luncheon was held February 23, 2005 under the chairmanship of David Bennion. More than 200 Rotarians, guests and dignitaries gathered at the Boise Center on the Grove to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Rotary International.

$5000.00 was raised for Tsunami Relief and $1200.00 of computer equipment was given to Whitney School.

Don Lojek led the Rotary Group Study Exchange to Argentina in April 2005. Team members Alecia Hoobing and Beth Markley joined the Boise Rotary Club after returning from Argentina.

In May 2005 the club contributed $4800.00 to the Small Village Foundation for their water purification and preschool for orphans projects near Durban, South Africa.


The Scholarship Committee, chaired by Mary Monroe, developed the 1st Annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars program. The dinner honored 100 graduating seniors in the City of Boise and a number of top performing educators. Each honored student exceeded the minimum program grade point average requirement of 3.75 and represents the best in music, the arts, service to the community, athletics and academics.

In April 2006 the club contributed $2000.00 to the Small Village Foundation for their project in a preschool for orphans located near Durban, South Africa.

The Boisetarian was converted to email.

The membership process was streamlined with 60 days deleted from the time required to approve a new member.

The Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee was established. Working with the Boise Police Department, the Boise and Meridian School Districts programs were developed to deter cyber, classroom and playground bullying.


President Bennion was concerned by the poor attendance of the club and felt better programs would improve attendance. He asked Past President Pam Aherns to chair the program committee and improve the quality of the programs. The Committee produced the finest programs the club has enjoyed in many years.

The Century Scholars Committee chaired by Mary Monroe put on the 2nd Annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program honoring 100 Graduating Seniors on May 2, 2007.

The El Parvulario School project in Quito, Ecuador was completed with $16,000.00 used to purchase sewing machines. This project started in March 2005 with approval of the matching grant. The Boise Club contributed $3500.00. Jo Beecham and eight girl scouts from Southern Idaho worked with the school along with several other projects in Ecuador supported by other District 5400 clubs.


The Greater Boise Rotary Foundation received The Outstanding Community Foundation Award on November 15, 2007 given by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

D. K. Lee, Incoming President of Rotary International from South Korea, spoke at the Rotary $100.00 Dinner at the Owyhee Hotel on November 8, 2007. Proceeds ($25,000.00) from the dinner went to Polio Plus.

The Ada County Board of County Commissioners awarded the Making History Award to Rotarian Charles F. Hummel.

In October 2007 Jack Lavin, Kevin Learned and Don Lojek journeyed to Ecuador to review the club’s projects. The 50 Rotary Clubs in Ecuador held a Fair outlining their various projects that need assistance.

Richard Fields was appointed chairman of the Zone Institute covering Rotary Zones 25 and 26. The Institute will bring over 350 Rotarians to Boise in the fall of 2008.

The Century Scholars Committee chaired by Mary Monroe put on the 3rd Annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program honoring 100 graduating high school seniors on May 5.

President Murphy closed each meeting with “The Four-Way Test”.

District Governor Gene Day recognized Kevin Learned and Don Lojek as “Rotary Ambassadors For Exemplary Service Above Self” on February 14, 2008.

The Ada County Joint Rotary Club Luncheon was held March 13, 2008 at the Grove Hotel, Boise. Carolyn Terteling-Payne was honored as a Bob Gibb Fellow and Dr. John Kriz, DDS, received the Paul Harris Fellow award.

The History Committee under Marcia Wing presented “History Minutes” on selected historical events of the Boise Club. At the April 24, 2008 meeting Bill Woolley and Kevin Learned presented an overview of the past 40 years of service by the Boise Rotary Club. Twenty- three Past Presidents were honored.


The Zone Institute covering Rotary Zones 25 and 26 was held in Boise October 1-4, 2008. On Friday October 3, 2008 the Rotary Zone luncheon was held at BSU in the Jordan Ballroom with over 500 Rotarian in attendance and John Kenny, RI President-Elect, the speaker.

Tom Stitzel once again led the Club’s Salvation Army Bell Ringers on December 5. The Boise Rotary Club has participated in this program for over 50 years.

The Club again teamed with Trout Unlimited in the annual Boise River Stabilization Work Day on December 6.

The Boise Rotary Club lost two members with over 50 years of service. George Wilhelm passed away February 2, 2009 and Ernest Green on March 16, 2009. The Club honored each with recognition of their passing.

On February 5, 2009 President Ken Howell gave an “Annual Programs Fund 101” presentation. He explained the importance of “Every Rotarian, Every Year”. He further explained how funds are used and disbursed at the local, District and International levels to help continue Rotary goals. In order to fund these goals it is important that every Rotarian meets the minimum $100.00 donation each year.

President Ken reported on “Polio Plus” and Marilyn Schuler, a polio survivor, discussed the need to eradicate polio. The Club raised over $5000.00 for Polio Plus at the March 5, 2010 meeting.

Mason Fuller, his wife Angie, Tami Brandstetter and Terry Gustavel traveled to Ecuador April 25 through May 3, 2009. They established channels to bring used medical equipment to Ecuador by working with Quito Colonial and Bahia de Caracas Rotary Clubs. This exploratory trip was made possible by a grant from Rotary International, which covered the cost of airplane tickets and expenses in Ecuador.

The World Service Committee, chaired by Diana Booth and Phil Sansotta, on April 16, 2009 announced the “Deliverer of Dreams” a Caravan of Buses from Boise to Mexico to deliver school supplies and the buses to needy schools in Mexico. The committee worked with the local Mexican Consul, two Rotary Clubs in Mexico and Rotarian Stan Olson, Superintendent of Boise School District.

Thanks to Stan Olson, the First Student School Bus Corporation and the Boise School District the Caravan will have two buses, surplus school supplies, equipment and furniture for delivery to the needy schools in Mexico. Don Lojeck will captain the Caravan to Mexico. Don, Dave Silva and Todd Fischer will drive the buses to Tucson where they will be stored pending custom clearance. After receiving clearance the buses will be driven to Cuidad Obegron and Novejoa, Mexico.

The Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program Committee headed by Bea Black produced the Fourth Annual Scholarship Dinner and Awards Program on April 29, 2009 at the Jordan Ballroom at BSU. At the dinner over 100 scholars and teachers from Boise High Schools were honored for their scholastic achievements.

The Senior Services Committee under Robert VandeMerwe delivered for the fifth year roses to Mothers in area nursing homes on Mother’s Day.

The Education Committee under Wendy Shoemaker provided dictionaries to third graders in five Boise grammar schools. This is the third year the club has given dictionaries to third graders. The first year they were provided to Whitney and the second year to Whitney and Jefferson Schools.

Dick Smith and David Bishop led the the Boise Rotary Club on June 13, 2009, once again, to participated in” Paint the Town”, where members painted senor citizen homes.

On June 11, 2009 John McGuire was honored for his sixteen years of perfect attendance.

The Club ended the year with a gain of one in membership.


The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) was held August 5-10 at the College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls. This is the eleventh year that Nancy Lemas has directed RYLA. In an informal atmosphere, outstanding young people spend a week in a challenging program of leadership training, discussions, inspirational addresses and social activities designed to enhance personal development, leadership skills and good citizenship. RYLA was started in 1959 in Australia and Rotary International adopted RYLA as an official program in 1971. The Boise Rotary Club has participated in RYLA for over 25 years.

F. Willard Robinson (Robbie) celebrated 50 years in Rotary on September 3.

Don Lojek, Dave Silva, Todd Fischer and a professional driver from the First Student School Bus Corp. drove the buses for the “Deliverer of Dreams” to Tucson on September 5-8 where they were stored until custom clearance is received. Rotarians from Ciudad Obegon picked up Don Lojek, Todd Fischer and Cindy Olson in Tucson and drove them to see the facilities in Cuidad Obregon and Novojoa where the buses and school supplies will be used. The Mexican Rotarian honored the Boise Rotarians with a fiesta in their honor.

The Club under Bob Maynard on September 19 once again participated with Trout Unlimited in the Boise River Habitat Project.

Tom Hays led the Club in the reading program at our new partner school- Jefferson.

At the October 22 meeting Kristin Armstrong, the Gold Medal winner at the Bejing Summer Olympics, spoke to a record number of Rotarians.

On November 11 Dan Long from the Sunrise Rotary Club challenged the Club to raise money and food for the Hunger Bowl. The bowl benefits the Idaho Food Bank, the Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army. The Club raised $805.00.

On December 2 Jerry Schroeder and his wife Connie attended the Rotary International Concert at Lincoln Center, New York that benefited Polio Plus.

Tom Stitzel on December 11 led the Rotary Bell Ringer and raised $5079.11 for the Salvation Army.

Finally on March 11, 2010 permission for entry into Mexico of the buses and school supplies for the” Deliverer of Dreams” was obtained. Don Lojeck and Dave Silva flew to Tucson and drove the buses to Nogales where they met the Mexican Rotarians. Stan Olson flew to Tucson, rented a car and followed the buses to the border. Unfortunately clearance at the border was not simple. After many hours of discussion, reviewing manifests, stamping papers and reloading the buses clearance was granted and the buses were driven to Cuidad Obregon arriving at 1 AM on March 12, 2010. Later that morning the children greeted the Rotarians with signs and balloons to express their thanks. At the Obregon Jesus Corral Ruiz Library the official presentation of one of the buses was made. This was followed by the presentation of the other bus at Navojoa where a yellow ribbon was cut. Following the presentation the Mexican Rotarians had a celebration for the Boise Rotarians in a building that the Rotary Club of Navojoa had built for the community. The children in Sonora will appreciate the Boise Rotary Club’s effort for a long time to come.

On April 8 Robert Vandemerwe, Chairman of the Senior Service Committee, presented the Senior Volunteer Award to Father Donald J. Riffle. He also announced that on May 6 roses would be sold and the Club would deliver roses on Mother’s Day to area nursing homes.

The Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program Committee headed by Bea Black produced the Fifth Annual Scholarship Dinner and Awards Program on April 20, 2010 at the Jordan Ballroom at BSU. Over 500 attended the dinner where the young scholars and teachers who influenced them the most were honored. The seniors came from all the high schools in Boise. This year the Southwest and Sunrise Rotary Club assisted with financial support.

Don Lojak was honored as our” Rotarian of the Year ”on April 29 for his untiring efforts in leading the “Deliverers of Dreams” buses to Mexico. The Idaho Statesman on May 2 published a feature article on this effort and called it “The Trip From Hell”. A copy of the article is in the Rotary office.

The GSE Team from Brazil spoke to the Club on April 29.

The District 5400 Conference was held in Sun Valley May 21-22, 2010 with DG Kevin Learned presiding.

The Club participated once again in “Paint The Town” on June 12.

The All Club Family Rotary Picnic took place on June 16 in Julia Davis Park. At the picnic fund raising for the Rotary Grand Plaza to be built in Julia Davis Park was kicked off. All the Clubs in Boise committed to raise $150,000.00 and the Boise Club would contribute $53,000.00.

On June 28 The Boise Rotary Family Day took place at Crane Creek Country Club. Following the golf tournament, tennis, hiking and swimming the “Changing of the Guard” Dinner was held. The History Committee presented President Tami with a first edition copy of the History of the Boise Rotary Club.


RYLA, the leadership training program for young people, was held August 5-8, 2010 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. Nancy Lemas once again chaired the event. Many positive responses to this program have been received under her leadership.

On September 23, 2010 Larry Roberts of KBOI TV and radio, a member of our club, gave an entertaining program on Mass Media, its history and transformation.

Todd Sawyer, on October 14, 2010, gave a presentation on the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation, which was started by the Boise Downtown Rotary Club in 1984. The Foundation now includes seven other Ada County Rotary Clubs. The Foundation provides grants to local nonprofits and since 1984 over $400,000.00 has been distributed. The endowment of the Foundation is over $765,000.00.

At the October 14, 2010 meeting President Agler stated that our goal is to add one net new member this year. This goal is a bit more ambitious than it might seem as we have attrition of 20 members per year.

As co-chairman of Rotary District 5400 $1,000,000.00 Dinner October 30, 2010 in Twin Falls, Dick Fields led 18 members of the Boise Rotary Club in $10,000.00 bequests to the Rotary Foundation. The dinner was a success with over $1,000,000.00 in commitments.

At the November 4, 2010 meeting Paul J. Schneider, The Voice of the Broncos, reminisced on key sports related events that occurred over the last 40 years.

On November 7, 2010 Richard S. Vandenburg, a member of the Club since 1964 passed away. Dick was a major booster of all that is Boise and Idaho. He received the 2010 Rotary Governors’ Unsung Rotary Hero Award and was a Bob Gibb and Paul Harris Rotary Fellow.

Dave Baker led the Boise Rotary Club in “Rake Up Boise” on November 13, 2010. He also chaired our Club participation in “Paint The Town” project on June 11, 2011.

Under Chairman Wayne Schneider, the Student of the Month Committee continued to honor Students of the Month from the five public high schools and Bishop Kelly High School.

At the December 2 meeting Shelley Eichmann announced that the “Fun Group of Ladies” raised $300.00 for the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation.

Bob Rice led the Rotary Club’s Salvation Army Bell Ringers on December 10. The Club raised $3712.31 for the Salvation Army.

At the January 6, 2011 meeting the Club paused with lowered heads to mourn the passing of Bill Simons who had been a member of the Club since December 16, 1971.

John Barker presented a check for $1000.00 from CH2M Hill to the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. John submitted a grant request to CH2M Hill’s “Dollars for Doers” as a result of all the volunteer work he has done on “Rack Up Boise” and other Rotary community service projects.

The annual Rotary Ball was held February 11, 2011 at the Arid Club.

Once again the Boise Rotary Club presented dictionaries to third grade students at seven Boise Elementary Schools. The dictionaries are personalized and the children can take them home. Betty Munis chaired this project.

At the February 17 meeting Past President Ken Howell presented the Club’s status towards our goal for the Rotary International Foundation Annual Programs Fund. He urged all members to contribute even small amounts. The Club has only reached 58% of its goal.

On March 10, at the Dennis Technical Education Center, the Club held its first meeting

on the “Rotary Club Visioning” which is the process to determine what our Club will look like in ten years. At the April 28 meeting Incoming President Marilyn Bickle presented Visioning 2016 which is a vision and strategic plan for the Club. The goal is to have a strong and vital club where the members are active and engaged. The group generated 111 ideas.

On March 25 the All- Rotary “Ethics in Business ” luncheon was held with Katherine Harris receiving the Award. Marty Cullen and Larry Roberts of our Club were nominated for the award.

Mason Fuller was awarded the Small Business Administration’s “Young Business Person of the Year”. At the April 14 meeting Mason thanked the members of the Club who mentored him.

Boise State University President Bob Kustra spoke to the Club on April 14.

The Club hosted the five member GSE Team from India on April 18-22. Dave Bennion was chairman of the event.

On April 19 the 2011 Boise Rotary Century Scholars Dinner was held at BSU honoring the top 100 Graduating Seniors from the Boise High Schools and their teachers. Over 500 attended the event chaired by Bea Black.

Robert Vandemerwe chaired the Senior Service Committee which sold roses for Mother’s Day. The proceeds were used to present a rose to women in nursing homes/assisted living centers in Boise.

At the May 5 meeting to kick off the Polio Plus Fund Raiser a video was shown and George IIliff spoke about his personal experience with polio. Over $3500.00 was raised with contributions from the members at the meeting.

At the May 12 meeting Caleb Chung inventor of “Furby” was our speaker. Seedling trees were made available to commemorate Arbor Day.

The District Conference was held in Sun Valley May 13-15. The Boise Rotary Club won three awards: Integrity, Leadership and Club Service.

At the May 26 meeting to honor Memorial Day Dave Silva along with guest singer Judith Reppell led the Club in singing “God Bless America”.

On June 2 President Bill announced that the Boise Rotary Club was at 65% of its goal for donations to the Rotary Foundation Annual Programs Fund. With only the month of June left to meet our goal he announced that the Club would offer matching points for one time donations made in the month of June 2011. This means that for each dollar of a onetime donation the Club would provide matching credit towards a Paul Harris Fellowship up to $500.00. The Club reached 103% of its goal of $21,505.00 by June 30th, 2011.

The Changing of the Guard ceremony and dinner took place on June 27 at Crane Creek Country Club after the annual golf, tennis and swimming day. Mark Roby chaired this excellent event.


The Boise Rotary Club was honored to have as President a second generation Rotarian. Her father Stanley Burns was President 1981-1982.

The All Club Rotary Picnic was held July 12 in Julia Davis Park.

At the July 21 meeting Ken Howell announced that the Club raised $22,076.50 for the Rotary International Annual Programs Fund for 2010-2011, coming in at 103%. The goal for 2011-2012 was $16,000.00.

Tim Brady and Ken Howell at the July 28 meeting made a special Paul Harris Fellow presentation to Ryan Winterswyk who was a finalist in the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation walk-on award. In August 2010 the Springdale, AR. Rotary Club partnered with the Brandon Burlsworth Foundation in creating the first ever national football walk-on award. Ryan was a senior defensive end for Boise State, graduated in May and was enrolled as a graduate student.

RYLA, the leadership training program for young people, was held August 4-7, 2011 at the College of Southern Idaho. Nancy Lemas once again chaired the event. The Boise Club sponsored five students.

The District Governor, Kathleen Simko, a member of our Club, made her official visitation on August 18.

The Club, under Chairman John Barker, sponsored exchange student Valeria Ayala Joramillo from Ecuador this year. She attended Boise High.

Tom Hayes was chairman of the Reading Program at our partner school Jefferson Elementary School. The Club has participated in this reading program for over 10 years.

Mike Jun, the new Publisher of the Idaho Statesman spoke to the Club on September 22.

At the September 29 meeting, Diane Rampelberg of Canine Companions for Independence and Dustin’ Paw, spoke to the club. In addition, she brought two dogs that were the stars of presentation.

Kevin Learned led the Club membership in visiting all other Boise Rotary Clubs.

Our Club joined the six other Boise area Rotary Clubs in a “Sock Hop” at the Boise Center. The event chaired by, Leslee Hoover, netted more than $25,000.00 to benefit the Rotary Grand Plaza that will be build during the renovation of Julia Davis Park.

Joe Corlett was profiled in the October issue of” Business Insider”, an Idaho Statesman Weekly Magazine. Joe flies physically disabled persons to the wilderness areas of Idaho that are not accessible by road. The costs are paid by a non-profit organization that Joe started.

The Student of the Month Committee, under Wayne Schneider, continued to honor Students of the Month from the five public high schools and Bishop Kelly High School.

Commander Brian Sittlow of the USS Boise spoke to the Club on October 27. The Commander and five members of the crew were in Boise as guests of the USS Boise Committee.

Kevin Allen led the Club in “Rake Up Boise” on November 19 with 11 members participating.

The Boise Rotary Club, led by Tom Stitzel, once again rang bells in downtown on December 16 and raised $4493.15 for the Salvation Army.

Members of the Club placed an ad in the Idaho Statesman on January 8, 2012 highlighting the “Four Way Test”. It ran as the Idaho Legislature was opening its session. Jack Lavin chaired this project. A copy of the advertisement is in the Club History File in the Rotary Office.

Mayor David Bieter spoke to the Club on January 12. He indicated that Boise businesses are growing even with the tough economy and we need to support and fund public transportation, a central library and parks.

Jim Donald of the History Committee presented the History of the “Four Way Test” on January 12.

At the February 2 meeting Lt. Governor Brad Little was the speaker.

Under Chairman Mark Roby the Club celebrated the annual sweetheart dance with a Las Vegas style event at Hillcrest Country Club on February 10. The evening included cocktails, an excellent dinner, dancing and gaming; fun was had by all.

The Club on February 23 gave $2000.00 to Genesis World Mission for their medical clinic in Malindi, Kenya. This donation plus last year’s $4000.00 completed the project.

The third Annual “Ethics in Business” luncheon was held on March 15 in the Crystal Ballroom. BSU MBA students chose the recipient from the nominations submitted by the Boise area Rotary Clubs. The honor is for business leaders who serve their business and community, thinking more of others then themselves. Dave Silva of our Club was one of the nominees. Mike Shirley, President of Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area was the “Ethics in Business” Recipient for 2012. Larry Roberts was the keynote speaker.

Denis Stevens, the Canadian Counsel General, spoke to the Club on March 22. His office is in Seattle and he is a member of the Seattle Downtown Rotary Club.

The Club’s website has been redesigned and installed on March 22. Kristen Dudley and Shannon Morgan led this effort. In addition the Boisetarian in its new format is available from the website.

During April and May the Education Committee, under Betty Munis, presented 328 dictionaries to third graders in six Boise grammar schools.

Bea Black and her Century Scholars Committee had another very successful event on April 17. With over 500 people in attendance, the 103 top students from the Boise High Schools were honored along with their significant educators who made a difference in their life.

On April, 12 U. S. Congressman Raul Labrador spoke to the Club. He focused his presentation on the national debt and indicated three things needed to be done: simplify the tax code, regulatory reform and spending cuts.

David Bennion coordinated the visit of the Group Study Exchange Team from Argentina during the week of April 24.

The Senior Service Committee, under Robert VandeMerwe, sold roses to the members on May 10. The proceeds from the sale were used to give roses on Mother’s Day to Meals on Wheels and to women in area nursing homes.

Under the direction of Kevin Allen, members helped clean up the Greenbelt on April 28 and planted flowers in the outdoor pots at City Hall on May 12.

The District Conference was held in Sun Valley on May 18 and 19 with our member, Kathleen Simko, leading the conference as District Governor. The Club won the Humanity in Motion Award, the Membership Award, the Club Service Award and the Public Image Award.

At the May 31 meeting Dick Fields announced that the Club had raised only $12,200.00 towards our goal of $16,000.00 for the Rotary International Annual Programs Fund. In order to motivate the members Dick presented President Marilyn his check for $1000.00. She indicated that the Club had $1000.00 from the District and asked the membership for additional contributions. Members pledged $2100.00 which put the Club over our goal of $16,000.00 by $300.00.

Ken Howell at the June 7 meeting asked the Club to increase their contribution to the Rotary International Annual Programs Fund. The members pledged over $4000.00.

On June 7 the History Committee honored Gordon Brookover and Gil Gilbertson for 50 years of membership in the Boise Rotary Club.

The Changing of the Guard ceremony and dinner took place on June 25 at Crane Creek Country Club after the annual golf, tennis and swimming day. Mark Roby once again chaired this marvelous event.


President John McGuire has maintained perfect attendance since joining Rotary in May 1993.

Ken Howell was named Rotarian of the Year 2011-2012.

RYLA, the leadership training program for young people, was held August 2-5, 2012 at the College of Southern Idaho. Natalie Lemas chaired the event. The Boise Club sponsored seven students at RYLA.

Jade Nissl was our Outbound Exchange Student. She graduated from Boise High and spent the year living with her host families and attended school in Ecuador.

Amber Clontz was our Ambassadorial Scholar and spent the year in South Africa. The program promotes international understanding and friendly relations among people of different parts of the world.

Dr. Robert Kustra, President of Boise State University, spoke to the Club on October 4, 2012. He outlined the many things that have happened in the last ten years at BSU. Enrollment is up to 20,000 students, there are 2500 faculty members, 17 ongoing major construction projects, and several additional graduate and doctorate programs. Today BSU is a full-time residential campus.

The Julia Davis Gala was held October 12, 2012 at the Boise Center benefiting the Rotary Plaza at Julia Davis Park. Over $35,000.00 was raised.

The Student of the Month Committee, under Wayne Schneider, continued to honor Students of the Month from the five Boise public high schools and Bishop Kelly High School.

Donna Jacobs, Don Lojek, Beth Markley, Shannon Morgan and Kathleen Simko went to Guatemala October 24-28 to visit farms and review the workings of “Semilla Nueva”. This charity helps Guatemala’s poorest farming communities gain economic independence and rejuvenate their land through hands-on education and collaborative sustainable agriculture projects. Nine area Rotary Clubs contributed to Semilla Nueva’s Global Grant initiative. The Boise Club contributed $1000.00 and with matching grants $60,000.00 was raised. John Gulley, Emmett Rotary, contributed a pickup truck to the project and Don Lojek drove the truck to Guatemala in January 2013.

Barbara Morgan professor at BSU and former Astronaut spoke to the Club on November 1, 2012. She indicated that although NASA is no longer flying space shuttles, there is still a vibrant Space Program in the U.S.

Kevin Allen led the Club in “Rake Up Boise” on November 10. Twenty Rotarians participated and enjoyed fellowship while doing good for someone in need.

At the November Board Meeting the “Rule of 85”was adopted. If your age and years of service add to 85 or greater you may ask to be put on the” Rule of 85”. Those on the” Rule of 85”only pay Rotary Dues and the cost of the meal for the meetings that they attend.

Dr. Richard Forney passed away on November 13. He was President of the Club 1960-61 and District Governor for two years, 1979-80 and 1980-81. The first term the District included southern Idaho and Utah. Our District 5400 was split off from Utah under his leadership and he was the first DG of District 5400. Dick was an ultimate Rotarian, always giving.

Dr. Duane Nellis, President of the University of Idaho, spoke to the Club on November 29. He spoke of the many outstanding programs the University has which include the state of the art water resources research center, satellite law facilities, integrated design lab and animal research facilities.

At the December 6 meeting the Boise Police Department expressed their appreciation for our member’s contributions to the “Internet Crimes Against Children” program.

On December 14 the Club led by Tom Stitzel and Bill Woolley Rang Bells for the Salvation Army raising $5211.50. John Stennett announced that the Boise Rotary raised more money than any other Boise service club.

The annual Christmas party was held December 20. In addition to Rotarian’s children and grandchildren women and children from the City Light Shelter were guests.

At the January 3, 2013 meeting Ron Gambassi interviewed Phil Sansotta, Dick Fields, Bill Woolley and Charles Hummel, all Past Presidents, about their experiences in their lives, careers and Rotary.

The Club led by Betty Munis once again provided dictionaries to 363 third graders at eight schools. One of many thank you notes: “Thank you for those great and epic dictionarys! My favorite part of the dictionary was the longest word in the English language. I’m going to keep it until I’m dead.”

Cecil Andrus, former Governor of Idaho, was our speaker on January 31. He spoke of his concerns for nuclear waste storage in the state and the low funding for education.

At Hillcrest Country Club on February 8 the Boise Rotary Casino Night and Celebration was held.

Stephen S. Trott, U. S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, spoke to Club February 14 on Abraham Lincoln.

The fourth Annual “Ethics in Business” luncheon was held March 21 in the Crystal Ballroom. Sixteen individuals were nominated including Kara Craig, Rich Demarest, Jim Everett, Ken Howell and Nancy Lemas from the Boise Rotary Club. The honor is for individuals and businesses that live by the Rotary 4-Way Test in their personal and business life. Dan Long, retired owner of A-l Plumbing was the “Ethics in Business” Recipient for 2013.

On March 28 Charles Hummel of the History Committee presented an outstanding vignette on Ben Eastman, one of the Founding Fathers of the Boise Rotary Club.

Bea Black and Diane Booth and their Century Scholar Committee put on the eighth annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program at the Jordan Ballroom on the BSU Campus on April 16. Over 500 people attended. The program honored Boise’s top 100 Graduating Seniors and their significant educators who made a difference in their life.

On May 4 and 11 the Community Development Committee under Kevin Allen assisted in preparing the YMCA Camp at Horsetheif Reservoir for summer visitors. On May 11 the committee planted flowers and cleaned the flower beds at the Butterfly Exhibit at Zoo Boise.

The Senior Service Committee, under Robert VandeMerwe, sold roses to members on May 9. The proceeds from the sale were used to give roses to women in the area nursing homes on Mother’s Day and to women who receive “Meals on Wheels”.

At the District Conference May 17-18 in Sun Valley Ken Howell was nominated for District Governor 2015-16. The Boise Rotary Club received the following Awards at the District Conference: End Polio Now Recognition, Presidential Citation 2013, Club Service, Foundation Giving, Integrity Award and Humanity in Motion for the Overall Promotion of the Mission of Rotary. The Club received $1300.00 for the Integrity and Humanity in Motion Awards.

Members of the Boise Rotary club contributed to the culvert project which provided access to the Medical Clinic in Malindy, Kenya. With matching grants from the District and RI plus support from other clubs over $34,000.00 was raised.

The Zoo Fiesta Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Dinner was held June 17 at Zoo Boise.

On June 27 Jim Steele, spokesman for the History Committee, honored Richard Adams for 50 years membership in the Boise Rotary Club.

On June 28 under Kevin Allen members of the Club assisted the Boys and Girls Club in putting on their Olympic Games.

This year the Boise Rotary Club exceeded its goals for contributions to the RI Foundation, Polio Plus and the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation.


The annual All Club Picnic took place on Tuesday, July 30, at Julia Davis Park. The weather was beautiful and the picnic was well attended by members from the area clubs.

The leadership training program for young people, RYLA, was held August 1-4 at the College of Southern Idaho. Natalie Lemas-Hernandez chaired the event. The Boise Club sponsored six students to RYLA.

On August 8 President Erstad changed the traditional starting time of the meeting to 12:15 PM from 12:30 PM.

Jade Nissl, our Exchange Student to Ecuador, spoke to the Club on August 15. In addition to meeting lots of new friends she had the opportunity to travel the country including the Galapagos.

The Membership Committee, chaired by Mark Smith, has started the” Member of the Day”. This is a Rotarian who is available before the meeting to greet people who do not have a sponsor and wish to join Rotary.

At the September 12 meeting all Members who served in the Military were honored.

Paul Schmidt’s committee led the Club in Rake Up Boise on November 16.

Starting on October 3 the Club had the speaker sign a new book and donate the book to an elementary school in Boise. At the present time the books are given to the Ronald McDonald House. Inside the book is a sticker with the Four-Way Test and the speaker’s signature.

The Julia Davis Gala was held October 18 at the Riverside Hotel. $ 32,000.00 was raised. The project goal of $150,000.00 has been reached. Eight Boise area Rotary Clubs are working together to develop the Julia Davis Rotary Plaza.

Under Kelly Wood the Club served meals for the City Light Women and Children on October 19.

Past President Pierce Murphy, the new Seattle Police Department’s Oversight Director, was featured in a Seattle Times article.

Bill Woolley led the Club in the Salvation Army’s Bell Ringing on December 13. A good turn-out of Rotarians raised $6227.21.

The Club, under Betty Munis, delivered 425 dictionaries to third graders at eight schools this year.

The annual Christmas Party was held December 19. Again this year women and children from the City Light joined us for dinner and the children had the opportunity to visit with Santa and receive gifts.

Our Ambassadorial Scholar, Amber Kluntz, is going to South Africa to study Linguistics.

The Student of the Month Committee continued to recognize outstanding Students of the Month from the five Boise public high schools and Bishop Kelly High School. Eight students were recognized this year.

On January 30 District Governor Marianne Barker presented the Club with the “Every Rotarian Every Year” banner for the year 2012-2013. This is given when every member of a Rotary Club makes a contribution to the Rotary Foundation.

Scarves, from Ecuador, were sold on February 13 to benefit the El Parvalario, a special needs school in Quito, Ecuador. Kevin Allen matched each sale dollar for dollar. Enough money has been raised to purchase a new van, which cost almost $30,000.00, for the school.

The Club gave $2000.00 to the Microcredit bank project in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. In addition to making loans, training and capacity building are supported by the project. The Rotary Foundation provided $75,518.00. Five Districts, sixty-four Rotary Clubs and some individuals also contributed to the $182,712.00 project. This is the largest Global Grand Project in the country of Ecuador.

The Club donated $2000.00 for improvements and renovations to schools in Pintag, Ecuador. The project is sponsored by a Minnesota Rotary Club.

Our Club has two Major Donors to the Rotary Foundation. Dick Fields and Kevin Learned have given at least $10,000.00 to the Foundation.

Guillermo Ordorica, Consul of Mexico spoke to the Club on March 20. He described his responsibilities here and stressed how important his consulate is to the area.

Casino Night, with a western theme, was held April 4 at Hillcrest Country Club. The attendance could have been better but over $1200.00 was raised for RLYA.

The ninth annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program was put on by the Century Scholar Committee under Bea Black and Diane Booth. Over 500 people attended the event at the Jordan Ballroom on the BSU Campus on April 15. The program honored Boise’s top graduating seniors and their significant educators who made a difference in their lives.

Past President and Past District Governor, Richard “Dick” C. Fields died unexpectedly on April 23. In addition to Rotary he led many civic and legal organizations including the Boise Philharmonic, the Salvation Army, the Learning Lab and was honored by a number of Legal Organizations. Dick lived the motto of Rotary “Service Above Self”.

Bob Lokken, CEO of White Cloud Analytics, member of the Governor’s Task Force on Education and incoming chair of the Idaho Business for Education, spoke to the Club on April 24. The Task Force’s recommendations were for Structural change and Infrastructure to support that change.

The Club participated in three Spring Community Projects. On April 26 the Zoo Boise Butterfly exhibit was cleaned up, shrubs pruned and flowers planted. On May 3 and 4 the Club assisted in preparing the YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir for summer’s use. On June 27 Randy Spiwak led members in assisting the Boys & Girls Club in running their Summer Olympics.

Several times this year the Club under Paul Schmidt’s committee assisted in serving dinners at the River of Life Mission.

The Senior Service Committee, led by Robert VandeMerwe, sold roses to members on May 8. The proceeds were used to give roses to women in nursing homes on Mother’s Day and to women who receive “Meals on Wheels”.

At the May 8 meeting David Bennion donated a basket he had won in a raffle from Casino Night, which contained a week’s stay in McCall. The basket was auctioned and Nancy Lemas purchased the basket for $2500.00. The $2500.00 raised was given to the Rotary Foundation as a Memorial to Dick Fields.

The fifth Annual “Ethics in Business” luncheon was held May 29 at the Center on the Grove. Jessica Flynn from our Club was among the nominees for the award. Gary Multanen of Best Bath in Caldwell was the “Ethics in Business” Recipient for 2014. This award is given to the individual in business who lives by the “Four Way Test”.

The Changing of the Guards took place at Zoo Boise on June 23, 2014.


At the July 3 meeting President Bail announced that the starting time of the weekly Rotary meeting would return to the historic time of 12:30 P.M.

Under Paul Schmidt’s leadership the Club served dinner once a month at the River of Life.

Judge Alan Schwartzman, Idaho Senior Appellate Judge, spoke to the Club on July 10. He indicated that it was his 12th time to speak to the Club and his last.

On July 10 Shirley Fields was inducted as an honorary member of Boise Rotary.

Guillermo Guille, our exchange student from Argentina 2014-15, graduated from Boise High and was a member of the golf team.

At the July 10 meeting $318.00 was raised to purchase water for the homeless. Dirk Manley used his contacts at Fred Meyer to match our donation.

Long time member and past president, Gil Gilbertson passed away on July 17. At the July 31 meeting Kevin Learned and Tom Stitzel recognized him.

Natalie Lemas-Hernandez chaired RYLA, the leadership training program for young people. It was held August 7-10 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. There were 72 campers with 10 junior leaders, two RYLA mentors and six Rotarians in attendance.

On August 14 members contributed $500.00 and the Club matched it to purchase school clothing and school supplies for City of Lights children.

At the September 11 meeting the Club honored those who lost their lives and those that were directly affected by the terrorist attack on the New York Twin Towers. Also during the meeting school supplies were sorted and packed for delivery to four elementary schools with the greatest needs: Whittier, Whitney, Garfield and Taft.

Ken Howell and his wife, Beradine Marconi, were honored as major donors to the Rotary Foundation on September 25. Major donors have given at least $10,000.00 to the Foundation.

On Friday October 17 the Presidents of the eight area Rotary Clubs presented a check for $150,000.00 to the City of Boise for the Rotary Grand Plaza in Julia Davis Park. The Boise Club contributed $39,500.00.

Members of the Boise Rotary Club, led by Kara McKernan, on October 29 painted bowls for Idaho Foodbank’s Empty Bowls Fundraiser.

At the October 30 meeting President Bail announced the forming of our Club’s 501(c)(3) Foundation. The Foundation has two basic purposes: fund worthy local or international projects in a timely fashion; allow the Club to help worthy international project by making them eligible for a District Block grant under the new Rotary “Future Vision” Foundation giving plan. A raffle was held to establish the seed money for the Foundation. The winner of the raffle was announced on December 11. Kevin Allen was the winner of the raffle. He won $1000.00 in cash and gift cards worth $9000.00. He graciously donated the $1000.00 back to the Club and requested it be given to Semilla Nueva. The raffle netted $1262.80 for the Foundation.

Paul Schmidt led the Club in participating in Rake Up Boise. One grateful homeowner donated $25.00 to Polio Plus.

On November 20 Marcia Wing presented a History Moment on Founding Member of the Boise Rotary Club: Walter E. Pierce.

The Boise Rotary Club is the sponsoring Club for an international grant being submitted to RI for Semilla Nueva.

On December 4 Kevin Learned was honored with the Dick and Shirley Fields Award for 2014. The award recognizes members of the Boise Rotary who have consistently and generously supported the financial goals of Boise Rotary.

On December 18 our annual Christmas Party was held with 45 women and children from the City of Lights as guests.

Once again the Boise Rotary rang bells for the Salvation Army. $4030.26 was raised on December 19.

The Rotary Leadership Institute was held in Boise October 18, 2014, December 6, 2014 and January 10, 2015. Beth Markley and John Davis completed the course.

At the January 29 meeting Paul Schmidt was chosen as the Rotarian who goes above and beyond for the Club. He was given a special Paul Harris Award by District Governor Rick Phillips.

Members brought non-perishable food items to the February 26 meeting. The food was loaded in James Bedal’s pick up and delivered to the Salvation Army. In addition members donated $315.00 in cash.

Jim Steele presented a History Moment by interviewing Bob McQuade on February 26.

Betty Munis once again chaired the delivery of Dictionaries to seven Elementary Schools in Boise. 374 Dictionaries were presented to the students.

The Student of the Month Committee, under Cynthia Olsen, continued to honor the outstanding students from the five Boise public high schools and Bishop Kelly.

The Century Scholar Committee, led by Bea Black, put on the Tenth Annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program on April 14. Over 500 people attended the event in the Jordan Ballroom at BSU. Rory Jones, former School Board Member, was the keynote speaker. The program honored Boise’s top graduating seniors and the educator who made a significant influence on their academic development. One educator came from New Mexico and two from California to attend the event.

At the April 16 meeting Chuck Hummel, President 1969-70 and a member since 1958, was presented a framed photo, taken by Tim Bower, of the Federal Building in Boise. Members of the Club autographed the back of the photo. The building was his favorite to design.

Robert Franz brought smiles and laughter to the April 16 meeting as he spoke of his life as conductor of the Boise Philharmonic for the past seven years.

The Senior Service Committee, under Robert VandeMerwe, sold roses to members on May 7. The proceeds were used to give roses to women in nursing homes on Mother’s Day and to women who receive “Meals On Wheels”.

Steven Trott, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, gave an outstanding talk on May 7 on our Constitution as the basis of our laws. He pointed out the U. S. Founding Fathers went out of their way to establish a republic guided by the rule of law not the rule of men.

At the June 11 meeting Steve Scranton, Chief Economist and Chief Investment Officer of Washington Trust Bank, presented a very informative economic summary and forecast. It covered local, regional, US and world activity.

The Changing of the Guard took place at Zoo Boise on June 15, 2015.


With an eye towards the future needs of the Club, President James and his board started his term by discussing the possibility of moving the location of the meeting place to another site. After review with our members, negotiating with the staff at the Hoff Building to see if the facilities could be upgraded and talking to the caterer it was decided to remain at the Crystal Ballroom.

President Bedal added visual presentations thus enhancing the major topics of each meeting.

President and his board focused on membership retention during the year. 80% of new members resign within the first three years.

At the July 16 meeting The Greater Boise Rotary Foundation presented a check for $17,000.00 to the non-profit Boise WaterShed Exhibit, Inc.

Natalie Lemas Hernandez chaired RYLA, the leadership training program for young people. It was held August 6-9 at the College of Southern Idaho. There were 79 RYLAains, 10 Junior leaders, 2 senior leaders and 5 Rotarains in attendance. Our Club sponsored six RYLAains.

Members of the Club volunteered for the”DogFestWalk’N’Roll” which benefited Canine Companions for Independence on September 27.

The Rotary Leadership Institute is a program that is designed to help Rotarians gain a better understanding of what it means to be a Rotarian. An Institute was held in Boise this year.

On September 11 Rotarians brought school supplies to the meeting which were given to students who could not afford them and to teachers who buy supplies out of their own pockets.

A number of Rotarians from District 5400, including Kevin Learned and Todd Fischer, visited Ecuador in September. The purpose of the trip was to review projects that were with Rotarians in Ecuador including water projects in remote villages high in the Andes.

The Community Development Committee, chaired by Paul Schmidt, led the club in providing clothes for the children at the City Light Home for Women and Children and serving dinner at that organization once each month. The committee organized the Club to participate in Rake-Up Boise, clean up the YMCA Camp, collect canned meat and peanut butter- jelly for the Foodbank, plant flowers at Zoo Boise, collect snacks for the WCA and deliver water to the Rescue Mission.

On October 8 District Governor and member of our Club, Kenneth Howell, spoke to the Club. He discussed the Rotary goal of eliminating Polio and how close we are in reaching the goal. He left a challenge to the Club. – Membership is an issue in Rotary around the world.

On November 2 members of the Club painted bowls for the Empty Bowls fund raiser which provides free food assistance to those badly in need.

Cindy Olsen and Karl Kurtz, of the Student of the Month Committee, continued to recognize the Outstanding Students from the five Boise Public high schools and Bishop Kelly.

Todd Fischer had the opportunity to meet RI President, K. R. Ravindran, while visiting RI Headquarters in October.

The annual Christmas Party was held on December 17. Seventy-eight women and children from the City Light Home for Women and Children were guests.

Tom Stitzel and Bill Woolley led the Rotary Bell Ringers on December 18 raising $5565.00 for the Salvation Army.

On February 11, 2016 the Fund Raising Committee, led by Dirk Manley, put on the Firkin Frolic Beer Festival at the Basque Center. $2,000.00 was raised for World Service.

The annual Rotary Ball was held at Hillcrest Country Club on February 27. A festive evening was had by all in attendance.

Marcia Wing, on March 3, took the Club down nostalgia lane to meet one of the Boise Rotary’s Founding Fathers, Joel Lambert Priest.

The World Service Committee, chaired by Todd Fischer, is supporting the Masori community in Sierra Leone, West Africa. This project has Village Hope as our implementing partner. On March 8 a fund raiser was held at the Arid Club for the project. The Rotary Foundation on March 22 granted $221,428.00 for the “Commercializing cassava as a poverty-reduction strategy in Sierra Leone.” The grant application was submitted by the Rotary Clubs of Boise and Freetown, Sierra Leone. Jon Bart, who brought this need to our Club, traveled to Sierra Leone in April and May to assist in getting the project started.

The Masori community in Sierra Leone is eager to learn about computers. Todd Fischer was able to get the Boise School District, thanks to Don Coberly, to donate 10 used IBM lap tops. CradlePoint donated wireless routers for the connection to the internet. Todd took the equipment to Sierra Leone in May and taught the use of the computers.

Tom Wilford arranged for Dr. Mark Conversino, Professor at the Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base to speak to the Club on March 31. His topic was “Russia and the Final Collapse of the Post-Cold War Order in Europe”. This talk was the finest program the Club has had in many years.

On March 31 the Club gave $2,300.00 to the City Light Home for mental health services.

The Boise Rotary Membership Services Committee, under Mark Smith, created Fireside Gatherings. New members were invited to a member’s home to enjoy refreshments, get to know members better and learn more about Rotary .

The Century Scholar Committee, led by Bea Black, put on the Eleventh Annual Boise Rotary Century Scholars Program on April 12. Over 500 people attended the event at the Jordan Ballroom at BSU. The program honored Boise’s top graduating seniors and the educator who made significant influence on their academic development. As one teacher said “Century Scholars is the academy awards to teachers”.

Eleven worthy nominees were honored at the Annual Rotary Ethics in Business Luncheon on April 14. Three members of the Club were nominated; Meg Carlson, Marty Cullen and Shelley Smith Eichmann.

After the severe 7.8 earthquake in Ecuador Kevin Learned received a letter from Rotarians in Ecuador outlying the destruction and loss of life including one Rotarian from the Portoviejo Club. The Club raised $2405.00 on April 28 to help in the recovery.

The Senior Service Committee, under Robert VandeMerwe, sold roses to members on May 5. The proceeds were used to give roses to women in nursing homes on Mother’s Day and to women who received “Meals On Wheels”.

Steve Swanson, retired NASA Astronaut, spoke to the Club on May 19. His excellent talk on his trip to the International Space Station and his nearly 200 hours of spacefight experiences was most interesting and educational.

At the May 26 meeting District Governor Ken Howell presented the Club with a Silver Presidential Citation.

President James at the June 2 meeting thanked the Club for making all its financial goals. The following amounts were raised: GBRF $10,024, RI Annual Fund $17,754, Polio Plus $4742.

The Changing of The Guard took place at The Botanical Gardens on June 23.


On July 7, 2016 President McQuade opened the first meeting of the Rotary year for the 100 Years of the Rotary Club of Boise.

Paul Schmidt, Chairman of the Community Development Committee, led the Club in purchasing $1200.00 of shoes for the children staying at the City Light Home for Women and Children.

The Club continued to serve dinner at the River of Light the first Thursday of every month.

On August 4 The Greater Boise Rotary Foundation presented a check for $1000.00 to the Salvation Army.

Jon Bart thanked Todd Fischer for his efforts in getting money released from RI for our project in Sierra Leone.

Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham spoke to the Club on August 18 celebrating Navy Week in Boise.

On September 1 Past District Governor, Ken Howell, shared his Rotary Moment with the Club “Rotary is not about us as individuals but individuals working together to make a difference”.

Todd Fischer chaired RYLA, the leadership training program for young people, August 4-7 at the College of Southern Idaho.

Boise Chief of Police, Bill Bones, on September 1 spoke to the Club explaining how they tailor their services to the people they serve.

On September 8 Doctor J (Jacob Neufeld, MD) began a series of Medical Minutes. His first Minute was “Exercise at least 15 minutes a day.”

The Club continued the 9/11 project by bringing school supplies for deliver to teachers for their needy students.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Club and the Rotary Foundation. Kevin Learned and Don Reiman led the project to raise money for our three foundations.

Semilla Nueva owes a great deal of its present success to Rotary. It received its first Global Grant to empower farming communities in 2013. The Boise Rotary Club, other Rotary Clubs and Quetzaltenango have pooled their support to amass a grand total of $112,000.00. Thanks to these funds Semilla Nueva can reduce rates of malnutrition in Guatemala.

On October 22 our good friend and fellow Rotarian, Charles (Chuck) Hummel passed away.

Cindy Olsen and Karl Kurtz, of the Student of the Month Committee, continued to recognize the Outstanding Students from the five Boise Public schools and Bishop Kelly.

On October 27 Dr. Chuck Staben, President of the University of Idaho, spoke to the Club.

Kara Rousselle and David Arkoosh won first and second prize for the bowls they made for the Empty Bowls fund raiser for the Idaho Foodbank.

On November 12 the Club participated in “Rake Up Boise”.

Bob Rice sang Christmas Carols and told the history of the Carols at the December 8 meeting.

The annual Christmas Party was held at the Crystal Ballroom on December 15.

The Club rang Bells for the Salvation Army on December 16 raising $5500.00

The annual fund raiser “Firkin Frolic” was held February 9.

On April 15 the Club assisted in cleaning up the YMCA Camp at Horsethief Reservoir.

For the past 12 years The Rotary Club of Boise has honored the top 100 scholars and their favorite teacher from the Boise High Schools. The Century Scholars Program was held at the Jordan Ballroom on the BSU Campus. Bea Black again chaired this event.

On May 14 the Club led by Bob VandeMerwe presented Mother’s Day roses to those living in the Good Samaritan Village.

At the District Conference May 19 and 20 in Sun Valley the Club won The Public Image Award thanks to Dwight Pond’s efforts.

In a nod to changing times, the Board began work to create a “satellite club” to allow Gen-X and Millennials the flexibility of meeting Thursday evenings rather than taking time out of the of the middle of their work day. This group will focus on service projects; members of the lunch group are encouraged to mentor individuals in the satellite club.

On June 1 Jim Steele introduced Todd Fischer as a History Moment that was the program for the day. Todd is a dedicated individual who truly believes in “Service Above Self”. He is always willing to help no matter what.

On June 8 Bill Woolley was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award”.

The Ground Breaking of Rotary Plaza in Julia Davis Park took place on June 22.

The 100 Years of Boise Rotary was celebrated at a Gala Dinner at the Grove on June 24. John Hewko, General Secretary of Rotary International was the featured speaker.

The Changing of the Guard took place on June 29 at the Botanical Gardens.


The Club continued to serve dinner at the River of Light the first Thursday of every month.

Todd Fischer again chaired RYLA, the leadership training program for young people held August 3-6 at the College of Southern Idaho.

At the Changing of the Guard dinner on June 29 Phil Sansotta was presented with “ The Dick and Shirley Fields Award” and the “ Lifetime Achievement Award” for his 39 years of service to Rotary and the community. On August 10 Cheryl Godbout took over writing the Boisetarian from Nancy Chinn.

President Ron recognized Gordon Brookover as the oldest member at age 95. He joined the Club in 1960.

The Boise Sunrise Club invited the Boise Downtown Rotary to join in the Lobsterfest fund raising event. This netted the Club almost $13,000.00.

Phil Sansotta passed away on August 18 and many members attended the Memorial Service at Saint Mary’s Church on August 29.

On September 7 Jon Bart reported on our project in Sierra Leon. The Gari business has provided 154 jobs by virtue of our Global Grant. The plan is for the business to be sustainable after Jon and his team leave.

Kevin Learned updated the Club on September 15 on our water project in Ecuador to bring water to three villages on a dry hillside. The project in partnership with the Ecuador Rotary Club came in under budget.

Members participated in the Greenbelt Recovery Project on September 30. District Governor Terry Jones spoke to the Club on October 5 outlining his theme “Join Leaders Exchange Ideas and Take Action”.

The Club again provided dictionaries to four elementary schools. In many cases this was the first book the students owned.

On October 29 a Memorial Service was held for Jacob A. Neufeld MD at Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel. Dr. Neufeld had been involved with a major international project before coming to Boise. His vibrant personality added a great deal to the spirit of our Club.

Cindy Olsen and Karl Kurtz, of the Student of the Month Committee, continued to recognize the

Outstanding Students from the local high schools.

On November 11 twelve members of the Club participated in “Rake Up Boise”.

The Greater Boise Rotary Foundation was founded in 1984 and compliments what the local clubs are doing and allows them to have a greater impact. The GBRF has donated over $500,000.00 to 90 non profits.

President Ron reviewed our recent Rotary member survey: Overall members were satisfied with the direction the meetings were taking. Members favored our present call to order and they wished to continue as a singing club. Members still not in favor of fines.

The annual Christmas Party with guests from City Light Women and Children was held December 14.

Tom Stitzel and Bill Woolley led the Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army on December 15. Thanks to our members $9,083.00 was raised. This was 50% over last year.

At the January 11 meeting President Ron announced that Nancy Chinn will be stepping down as Executive Director of our Club but will be staying as a member. Board members Kevin Allen, Scott Learned and Paul Schmidt stepped in to cover her job until a new bookkeeper is hired.

The proposed by-law changes and vote was presented by Scott Learned at the January 11 meeting. The changes would make it possible for the Club to use “remainder” funds which were not needed to complete a specific project and to use them for other purposes if the initial project does not require the totality of the funds raised. This would bring us in line with Idaho State Law. The by-laws would also be updated to allow the board to set dues, invoice and billing schedules at their discretion. The proposed by-law changes were passed unanimously with no dissent.

At the January 25 meeting Todd Fischer presented a check for $4,000.00 to Steve Rodoletz from the Reuseum Education which will help them purchase a CO2 Laser cutter. Over 8,000 kids participated in their workshops.

On February 8 Jim Steele presented a history moment with Dwight Pond.

Fred Reed again chaired the Firkin Frolic fund raiser at the Basque Center on February 8. Over $4,000.00 was raised.

David Leroy’s talk on William H. Wallace’s first hand account of the birth of Idaho at the February 22 meeting was outstanding.

Co- Presidents of the College of Idaho, Jim Everett and Doug Brigham spoke at the March 29 meeting.

James Slover led the Club in cleaning up the Y camp at Horsethief Reservoir on April 7.

For the past 13 years The Rotary Club has honored the top 100 scholars and their favorite teacher from Boise high schools. Our President’s son, Jack, was one of the scholars honored. The event took place at the Jordan Ball Room on the BSU Campus with over 500 in attendance. Many thanks go to Bea Black who has chaired the event for the last ten years.

President Ron announced that the Club has hired a new bookkeeper, Mindi Ridgeway.

International Rotary President, Ian Riseley, issued a challenge to Every Rotary Club to plant a tree for every member. On April 14 Kevin Allen lead the Club in planting at Hidden Lakes Reserve.

Ken Howell announced that the Zone Institute will meet in Boise at The Center on The Grove the week after Labor Day. Over 700 Rotarians are expected to be there. The All Clubs Luncheon will be held the Friday of the week.

Boise State football Coach Brian Harsin spoke to the Club on May 17.

The Changing of the Guard took place on June 7 at the Crystal Ball Room.

Club Founding

History Minute

In 1917, twelve years after the first Rotary Club was founded, the 320th club was formed, here in Boise.

On March 30, 1917, the Idaho Statesman read:
    “Boise will be the first city in Idaho and the first city of less than 50,000 inhabitants to have a Rotary Club.”

The article goes on to read:  
    “A Rotary club is the most representative commercial organization and business club the world has ever known; it is a parliament of business where every business constituency has its representatives, and may be heard on a basis of absolute equality.”

Meetings were established for Thursday noons, a fact that has remained constant throughout the club’s history.  The first officers were installed at the second club meeting on April 5th.  They were:
    President, C. A. Barton
    Vice President, Herbert F. Lemp
    Secretary, R. R. Alexander
    Treasurer, Wilsie martin
    Sergeant at Arms, Fred Jones

The new club’s formal installation occurred April 28th, 1917.  The Saturday evening banquet was held at the Owyhee Hotel and was attended by more than 100 members of the Portland, Salt Lake, Spokane and Butte Rotary clubs.  District 14 Governor, Dr. T. C. Witherspoon, officially installed the officers of the new Boise Rotary club, while Portland Rotary Club President Charles E. Cochran presided.

In our imaginations, let’s take a short walk across the Heart of Boise to 1917 at the Owyhee Hotel.

The room we are in has wall mounted lights that softly illuminate the dark wood paneling.  If you pay close attention, you can still smell the lemon oil and beeswax that the maids used, just this morning, to polish the paneled walls and furniture.  We can also smell the pleasant trace of well wrapped cigars and fruity pipe tobaccos.  And if you listen carefully, you can hear the clatter of carriage wheels and the jangle of harnesses amidst the other street noises.

Oh, and did you hear that?  The news boy in front of the Idanha is calling out the headlines from the Idaho Statesman.  

With that bit of history, we’ll take an excerpt from the minutes of May, 1917:

    At this, the first official meeting, President Barton announced that absentees for five consecutive meetings will be arbitrarily dropped.

    Mr. W. L. Limbert spoke most interestingly and entertainingly of the bird life in Idaho.  He illustrated this with the calls of some thirty or more varieties of birds.

At our next Rotary minute.. we’ll tell you a little of the history of some of the first officers of our illustrious Rotary Club.

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009

C. A. Barton - First Club President

History Minute

For today’s Rotary history minute, I’m going to take you for a brief glimpse into the life and character of our first president, C. A. Barton.

C. A. Barton was the president and General Manager of both the Payette Lumber Company, which eventually became known as Boise-Cascade Corporation, and the International Railway Company.

C. A. Barton came to Boise in 1914 and his first act was to start a railroad up the Boise River to the Boise Basin to haul logs to the lumber mill.  In 1915 he built the sawmill in Emmett, and in 1921 the sawmill town of Cabarton was built on the Union Pacific line five miles south of Cascade.  This town was named in his honor.

Now I’m going to ask you to mentally put on your winter woolens.  Make sure that you’re wearing some heavy snow boots and your warmest gloves, because we’re going to take a little walk with C. A. Barton.

It’s March 28, 1917 and C. A Barton has been inspecting the logging camps above Cascade.

He has waited two months for the weather to clear sufficiently to make this inspection trip and on the way up found the snow on the level ground to be around four feet deep, although there is some heavy drifting.

This is the first time all winter that the railway was cleared for travel.  He arrived on a Tuesday only to experience a heavy snowstorm on Thursday which left 18 inches of fresh snow and below zero temperatures.

Knowing that he may have only chance to catch the train near Banks to head home, he and a lumberjack guide started out on skis.  After skiing 16 miles in the below zero blizzard, they found a station house where two Greek loggers had been snowed in for a week.

Mr. Barton and his guide experienced the greatest hospitality from the loggers who shared their meager food, insisted on sleeping on the cold floor to allow their visitors the bunks, and labored all night to keep a fire going in the tiny stove to heat the station house.

The following day, Mr. Barton and his guide skied another very difficult six miles to Smith’s Ferry.

After resting, they decided to walk the remaining 14 miles to Banks, which seemed easier than skiing because the snow was sticking to their skis.

The were able to catch the last train out of the area and upon arrival Mr. Barton was quoted as saying “I am pretty lame tonight, and my face feels like a blister from the burning wind and sun, but I will be at the office all right tomorrow morning.”

Our next Rotary history minute will showcase some interesting facts about our first Vice President, Herbert F. Lemp.

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009

Herbert Lemp - Club First Vice President

History Minute

So, with a show of hands, how many here know that in the 1920’s Boise was the polo capital of the Pacific Northwest?

And along those same lines, how many of us have ridden a horse?  

And how many of us feel we achieved some level of accomplishment at horseback riding?

Now, how many of us have ever ridden flat out, swinging a long handled mallet in a circular sweep over our heads, aiming at a relatively small ball, and managed to hit the ball, not the turf, not our horse, and hopefully not ourselves?

Yea, me either.

Well, this is exactly what Herbert F. Lemp, our club’s first vice president, did very successfully, for fun and competition.

Aside from being a native Boisean and a member of a well known family in the Capital City since pioneer times, Herbert F. Lemp was a director of the Pacific National Bank of Boise, the Idaho State Life Insurance Company, and the Boise Stone Company.  He was actively and favorably known for his involvement with the livestock and cattle industry and many leading industrial establishments in Boise.

Mr. Lemp was a married man with two children, and was a Mason and an Elk as well as one of Boise’s first Rotarians.

Herbert Lemp was the captain of “The Four Horsemen”, Boise’s highly acclaimed Polo team.  They were a civilian team that formed to compete with U. S. Cavalry troopers.  Their polo field is now occupied by numerous buildings including The Boise Little Theater.

The Four Horsemen played teams from Seattle, Spokane, Portland and even Hollywood, who’s members were well known celebrities of the day.

At the age of 43, Herb Lemp was elected Mayor of Boise in 1927 and promptly challenged another polo playing mayor, Will Rogers of Beverly Hills.  The Beverly Hills team was scheduled to come to Boise for the big northwest polo tournament when tragedy struck.

In a practice game, while riding a substitute pony named “Craven” Lemp was thrown and suffered a fatal head injury.  Appearing to be on the road to recovery, he was sworn in as Boise’s Mayor while still in the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries just four days later.

I’m reminded of a story about a man’s grave stone, engraved upon it are his date of birth, a dash, and the date of his death.  The dates are really not very important – it’s the “dash” that counts, and what you did with the “dash”.

Herbert F. Lemp’s “dash” was filled with accomplishment, compassion, charm, daring and service.  That’s a “dash” to be proud of.

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009

Wilsie Martin - First Club Treasurer

History Minute

Today’s history minute will take us further back in time than we’ve gone before, and much further away than across town to the Owyhee Plaza.

The year is 1887 and it’s a brisk pre-dawn morning at the train station in Quebec, Canada.  Standing on the brick paved leading platform is a large family anxious to board the hired railroad car that has just come into the station.  The steam is billowing out of the engine stack, nearly obscuring the travelers who have gathered there.

Amongst them is a bright and charming 11-year old boy who is very eager to begin his adventure.  Wilsie Manning Martin, our club’s first Treasurer was that boy.

Following the lure of the real estate boom in California, Wilsie Martin’s family, along with other Canadians set off on a very long train ride to seek their fortune.

As the train crossed the country, at many a stop, people would gather at the train stations and even come into the car to see these people going to California.  Apparently this emigrant attitude eventually disturbed Wilsie Martin because it is told that he planted himself at the door and calmly announced that there was smallpox in that car.  The curious quickly disappeared.

The family settled in Santa Ana and Wilsie received his first schooling there.  When the time came for college, the family moved to Berkley where the entire family pitched in and worked to provide the children with college educations.

Wilsie Martin graduated in 1900 and began a remarkable career in ministry.  He accepted assignments from California to New York City.

The earthquake and fire of 1906 released the latent power of his personality and the call to community welfare became a fire within him.

1912 brought Wilsie Martin to Boise and we have often heard of those tremendous years.  He entered into every activity for good in the city and the state of Idaho.  

He became Chaplain of the 2nd Regiment, Idaho National Guard from 1913 to 1916.

Tucked neatly into all of his community service he managed to become one of the founding fathers of this Rotary Club in 1917.  Shortly after this he began overseas work with the YMCA in France during World War I.

Wilsie Manning Martin became a doctor of divinity and has a list of remarkable civic accomplishments too long to mention.  He was one of the five founders of the Hollywood Bowl among his stunning achievements within the religious community.

A small excerpt from his obituary reads:  “The world wide vision of this man, his tremendous energy, his courtly courtesy, his high Christian idealism, his down to earth practical judgment, his tender response to human need and his crystal clear life will leave an indelible impression on every one of us.”

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009

R. R. Alexander - First Club Secretary

History Minute
R. R. Alexander

Presented January 28, 2010

As you know, the History Committee periodically takes us on a little trip to the past to learn about the founding fathers of Boise Rotary.  Today I’d like to take you back to the Boise of 1917, and also tell you a bit about RR Alexander, the Club’s first Secretary.

In 1917, the First World War was in full swing and the United States had declared war on Germany just three weeks before the ceremonial establishment of Boise Rotary on April 28.

Boise itself had a population of just over 30,000, making Boise the smallest town to have received a Rotary charter.  The public school district owned eleven buildings valued at nearly $1,000,000, the cornerstone of which was Boise High School, pronounced by educators to be one of the best high schools in the entire West.  The district boasted some 4,000 students and 135 teachers.  In addition to the public schools, Boise was served by St. Margaret’s, St. Teresa’s, and St. Joseph’s as well as by a commercial college.

The YMCA and YWCA were flourishing, and the Natatorium and its attached amusement park provided entertainment opportunities for residents and visitors alike, although there was some concern about Boise’s lack of public parks.  Julia Davis was the only park of any significant size at the time.

Boise boasted four fire stations with paid firemen and modern fire fighting apparatus, and was justifiably proud of the fact that, unlike many towns, fires had always been quickly contained and had never done widespread damage.

Boise had an active interurban street car run by electric power connecting most of the suburbs to the downtown business district.  The streetcar connected Boise, Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Middleton, Star and Eagle in a loop that allowed Boiseans hourly access to the Oregon Shortline Railroad station located in Nampa.  Additionally, Boise had many miles of cement walks, and its principal streets were substantially paved.

Boise was a thriving community, with population and resources growing at a steady rate surpassing any other town between Salt Lake City and Portland (except for Walla Walla).

All this in spite of the fact that Idaho had officially become a “dry” state January 1 of 1917.

Mr. R.R. Alexander was a relative newcomer to the flourishing community of Boise when he became involved as a charter member and the first Secretary of the newly organized Rotary Club at the age of 35.  He had been born in Indiana where he attended Wabash College and subsequently went to law school.  Like many of Rotary’s founding fathers, Mr. Alexander had several professions.  He was involved in the insurance industry both in sales and as a traveling company auditor.  He then came to Idaho where he was a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools in Idaho Falls and Salmon between 1908 and 1911.  He was admitted to the Idaho Bar in 1912, but apparently gave little time to the practice of law.

Mr. Alexander founded the Western School Supply Company in Boise, and was the Boise manager of the Northwestern Teachers Agency which was a teacher placement service covering eleven states as well as Alaska and Hawaii.

He was involved in numerous civic organizations, and his biography in Hawley’s 1920 History of Idaho  credits him as being “a member of the Rotary Club of Boise, in the projects of which he is helpfully interested…As a business man Mr. Alexander stands high, enjoying the entire confidence of all who have had dealings with him.”

Presented by Marcia Wing

C. C. Anderson - Charter Member

History Minute

Imagine a chilly Halloween night.  You’re eight years old and the year is 1955.  Yards and sidewalks are covered with fallen autumn leaves and there’s a bite in the air that says snow is on it’s way.  You’re bundled in winter clothes beneath your pirate or princess costume and childlike excitement has overcome you.

Friends have been telling you for years that you haven’t trick-or-treated until you’ve been to Warm Springs Avenue and number 929 in particular.

The Cutter Mansion belonging to C. C. Anderson, one of our club’s charter members, was the Mecca of every trick-or-treating expedition.  Not only did they give the best candy, but C. C. Anderson himself was the one answering the door to over 900 eager children.

Other children remember that Mr. Anderson used to toss pennies to children he passed along the street or encountered in the aisles of his huge department store, then known as The Golden Rule, later to become the Bon Marche and Macy’s.

C. C. Anderson was born in a log cabin in Missouri, the son of a horse trader.  In 1896, at the age of 23, he moved to Boise and founded the Golden Rule Store.  He had learned the retail business in Colorado alongside his co-worker, J. C. Penney.  Both young men revolutionized the retail department store concept and compiled great fortunes.  By 1950, Mr. Anderson had a chain of 34 stores.

In 1898, at the age of 25, C. C. Anderson married Boise resident Henrietta Walter.  They were not to have children of their own, but were obviously very fond of children.  Mr. Anderson was president of the Idaho Children’s Home Finding and Aid Society, and a trustee of St. Luke’s Hospital.  He was active in civilian activities to support both World Wars I and II, and was a trustee of the First Methodist Church of Boise.

The substantial amounts he gave and willed to the Church enabled the completion of the Cathedral of the Rockies.

C. C. Anderson passed away in 1958 at the age of 85.  The Cutter Mansion that he commissioned and inhabited at 929 Warm Springs Avenue was eventually willed to Boise State University for use as the future home of its presidents.  It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009

Riley Atkinson - Charter Member

History Minute

Imagine that in 1885, as a lad of five years, you stood on a plush Persian carpet that covered the dark, oak floors of your family’s Michigan sitting room.  The tip of your carefully combed head barely reached the top of the ornately carved sideboard standing beneath two seemingly massive portraits.  The subjects of these portraits were the imposing figures of your father and grandfather.  Both decorated officers, from opposing sides, of the Civil War:  Lieutenant Colonel John Atkinson of the Union Army and Major Lyons, a surgeon for the Confederate Army.  

Despite their differences in political opinion, Major Lyons agreed to the proposal of Colonel Atkinson to wed his daughter Lida Lyons.  Among Lida’s ancestors were those who aided in our country’s struggle for independence.

Riley Atkinson was the handsome five-year-old lad gazing at those portraits, the son of John and Lida Atkinson and one of our club’s charter members.  Riley was raised in Michigan, one of seven Irish Catholic siblings and the only to migrate to Idaho.  In pursuit of education, he attended Detroit College, Fordham College of New York and the University of Michigan, where he received his law degree.

Riley never practiced law, but moved to Boise where, after six years of hard work, purchased a merchandise brokerage business which he incorporated as Riley Atkinson and Company.  It was the oldest merchandise brokerage business in Boise, and the trade was one of extensive and gratifying proportions.

On the 10th of September, 1907, Riley Atkinson was married to Miss Emma Cleveland Hawley, the daughter of Governor James H. Hawley.  The couple would have three children, Elizabeth Lida, Riley, Jr., and Hawley.

To follow in the family’s prestigious military history, Riley served as a first lieutenant of Company L of the 33rd Michigan Regiment during the Spanish-American War.  He took part in the Battle of Santiago under General Shafter and in other military movements which led up to the final victory that crowned the American arms.

Aside from Mr. Atkinson’s service as one of Boise’s first Rotarians, he belonged to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks.  Socially, Riley was involved with the Boise Commercial Club and the Country Club.  As written in the Idaho Statesman, Riley Atkinson’s dominant characteristics are such as make for personal popularity in the community in which he makes his home.

Copied from notes prepared by Cindy Conway & presented in 2008 or 2009

Leo J. Falk - Charter Member

History Minute

This History moment is about one of the charter members of Rotary, including his forebears and his progeny. It begins not when he became one of those founding Boise Rotary, but on September 14, 1955 when the Idaho Statesman published his Obituary with the notation “For nearly 40 years he was an ardent Rotarian”.

I’m going to discuss this fine man’s contributions to Boise and the State of Idaho. The story would not be complete without also talking about how 4 generations of his family have been such significant leaders in the commercial, charitable architectural and civic excellence that Boise has been and is.

We start in the year 1863 when David Falk arrived in Boise, then called Idaho City, with the wave of 16,000 gold seekers and suppliers who surged into the Boise Basin. Our Rotarian’s father Nathan followed a year later leaving his native Bavaria at age 15 to come to Boise. The pair peddled goods and operated a trading post located between New Plymouth and Emmett where the present day Falk Store Bridge stands, until 19 September 1868 when they opened a dry good store and grocery business in a small building on the corner of Main and 8th street here in Boise. They were joined in 1873 by their brother Sigmund. In the early, hard pressed years, the brothers were at work at six in the morning to light fires and lamps and were often still waiting on customers or doing store chores until midnight. The firm used a wheelbarrow for the delivery of goods and there was little to foreshadow the greatness which the establishment was to reach. It is reported that their methods were most progressive and they catered to the support of the public through honorable dealing and an earnest desire to please their patrons. In 1877, when David was 30 he journeyed to Strasburg and persuaded 19 year old Ernestine Weil to share his modest lot in Boise, still a raucous mining supply town short on everything but hope. Their business enjoyed a big boost in the mid – 1880’s when a gold strike at Coeur d’Alene brought a new rush of settlers to Idaho. By 1897 these brothers were doing business in a Then elegant three story building at that corner of Eighth and Main. Brother Nathan, who was 10 years younger than David and was to eventually, be the father of our Rotarian, waited until 1878 to marry Rosa Steinmeier of Munich. They had 6 children, the oldest being Leo J Falk, born September 24, 1882, who eventually entered the business of the Falk Mercantile Company and later became one of the founding members of Boise Rotary and is the person about whom this history is given.

Like other successful mercantile families of the period, the Falk’s did their share to boost their community’s social and civic life. Nathan served on the school board and the chamber of commerce and was active in Odd Fellows. The brothers also took part in early Jewish observances. In 1895, when 100 Boise Jews, spurred by the dynamic Moses Alexander (soon to be Boise Mayor and eventually Idaho Governor, met to organize the Reform Congregation Beth Israel, as incorporators. David, called “the grand old man of Boise” was 58 and had been in residence in the community for 30 years, was founding president.

Both David and Leo’s father Nathan died in 1903. Their brother Sigmund took charge of Falk’s and Our Rotarian to be, Leo J Falk, served as company treasurer. After a dozen years as company president, Sigmund joined the United States Diplomatic Corps and was sent abroad to serve as American Consul in several European Cities and sold his entire interest to his nephew Leo J (this was 1915) who stepped into the post as President of the company. For more than half a century he headed the Falk Mercantile Company which operated stores in Idaho and Eastern Oregon under the name Falk’s. He retired from the business in 1953. Leo J., was an able and energetic entrepreneur, who organized early irrigation projects, helped establish the Boise-Winnemucca Railroad, And developed mines. He was president of the Idaho Chapter of the American Cancer Society for years and was active in work connected with the United Jewish Appeal fund. In 1909 he organized the Owyhee Hotel Company selling stock to Boise citizens and from the beginning was president of that company and operated it for 42 years. The hotel opened May 10th 1910. In addition, he built what is now the Egyptian Theatre and was part of the group who built this building, the Boise Hotel, now called the Hoff building. He was instrumental in not only building the Boise Depot but in getting the railroad to establish the railroad connection to Boise. He devoted countless time and effort to the constant improvement and development of Boise and its welfare. Like many pioneer Idahoans, he was at one time interested in mining and owned several properties in the Atlanta district. He served on the committee which obtained the first Boise airport and the airlines which used the project. He was an organizer of and past president of the Boise Commercial club, a founder and past president of the Boise Polo club and…for 40 years was an ardent Rotarian, which is where we started.

So, we have talked about Leo J, our Rotarian, and about his ancestors. The story does not end there however. He married Helen Friendly of Elmira, New York. She also became a civic leader and was reported to have been a member of the board of directors of every cultural organization in the city: Idaho Historical Society, Boise Gallery of Art, the Boise Civic Symphony, a charter member of the Junior League of Boise and active in American Red Cross, United fund, and polio and cancer foundations. They had three children, Elaine, Jane and Leo J Jr. Both Jane and Leo Jr. were born in the architecturally significant home he built at 1320 Warm Springs. It was lived in by Leo, then his widow and then Jane and her husband until a couple of years ago when Jane passed on and is now for sale. Son Leo J Jr. became a physician and having moved to the East coast for a Princeton education followed by post grad training at University of Virginia, stayed there living in Charlottesville until his death in 2008. He was founding director of the coronary care unit of Martha Jefferson Hospital, spent 2 tours as part of Volunteer Physicians for Viet Nam in the Tay Ninh Province on the Cambodian border, served for 4 years as Director of HOPE’s land based program and was Senior US Foreign service Officer with assignments in Zaire, Bolivia, Peru, and Washington DC. He served as a consultant in Washing, D. C. from 1984 to 94 and also operated his farm nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as service on the Charlottesville Free Clinic Board.

Leo’s second child, Jane moved away from Boise and then came back to stay bringing with her, her husband Arthur Oppenheimer, He was New York born which is where they met. Then they romanced in England where Jane was Red Cross and Arthur was OSS. Jane and Arthur continued the family tradition of commercial and civic service involvement over their 55 years of marriage. Arthur became president of Falk’s and, after the sale of the company set up the very successful Oppenheimer companies. Jane’s community activities included Idaho Public Television (PBS), the Idaho Botanical Garden where she was a founding member, served on the Board and created the Jane Oppenheimer Rose Garden, a Board Member the Idaho Commission on the Arts, and of the Idaho Community Foundation where she and Arthur set up the initial fund created by individuals, the Boise Philharmonic, and the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. She served on other Boards including the Boise Junior League, Head Start, Family Advocate Program, College of Idaho, Boise Opera Guild, Boise Art Museum and the Youth Tennis Foundation. She was a member of the Boise Garden Club, Hillcrest Country Club and the Arid Club. She received numerous awards including the Idaho Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Idaho Statesman Distinguished Citizen, Girl Scout Women Leaders of Today and Tomorrow, and the Boise Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award. They were also two of the best friends my wife and I had in Boise. They had 4 children, of whom two, Skip, (Arthur F) and Doug continued to work in Boise and carry on the family traditions. The Oppenheimer companies are broadly involved in the food business and in commercial real-estate development both here and elsewhere. The firm built both the One Capital Center building and what is now the Wells Fargo “Triangular Building” and are involved with numerous other properties where they supply management and development. That company currently employs approximately 150 people and is now run by Skip and Doug, after Arthur passed away. The tradition also continued in Civic service with Skip becoming first Chairman of the St. Luke’s Health System Board after serving as Chair of the Luke’s Regional Center Medical Board. He was, Chairman of the Boise Chamber of Commerce board and chairman of several Task forces set up by our Idaho Governors, the latest of which is the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence (IBCEE). It is a not-for-profit organization, comprising Idaho’s CEOs and company Presidents, who share a common goal — Better Education in Idaho.  Skip formed an exploratory committee that lead to the creation of the IBCEE and later became the founding Chair. The goals and purpose of the IBCEE were encouraged by the Governor’s office and other officials as well. The effort commenced with meetings to assess interest and form priorities in 2002. The group recognized that Idaho was one of the few states that did not have a business community group advocating for education. As in numerous other states, the original members recognized a disparity between workforce and societal needs and the supply of qualified people graduating from public education in Idaho. Skip was named the Trustee of the Year by the Idaho Hospital Association in 2009, and received the Ralph J Comstock Light of Philanthropy Award 2010,

Skips wife Esther is also active, a past Chair of the Boise Art Museum, a past Chair of Serve Idaho, appointed by the Governor, and a recipient of the Girl Scouts Women Leaders of Today and Tomorrow Award. In her professional career as a licensed counselor she was named Supervisor of the Year by the Idaho Counselors Association.

Doug is a member of the University of Idaho Foundation, The U of I Journalism Advisory board, the Board of Directors for the IBCEE and committee chair and board member of St. Luke’s Health Foundation. He was Kingfish (Board Chairman) of the Arid club and was on the Idaho Shakespeare Festival Board. He and his Brother Skip, sponsored the October 20th 2011 day long, free “Oppenheimer Ethics Symposium: Reinvigorating Ethics in Education and Practice in the Digital Age,” hosted by the University of Idaho, and held in the Statehouse

It was my thought that this story about these 4 generations of this Rotarian, Leo J. Falk’s family, who have been and are both very successful in business and who have given so much leadership to civic activities, would be interesting and inspirational. So much of what we have here in Boise is the result of dedication and involvement of a few!

Presented January 19, 2012

By Jim Steele

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