West Chester Rotarians, their families and community leaders, gathered at the Penn Oaks Golf and Country Club last week to celebrate the Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary. Participating in the presentation were (from left) Sue Casso Rogers, a past club president and gala co-organizer, Michelle Venema, immediate past president and gala co-organizer, Steve Brown, current club president, Valarie Wafer of Canada, RI vice president, Jeff Cadorette of Media, RI Communications Committee, Yvette Houston, president of the Chester Rotary Club, who sponsored our club in 1921, and Jordan Norley, mayor of the Borough of West Chester.
Since 1921, West Chester Rotarians regularly put into action the Rotary motto "Service Above Self,” engaging individuals and families in raising funds for local charities, generating funds to defeat polio worldwide, providing for the installation of water systems in Senegal, West Africa, bringing albino and other children from Tanzania and elsewhere, and providing prosthetics for those who have lost limbs due to wars or violence.
Rotarians have served in leadership positions and as mayors in the Borough of West Chester, as area chamber presidents, as academic leaders in collaboration with elementary and high schools, and West Chester University (WCU).
Many members have been recognized with RI service awards, by local organizations as Volunteers and Citizens of the Year, and had WCU buildings named for them. Rotary’s impact in the community since 1921, is noted by names of club leaders on streets such as Darlington, buildings such as Mosteller, Schramm, Lorgus and Spellman, and the Struble Trail; many reflecting the contributions of more than one generation of Rotarians. They serve in law enforcement, in the courts, as county officials, and in state government. They serve as board members and leaders on numerous nonprofit boards, some as executive directors/CEOs of area nonprofits.
Roger Taylor, Governor of District 7450, of which the West Chester club is the largest of the 54 clubs in the district, delivered celebratory remarks noting the vitality of Rotary and Rotarians. David Houlz, Governor elect, Alyssa Harrish, assistant governor, and several past district governors also attended. Seven past presidents of the West Chester club have served as District Governors, and the club has sponsored the Oxford, Kennett Square, Westtown Goshen, Greater West Chester Sunrise and Rotary Passport clubs.
In addition to Mayor Norley, also attending were Chester County Commissioner Marian Moskovitz, Common Pleas Court Judge Jeff Sommer, and Chester County Clerk of Courts Yolanda van de Krol. An anniversary plaque will be placed next to a newly planted tree at the West Chester Golf and Country Club.  In the spring, club members will plant 100 trees in further recognition of the 100th anniversary.