The Creation of the Washington Township Rotary Club

 
 

The Rotary club of Washington Township was chartered on August 18, 1968.  RI formally chartered the club during a presentation ceremony in September 1968 at Moffa's Farms in Blenheim, NJ.

Our Washington Township Club was sponsored by the Blackwood Club and Louis C. Joyce III, a prominent Blackwood Rotarian, who was the governor's special representative.  The initial five charter members (Arthur J. Turney, president; Otto E. Robinson, secretary; Robert Haythome, vice president; Rev. John Gilmore and Dr. Fred Silbereisen, directors) were all members of the neighboring Blackwood Rotary.  It was no surprise that our newly formed club felt a lot like the Blackwood club.  However, it wasn't long until we settled in taking on our own personality and becoming one of the most active clubs in Rotary District 7640.

  Since we've been a club we have sent representatives to all the district assemblies, seminars and conferences.  Many of our club members dished out their "at home" hospitality when RI held its international convention in Philadelphia.  Our club has sent delegates to many international conventions held in Switzerland, Brazil and Canada as well as to many domestic cites in Hawaii, Texas, California, Wisconsin, New Orleans, and of course, Philadelphia.  

In our more than 39 years as a club, we have had a major impact on our community.  We sponsored Interact Club for the boys and girls in Washington Township High School.  Robert Householder, the first faculty advisor of Interact and an honorary member, was so dedicated to this program that when he died in 1979 he left a $100,000 trust specifically to be used for Interact.  The interest from this trust is awarded annually in the form of a scholarship to a student Interact member.   Several years ago we started a Future Act program designed for students in middle schools.  Our club has also contributed major sums of money to many organizations in and around Washington Township which in turn have helped our community.  We have sent students to the RYLA program annually and have sponsored the people who have been awarded the Rotary Foundation Graduate Scholarship which allows them to study abroad for one year.  

In 1977 our club was awarded the Foundation's 3-H Banner for its sizeable contribution to start the Health, Hunger and Humanity Grant's program.  In 1979, our club was acknowledged when one of our members, Otto Robinson, received Rotary's highest award, the Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award.  This was the first time ever that a New Jersey Rotarian was the recipient.  

Our Washington Township club was considered a district pioneer in welcoming women as members.  The Rotary Club of Washington Township has earned the title of the "best" club in Rotary District 7640!   The Rotary Club of Washington has a lot to be proud of; given the rich history of our clubs service to this community.  Our mission is to carry on the commitment demonstrated by the members that preceded us and staying true to "Service Above Self".