The Chehalis Rotary Club was officially chartered on February 21, 1921, and over the last 101 years, it has served the local, regional, and international community in diverse projects. Unfortunately, due to COVID, a centennial celebration was postponed until this year. Much work went into the celebration, as the Chehalis Club is very proud of their place in the line-up as Rotary Club #60 among the 35,500+ Rotary ClubS worldwide.
To share the celebration with the local community, the Club turned to Jason Mattson, Director of the Lewis County Historical Museum. With the aid of the Centralia Chronicle, club members assembled artifacts, relics, photographs, award certificates, and newspaper clippings. Those items were handed over to Jason at the Museum, who designed and constructed the exhibit. Artifacts pointed to a past in which Chehalis Rotary led the community with 145 members. Any dignitary who came to Chehalis spoke at their meeting. During the Club’s heyday, they dined on china every Wednesday at noon, bearing the Chehalis Rotary logo.
At noon on Tuesday, February 22, the Lewis County History Museum hosted a ribbon cutting to open the 100 Years of Chehalis Rotary exhibit. Members of the Club were in attendance, as well as numerous civic leaders, celebrating this significant milestone. Chehalis Rotary President Dr. John Henricksen said of the event, “I was astounded at the job Jason Mattson has done with the help of the Chronicle. The level of detail is truly impressive.” The display will be available for public viewing for the next six months
The following evening was a time to party! “We had excellent attendance at the party on Wednesday night, with added support from Twin City Rotary joining us in this celebration of the 100-year milestone,” Henricksen said. President John took part of the evening for a slideshow about the Club’s 2006 project with our sister Club in La Barca, Mexico. That project included a cross-country odyssey in a rebuilt school bus full of wheelchairs and other supplies for a school for children with special needs. “It was great to spend some time reviewing our involvement with our La Barca, Mexico sister club. It was a great evening, and I want to thank all those who helped make it happen.”
According to President-Elect Martha Hunt, “It was great to see the presentation of what Rotary has been involved in the last 100 years – including the La Barca project, and many local programs in our community here in Chehalis. For instance, Chehalis Rotary built the building where we now meet and gifted it to the City in 1955.”