Centennial Event at Overture Center February 26 2013

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The following summary article about our February 26th Centennial Event is a fictitious account of a conversation between our Rotary News reporter, Mark Stover (above right), and Paul Harris (above left), the founder of Rotary.

“Good evening, Mr. Harris.”

“Good evening.”

“Welcome to the 100th anniversary celebration of the Rotary Club of Madison here in the historic Capitol Theater.”

“It’s a lovely venue. I believe I recall being here shortly after it opened. About 1927 or ’28, if memory serves. And let me tell you, at the tender age of nearly 145 years, memory gets a bit tricky at times.”

“I imagine it does indeed. Still, you look in fine form tonight, sir.”

“Thank you, thank you.”

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(Pictured above from left: Don Helfrecht & Ross Levine; Keith & Juli Baumgartner; Dick & Liz Fayram with Susan Hunt & Karl Gutknecht)

DSC_0002“We have reserved a special place for you here in the anteroom to the Theater itself. People are very excited to have their picture taken with you. This is Dave Ewanowski (pictured at left with his wife, Mayo) and

DSC_0008John Bonsett-Veal (pictured at left with his wife, Jan). They’ll be assisting you this evening.”

“Well, it’s very nice to meet you gentlemen. However, I didn’t come all this way just to sit in one place. Rotary is all about getting around to meet your fellow business men and now, of course, business women. I’ve brought along this cut-out that can stand in for me. Really, in the two-dimensional photograph it will be hard to tell if it’s me or not. I’ve gotten quite thin these last 66 years or so. Completely lost my appetite. I suppose you understand why – I mean the obvious reason, of course. So, gentlemen if you can make do with my cardboard counterpart here, I’d like to meet some of these fine Madison Rotarians.”

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(Pictured above from left:  Kirk Kittleson & Jessica Schock with Jocelyn & Ryan McFadden; Marcia Whittington, Beth Prochaska & Traci Mann; Greg Anderson, Herman Baumann & Kay Schwichtenberg & Mike McKay)

“Of course, sir. I guess we can pass on the hors d’oeuvres then. I’ve sampled some and they’re delicious. Oh, sorry. Of course.”

“So many interesting people. And the dress has changed. I notice, for instance, women wearing boas. How very modern.”

DSC_0016“Ah, that’s Dawn Crim (left). She’s chosen to reflect the promotional work that Tracy Perkins and Juli Aulik did to get so many people here tonight. Over 230 members and guests in attendance, as I understand. And Juli is one of seven women to serve as Club President.”

“I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see that change in the Constitution of the clubs – women as members, I mean. Really rounds out the emphasis on full community service, don’t you know.”

Picture3“I do indeed, sir. Ah, here’s Wes Sparkman (right), the current Club President. He’s about to make a few remarks and lead us all in a toast to the future of Rotary in Madison.”

[All Club members and guests assembled to sing “Happy Birthday” to the accompaniment of the old theater pipe organ ably played by Elaine Mischler.]

“I see the tradition of music and singing at Club meetings is alive and well in Madison.”

Picture5“Oh, yes sir. At every meeting. Madison’s own Mama Digdown New Orleans-Style Brass Band is also playing here tonight. One of the band members is related to our own Jeff Bartell – he generally plays piano to accompany the Club’s regular weekly musical stylings.”

“Ah, this is all so pleasant. But, I’m afraid at my advanced age, I’m not able to keep up for long with you young people.”
DSC_0003“You do appear to be fading, sir. I mean, quite literally. I can actually see through you to Renee Moe (at left with Dave Johnson), our next Club President coming up behind you. Oh, Mr. Harris. Are, are you there?”

“I’ll always be with you, if not in form, certainly in spirit. My best wishes to all Madison Rotarians – and congratulations. Keep up the tradition of service above self. That work actually does last forever. Good night – good night all.”

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(Pictured above from left: Tracy Perkins & Juli Aulik; Virginia & Perry Henderson; Vince O’Hern & Linda Baldwin)

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(Pictured above from left: Melanie Ramey; Brian Fick & Dora Zuniga; Lester Pines & Roberta Gassman)

Our thanks to the Event Planning Committee of Juli Aulik (co-chair), Terry Anderson, Jeff Bartell (co-chair), Virginia Bartelt, Everett Mitchell and Tracy Perkins and to Centennial Planning Committee Co-chairs Deb Archer and Linda Baldwin and the entire Centennial Committee.

One response to “Centennial Event at Overture Center February 26 2013

  1. Sounds like a great event! I was “across the pond” and unable to attend. I love the pictures because it gives us a flavor of the event even if we weren’t there. Thanks for posting!

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