A Brief History of the Stafford Rotary Club
The Stafford Rotary Club was chartered as a member of Rotary International on April 11, 1990, with 28 members. The Rappahannock and Alexandria Rotary Clubs sponsored the Stafford Club. Graham Green was appointed Governor's Special Representative by District Governor George Atwell to formulate the Club. Graham Green Served as the Club's first President. The Stafford Rotary Club chose to be a mid-day Club in order to complement the already existing breakfast and evening Clubs meeting in the area. The Club admitted men and women members and dedicated itself to Service Above Self.
The Stafford Rotary Club has been cited numerous times for its exceptional partnership with all of Stafford County’s high schools. Our club sponsors an Interact club at Stafford High School, Colonial Forge High School and the Gladys Oberle School for vocational and alternative education. Additionally, Stafford Rotary is a major supporter of the University of Mary Washington’s Rotaract Club.
Support of community projects has long been a cherished tradition of this club. “Christmas in April” housing rehab assistance began in the ‘90s and continued annually for many years. Cleaning up the Rappahannock River also provides physical opportunities for our club members, as well as benefits to the entire community. Members serve as volunteer readers in the schools, and on occasion serve as mentors and speakers. Our club assisted in the building of a playground for the Old Forge community, one at Hope House in Fredericksburg, as well as a playground for handicapped children in Spotsylvania.
In January 2007, Stafford Rotary embarked upon its first international “mission” trip. Traveling to El Progreso, Honduras, seven of our members spent a week fixing up “abodes” in Siete de Abril, a squatters village on the outskirts of the city. By the end of the week, 22 of these lean-to homes were reinforced or completely rebuilt. The team also took 26 suitcases filled with supplies for children and adults, and while in Honduras they explored the possibility of partnership with the El Progreso Rotary Club. That link has now been made, and through and with that club, Stafford Rotary is assisting in the building of La Esperanza (School of Hope) for physically and mentally challenged children, as well as the construction of El Balsamo, a village of concrete block homes for those in need. Several Stafford Rotarians have made subsequent trips to the area volunteering in eye clinics.
In December, 2007 President George W. Bush was our keynote speaker for our noon luncheon meeting. This event was certainly a highlight in our club’s short history. Stafford Rotary has received many honors over the years, and recognition of our work in the community and the world by the President of the United States is something we will long remember.
Funding for Stafford Rotary’s many projects comes primarily through our annual
Wings and Wheels Festival. Held on the grounds of the Stafford Regional Airport, this fun filled day allows the community to participate in airplane rides, take chances on great prizes, see vintage cars, and enjoy games, good food and great fellowship with their neighbors.