Cape Girardeau Rotary celebrates 100 years

Friday, March 22, 2019

Every single civic organization in the city of Cape Girardeau has done good work over the years.

But Rotary is the granddaddy of them all. The Cape Girardeau Rotary Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a gala event April 5 at Isle Casino Cape Girardeau. At the event, president elect of Rotary International Mark Daniel Maloney will address the Rotarians and the public, which is invited to attend.

As reported by Joshua Hartwig, the organization has raised "hundreds of thousands of dollars" for community projects, and also for Rotary International, according to U.S District Court Judge Stephen Limbaugh, who co-chairs the local Rotary's centennial committee.

"Our club was, I believe, the sixth club established in Missouri after St. Louis and Kansas City, and Jefferson City and a couple others," Limbaugh said. "The club was founded right after the end of World War I."

The organization began Jan. 28, 1919, with 25 men. According to historian Bill Eddleman, the Cape Girardeau club also helped to start other clubs including the Jackson Rotary and Cape West Rotary.

The club began promoting fellowship among local professions. During the 1920s, it pushed for better roads in Missouri; it also started a recognition program for providing landscaping during the early 1930s, along with providing a monument -- Bushyhead Memorial -- to Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson.

The gala will include a plated dinner, complimentary select wine and beer. Admission is $75. Funds will go toward Rotary Foundation.

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