Special to the PRESS
Ross Stanley, manager of Central Power and Light Company, organized the Port Isabel Rotary Club in 1936 by soliciting 19 charter members for their first meeting at the Queen Isabella Inn. Andy Bowie, an employee of Central Power and Light Company in San Benito, came to the first meeting to explain the purposes of Rotary. The club was chartered on this day, June 24, in 1936.
Among the 19 original charter members were Ross Stanley, Bernie Burnell, John Von Allman, Thomas J. Hunt, Dr. Hockaday, and Bob Roloff, to name a few and meals were served at the inn for 35 cents, with 10 cents going back to the club.
Today, the club is made up of some 40 members from the Greater Laguna Madre area and beyond who meet at noon every Friday at Marcello’s Italian Restaurant, located at 110 North Tarnava St. within the historic lighthouse district in Port Isabel.
Locally, the club’s members have done everything from post flags throughout the communities during patriotic holidays to donate books and dictionaries to the local elementary campuses as seen in some of the photographs here. In all, over 236 books were given to local children for National Day of Reading. Also seen are the ladies of the club which celebrated Rotary’s anniversary of allowing women into the club this past summer. The Rotary Club of Port Isabel also annually unites with its sister club in Monterrey, Mexico as seen in some of the pictures here. Also seen is current club president Ginny Riley and club member Ralph Ayers donning his best traditional Mexican dress and New Generations Lane Chair Anselmo Garza Jr., who’s seen here recognizing a Student of the Month.
The club also gives to the Boys and Girls Club, Boy Scouts & Girls Scouts. Members also support literacy in the club’s community through its book and dictionary programs at Derry, Garriga and the high school. The club gives four high school scholarships, and sponsors four students to the annual Rotary Youth Leadership Conference weekend.
At Thanksgiving, members support families through the Food Pantry and at Christmas, toys for local children. Internationally, the club also has several active projects. Through Rotarian Tom Plumb, the club built schools and clean water systems in Honduras. In Matamoros, it supports an orphanage with school buses, clothing for the children and supplies. These projects are just a few of the many causes Rotarians support locally and abroad.
Read this story in the Dec. 27 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.