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Skaneateles Rotary Club's History

In the latter part of the year 1927 several Skaneateles business men were approached by members of the Auburn Rotary club who suggested that a Rotary Club be started in Skaneateles.  The suggestion was met with favor and — with the timely assistance of Warren Dean, of the Auburn club — a group of men were assembled and definite plans were made for the creation of a club.  CLICK HERE to view a listing of the Club's past presidents.

The first meeting was held on February 23rd, 1927, at the Skaneateles Baptist Church and there were present 20 business men from Skaneateles, 9 Rotarians from Auburn and 4 Rotarians from Syracuse. 

At this meeting Sam Kane was elected President; William G. Stuart, Vice-President; H. Winslow Thurlow, Treasurer; Arthur B. Bond, Secretary; Herbert C. Williams, George W. Tucker and Harry C. Wallace, Directors, and Dr. Albert D. Wells, Sergeant-at-Arms.

Subsequent meetings were held at the Baptist Church until May 12th, 1927, when the first meeting was held at the Kan-Ya-To Inn, now the Sherwood Inn.

Charter night was May 19th.  This meeting was conducted by the Auburn Rotary Club under the direction of Warren Dean of the Club.  The Charter was presented by District Governor William H. Campbell of Rochester, the toastmaster was William Paine and the opening address was made by the President of the Auburn Rotary Club — Dr. George Sincerbeaux.

A Bronze Rotary Bell was presented to the new club by Warren Dean also a certificate for $100.00 was presented to the club by William Haeffner.  On behalf of the Skaneateles Club the bell was accepted by Vice-President William G. Stuart and the certificate was accepted by Secretary Harry C. Wallace.  In latter years, this bell had been lost and relocated via E-Bay.   (through the magic of cyber space.)

The speakers for the meeting were District Governor — Elect John J. Allen of Ottawa and Reverend George Beavans of Rochester, N.Y. Frank W. Weedon, Secretary of the Syracuse Rotary Club, was the song leader.  

There were 311 Rotarians from 28 Rotary Clubs present at the Charter Night meeting. (Note: Current Skantarian, Chuck Williams' father, CL Williams, was one of the Auburn Rotarians attending this charter meeting)

One of the Club’s first acts of community support was to sponsoring Boy Scout Troop 61.  The club continues that sponsorship and support today.

The club elected their first female president, Cynthia Scaringe in 1998-99, who serviced for 18 months, as she picked up the duties of the previous president 6 months before her elected term, setting the stage for those that followed.   Val Jerabeck was the club's first female member shortly after RI rules were changed to allow women membership in 1987.

The Skaneateles Club has privileged to host two District Governors over the years;  Arthur W. Hyatt (1956-57) and Ward T. Vuillemot (2000-01)

In June, 2003, the Skaneateles Rotary Club sponsored Skaneateles’ second Rotary club, the Skaneateles Sunrise Rotary Club. CLICK HERE for more the on history of the Sunrise club.

Our record breaking Fathers Day pancake breakfast started as a fly-in event at the Skaneateles Aerodrome under then President Jim Messenger in 1968.  We currently serve over 3,600 breakfasts every Fathers Day at the Allyn Pavilion .