Huron Township Rotary Club Celebrates 75 years of Service-Above-Self with a “12 Projects in 12 Months Initiative. 

In 1939 several community members joined together to form the New Boston Rotary Club.  The Rotary Club was comprised of business, professional and educational community leaders.  These initial members embraced the Rotary mission of providing an avenue for fellowship, outreach, and community service through weekly meetings and various projects.  Today, that work continues.

At the December 11th meeting of the Huron Township Board, Rotary President Jerry Burke announced the Club’s 75th anniversary which officially comes in February of 2014.  As acknowledgement of this milestone President Burke announced the membership decided that rather than just an internal celebration, they would double down on the mantra of “Service-Above-Self” and do a blitz of community service projects.  They adopted a “12 Projects in 12 Months” theme for the celebration of the 75th anniversary.  Projects both large and small in scale are in the works for the upcoming year.  All with an eye to improving life for the good people of Huron Township who so generously support the Rotary, and all designed to be over and above the clubs annual recurring projects. 

The first project which is chaired by Rotarian RP Lilley, is to provide 75 Christmas “Meals on Wheels” through the Senior Alliance.  These meals have been purchased and will be delivered over the holiday season to seniors in Huron Township.  President Burke announced that this is the first of at least 12 projects that will happen over the next 12 months in celebration of “75 Years of Service-Above-Self”. 

Looking back over the years the names and faces have changed.  Now the Huron Township Rotary Club, it has experienced ebb and flow.  Membership has been as high as 30 and as low as 7 active participants.  Currently at 22 members, the Rotary (now a 501c-3 charitable organization) is an active and vital component of the community.  Any look back would be incomplete without mentioning that in 1989 the club almost dissolved.  But for the vision of her Sister Club, The Romulus Rotary, and the very energetic work of a few community members the club would have folded.  

This review of the activities and projects of the Club will paint a picture of just how involved the Huron Township Rotary Club is, and what it means to the community.

In the world of fund-raising, area residents are well aware the Club’s Annual Harley-Davidson Motorcycle raffle.  This grew out of the very popular Huron River Duck Race which had to be abandoned due to environmental concerns.  Now in its 20th year, the motorcycle fundraiser has proven to be success allowing for many of the outreach projects the Club engages in over the course of any given year.  The drawing, held at Applefest in New Boston every year, is the culmination of year of Rotary work and the capstone of Applefest.  Every year, hundreds of anxious ticket holders look forward to 6:00 p.m. on that Sunday and gather to watch the drawing. 

With the funds raised, the Club is able to do several recurring annual projects.  Many of them are well known, and others are a bit more stealth.  For example, the Club awards at least 10 scholarships every year with a minimum of $8000 going to graduating high school seniors to help further their educations.  The Rotary Club owns and maintains the Veterans Memorial in New Boston.  This Memorial had a complete refurbishment a few years back and it remains a point of pride for the Rotary, New Boston, and the whole community.  The Club is also the backbone of the Huron Township Goodfellows organization and is responsible for Goodfellow activities which include the “No Child Without a Christmas” initiative as well as outreach to seniors and families in need during the holiday season.  But, more than that, Rotary is “Goodfellows all year long.”  Rotary is a strong supporter of literacy projects within the schools, local libraries, and in national and international literacy works.  The club also supports scouting by chartering and supporting groups such as Huron’s Outdoor Challenge Explorers.  In fact, to list all that the Huron Township Rotary accomplishes would be near impossible.  Suffice it to say that with the proceeds from the annual Motorcycle Raffle, donations to Goodfellows, and various community donations, the Huron Township Rotary is a force for good locally, nationally, and internationally.   

No explanation of the involvement of Rotary would be complete without a mention of the extensive work to eliminate Polio world-wide.  This devastating, crippling disease once at epidemic proportions in the United States is still a threat.  As the ads state, “We are this close to eliminating Polio”.  The work continues. 

If you find yourself interested in what Rotary has to offer and are looking for a great way to be involved,  please visit the Huron Township Rotary website at where you perhaps you see why Rotary uses the “Four-Way Test of the things we think, say, or do”.


  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned? 

The Huron Township Rotary Club wishes to thank everyone for your continued support as they work to make, Huron, Michigan, the Nation and the World a better place.

Huron Township Rotary donates 75 smoke detectors and 25 carbon monoxide detectors.

As a part of the 75 anniversary celebration of the Huron Township Rotary Club, members have decided to do “12 Projects in 12 months”  These projects are all in addition to the many ongoing projects the club does such as scholarships, maintaining the Veterans Memorial in New Boston, and the Goodfellows. 

The second project of the year, run by Chairman John Chont, was to procure 75 smoke detectors and donate them to the fire department to use as needed.  When Chairman Chont contacted Kidde Company they were happy to help and provided 50 detectors and 25 CO2 detectors at no charge.  The Rotary Club purchased the additional smoke detectors to bring the number to 75. 

At the last Huron Township Board Meeting Chairman Chont presented Fire Chief Ed Gillman with the detectors.  The intention is for the Fire Department to distribute them as needed in the community. 

These safety devices are essential and provide warning in the event of a fire or monoxide leak in a home.  As the club heard, “They only have to work once to pay for themselves.”

Project Number 3 Completed Huron Township Rotary Club 12 Projects in 12 months Anniversary Initiative Literacy Support 

The third in a series of 12 community projects to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Huron Township Rotary Club is completed.   This project helped forward one of Rotary International’s World Wide Goals.  A push for Literacy Support all over the world. 

Rotary members Walt Irodenko and Steve Chont co-chaired this project which netted hundreds of age-appropriate books which were donated to Miller Elementary, Brown Elementary, St. Stephens School, and St. Johns School.  The books were split based on the population of each school and presented to the school principals’. 

The use of the books was left to the discretion of each school.  They were free to use them in the general library, classroom library, building specific reading programs, part of the RIF giveaway, or as part of a building incentive program. 

Literacy is something taken very seriously by Rotary, and the Huron Township Rotary Club was proud to do this in addition to our normal School Library and Literacy Programs.

Rotary Blood Drive, Project Number 4 

The Huron Township Rotary Club completed the 4th of its “12 Projects in 12 Months” in recognition and celebration of its 75th Anniversary.   This project was a Blood Drive done in cooperation with the Willow United Methodist Church which serves as the host location for the Rotary Club.  Members Terri Riopelle and Pam Stano co-chaired the drive.  The American Red Cross set up shop in the church basement and was happy with the results.  Rotary members, employees of the Huron Township company Inergy, and the general public all participated.  Over 25 people showed up to donate and, in the end, 17 pints were collected.  The Red Cross told the club that this will help up to 50 people in need of blood or blood products. 

The drive was considered a success by the Club and the Red Cross and may very well become an ongoing project.  Adding it to a list of projects the Club regularly does including at least 10 scholarships to graduating seniors, maintenance of the Veterans Monument in New Boston, Good Fellows, and of course the Annual Motorcycle raffle.   

The Huron Township Rotary Club meets on Tuesday evenings for a dinner meeting at 6:30 in the basement of the Willow United Methodist Church.  Guests and prospective members are welcome.  More information about the Club can be found on our website at

Huron Township Rotary Participates in Earth-Day 2014 

The Huron Township Rotary planted 75 trees in celebration of its 75th anniversary celebrations.  The club committed to do “12 Projects in 12 Months” to commemorate 75 years of “Service above Self .”  Chairman Terri Riopelle secured 75 White Pine trees and Rotarians planted them throughout the community. 

Earth Day, the environment, and the world we leave to our children and grandchildren is a concern to us all.  By undertaking this planting the club hopes to leave the township and the world a little better place for the generations to come. 

If you are interested in learning more about Rotary, or the Huron Township Rotary Club please visit our website at or contact any member of the club.

4th of July Rotary Celebration a Success 

The 4th of July, 2014 was a beautiful day and could not have started off better than it did at the Veterans Memorial in New Boston.  The Huron Township Rotary Club facilitated a community commemoration that featured the Renton Jr. High School Band, speakers, and honored Veteran guests.  This was part of the Clubs “12 Projects in 12 Months” to celebrate its 75th anniversary. 

Rotarian Bill Boatin was the chairman of this project and pulled together Rotarians, members of the Historical Society and other volunteers to make this event memorable for all who were there.  The Club is especially grateful to the Veterans who participated in the event.  From Mr. Fred Hay, the WWII soldier who landed on Normandy during D-Day, to Charles Pearson, the Korean War Vet who raised the flags, to the township resident Veterans who were in the crowd the representation was outstanding. 

Speakers included Rotarian Greg Graham who gave a very informative talk on the Declaration of Independence highlighting both the elite and common men who joined together to sign the document.  It was interesting to hear what came of them after independence was achieved.  Additionally, Rotarian R.P. Lilley spoke on the memorial itself and outlined how the community joined together to help the Huron Township Rotary Club re-build and re-dedicate the monument. 

Mrs. Brenda Bressler and the Renton Jr. High band played several selections and were very well received by the community.   

After the program at the Memorial guests were invited to the Historical Society House where an Ice Cream Social was held.  Special thanks to Rotarian Walt Irodenko, his wife Carol, and his daughter Nadine for facilitating the Ice Cream Social.   

The club would also like to recognize Noelle  Myshock for the solo performed for the crowd as the ice cream was being served. 

This was a very fitting and pleasant day for the community and the Huron Township Rotary Club is grateful to everyone who helped make it a success. 

If you are interested in the Huron Township Rotary Club, please visit our website at or ask any Rotarian for information.

Huron Township Rotary Sponsors Better Business Bureau Fraud Prevention For Huron Seniors 

The Huron Township Rotary Club recently sponsored a fraud prevention program for the Senior Citizens Organization in Huron Township.  Seniors often fall prey to scams and schemes intended to bilk them out of hard earned savings.  

The Better Business Bureau with their resources and experience has put a program together with some very useful tips to protect seniors from this type of fraud.  A speaker presented many ideas to the group mostly consisting of small and sensible actions that individuals can take to prevent becoming victims.  Among the suggestions was realizing that if it “sounds too good to be true” it probably is, knowing and trusting sources, and verifying the authenticity of offers and those making the offer.  Additionally the presentation stressed that if a specific company or especially a bank is mentioned in something that sounds “fishy” that those companies and banks want to know about it and encourage you to call them and let them know what has been said or done using their identity.   

The presenter also stressed that no bank, store, or government agency will call and ask you to verify accounts or spending patterns.  “Be cautious” was the order of the day. 

The Huron Township Rotary has taken on the task of doing 12 community service projects in 12 months to celebrate its 75th anniversary in an initiative called “Celebrating 75 Years of Service Above Self.”  This particular project was chaired by Rotarian Walt Irodenko and was very well received by the Huron Township Senior Citizens.

Purple Pinkie a Polio Eradicating Success 

On October 15th the Huron Township Rotary Club in cooperation with the Huron School District did a Purple Pinkie Drive in which purple ribbons were tied to students’ pinky finger.  Students contributed $1 for a ribbon which replicates the purple dye applied to children’s fingers at they receive the Polio vaccine in third world countries. 

Rotary International, supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is pushing to end Polio world-wide.  This club is proud to announce that with the amount of money raised, and through a matching grant over 5000 children can be vaccinated.  All of this is due to Huron Township Rotary and the Huron School District joint efforts. 

Our Chairman, John Chont along with the logistics coordinator Lori Tavtigian, and the Rotarians who tied the thousands of ribbons have seen their efforts end well. 

The Purple Pinkie was one of the club’s 12 Projects in 12 Months initiative to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Huron Township Rotary Club

Constitutions, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence to all 8th Graders 

The Huron Township Rotary, as a part of its 12 Projects in 12 Months had provided pocket copies of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence to all 8th grade students in Huron Township.  The club is very involved in the schools and believes it important to understand our roots both as a nation and a society. 

The motto of Rotary is “Service Above Self” which is a virtue they strive to help all people, but especially our younger citizens understand.  It is the hope of the club that students will use this booklet both now and in their future studies. 

Project Chairman Jerry Burke was responsible for the procurement of the booklets and their distribution to Renton Jr. High School, St. Stephens, and St. Johns in the township. 

Ondrianna Tavtigian is in Norway as a Rotary International Youth Exchange Student 

The Huron Township Rotary Club is proud to have sponsored Ms. Ondrianna Tavtigian as an Outbound Rotary International Youth Exchange Student.  Ondrianna, a student at Huron High School, will complete one year of study in Norway.  While there she will stay in the homes of several Rotarians in country and attend some of their Rotary meetings. 

More than just an exchange student, Ondrianna is a diplomat for Rotary, Huron Township, Michigan, and the nation.  She is one of dozens of students who participate in this annual exchange.  Rotary also sponsors multiple inbound students every year. 

The club is very much looking forward to Ondrianna’s return with the certainty of many stories and lessons both learned and shared. 

This is another of the Huron Township’s 12 Projects in 12 Months to celebrate the club’s 75th anniversary.  Anyone interested in learning more about Rotary can visit the club’s website at or ask any Rotarian.

Willow United Methodist Church home to 2 Rotary Projects 

The home of the Huron Township Rotary Club, Willow United Methodist Church, was the point of two of the clubs “12 Projects in 12” Months initiative.  The club meets on Tuesday Evenings at 6:30. The “12 in 12” is in celebration of the club’s 75th anniversary.  

The first of these projects was in support of the Church’s “Free Style” clothing give-away.  Gently used clothing is donated, sorted, and organized for distribution to those in need.  Parents are free to come and get clothing articles for themselves, or their children.  Rotary’s support involved the purchase of a substantial amount of garments which would not normally be donated.  Hundreds of dollars were spend on underwear and socks which were all distributed during the event. 

Project Co-Chairpersons Pastor Marianne McMunn and Pam Stano purchased all of the items donated by Rotary and were very instrumental in the event itself. 

The second project was the assistance of the Church’s Women’s Group in the purchase of an AED, Automatic Electronic Defibrillator.  Along with the purchase, the Rotary members were trained in its use as well as trained in CPR. 

The Huron Township Fire department recommends the installation of an AED in all locations which house large gatherings and the church certainly qualifies.  While the club hopes the device will never have to be used, Project Chairman RP Lilley stated it is a good tool to have available.

12 projects in 12 months