Rotary Club of Shippensburg
meets
Tuesdays at Noon
at
Knute's Pub & Grill
15 West King Street
Shippensburg, PA 17257

Our History

The Shippensburg Rotary Club, the first service club in the historic community of Shippensburg, was granted its charter on April 16, 1924. The formation of the club was the result of a three-way effort. Paul B. Noftsker, the first president, had talked with William Kronenberg of Carlisle about forming a club. At the same time Sydney Boher, the first secretary, and M.L. Beistle, a director, had worked independently with Harry Mong, who was then president of the Chambersburg Rotary Club.

Paul Noftsker then joined with 19 others in accepting the charter from the Chambersburg club which at that time was part of District #24 to which the new Shippensburg club was also assigned. Since that time, through redistricting, the Shippensburg club has become a part of District 7390.

Meetings

The first meeting of the Shippensburg club was in the National Hotel on West King Street (this may have been the Sherman House), according to the local newspapers. Subsequent meeting places were the John Morrison Restaurant, Morrison Hotel, Flor-Em Restaurant (19 W. King St.), M & N Restaurant, American Legion, University Lodge, Rustic Inn/Bella Napoli (today’s Shipwreck Pub), the The Shippen Place Hotel, and finally back to the former American Legion site, now Knute's Pub & Grill. Over the years the meeting time changed from dinner to lunch to breakfast to alternating breakfast/lunch (1999-2000) and finally settling at lunch in 2000-2001 Rotary year.

Membership

For many years, the club maintained a membership of a little over 40. In the first part of this century the numbers declined to the low twenties, but have recently rebounded and is rapidly growing. In 1988, after Rotary International voted to allow clubs the option, Shippensburg voted to accept women as members. Today they make up more than a third of the group.

Newsletters

An early club newsletter was “Try Weakley,” with the slogan “always in tune” which suggests the interest the group had in singing. In the ‘50s the newsletter was “Rotariantics,” and after that “The Voice” kept members informed of activities, important dates, issues, and programs. After a year (2000-2001) with no newsletter, it was revived in 2001-2002. These days, club members are kept informed with through weekly e-mails and posts to ShippensburgRotary.org.

Projects

To improve the quality of life in our community, the Rotary Club of Shippensburg has been involved in many projects, partnering with other local organizations: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, Labor Day baseball games, Shippensburg Band, the Shippensburg Public Library, an annual Christmas theater party for children (Frank Hollar & Rotary co-sponsored), community Christmas tree, Memorial Park improvements, a downtown tree-planting project, and Christmas lighting contests. Members were instrumental in organizing the Chamber of Commerce and the first Playground Association which has developed into today’s Park and Recreation Commission. The club’s early interest in handicapped children continued for years with an annual work day at Camp Harmony Hall (now closed), an Easter Seal agency. An annual blood drive was another project which has since been integrated with a community blood drive.

More recently, Rotary International’s theme, “Preserve Planet Earth,” inspired the ongoing task of improving Dykeman’s Spring. The club is also currently involved in the Adopt-A-Highway program with the responsibility for Exit 24 and helps maintain the Peace Garden in Memorial Park. For several years a Four-Way Test Award was presented to the local person who exemplified those ideals and also held a Courtesy Campaign to recognize people who demonstrate uncommon courtesy and friendliness in community businesses.

In 2000 the president of the club spearheaded planning for a first-ever community New Year’s Eve celebration which was held December 31, 2001. The event, dubbed “Drop the Anchor,” is a joint project of several service clubs and continues to receive support from many groups and businesses in the community.

Youth activities are an important focus of Shippensburg's Rotary Club. Scholarships are presented each year to three graduating high school seniors, and once each month, two "Students of the Month" join members at a meeting. Several times the club has sponsored Youth Exchange students and Rotary Scholars.

To encourage safer biking, a Bicycle Rodeo was organized by our club, along with the Trauma Society and Optimist Club, in 1992. For several years members helped with the Special Olympics held by the public schools.

One of the most successful projects ever conducted by Rotary in Shippensburg was the Polio Plus Campaign for which members pledged $22,000 to Rotary International’s project to rid the planet of polio by the year 2000. When it became obvious that this polio campaign would have to be extended, the Shippensburg club again stepped forward with an additional pledge to Rotary International.

An annual community ham and oyster dinner, a booth at the Corn Festival, and a golf tournament are the important activities that have helped to fund club projects in past years. The annual golf tournament remains the largest fundraiser, making it possible to award three scholarships to Shippensburg Area Senior High School seniors every year. Newer fundraisers include a Paint Nite program and an annual "Drive-Thru BBQ" event in the spring. In 2014, our club "adopted" the popular community Furry Fun Days event that raises money for local animal shelters and rescues.

Throughout its 90-plus years, the Rotary Club of Shippensburg has demonstrated its dedication to the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by participating in projects that enhance our community, encourage young people, and exemplify high ethical standards in business and the professions.

Presidents

Here is a list of our most recent presidents and their terms served. For a complete list of Shippensburg Rotary's past presidents, click here.

2018-2019 Cory Nye (President-Nominee-Designee)
2017-2018 Jeff Knouse (President-Nominee)
2016-2017 Gary Davis (President-Elect)
2015-2016 Carolyn Callaghan
2014-2015 Ra Kligge
2013-2014 Ra Kligge
2012-2013 Allen Dugan
2011-2012 John Knutelsky
2010-2011 Dr. Drew Wellmon
2009-2010 Alan Patton