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Benton Rotary Club celebrates 100 years

  • Five local charities were each awarded donations of $1,000 at the Benton Rotary Club 100th Anniversary Dinner. Pictured, from left, are Jonathan Cantrell, Benton Rotary Club immediate past president; Don Jones and Mandy Davis from Helping Hands/Habitat For Humanity; Susan Rude from the Franklin Williamson Child Advocacy Center; Mary Ellen Aiken, Judy Courter and Phyllis Petty from the Franklin Hospital Auxiliary; Diane Simpson and Mariah Hayes from CASA of Franklin County; Rev. Jim Jenkel representing the Benton West City Area Ministerial Alliance; and Jim Johnson, president, Benton Rotary Club.

    Five local charities were each awarded donations of $1,000 at the Benton Rotary Club 100th Anniversary Dinner. Pictured, from left, are Jonathan Cantrell, Benton Rotary Club immediate past president; Don Jones and Mandy Davis from Helping Hands/Habitat For Humanity; Susan Rude from the Franklin Williamson Child Advocacy Center; Mary Ellen Aiken, Judy Courter and Phyllis Petty from the Franklin Hospital Auxiliary; Diane Simpson and Mariah Hayes from CASA of Franklin County; Rev. Jim Jenkel representing the Benton West City Area Ministerial Alliance; and Jim Johnson, president, Benton Rotary Club.
    Courtesy of Dave Cooper

  • Pictured standing are Jason Corn, Derek Johnson, Steven Pate, Bill Simpson, Bob Rea, Larry Lewis, John Gulley, Jonathan Cantrell, Jim Johnson, Paul Coons, Dave Kimmel, Ron Giacone, Steve Woodfin, Jessie Hinds, Ken Burzynski and Dave Cooper. Seated are Rachel Gardner, Rhonda Gilbreath, District 6510 Governor Mary Harvey, Assistant Governor Lane Harvey, Public Image Coordinator Megan Schmidt, Assistant District Governor Ryan Schmidt, Pam Dorris, Hilary Remm, Gary Messersmith and John D. Aiken.

    Pictured standing are Jason Corn, Derek Johnson, Steven Pate, Bill Simpson, Bob Rea, Larry Lewis, John Gulley, Jonathan Cantrell, Jim Johnson, Paul Coons, Dave Kimmel, Ron Giacone, Steve Woodfin, Jessie Hinds, Ken Burzynski and Dave Cooper. Seated are Rachel Gardner, Rhonda Gilbreath, District 6510 Governor Mary Harvey, Assistant Governor Lane Harvey, Public Image Coordinator Megan Schmidt, Assistant District Governor Ryan Schmidt, Pam Dorris, Hilary Remm, Gary Messersmith and John D. Aiken.
    Courtesy of Dave Cooper

 
Submitted by Dave Cooper
updated: 8/1/2022 7:26 PM

Last week, members of the Benton Rotary Club met at the Cafe Bloom in Benton for fine dining, music by the Courtney Cox Band, and speeches on the history of the Benton club.

In April 1922, an organizational meeting was held at the Methodist church in Benton, and members of the Du Quoin Rotary Club traveled on a special train, picked up members of the Christopher Rotary Club, and were greeted at the Benton train station on South Main Street by a brass kid band.

As a body they walked up to Church Street. About 165 plates were prepared by the Methodist women, and the evening ended with the train leaving the depot at 11:30 p.m.

The first president of the newly formed Rotary Club was J.M. Seymour, who was the operator of Franklin County Coal Company.

The Rotarian motto has always been "service above self," and the club has had countless fundraisers, giving all back to the community and local charities.