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Director (RCJCSF)
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Chair - Social
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Director (RCJCSF)
Director (RCJCSF)
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President (RCJCSF)
Committee Chair
Director (RCJCSF)
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Committee Chair
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Director (RCJCSF)
Chair - Literacy
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Director (RCJCSF)
Chair - Red Kettle
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Director 2014-2017
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Club Information

Welcome to our Club!


Service Above Self

We meet Mondays at 12:00 PM
Robert H. Jackson Center
305 East Fourth Street
Jamestown, NY  14701
United States
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Home Page Stories

We are pleased to welcome Mark Baldwin to Rotary as a new member! Mark's membership was sponsored by Spud, who has known Mark for many years. Mark is a Jamestown native who graduated from SUNY Fredonia and taught for two years in Alaska. An author and artist with deep knowledge of the Chautauqua region and its natural history, he has spent 25 years working for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. From left are Spud Ericson, Mark Baldwin, and Todd Allen.

Lee Harkness introduced Ken Springirth, a graduate of the Drexel Institute of Technology (now known as Drexel University) in Philadelphia. Ken is the author of 25 books on trains and trolley cars. Ken comes by his interest honestly: his father was a streetcar operator in Philadelphia and his grandfather was a streetcar operator in Washington, D.C.
Ken said that we are fast approaching the 155th anniversary of the first passenger train coming to Jamestown, which happened on August 25, 1860. And when that happened, it changed everything. It put Jamestown on the map by making it possible, for the first time, to connect with the outside world. Jamestown "took off," in Ken's words, and he went so far as to say the development of the railroads contributed more to the country's growth than any other mode of transportation because it became easier and cheaper to move goods. 
On June 13, 1891, the first electric trolley car in Jamestown was put into service and Ken said it revolutionized local transportation. Suddenly, it was possible to connect Jamestown to the rest of the county, and even to Erie and Buffalo. Quality of life increased because workers no longer needed to live right next to their place of employment (often factories) and could move to the outskirts of town. 
Ken said that the Broadhead family had a deep interest in creating a solid trolley system for Jamestown and invested a great deal of money into the system. In 1897, the family purchased a steam railroad line that was making no money -- the Jamestown, Chautauqua, and Erie line -- and electrified it, turning it into a linchpin of local transit.
By 1909, you could go from Oneonta to Wisconsin via trolley and train. It took 20 connections, but you could do it! As history progressed, the railroad and trolley system remained important. Ken said the country's rail system was hugely important during World War II, when the country needed to move troops and supplies cross-country quickly and easily.
Jamestown's growth was most solid around this time ... and then gradually, it gave way to the automobile. By 1970, there were only 7 trolley systems remaining in the U.S. Now, the Erie Lackawanna line has been bankrupted, but the track and line was preserved. And Ken said that fact makes our Train Station much more viable and important. Train lines will become "tomorrow's highways," Ken said, and he credited Jamestown for its leadership and vision.
From left are Walt Pickut, Ken Springirth, and Lee Harkness.

Two new members were welcomed on Friday afternoon. They included Jeff Smith, sponsored by Linda DeJoseph, and Kurt Johnson, sponsored by John Lloyd. Jeff is the new Executive Director at St. Susan's Center and Kurt is the owner of Shawbuck's (which, by the way, was just recently named Restaurant of the Year by the Jamestown Community Chamber of Commerce). From left to right are John Lloyd, Kurt Johnson, Jeff Smith, Spud Ericson (filling in for Linda), and Todd Allen. Welcome!

The club was honored today, to present Lucy Miller with her third Paul Harris Award.  Lucy's generosity and kindness have resulted in her receiving the Masonic "DeWitt Clinton" Award, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Axel Carlson Award, the Woman of the Year Award, and three Paul Harris Fellows among others.  She loves music, playing the saxophone, trombone, hand bells, organ, and the piano of course, playing for Little Theatre, Junior Guilders, Jamestown High School and many area churches.  Lucy not only loves music but her community and her family.  She is the mother of 5, grandmother of 11, great grandmother of 20 and also has a great great grandchild. Her volunteer service includes St. Susan's Center, Audubon, the Humane Society, Lutheran and Tanglewood.  But nowhere does Lucy's love of music and her love for her community shine more than with her involvement with the Lucille Ball Little Theatre and the Junior Guilders program.
Lucy's good friend of 50 years, Helen Merrill, came to the Rotary meeting to honor her friend, what she didn't realize was that Lucy was also honoring her.  As a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, Lucy can present a Paul Harris Award to someone else of her choosing.  Lucy chose her friend and colleague Helen for that honor.  Lucy and Helen are similar in their love for family, community and music.  Helen is the mother of 2 sons, and has two grandsons.  Her husband and high school sweet heart is our own Norm Merrill.  She volunteers at WCA Hospital, the American Heart Association, Easter Seals, the cancer center, PTA, and of course at Little Theatre, where she is a full time volunteer.  She has received many awards including the Masonic "DeWitt Clinton" Award, the Sertoma Service to Mankind Award, the American Heart Association Friend of Heart, S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. Award of Harmony and the Woman of the Year Award.  Although she has worked as a real estate salesperson and a beautician it is her work with Little Theatre that Helen is best known for.  She has directed 6 plays, acted in 12 plays and musicals, directed over 40 musicals and co-founded the Junior Guilders over thirty years ago.  Together Lucy and Helen have taken the Guilders to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Universal Studios, Disney World (4 times), the Kennedy Center, the White House, England, and Paris, and they aren't finished yet.
Spud Ericson, Paul Harris Fellows Lucy Miller and Helen Merrill and President Todd Allen

The Fire & Ice Ball in only it's second year was a sellout and from the photos one can see it was an awesome event. This is our main fundraiser for the year and all of the net proceeds go to local and international organizations of need. To date our Rotary Club charitable donations have exceeded over one million dollars! If you missed it this year put next year on your calendar.There are many to thank from our hard working committee to those who support us by attending and going home happy and tired. We extend a huge thank you to our donors. The two major prizes were one week in the Grand Mayan Resort In Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Vidanta Vacations, a diamond ring from Gaylene's and our thanks also to Artone Manufacturing who donated $500 to the winner of the trip to help with flight expenses. WOW! Gary & Nancy Padak are going to Mexico and Peggy Sweeney is sporting a new diamond ring. Those who contributed basket  items to take a chance on were: Spectrum  Eyecare, Sharon & Bob Hamilton, Michael Inman, Helen Bigg, J B Liquors, Paula Holmes, Lisa Yaggie, Christy Brecht and Andy & Lisa Goodell. Our thanks also to Rob Sigler Photography, our event photographer for the use of some of his photos.  We share the fun with you!


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Apr 27, 2015
Carl Belke
WNY & PA Railway
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