Club Centennial

Enchanted Evening at the Naval Park Museum
We began our Centennial year, 2011, with an Enchanted Evening in the Naval Park Museum at Canalside on November 4, 2010. Governmental representatives from the City of Buffalo attended and proclamations from Mayor Byron Brown and the Common Council were read acknowledging the club's many contributons to the City of Buffalo over the years.

President-Elect, Ron Caruso, presented a check for $10,000 to Brian Dusenberry, President of the Theater District Association, for upcoming Magical Memories on Main Street during the Christmas shopping season.

Rotary Rink Opening
Saturday night, December 4, 2010 was a magic time for Buffalo Rotary. There were many people skating at the opening of Rotary Rink during the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree. Before and after the opening, many people viewed the “Magical Memories” displays from the old AM&A’s windows. A Buffalo News article by Jay Rey, “Downtown catches holiday spirt,” described the excitement and credited the Rotary Club of Buffalo for our grant which made all of it possible. 


Magical Memories on Main Street
Anne Neville's article in the Buffalo News on November 16, 2010 says it all: “Starting Saturday, these and dozens of other figurines will return to windows in downtown Buffalo for the first time in more than a decade as Magical Memories on Main Street is presented by the Theatre District Association of Western New York and the Rotary Club of Buffalo. Businesses in the 600 block of Main Street in the Theater District, between Tupper and Chippewa, will fill their windows with some of the scenes that delighted people of all ages from the 1930s through the 1990s.”


Rotary Park Sculpture on Rotary Row
On April 28, 2011 Buffalo Rotary celebrated the new sculpture we installled in Rotary Park, where Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse is situated.

DG Karen Oakes joined President Charlie and Tony Diina as they welcomed the many government representatives and friends who attended. Paul Kolkmeyer, president, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse board of directors greeted all with Paul Joyce, president, West Side Rowing Club board of directors. Attending as well were Sawrie Becker, representing County Executive, Chris Collins; Sam Hoyt, NYS Assemblyman, District 144; Timothy Kennedy, NYS Senator from the 58th District; and David Rivera, Niagara District Common Council Member, who has been the prominent supporter for many years of Rotary Park and helped in renaming the street from Porter Avenue to Rotary Row.

President Charlie Martorana, the artist and donor, Rotarian Ed Hogle, and our good supporter, City of Buffalo Councilman, David Rivera, veiw the scupture.

Gala Centennial Dinner

Our anniversary was celebrated with a Gala Dinner at the Hyatt on April 26, 2011. Ray Klinginsmith, President of Rotary International, was our speaker.

As reported by Steve Robshaw in the COG: The evening was set – the room was beautifully arranged, the formally-attired guests were gathered, all was ready for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club of Buffalo.

Our own former Rotarian, Maryalice Demler introduced the evening by asking “How do you achieve the milestone of 100  years?” Followed up by “One year at a time!” Mayor Byron Brown spoke, District Governor Karen Oakes spoke, both praising the works of Rotary.  Then, recalling that Paul Harris himself attended our 25th anniversary, Ray Klingingsmith, president of Rotary International, gave a lighthearted address concluding “Rotary does it best!” Finally our President Charlie Martorana wrapped up the evening in his gentlemanly manner. Oh what an evening of remembering the past.  On to the future!

President Charlie and Foundation President, Rich Adams, presented  two checks to  Ray Klinginsmith: $13, 500 for Every Rotarian Every Year; and $10,000 for Polio Plus.


Parade Held at the Buffalo Zoo on May 21
The rain stopped long enough on May 21st for the Rotary Parade at the Buffalo Zoo to take place!  Our 100th anniversary was commemorated by a short parade that included Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and youngsters from the Willie Hutch Jones Sports Clinics, the Buffalo Fire department and the Erie County Sheriff’s Mounted Patrol.


In addition, several lovable, colorful cartoon characters were present thanks to Matt Spencer and Comfort Suites. Thanks to the Rotarians who were present as well as Donna Fernandez and the staff at the zoo.


100-foot Centennial Flagpole at Naval Park Flag Day Dedication on June 14
The 100-foot Rotary Flagpole is shown flying a 30 by 60 foot flag on Flag Day, June 14, 2011. The flagpole was installed on the grounds of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park, at the corner of Marine Drive and Erie Street, near Templeton Landing in Buffalo.


A very large audience witnessed the dedication. The Color Guard from the US  Navy Operational Support Center opened the ceremony. Singer and composer Ricky Lee sang the National Anthem and closed the dedication with his original composition for the event, “Standing Tall.” Approximately 40 fifth graders from Public School 72 led veiwers in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Buffalo Rotary Time Capsule Buried at Base of Rotary Flagpole
July 21st was historic for many reasons, not least of which were the sultry temperatures – several days above 90 degrees – breaking records set in the 1950s.  However, July 21, 2011 will become known as the day the Rotary Club of Buffalo buried its “centennial” time capsule at the base of the 100-foot Rotary flagpole on the grounds of the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park.  Filled with historical ephemera, the time capsule will be re-opened in 2111, providing future generations with a century’s worth of “Rotary snapshots in time.”

An intrepid gathering of (perspiring) Rotarians watched as the time capsule was lowered into the ground by Bill Swenson (who spearheaded its design) and Rotary flagpole chair Tony Diina.