A centenary is the hundredth anniversary of an event. Did you know the Rotary Club of New Bedford was established in 1921, making it one of the oldest service clubs in New Bedford?

Cheryl Barrett is the president of the local club.

"We're excited to tell the community that we are celebrating our hundredth year anniversary! In truth, our original anniversary had to be postponed, in the midst of the pandemic, in 2021," she said. "No one was holding public, in-person meetings, but more importantly, we wouldn't put at risk any of our members, and that bears mentioning."

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"We have a great team of people who've had longevity with the club, and over the years, have continued to do the service work that we set out to do. It's part of the Rotarian promise: 'Service Above Self,'" she said.

As a radio host, when I first moved to New Bedford, I recall helping promote Rotary International's project to immunize six million children against polio in the Philippines.

Barrett spoke about giving.

"Our focus of service is about our neighbors on the block, the people in our city and all the families and children in New Bedford," she said.

Service to others not only takes a helping hand, but a lot of elbow grease. Every year, local Rotarians fulfill a national tradition.

"It takes a lot of organization and team work to prepare and cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner, through the Salvation Army," Barrett said. "It's literally an all-day event for us."

Their service to others includes annual scholarships to New Bedford students.

"We've been doing this since 2006. This year alone, we plan to award $7,000. We're very grateful to help Santa find children in local family domestic abuse shelters, annually ring the bells for the Salvation Army's Kettle Drive, to building playgrounds, and more," Barrett said. "The Rotary club of New Bedford has a proud record of addressing challenges in our community and around the world."

The 100th anniversary celebration is a ticketed fundraiser, open to all, this Saturday, April 15 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaler's Inn on Hathaway Road. The Rotary's Facebook page has more information.

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