History of the Rotary Club of Kittery
The continued efforts, interest and dedication of many people helped bring this new club into being.
The genesis of our club began during District Governor Sam Giftos term, 1985-86. It was then the possibility of a Kittery club was seriously considered. Bud Watt and Marty Ulan, special representatives of the District Governor, discussed this possibility and worked to find potential Rotarians with the time and inclination to begin organization work.
During a meeting with Joe Hahn, District Governor 1986-1987, Joe mentioned that an active Rotarian from Rockland, Pat Donahue, was moving to Kittery as Superintendent of Schools. In the fall of 1986, Marty Ulan and Pat Donahue met and organizational efforts were initiated. Marty Ulan approached the Directors of the York Club to act as a sponsoring club.
Things moved slowly until Bud Watt referred Dave Hager to Marty Ulan. A list of potential members was developed and the first meeting of Marty Ulan, Pat Donahue, Dave Hager and Gary Adams was held April 24, 1987 at Valle’s Restaurant. When Russ McMullen, Past President 1978-1979 of the South Berwick Club, joined, weekly group meetings were started.
It was Gary Adams’ suggestion that we consider women members. The York Club supported the decision and eligible women were recruited. President John Flentje of the York Club appointed an extension committee. Jeff Clark, Past President of York, 1986-1987, was chairman of the committee and the Kittery Club was started on its way.
In a letter to Bill Egli, (in charge of Rotary expansion in Chicago) Marty Ulan reported that the club would soon become eligible for a charter.
Our charter, with 28 Charter Members listed, was finalized and submitted on September 14, 1987 for approval. The charter draft reflected the strength of conviction to allow both businessmen and businesswomen to be of service to the community by being members. The charter was finally approved on October 12, 1987.
We have been told that the Kittery Club was either the first or second club in the United States to charter with women. We have contacted RI but they cannot verify this.
Gary T. Adams
Sharon Anderson* June 15, 1999
David E. Avery
Del Blickensderfer* September 26, 2006
Leonard F. Box
Dwyn D. Dion
Patrick L. Donahue* October 28, 2009
Thomas J. Gentile
Carol Sue Grover
R. David Hager* October 17, 2008
Walter S. Jackson
Diane Steiner Johnson
Richard D. Johnson
John R. Kennedy* February 12, 2012
Harrison E. Lemont* August 10, 2007
Fred E. McCain, Jr.
Russell P. McMullen, Charter President
John G. Robbins
Raymond D. Roy
Dean C. Smith* January 28, 2000
Norman R. Smith, Sr.
Dan W. Thornhill
Marie A. Williams
Donald A. Young* February 17, 2014
Marlene A. Young
The Youngs were our first married couple. Check out the Photo Album for pictures of our Charter Night under Archieved Photo Albums.
Charter Members in attendance at Charter Night
Top row from the left to right: R. David Hager, Jr., Harrison Lemont, Norman Smith, Sr.and Patrick Donahue.
Third row from left to right: Richard Johnson, Dean C. Smith, Raymond Roy, Walter Jackson, Gary T. Adams and Russell McMullen, Charter President.
Second row from left to right: Carol Sue Grover, John Kennedy, Marie Williams, Marlene Young, Sharon Anderson, Diane Steiner Johnson, Dan Thornhill, Fred McCanin, Jr., Donald Young and Raymah Morgridge.
Seated left to right: District 779 Governor J. Marcel Girardeau, Dwyn Dion and Joyce Carbtree.
Not in Attendance: Christine Alderson, David E. Avery, Del Blickensderfer, Leonard F. Box, Thomas J. Gentile and John Robbins.
On October 21, 1987 the picture below was in the Portsmouth Herald showing that the newly former Rotary Club of Kittery, Maine was immediately getting involved in Rotary Internationals's Fund Raising efforts to eradicate Polio.