Sault Legends: Rotary Club (1922-2007 accomplishments)


Many of us come from surrounding areas and locally to Rotaryfest every year, and the contributions that the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie have made to the health and healthcare systems of the city is worth noting.

Service clubs are there to serve others and since this column has always been about dreams, goals and ambitions throughout the 70 editions of Sault Legends, this one is part of the big picture too.

So instead of listing a history of the organization, it may serve better to list the organizations’ actions in serving the community, as it is a long, long list:

1922 – Community parade was held to provide funds to purchase a car for the city nurse.

1923 – the Crippled Children Clinic was created to look after crippled children in the district. Until 1947, only one doctor came from Toronto.

1952– Rotary Children’s Centre Since was created and approximately $240,000 has been expended on the Rotary Children’s Centre and its preceding units. It currently operates in the former James Lyons School building and has been renamed the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre – Algoma.

1957 – A five-year agreement struck with the St. Mary’s River Boat Club to rebuild and maintain the tennis courts for the exclusive use of the children and instructors, the first of many Rotary tennis courts throughout the city.

1960 – at the Davey Home, there was the installation of a public address system and piped-in music.

1968 – for the former St. Mary’s River Boat Club, the land of the boat club was acquired to provide a club house and equipment to be maintained by the YMCA for outdoor, summer youth activities. It is now known as RYTAC.

1975 – Snowarama, which was tarted by Whipper Billy Watson and organized by service clubs was held on St. Joseph’s Island with 170 riders completing the 100 mile course and raising over $16,000.

1981 – Thankful Tankful, Rotarians manned the gas pumps at Esso stations throughout the city to raise money for The Easter Seal Telethon.

1988 – a Science Fair stimulates an interest in science and technology among young Canadians in elementary and secondary school.

1995 – Battle of the Sections, sponsored by Petro Canada was started to raise funds for “Kids First!” The Easter Seal Telethon by passing the hat at a Greyhound game.

1998 – the Rotary Play Centre at Bellevue Park was created by the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie in cooperation with the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to open the new playground in the park. The $130,000 donation more than doubled the size of the existing playground.

1998 – Rotarians begin an ongoing program by supplying small necessities: soap, shampoo, conditioner, combs and toothpaste to the Sault Area Hospitals’ Pediatrics department.

1999 – the Therapeutic Ride Program was created in the summer of 1999, where Woodland Springs offered the stables as a venue for the ride program and conducted four very successful six-week ride programs.

2002 – the Children’s Rehabilitation Centre of Algoma received from the The Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, $25,000 so that the Children’s Centre could upgrade their day care facility to meet provincial standards to become a full-day program.

2002 – $25,000 was committed for two years to the Cardiac Care Unit of the Sault Area Hospital for heart monitors.

2005 – $24,000 was pledged to the Sault Area Hospital Foundation for two years for a new procedure light for the minor O. R. Unit.

2005 – $86,000 was donated to purchase additional playground equipment for Bellevue through a joint Rotary Centennial Project with Sault North Rotary.

2007– $100,000 pledged in support of the Sault Area Hospital.