The Rotary Club of Sanford-Springvale Maine will be celebrating its 100th anniversary at a Centennial Gala on Saturday, September 16, at a private hangar at the Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport. 
Plans are in the final stages for this celebration and club president, Elias Thomas announced that the guest of honor at the event will be Senator Susan M. Collins.  Members of the senator's family have also been involved with Rotary in the Bangor area over the past number of years.
Originally chartered on January 19, 1923, the club was started by Willis Folsom, who served as the club's first president. Club members met on the fourth floor of the Bradford Block but soon changed location to a   building adjacent to a movie theater, before the club settled on meeting several decades at the Town Club atop the Sanford Trust Company Building.
When asked, Thomas indicated, "This is a celebration of our SERVICE TO THE COMMNUITY AND THE WORLD!"  Over the years, club members have been actively involved with creating playground areas at the adult education building; a meditation garden at the York County Cancer Care Center; establishing Rotary Park in Springvale; supporting other organizations including York County Shelter Program with collection and distribution of food and clothing items; each year ringing the bells for the Salvation Army Red Kettle project; working cooperatively with the Sanford Kiwanis Club in providing a Christmas Party to economically disadvantaged children in the community with a pizza party and gifts and a photo with Santa; contributing tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to graduating students from Sanford High School, Massabesic High School and Noble High School, and sending several tenth grade students from local high schools to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) for training in leadership and team-building skills. Each year for more than three decades, Rotarians have been known for cooking and serving their "world-famous sauteed chicken livers" at the Acton Fair!
The club has also been heavily involved in international projects, including youth exchange for high school students to study abroad; Group Study Exchange for young adults to experience different cultures across the world.  Since 2008, members of the club traveled to India for the purpose of participating in the first corporate project of The Rotary Foundation - the eradication of Polio from the face of the earth!  Sanford Rotarians have been responsible for immunizing several thousands of children below the age of five years against the disease. In addition, a few members have continued to travel to India, not only for the National Immunization Day (NIDs) but also for more hands-on projects.  These included the building washing platforms and safe toilet and shower buildings for women and girl children in a predominantly Muslim village about two hours from New Delhi.  Since 2010, members, as well as Rotarians and friends of Rotary from England, France, Iceland, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Australia and Russia have worked with local Rotarians and the Rural Development Foundation in India to help raise funds for and to help in the construction of more than a dozen water catchment dams in dried-up riverbeds in arid jungle areas of the states of Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujerat. This year, Rotarians will help to construct a dam near the city of Udaipur - location of the James Bond thriller Octopussy!
For additional information or to purchase tickets for this event, contact rotary.ss.me@gmail.com