The Catalina Rotary Club, the 2nd oldest in Tucson, was chartered February 5, 1948 with 23 members. District Governor Al Lent, his representative Bob Morrow, and Tucson Rotary Club President Jack O’Dowd were the principal organizers. Catalina is believed to be one of the first “second clubs” in the world having received its provisional charter immediately following enactment of RI legislation permitting more than one club in any given community. The first club president was Brick Storts. Roy Long took over on July 1, 1948.
Elbert Gump, Catalina’s third president, attended the Rotary International Convention in New York City. Since then each incoming president has attended the international convention. A contribution paid to The Rotary Foundation by each new member illustrates this club’s continuing support. Additionally current and former Catalina Rotarians have generously produced 300 Paul Harris Fellowships (a level of giving over $1,000.00).
Catalina Rotary continues to serve the community and the world while promoting projects and activities that enrich the lives of its members and their families. The club won the Horace B. Griffin Award six times for being the outstanding club in its district. In 1998 the Griffin Award was replaced by the Presidential Citation Award presented by the President of Rotary International. The club has received this recognition nearly every year since that time.
Catalina has seen nine members become District Governor: Elbert Gump (1955-56), Hank Egbert (1956-57), Fran Coffey (1971-72), Don Ownbey (1973-74), Matty Schuler (1983-84), Dick Palmer (1988-89), Gene Crandall (1998-99), Al Chesser (2002-03), Ron Goodsite (2004-05), Frank Presson (2015-2016) and Kirk Reed (2017-
As the Catalina Rotary Club embraces the 2016-2017 theme “Rotary Serving Humanity”, a strong commitment to our community will continue, membership will be strengthened in number and diversity, member engagement, fellowship and leadership development will be purposeful, developing and engaging the new generations will be a major priority and strengthening the support of the Rotary Foundation and doing its part to End Polio Now will be a constant and overarching goal.