Imperial Rotary names new president
Tom Gaschler turned over reigns as president of the Imperial Rotary Club to Lori Pankonin at a steak and shrimp dinner at Enders Golf Course last Thursday evening. Pankonin also held the position in 2006-07.
Don Peterson of Kearney will begin a new leadership role July 1 as District Governor of District 5630 and was a special guest at the event. He presented a flag to the club portraying the Rotary International theme for the year, “Be a gift to the world,” which is what Rotary is all about. Peterson will return in September for an official visit.
Bill Bryan of Imperial takes on new responsibilities as Assistant Governor and will oversee clubs in Imperial, Grant and Ogallala.
Outgoing President Gaschler made a presentation to Jane Moreland for reaching the second level as a Paul Harris Fellow. Paul Harris, a Chicago attorney, sparked the idea to start Rotary more than 110 years ago.
What started as an opportunity for businessmen to gather and share ideas grew to include service projects which then grew to incorporate helping others around the world.
Rotary Foundation was established and grew by millions of dollars at the time of the founder’s death. A program to honor givers contributing $1000 and more was established.
Honorary Paul Harris Fellows are also named through a recognition point system. Lori Pankonin, outgoing Imperial Foundation Chairman, announced the most recent named Imperial Paul Harris Fellows. Elna Johnson, Donnabeth Ferrel and Esther Arnison have continued to be special guests at Rotary events, all widows of former active Imperial Rotarians Loral Johnson, Lowell Ferrel and Bert Arnison. They have each supported the Rotary Foundation.
Pankonin presented Bill and Cheryl Bryan with a matching Rotary necktie and scarf in appreciation for taking the Imperial club to the next level. Bill is getting close to his fourth level as a Paul Harris Fellow. They have promoted international projects. Pankonin said Cheryl has given Imperial a Facebook presence and has been an exceptional secretary and historian for the club.
Mrs. Arnison shared a picture of Imperial’s first Rotary Exchange Student, Rosalind Pieters, and a grandchild. Rosalind represented the Netherlands in 1969. The Arnisons were among her host families and the ladies have enjoyed ongoing communication.
As an activity, all those present shared something about themselves that others in the room probably didn’t know about them.