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Harrodsburg Rotary Turns 100

Longtime Member David Taylor Shares Rotary Story

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
The Harrodsburg Rotary Club is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. David Taylor has been a member for 51 years.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Harrodsburg Rotary Club celebrates its 100th anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 16. Member David Taylor has been there for a little over half of the organization’s life. Taylor, a walking history of Harrodsburg and Mercer County, is in his 51st year as a Rotarian.

“I was nominated by Andy Williams, who was a friend of mine,” Taylor recalled recently. “He’d been in the Rotary Club five or six years, and he nominated me.”

At that time, Taylor said his nomination was “shocking.”

“Having a Democrat in the Rotary Club was unusual,” said Taylor, who retired—more or less—last year after 56 years as a local attorney,

Rotary International is one of the largest service organizations in the world. The avowedly non-political and non-religious organization claims a membership of 1.4 million individuals worldwide who belong to more than 46,000 clubs, including the Harrodsburg Rotary, which was formed in 1923.

The Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self,” and the Harrodsburg Rotary has undertaken many projects over the years to make Harrodsburg and Mercer County a better place. The club awards scholarships to seniors graduating from local high schools, funded in part by events like the Rotary Pancake Day, which began 60 years ago, Taylor said.

“We have given over $300,000 in scholarships from the Rotary Club to the children of Mercer County,” Taylor said.

The Harrodsburg Rotary has begun a new fund-raising project known as Queen of Hearts. Tickets can be purchased at the Combination on Main (225 South Main Street), with drawings every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Combination. The live, in-person drawing is open to anyone 18 and over. The drawing is also live-streamed on Facebook Live at 6:50 p.m.
Rotary International was founded in Chicago in 1905 by a group of civic-minded businessmen led by Paul Harris, who is quoted as saying, “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves” on the Rotary International website.

That focus on results is what Taylor likes best about the club.

“It’s the quiet civic club,” Taylor said. “That was its reputation in the past, and hopefully in the future.”

That was one of the reasons he joined way back in 1972, and it’s why he said he remains a Rotarian today.

“If there are good projects brought up, the Rotary Club or individual members of the Rotary Club will be involved,” Taylor said.

Globally, Rotary International has been one of the leading organizations in the fight to eradicate polio. Taylor said he’s proud of the role local Rotarians played after the United States Supreme Court struck down segregated schools in 1954.

“It could have been a very volatile situation, not only in this nation but in our own community,” Taylor recalled. “Several members in the Rotary Club worked long and hard to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

“The history of the Rotary Club has been one in which we’ve tried to be quiet, not self-centered, not self-glorifying, but willing to do hard work to improve the quality of life in this community,” Taylor said. “I hope that will be our reputation when they do the 150th anniversary in the newspaper.”

The Rotary Club of Harrodsburg meets weekly at noon on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall of the Harrodsburg Christian Church (305 South Main Street). To learn more, visit their Facebook page @Harrodsburg Rotary.

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