Club Features
April 2nd, 2016
By Don Breckon
Come back in time with me. WWII is barely over.  VE Day was May 8, 1945.  VJ Day was September 2nd.  The country was just getting back to normal The following March 26th, Parkville Rotary Club was organized.  We are, arguably, the oldest, largest and best known service Club in the Northland, certainly in the Parkville area.   The Park College president, the mayor, the banker, and other business leaders formed the Club, and college presidents, political leaders, bankers and other business leaders have always been part of our Club.
As part of Rotary International, our object was and is to bring together a diverse group of community leaders to promote and facilitate community service.  With the motto of Service above Self, we have served selflessly for 70 years.  And serve we have.
Our service during these 70 years has been with volunteer hours, leadership skills, and money. We helped organized the local fire department, have helped build parks and playgrounds, and fitness trails.  We have helped Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs, high school bands and other school groups.  
We have supported numerous camps for the disadvantaged and handicapped. We have contributed to Harvesters, individual food pantries, and the Northland School children hunger relief program. We have prepared and distributed kits for the homeless.  
We have helped in several beautification projects, provided benches and a clock in the town triangle.  We have placed flags in front of homes and businesses on four national holidays.
We have sent high school students to leadership camps, and provided college scholarships.  We have supported college preparation academies, a Park University Model UN Group.  We have sponsored both a high school Interact Club and a college Roteract Club. 
We have supported the Kansas City chapter of the American Red Cross and other nonprofit groups too numerous to mention.  We have supported Drug Prevention projects.
Our members have donated time, labor and fund raising skills to help build trails, parks and playgrounds, to provide drug free New Year’s Eve activities, to distribute fire alarms, to staff road races for charities, and to ring bells for the Salvation Army’s numerous emergency relief projects. 
We have sent money around the nation and around the world to help during earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, tidal waves and floods. We supported a school lunch program in Uganda for three years during a famine, and have created water wells in the Congo.  We have provided permanent clean water supplies in Mexico, have also helped build schools and provide desks, computers and other essentials.  We have helped provide health care in developing countries and as needed during national emergencies.  And this Club has contributed approximately $300,000 to Rotary International’s program to completely eliminate Polio from the face of the earth. 
We have welcomed visiting Friendship teams from all continents except Antarctica, and have sent delegations to many countries, and have supported numerous other peace making activities.
We have raised funds to support these projects in many, many ways, but perhaps most impressively, we assess ourselves a charity contribution each month and have had a charity budget of $25 to $30,000 each of the last several years.
These are but a few of the service projects we have been engaged in, and we have done so with emphasis on high ethical standards by also emphasizing the Four Way Test.  And we have done this while being nonprofit, non-political, and not only non-discriminating but also welcoming.  Club Presidents have been Caucasian, African American, Mexican and in a few short weeks, Argentinian.  We were and are among the leading Clubs in the World in integrating women into the Club and into leadership roles.
Ladies and Gentlemen, be proud and be loud about the accomplishments of this Club, of which you are an important part. You not only are community leaders, but are some of the finest, most generous, most ethical people I know.  I am proud to be Parkville Rotarian, and to be numbered among you as members of this outstanding service club with a stunning record of service above self.