Rotary Club of Hazleton

About Our Club

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Rotary and the principles thereof were unknown in the Hazleton area at the close of World War I. It was not until late in the year 1920 that the idea of a Rotary Club for Hazleton started to germinate. It was nurtured in the minds of a very small group of men for several months. Discussions on the merits of a Club were many, as were conferences on the matter of selection of the original twenty-one men who would be invited to start the Club. (At that time twenty-one was the minimum number needed in order for a charter to be granted). It was a difficult task, as not all whom were chosen were interested. The idea and ideals of a service club were new to Hazleton and its value was yet to be determined and proven. Questions were asked and answers sought from neighboring Clubs. The work finally bore fruit in early 1921 when 'Charter Night' was held in March of that year. The official birth date of the Rotary Club of Hazleton was set as March 1, 1921.

The Rotary Club of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania sponsored the formation of the Rotary Club of Hazleton No. 827. District Governor John Rudisell of Baltimore, Maryland presented the charter document to the Officers of the new Club in a meeting room of the old YWCA building on West Broad Street.

The club met regularly for several years in the upstairs dining room of the old YMCA building and later moved to the newly built Hotel Altamont in 1924. A problem developed with the quality of the meals at the Hotel and the Club moved the meeting place to the YWCA. Rotaryanns cooked and served the meals to the fledgling club. On November 13, 1940 the club moved its meetings back to the Altamont, and the hotel remained our headquarters until early 1965 when the hotel closed. The club then moved to Stan Genetti's Pennsylvania Room then later to the Gus Genetti Towne & Country Room. The club presently meets in the Hall of Presidents at the Genetti Best Western each Wednesday at 12:15 p.m.