Courtesy of  Ray Leisy, Club Historian
The Wooster Rotary Year 1979-80 began with a new Wooster Rotary President, David Briggs. President Dave began the new Rotary year with a club assembly where all club committees met with their chairmen and committee members to plan for the coming year. A new committee was added with Pete Bogner as chair to plan a celebration of Rotary International's 75th Anniversary. President Dave and Past President Bob Weiss also shared a slide program outlining Rotary International’s 3H program for the 75th to help hunger and health programs. Although local Rotary Clubs were not set specific goals, Wooster Rotary voted to contribute $1,500 to the project.

The July 18th program was one to remember presented by Wooster Rotarian Gerhard Soeseman who shared his experience as a member of the Hitler Youth Brigade, German youth 10 years or older were pressed into service in the Hitler Youth Brigade. Gerhard was pressed into service at the age of 13 working in a munitions factory. Then in the summer of 1944, with no notice, Gerhard and his fellow corpsmen were loaded onto a train and sent to Holland. Once there they were set to digging tank traps and machine gun nests. After D Day they were sent back to Germany and conscripted into the German Army to defend Berlin and Hitler. They retreated towards Berlin driven by American forces and soon came up against the Russian forces. When they heard that Hitler was dead, Gerhard and 10 of his friends surrendered to the American forces. They spent three months in a prisoner of war camp. Gerhard and his wife came to the United States in 1955 where he worked for Moore’s Bakery until he opened his own store, Gerhard’s Bakery.

In August (1979) Wooster Rotary sponsored the Wooster United Way 2 mile and 4 mile Run for the first time. The Club provided t-shirts and workers. The Club continued sponsorship until the run ended in the 1990’s. Wooster Rotary also joined with the Wooster Exchange Club and the Wayne County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League to sponsor the Spangler Day Camp for Wayne County youth. It was held at Spangler Park and organized by Linda Moran, Director of the Wooster Community Center and Josie Drushal, a teacher at Melrose School. The pilot project this year was three days long sessions.

The September 26th meeting featured a buffet line for Wooster Rotary meetings for the first time. It seemed to go well and the Board is considering making it a weekly event..

The Interclub meeting will be a special one this year with Jesse Owens as the speaker. Tickets seemed to be going fast.

On February 25, 1980, Wooster Rotarians, spouses and guests gathered in Kitteridge Hall on a Saturday evening to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of Rotary.

The 1980 fourth Rotary Auction was another success with a gross of $36,000 and an expected net of $5,000.