Club History
The Rotary Club of Aurora was chartered April 14, 1954 at the Townhouse Restaurant at Colfax and Peoria. 
There were 28 charter members, none of whom are still in our club. Roy Miller, manager of  Penney’s was our first president. We were sponsored by the Denver Club.
The Aurora Rotary Club has had a history of dynamic members who have lived up to our motto, Service Above Self. They have been a part of the many projects and accomplishments of our club.  Some additional projects are listed below in no particular order or time frame:

Fishing Derby, Golf Tournaments, Trash Pickup, Habitat for Humanity, Gateway Parade, Reforestation in Jamaica, Interact Clubs, RYLA, October Fest, Pumpkin Fest, Homestead Home, Peaceful Schools, Shots for Tots, Polio Plus, Youth Exchange, Flower Power, State of the City, State of the Base
 

Club Highlights and Projects

The dates are approximate.

1955 A project that lasted several years was bringing Santa Claus to Aurora City Park at 16th and Dayton, by helicopter. Candy and gifts were handed out to the kids. They then went to the Aurora Fox Theater to see cartoons.

1958 Started the Aurora YMCA. The entire board consisted of Rotarians.

1959 Started participating in the Youth Exchange program. Our first incoming student was from Australia.

1960 Organized and promoted a bicycle safety program with the Aurora Police Department. Dollars for Scholars was started this year.

1962 A fire that destroyed the Townhouse forced us to move to the Emporia Lounge at Colfax and Emporia. This building known as the Cityscape Building was recently razed to make way for the new development.

1963 The Rural-Urban Project was a huge success. Lou Tandy chaired the program. We purchased an animal for a young 4H student to raise. He then sold the animal and the proceeds were used to further his education or to purchase more livestock.

1964 Our meeting place was moved to the China Doll, which proved to be a popular location for make-ups from Denver. Sometimes the visitors out numbered our members.

1965 The Salvation Army bell-ringing started this year. Our first location was the old Woolco store at 6th and Peoria. Fundraisers were held to finance the project of lighting the swimming pool in north Aurora.

1966 The International Convention was held in Denver. Entertainment consisted of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Westernaires and a musical program at Red Rocks Secretary of State Dean Rusk and Lord Caradon, British Ambassador to the United Nations were featured speakers. Initiated project to light baseball fields at Highline Park. Our first outgoing Exchange Student was Jane Radcliffe who was hosted by the Pajala, Sweden Club.

1968 Tracy Burt was our first delegate to an International Convention. It was held in Mexico City.

1969 We purchased a bus for handicapped children at First Creek Elementary School. A new car was raffled off as a fund raiser. Also many Rotarians donated cash for the privilege of cutting President Ed Legate’s hair.

1971 We sponsored a group study exchange to Wales. A project honoring the City Employee of the month was started. Rotarian Jim Murray was the first recipient of the award for instituting  Student Day in Government.

1973 Pickens Tech was named after past president Tom Pickens. Our meeting place was moved to Wyatt’s Cafeteria in Hoffman Heights.

1975 The Outstanding Student award was started.

1976-77 John Fuhr was our district governor. President Ben Wintergalen, Ray Nichols,and Bob Solomon co-chaired the district convention at the Broadmoor.

1978 The Rotary Ann group was formed. The spouses of Rotarians met once a month and were very helpful in our projects. Our meeting place as moved to the Holiday Inn at I-70 and Chambers to accommodate the increase in membership. Celebrated the Club’s 25th Anniversary

1979 We purchased a van for the Red Cross. We furnished drivers for several years.

1980 Sponsored a Flea Market in a vacant space in the Hoffman Heights Shopping Center.

1981 Lyn Gamber and Bill Nakaoka became the first Aurora Rotarians to receive the Paul Harris Fellowship. The Aurora Rotary Foundation was organized.

1982 The very successful Art Auction was our major fund raiser for the next 5 years.

1983 The Pride in Aurora Project chaired by Jerry Allen was a major event. A Balloon Festival was held as the featured attraction.
 
1984 The club moved to the Holidome on Chambers and I-70. The Pride In Aurora Project moved to Front Range Airport and had 63 hot air balloons participate. The first woman, Skip Schlenk, joined the club.
 
1986  The club moved to Heather Ridge Country Club at Iliff and I-225.
 
1988 The Polio Plus Project was chaired by Jim Suss and raised nearly $45,000.

1989-90   The fall of the Berlin Wall. Matthias Kuntzsch was a symphonic conductor from Berlin who had married Sylvia Anderson, an Aurora soprano. He had multiple recordings on Deutsche Grammophon records and was a guest conductor with the Colorado Symphone and other organizations nationally and internationally. He was also a Rotarian and each time he would visit our club, we would call on him to give us first hand updates on events in Berlin. He spoke with passion and with tears in his eyes as he celebrated this great event. He loved this country and Presidents Bush and Reagan. 

1991 Organized an immunization project for low income families
 
1992 Established a Sister City Program relationship with the Toyohashi Rotary Club. Started Raffle Program as major fund raiser.
 
1993 Chartered the Parker Rotary Club along with the Castle Rock Club. Jerry Kraus and Doug Evans headed up the effort.

1994 Held Talent Show as fund raiser and entertainment
 
1994 Gayle Glaser was the first woman president of the club.

1996 Toured NORAD. Tracy Burt headed the committee to establish the Gateway Rotary Club
 
1996-97 Jerry Kraus was District Governor and Doug Evans was chair for the District Conference.

1997 The Live and Learn Program was started and spearheaded by Dave Myers and Chuck Truzinski. The Live and Learn Program won district honors as the Best New Program and the Best Youth Program. An ambulance was sent to Central America.

1999 Flower Power, a program to deliver flowers from the Garden Show to nursing homes, proved to be a great success thanks to Bob Stanbery and his many volunteers.

2000 The Cambodia Project is a tremendous International Project that has the cooperation of other clubs in the district.
 
2003  The Cambodia Project, now a joint effort by Aurora, Parker, Smoky Hill, DIA, and Gateway Clubs won the World Community Service Award.
 
2006  The club moved from Heather Ridge Country Club to the Double Tree Hotel. The fall of 2006 was our first annual First Responders Luncheon coordinated with Dan Oates our new police chief and headed by Kimberly Armitage.
 
2007 We authorized Jim Rogers to research an international water project for us to pursue. A new director position was established called "Club Administrator. The primary purpose was to maintain the Club website and do a weekly newsletter. Jerry Allen was appointed to the position. Kimberly Armitage, club president, initiated the "walk for dessert" part of the meal. (It was supposed to make it easier to forgo desserts)
 
2014-2015
We partnered with the Rotary Club of Latacunga to bring a potable water supply to a nearby village.
We worked with the Aurora and Cherry Creek School Districts to provide Kindles for every third grade classroom.
We honor first responders in the Aurora area for their service with a special luncheon.
We partnered with the Salvation Army on weekends during the holiday season to ring the bell in front of local Kings Soopers stores to raise money for the Salvation Army.
We volunteered with Tri-County Health, the Aurora Fire Department  and other Rotary clubs to provide low cost or free immunizations for families in need through the Shots for Tots program.
We hosted the Aurora Mayor's office annual State of the City speech to the community by the Aurora Mayor.
We hosted the Buckley Air Force Base commander's annual update on the base to the community.
We partnered with other Rotary Clubs to gather flowers from the annual Home and Garden Show downtown and deliver the flowers to area nursing homes.
We sponsored an interact club at Gateway High School in Aurora.
We sent one middle school aged child to the Young RYLA camp.
 

Historical Video Chronicles Aurora Rotary's first 50 years

To help celebrate the Club’s first 50 years, a committee led by George Peck compiled historical information including photos and documents to help capture the long and distinguished history of The Rotary Club of Aurora.  Serving on the Committee that gathered and sorted through a number of boxes of material were Jerry Allen, Pete Engelken, Lyn Gamber, Jerry Kraus, Bill Nakaoka, Ev Sequeira and Lois Tafoya.
 
The final product, a 58 minute DVD, was written, directed and narrated by Peck, and produced in association with  the production company “Remember When.”   It included not only pictures from the past, but interviews with several members of the club, including Lynn Gamber, Tracy Burt, Bill Nakaoka,  Karen Johnson and John Paroske to help place each of the club’s five decades in proper perspective.  Many memorable moments including a number from past Rotary Talent (and No-Talent) Shows made their way into the production.
 
The video was presented in big-screen splendor at a special celebration luncheon that included family members and the District Governor, Diane Kassel on Nov 3, 2004.  It was such a hit that through the generosity of Doug Evans, Ron Maclachlan, Jerry Kraus, John Paroske and Paul Suss, a copy was presented to each of the 84 members at the Annual Holiday Party in December 2004.
 
A copy of the “Rotary Club of Aurora 50th Anniversary Celebration 2004” DVD may be borrowed from the Club Secretary. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Past Presidents

 
1954-55                                                        Roy J. Miller
1955-56                                                        George R. Day
1956-57                                                        Clarence A. Rutz
1957-58                                                        Bentley A. McMillin
1958-59                                                        Paul E. Rouse
1959-60                                                        John D. Savier
1960-61                                                        Bill H. Holt
1961-62                                                        Jack Fleming
1962-63                                                        Verner H. Crayne
1963-64                                                        Raymond E, Nichols
1964-65                                                        John Fuhr
1965-66                                                        William B. McMurry
1966-67                                                        William T. Nakaoka
1967-68                                                        Tracy N. Burt
1968-69                                                        John E. Legate
1969-70                                                        Joe W. Sullivan
1970-71                                                        Thomas H. Pickens
1971-72                                                        Robert J. Solomon
1972-73                                                        Roger A. Yarwood
1973-74                                                        Gerald A. Allen
1974-75                                                        M.L. Webster
1975-76                                                        Edgar J. Engelken
1976-77                                                        Henry R. Graves
1977-78                                                        Bernard J. Wintergalen
1978-79                                                        Charles Kirk
1979-80                                                        Joseph Shadt
1980-81                                                        Gerald Kraus
1981-82                                                        William Rapp
1982-83                                                        Vic Barker
1983-84                                                        Robert Brooks
1984-85                                                        Stanley Whitaker
1985-86                                                        William Wiggins
1986-87                                                        Douglas Evans
1987-88                                                        Brian Daigle
1988-89                                                        Jack Alexander
1989-90                                                        Kevin Evans
1990-91                                                        John Kennedy
1991-92                                                        Arlen Cohn
1992-93                                                        Paul Suss
1993-94                                                        Rex Covault
1994-95                                                        Gayle Glaser
1995-96                                                        Douglas Anthony
1996-97                                                        Richard K. Richard
1997-98                                                        Craig E. Wagner
1998-99                                                        Jerald K. Mastenbrook
1999-2000                                                    Ruth Ann Kirschman
2000-01                                                        Karen Johnson
2001-02                                                        Steve Marshall
2002-03                                                        Kevin Hougen
2003-04                                                        Stephen Brunston
2004-05                                                        John Paroske
2005-06                                                        George Peck
2006-07                                                        Ken Hostetler
2007-08                                                        Kimberly Armitage
2008-09                                                        Debbie Lynch
2009-10                                                        Susan Perkins
2010-11                                                        Tom Nicholas
2011-12                                                        Howard Hall
2012-13                                                        Ev Sequeira
2013-14                                                        Steve Snyder
2014-15                                                        Linda Witulski
2015-16                                                        Rob McGregor
2016-17                                                        Patti Bateman
2017-18                                                        Joel Kruschwitz