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The Rotary Club of Dallas was chartered on March 3, 1927 at the Raub’s Hotel on the corner of Lake and Church Streets in Dallas, Pennsylvania. That year, three service organizations were founded at the hotel, including the Dr. Henry M. Laing Fire Company, the Dallas Rotary Club, and the Mount Greenwood Kiwanis Club. The first secretary of the Dallas club was James F. Besecker who owned the Ford dealership and Mobil Gas Station that stood in front of the Raub’s Hotel.
For almost a century, the club has welcomed new members from the Back Mountain. The club sponsors more than two-dozen charitable projects, including the annual Children’s Christmas Shopping Spree. Signature projects founded by or participated in by the Rotary Club of Dallas throughout the years include: the founding of the Luzerne County Fair; the establishment of the Back Mountain Memorial Library and the annual auction; student exchange program; the annual children’s Christmas shopping spree for children in the school districts of Dallas, Lake-Lehman and Northwest; book scholarships for college-bound high school seniors; dictionaries for third-graders in the region; assistance to the Back Mountain Food Pantry and the Salvation Army; the annual charity golf tournament; the annual Wine and Brew Festival; Christmas luncheon; gift bags for Dallas Senior Center members; town clock in the center of Dallas; and Christmas decorations at the Highway 309/415 triangle in Dallas. Each year, the Rotary Club of Dallas honors civic leaders and club members for their service in Northeastern Pennsylvania at the Club’s Charter Night with the presentation of the Paul Harris Fellow Award for Service Above Self.
The Rotary Club of Dallas meets every Thursday evening at 6:30 PM at the AppleTree Terrace at Newberry Estate.
(Photo: Raub’s Hotel on the corner of Lake and Church Streets in Dallas, photographs from the early 1900s.)
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