HUDSON — This year the Hudson Rotary Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
As a service organization that supports the Hudson community, the club recently was a sponsor for the Spirit of Hudson Brewfest on Aug. 5, an event for the entire Hudson community.
President of the Rotary Club Jeff Tucker said at its Sept. 27 meeting that the club was going to recognize 10 students from Hudson High School, who were offered scholarships to attend a club-led youth leadership institute in June at Fitchburg State University.
“Along with members of the Hudson High School staff and student’s parents, we will hear about their experiences and why they were chosen,” he said. “We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the club’s 100th anniversary and the meeting is open to all who are interested to attend.”
The Hudson Rotary Club meets weekly at 6 p.m. at the Portuguese Club at 13 Port St. in Hudson. Dinner is served, club initiatives are discussed and guest speakers are often invited to educate the members about charitable causes or humanitarian needs in other parts of the world.
“Rotarians volunteer in the communities they work and live in to look for opportunities to serve the community,” Tucker said.
The Rotary Club partners with local nonprofits and municipal departments to look for ways to improve people’s lives, he noted. The key areas of focus include literacy, health, youth development and world peace.
Networking occurs with other Rotary clubs in Massachusetts because Hudson members can visit meetings and district events of other clubs. He said there are 50 clubs in the district to which Hudson belongs and throughout Middlesex and Worcester counties.
Tucker noted that all members are volunteers, and the board of directors and club officers are elected by an assembly of members.
Tucker added, “We are always looking for new members and [to] match up their interests/skills to what the club needs.”
Rotary reflects on 100 years
Tucker said that much has changed since the founding of the Hudson Rotary Club in 1923.
The Rotary International organization was founded in 1910 with the Hudson club being created 13 years later. Decades ago, members were almost entirely made up of men who were business owners and had formal meetings, according to Tucker.
“Today, we feel anyone with an interest and desire to volunteer can find a role within the club no matter who you are,” he said. “The goal is to have fun together by identifying community service projects to be of service to others.”
Other goals include to execute fundraising opportunities to contribute financially and to create fellowship within the club, as business networking happens naturally by forming friendships.
“Since the club is made up of members with various vocations, you develop a network of expertise that you can engage as a sounding board personally and professionally,” Tucker said.
He highlighted many of the accomplishments of the club over the years, like helping to create a memorial to Paul Cellucci, who came from Hudson and went on to be Massachusetts governor and ambassador to Canada.
They have also financially supported Hudson resident Brian Lisse on volunteer trips to the countries of Malawi and Poland. In Poland, Lisse helped Ukrainian refugees.
And, of course, for over 30 years, the Rotary Club has held a June fundraiser during Hudson Fest, in which a rubber duck race is completed.
“We dump 3,000 plastic ducks in the Assabet River. Each duck is numbered, which corresponds to a raffle ticket we sold in the weeks leading up to the event,” Tucker said.
The kids enjoy watching the ducks race down the Assabet River during the festival.
The club is important to Hudson because, Tucker said, it is a “diverse volunteer service organization” that is ready to volunteer time, donate money and create awareness of charitable causes.
Going forward, the goal for the Hudson Rotary Club is to expand.
Tucker said, “We are always looking for ways to grow membership and ensure the next generation of Rotarians. We are uniquely positioned to provide key support for areas in our community that need it the most.”