Rotary Club of Bend Celebrates 75th Anniversary


This month, the Rotary Club of Bend celebrated its 75th anniversary as a chartered chapter of the global service organization. The Rotary Club of Bend is the longest-standing Rotary club in Central Oregon.

“Celebrating 75 years is a testament to this club and what it has meant to this community in the past, present and future,” said Chris Dittman, president of the Rotary Club of Bend for 2021-22. “The club is growing with new members joining to make local and global impacts and we are looking forward to the next 75 years and beyond. “

Club members are currently working with various partners on the following projects:

  • Promoting literacy — funding projects from first grade to high school locally and soon in Botswana
  • Supporting music education — funding annual scholarships for local students
  • Improving prenatal care in Ethiopia — training healthcare workers to reduce and eliminate neural tube defects
  • Ending polio — Partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization and UNICEF to end polio, once and for all

The Rotary Club of Bend has been involved in a wide variety of community service projects including renovating Abilitree, remodeling the kitchen of Living Options For Teens (LOFT), serving meals at the Bethlehem Inn and building bus shelters in Bend. Other projects over the past few decades include:

  • In 2016, the club partnered with other Central Oregon Rotary clubs to raise $200,000 toward the Bethlehem Inn expansion to double space for homeless families and individuals.
  • In 2005, the club partnered with other Central Oregon Rotary clubs to build the Rotary Centennial Park, creating an accessible place for all children and parents to play.
  • In 1994, the club helped establish Kids Center, a place where a range of services help children who are victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse in Central Oregon.

Internationally, club projects in partnership with The Rotary Foundation include a water project in Condega, Nicaragua, remodeling a school kitchen and providing wheelchairs in Lithuania, funding water filters in Sri Lanka and sending shelter boxes for disaster relief in Haiti.

“There will always be a need for Rotary in this community and world, and Rotary will be here as long as we are needed,” added Dittman.

If interested in learning more about the club, visit the website and join an upcoming meeting.

As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.


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