Bulletin Editor
Seth Worley


San Marcos is the oldest continually inhabited place in North America - and the Rotary Club of San Marcos is the oldest continually inhabited Rotary Club in San Marcos.
Our club has survived and thrived in service above self through two World Wars, the Great Depression, too many military regional conflicts to mention, the 9-1-1 attack, and more epidemics than you can imagine. Here's a short list of just a few national epidemic storms that we've weathered:
  • 1949 Nationwide: 2,720 deaths occurred from polio, and 42,173 cases were reported.
  • 1952 Nationwide: polio killed 3,300; 57,628 cases reported.

  • 1957 Nationwide: an Asian flu outbreak killed 70,000 before it was completely eradicated.

  • 2009 in April, H1N1, also known as Swine Flu, breaks out and quickly spreads to more than 70 countries. The Centers for Disease Control reports that between April and October, 22 million Americans had contracted the virus, 98,000 required hospitalization, and about 3,900 people died from H1N1-related causes.
  • 2012: a meningitis outbreak traced back to contaminated steroid medication shipped to 23 states killed 36; 500 cases reported.

After winning the 1932 U.S. presidential election, Roosevelt  addressed the country in his first inaugural address.  His words are so often quoted, that we often forget the dire consequences of the season in which they were spoken. 

     This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly.         Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great           Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me       assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless,               unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into         advance.

The country was in financial shock from the stock market crash of 1929. The dust bowl years,  the worst drought in North America in 1,000 years, were just starting. The bread basket of our country was in tatters from the damage of exploitive farming practices, compounded by the drought.
One has to wonder what the Rotary Club of San Marcos was doing in 1932 when FDR gave his inaugural address. It's hard to say, but I'll bet a dollar to a donut they were meeting...  sharing what they had, laughing, and problem-solving on behalf of their community. I just feel certain they were serving above self.
Fortunately, we don't have to wonder what the Rotary Club of San Marcos is doing on the eve of their 100th anniversary. They are serving meals at the Cottage Kitchen, they are giving money to the local Food Bank, loading back packs for kids as they start their school year, and raising money for college bound high school students in San Marcos. They are serving in Cuba, helping impoverished children to continue their education in Honduras, funding Rotarians in Kenya, supporting value-based education for local elementary school students, providing leadership and support for children of single-parent households, collaborating with efforts to end human trafficking, and, in general, listening to the needs of the community. 
Here's a few things Rotarians from our club are doing to serve others during this challenging time. 
  • taking a cooked meal to an elderly person, who lives alone
  • sending a check to a favorite restaurant to support them in the season when they must be closed
  • planning for a fundraiser when the pandemic has passed
  • buying groceries for families with little income
  • and many more things



Russell Hampton
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