THE HISTORY OF DISTRICT 6960, Florida
A Part of Our History of Rotary in America
Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History
In mid 2008, after years of compilation, PDG Paul Sanborn, 1974-1975 (R.C. Cape Coral) presented to our district the following information in hopes to document a history of our district. We ask and hope all will continue this effort by contributing to this effort so that each of us help preserve our history and record the major events that occur within our district.
For the origin of Rotary in the area that now comprises our southern history, we go back to 1912 when the Jacksonville Club was founded, just seven years after the start of Rotary. By that time 40 clubs had been chartered by what was then known as the International Association of Rotary Clubs, Jacksonville joining as Number 41
Rotary had enough number of states in the US to expand in. However, when it comes to your money, you may want more options. When you are investing your money outside the US and decide to go in for binary options, you will have to approach individual traders as it is not offered on the stock exchange. Whether you are going through a trader or a software like HBSwiss, one cannot know the exact amount earned or lost in a trade. This is because the traders average it out between the winning and losing rtrades and payout from this money.
New Orleans was the only other club then in existence in the ten southwestern states. When the southern division was established in 1912 there were only three clubs, the two just mentioned and Louisville, Kentucky. Club number 117 was the first club in what is now District 6950, formerly District 696. It was organized in Tampa in June 1914. Every club in this District can proudly trace its linage back to the Tampa Club.
Rotary grew rapidly in the south. In 1947, the District had grown to 75 clubs and was very unwieldy to administer. It was divided into three districts. Territory north of Ocala was District 167A, 167B was composed of Miami and the East Coast. Central and Southwest Florida were placed in 167C.
Rotary International again in 1957 adopted a new system for numbering the districts. In that year our District became District 696. The District continued to grow and it became necessary to divide Central Florida from Southwest Florida. This was done in1970, when there were 72 clubs in the District. Southwest Florida retained the 696 designation while Central Florida became District 695. After the redistricting there were 42 clubs in 696.
By 1991 the District had increased to 65 clubs, again a redistricting was necessary. with clubs in the Tampa area going to District 695. It was that year also that Rotary International changed District designations by adding a zero to the number, thus making our District 6960, with 44 clubs.
By 1998 the south was comprised of four zones. Florida had eight Districts and hundreds of clubs. What we know today as District 6960 is the result of 13 areas regrouping, each one resulting in smaller geographical areas. District 6960 in 1998 had 48 clubs.
To see how and where the growth of Rotary has been in our area, we must remember that Jacksonville was organized in 1912. At that time there were only 50 clubs in the world with 5000 members.
Tampa became the sponsor of the Lakeland Club in 1918. Lakeland in turn sponsored 6 clubs from 1922 through 1925. Among those were the Fort Myers Club in 1922. That club celebrated their 86th anniversary on April 21st, 2008. Other clubs, no longer in District 6960 were Avon Park, Sebring, Bartow, Haines City, Winter Haven and Auburndale.
The first club after Fort Myers, now in District 6960 was Sarasota, sponsored by St. Petersburg in 1926. In that same year the Tampa Club sponsored Bradenton. Punta Gorda was sponsored by Fort Myers in 1929. Naples was brought into Rotary in 1951, sponsored by Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach was sponsored by Fort Myers four years later in 1955. Englewood came into existence in 1959. Cape Coral was sponsored by the Fort Myers Beach Club in 1964. Marco Island, sponsored by Naples was chartered in 1966. There were 6 clubs chartered in 1973, Naples East ( now Naples Bay )North Fort Myers, Lakeland North( now in District 6950), Fort Myers East, Lehigh Acres and Sarasota Gulf Gate.
Bonita Springs, sponsored by Fort Myers Beach was admitted to Rotary on November 3,1978. The San Carlos-Estero Club, sponsored by Bonita Springs in 1986 , unfortunately was dissolved after a few years due to lack of membership. Bonita Springs also sponsored Bonita Springs Noon in 1992. Other clubs chartered in 1992 were; Murdock and Cape Coral North. In 1993 Fort Myers Gateway ( now Fort Myers Sunrise) joined Rotary International, as did Sarasota A.M. It was in 1994 that Harbor Heights/Peace River was chartered and Placida in 1998.
Two clubs, Estero and Lakewood Ranch were chartered in 2000. East Manatee ( originally named Sarasota Lakewood Ranch A.M. ) was chartered in2002. Sarasota Gateway joined Rotary International as a chartered club in 2005. There have been no other clubs chartered since that date and again unfortunately during the 2007-2008 Rotary year the District lost four Rotary Clubs for various reasons. Fort Myers Beach, Longboat Key, Osprey and Sarasota A.M.
As of the start of the 2008-2009 year District 6960 had 52 Rotary Clubs with 2500 members.
This has been an overview of how Rotary has grown in Southwest Florida. For clubs not mentioned in this overview, please refer to Club Genealogy on the following page.
Paul W. Sanborn
CHRONOLOGY OF CLUBS OF DISTRICT 6960 AS OF AUGUST 1, 2008