Rotary Club of Easton is celebrating its 100th anniversary. It is a centennial very much worth celebrating and learning from as we navigate plenty of challenges and opportunities on the Eastern Shore.

The community group has long had a positive impact on our community and continues that positive mission today. The Rotary represents the very best in our community, and has long helped our neighbors throughout Talbot County.

The Easton Rotary Club established health clinics in the 1920s for those without medical care, helped local residents during the Great Depression and with unifying efforts during World War II.

The group has established scholarships for local students and continues to work to improve race relations — a historical and contemporary challenge on the Eastern Shore. Rotarians continue that community work today when many neighbors, local nonprofits and small businesses are challenged by the coronavirus pandemic and all of its impacts.

The Rotary Club of Easton was established in 1921. It has the distinction of being the first Rotary Club in the world established in a town with a population of less than 10,000 people.

The Rotary Club and its positive mission are also forever linked with The Star Democrat. That is something that brings us great pride.

Samuel Shannahan, who was editor and owner of The Easton Star Democrat, is also considered the founding father of the Easton Rotary. Shannahan helped establish the Rotary and his leadership helped established its footprint here on the Mid-Shore.

He served as the group’s president and treasurer. Shannahan — who died at his desk at the newspaper on Dec. 7, 1942, at age 69 — was committed to other local causes, including advocating for children and the Talbot County Free Library.

We hope to continue that commitment to our community and neighbors.

The Rotary Club of Easton exemplifies that commitment and how we can lift up others. The Rotary’s 100 years of “service above self” deserves plenty of accolades — and we hope to see another century of giving back to the community and helping others.

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