Posted by Adria Leach on Jun 05, 2018
The Salem Rotary Club celebrated its 100th birthday at their meeting last Tuesday and installed a commemorative bronze plaque to the exterior of the Hawthorne Hotel, where the Club has met since 1925, to mark the occasion.

“It has been a great privilege of my life to serve as the 100th President of the Rotary Club of Salem,” said Jason Consalvo of Salem Five Bank. “I am honored to serve alongside a group of dedicated leaders. It is my hope that the final months of my term proceed with all the enthusiasm for service, fellowship, and fun that have been a hallmark of the first half of this Rotary year.”
The Club was formed on January 8, 1918, by 22 prominent Salem businessmen at the Roger Conant Inn. The Club challenged the formalities of the time by hosting noon meetings, a time when men traditionally went home for dinner, and by encouraging members to address each other by his first name, an intimacy forbidden at that time. The first officers included President George W. Ashton; Vice President J. Clarke Brown; Secretary Robert W. Hill; and Treasurer Robert P. Butterick. Directors included: S. Fred Smith, Aubrey Nelson, Arthur Palmer, and Lawrence Pedrick. The Club received its charter by Rotary Deputy Governor Lester Winchenbaugh of Boston on April 9, 1918. Women were permitted to join the Club in 1987. Deborah McNulty served as the Club’s first female president for the 1997-1998 year.
Over the years, the Salem Rotary Club has been recognized citywide for its commitment to students and education. Through its scholarship program, which now awards approximately $50,000 in higher education scholarships to Salem students annually, and smaller projects, like Salem’s BackPack program which feeds children in need over weekends throughout the school year, the Club is dedicated to giving back to the Salem community. Additionally, the Club supports numerous Salem-based community programs including: HAWC, Lifebridge, Salem Public Schools, Department of Children and Families, Greater Salem Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and so many more.

The Club also participates in and supports Rotary International’s mission. It supports efforts to achieve a Polio-Free World by raising money and participating in the District’s annual Polar Plunge, and is a proud supporter of Friends Forever, an organization that helps youth from conflict areas around the world build lasting friendships across cultural, religious and political divides.

More information on the Salem Rotary Club’s 100 year history, can be found on its website at
Photo credits: Salem Rotarian Tripp Mason