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THE HISTORY OF DISTRICT 6980, Florida

A Part of Our History of Rotary in America

Prepared by the district and not verified by Rotary Global History

 

Rotary International District 6980 is composed of 44 clubs in the counties of Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake and Sumter.
Rotary started in the Orlando area with the chartering of the Orlando club on May 12, 1920.
The club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Tampa in what was then District 8.
The Orlando club sponsored the Rotary Club of Sanford in April 1921; the Rotary Club of Apopka in May 1927; and the Rotary Club of Winter Park in April 1947.
Rotary expanded rapidly across Central Florida after World War II, but much faster after Walt Disney brought his dream to this area.
The majority of today’s clubs were chartered in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The district number changed to 39, 167, 244, 696, 695, 698, and finally 6980 in 1991.

Some of the current members of our College of Governors: Past District Governors Bob Neel (1971-72), Barth Engert (1977-78), and Buckie Allen (1979-80) served as governors in district 695.
Past District Governor Gene Colley (1981-82) served as governor in district 698.

Some historical highlights:
•
The Rotary Club of Orange County East was the first club to be chartered as a morning club in Rotary. This club was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Winter Park.
•
The Rotary Club of Leesburg Sunrise was the club which initiated the (R.Y.L.A.) Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program in the district in 1985-1986. The club also holds the distinction of being the first 100% Benefactor club in the Southeast United States.
•
In 1992, Orlando hosted the Rotary International Convention under Past District Governor Bill Coleman (current member of the College of Governors). Past District Governor Gene Minietta (deceased) served as chair and Past District Governor Gene Colley served as the Vice-Chair.
•
The first woman district governor is Past District Governor Debbie Turner (2001-2002). Since then, the district has had two more women governors – Past District Governors JoAnn Beck (2003-04) and Micki Kaye (2005-06) .

acknowledgements to District Committee, Clubs, Members and Webmaster

posted by RGHF Webmaster Greg Barlow. October 2008