60 years of service above you.

The Rotary Club of Marathon has many reasons to celebrate in 2021 as it marks its 60th anniversary of service to the Marathon community.

“The pride I have in the 60 year heritage that we have here at Marathon, I cannot explain it,” Secretary Charlotte Quinn said. “It’s humbling and very, very gratifying.”

The club was founded in 1961 through the efforts of G. Borden Makepeace, a businessman who moved to the Keys to attend high school in 1949. After attending the University of Florida, Makepeace returned to the Keys and started his business, Makepeace Office Supply, by selling two typewriters for an initial investment of $ 100.

After successfully establishing a facility in Grassy Key in 1958 and a second in Islamorada in 1961 following the devastation of Hurricane Donna, Makepeace’s commercial reputation grew and he was eventually approached by Captain Ned McCarthy, a Rotarian and Commander of the Key West Naval Base.

At the time, no Rotary club existed between Key West and Homestead. Familiar with Rotary due to his grandfather’s involvement since 1917, Makepeace accepted McCarthy’s call to provide greater service to the Marathon community. “The stories I have heard about him and what he has done in the community are remarkable,” said current Rotary President Duane Webster. The Rotary Club Marathon became a probationary club in January 1961, received a full charter in May 1961, and inducted 10 initial members in June of the same year.

From there, the service did not stop.

Today, the Rotary Club Marathon has 56 members. Known to many for the scholarship assistance given to Marathon students – the club offers a full scholarship each year to a Take Stock in Children student, as well as approximately $ 19,000 in additional rewards – its members take great pride in the various Rotary service activities.

Over the years, past presidents and Rotarians have carried on a legacy of self-service in the community of Marathon. CONTRIBUTED.

Have you seen these Rotarians?

Although Keys Weekly was able to identify many Rotarians in these photos with help, we were unable to obtain all of them. We would love to give a proper tribute to these people, so if you recognize any, please feel free to email [email protected]

“If anyone needs anything in this community, they call Rotary. They know Rotarians will always deliver, ”said county commissioner and Rotarian Michelle Coldiron. Both Quinn and Coldiron easily recalled a long list of recent club efforts, the full version of which is too long to print in this document. Beyond the scholarship donations, several Rotarians particularly noted their financial, food and professional assistance after Hurricane Irma; helping local organizations like KAIR with Thanksgiving baskets; working on a booth at the annual Marathon 4th of July fireworks display; and helping the fishermen’s community hospital to rebuild it.

“I got into this area as a network and quickly realized it was so much more than that,” said Webster. Citing memories of his upbringing with a single parent who received help from community organizations like Rotary, the current president said his service “came full circle” for him. “It’s grinding, giving, repeating. This is the mode I have been in for the first 6 or 7 months of being in Rotary. When I arrived we had a fairly large checking account. The first thing I said was, “We’re going to balance this, and then we’re going to spend it.” The best part is seeing what happens when the money goes to the people who really need it. “

“I wouldn’t have the same joy in my life without the camaraderie and dedication,” said Keith Douglass, president of International Avenue and president of The Rotary Foundation. “We aspire to be there every week, to carry out the projects we lead and to welcome new members so that we can find new projects.

“It’s not about our jobs and our title. It’s about how we can improve our community, ”said Coldiron.

“We’re one of the oldest organizations in Marathon,” Quinn said. “It means we are doing the right thing.”