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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Ybor City Rotary Club celebrates founding in 1948

— It was a step back 65 years when the Ybor City Rotary Club recently held a celebration of its anniversary.

Club members had the same menu as their founders did and heard post-war swing and jazz music at the club’s 65th anniversary party, “Party Like It’s 1948.”

About 150 members and friends gathered April 11 on the patio of the Ybor City Museum to eat chicken and yellow rice, black beans, salad, guava pastries and Cuban bread.

“Our chartering event was held outside, too,” said Kevin Burns, president-elect of the club and the chairman of the event. “Some of the people here tonight are ones whose parents were here for the chartering.”

The club, which meets weekly at the Columbia Restaurant, offers scholarships and awards each year and assists local schools and organizations including St. Peter Claver Catholic School, the Ybor City Museum Society and Gift of Life, said club president Joe Citro.

“We are a part of Ybor City; we go hand in hand with Ybor City,” Citro said. “Most of the movers and shakers of Ybor City were founders of the Ybor City Rotary.”

Member Heywood Turner served as president 40 years ago when the club celebrated its 25th anniversary and brought his gavel to show at the party.

“My involvement with Rotary goes from age 17 to 88,” Turner said. “I first got involved in 1943 as a senior in high school as a Junior Rotarian.”

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