The West Jordan Rotary Club celebrated 30 years of service to our community on June 28, 2018, at Gardner Village in West Jordan. Dignitaries that attended the event included West Jordan Mayor, Jim Riding; Scott Leckman, Rotary Governor for Utah District 5420; and cofounders of the West Jordan club, Bob Ladenburger and Craig Dearing. The club was also honored to have Paul Quist, the club’s second President, attend the event.
The club was founded in 1987 by Bob Ladenburger, a hospital administrator at the Jordan Valley Hospital, and West Jordan’s own Craig Dearing, President of the Chamber at the time. “Rotary Clubs exists to do good in the world,” stated Craig Dearing. “Bob and I could not imagine a city as engaging as West Jordan, not having a Rotary club.”
Since its inception in 1987, the club has contributed to the surrounding communities including West Jordan, South Jordan, Riverton, Bluffdale, and Herriman in countless ways. Its projects include planting over 100 trees in the town, building the first of its type baseball field in Utah for disabled children in the city’s main park, called the SME Field of Dreams; and creating playgrounds for disabled children as well as non-disabled children in West Jordan. The club has sponsored over 20 Utah high school student to study for a full academic school year as well as receiving over 20 foreign exchange students. Each year the club distributes over 3000 dictionaries to third-graders in Jordan School District and gives annual scholarships to students desiring post-high school education attending Bingham, Copper Hills, and West Jordan High Schools. In addition, the club has been heavily involved in projects to assist children impacted by the AIDS epidemic in South Africa and children in Costa Rica who are victims of sex trafficking.
“It has been a remarkable journey,” stated Kelly Atkinson, one of only two charter members remaining in the club. “This community has benefited from the work of Rotary, and we each have benefited by the service rendered on behalf of the generous and giving people of the West Jordan Club.”
The night of celebration included a $2,000 check awarded to the club’s partner in its South Africa project, a $600 check given to SL County Recreation to support the club’s Field of Dreams Ballfield by scholarshipping impoverished disabled children so they may participate in league play, and a $1,000 check contributed in the name of Mayor Jim Riding for his exceptional public service to the community. Also, the club inducted two new members into its ranks, Alicia Summers and Ellie Mulder.
“This club has helped to transform this community,” stated Bob Ladenburger, who is now a resident of Denver, Colorado. “I cannot believe how much the club has contributed to the West Jordan community by its many accomplishments.”