High Noon Rotary Club of Durango
The High Noon Rotary Club of Durango was born on March 13, 1979 sponsored by the Durango Rotary Club on their 50th anniversary . The High Noon Club of Durango formally celebrated its charter in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Durango Rotary Club on May 1, 1979 with then District Governor Bob Burghart, Jr making the presentation. The District Governor noted that at the time, as far as he was able to determine, this joint celebration was the “only one of its type in the history of Rotary International.”
Community Service has always been the hallmark of the High Noon Club’s emphasis with many projects centered on the beauty and citizenry of the Durango area. The area youth as well as its seniors and general citizenry have all been touched by the Club’s projects and activities promoting and helping to facilitate community well being. Serving as science fair judges, vocational and business educational advisors, and mentors along with sponsoring and supporting local Rotaract and Interact Clubs in Durango, have always been important activities promoted by the High Noon Club. An on-going scholarship program begun over 20 years ago to support local area high school students in their quest for further educational programs beyond their high school years is stronger than ever. The Club has begun an endowment effort specifically designated to this cause.
The Club’s bonds with the international community have also grown over the years. Not only does the High Noon Club support Rotary International’s many efforts such as Polio Plus and various student and professional exchange efforts but it also supports many projects directed to specific areas in Mexico, South America, Africa, and around the world through cooperation with Doctors Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders.
High Noon’s first fund raising project in support of its many activities was Durango Dollars. In conjunction with the Durango Rotary Club, silver dollars representing Durango and Rotary were minted and sold by Rotarians in front of the Durango and Silverton Train Station and around the area. The proceeds were primarily used to build a gazebo for Rotary Park. Today High Noon Rotary hosts the annual Red Ball event at Purgatory, a Casino Night, and a golf tournament held jointly with United Way of Soutwest Colorado.
The spirit of the High Noon Club always shines through not only in the many causes it supports but also in the manner in which the Club addresses its’ fundraising needs. For example during the early years the Club recognized a specific need to help raise funds for cancer awareness. A dozen of the Club’s members and close friends, undaunted by the task at hand, pitched a sheepherder’s tent in the middle of the football field at Fort Lewis College and participated with others in the community in a 24 hour “run” to bring awareness to the cancer crusade. Through pledges from the runners themselves and their solicited sponsors, the “dirty dozen” all survived the ordeal and managed to raise a few thousand dollars for the cause. Golf Tournaments, Casino/Saloon Nights, Red Ball Express “races”, inter-club water balloon tosses, Ski Race Sponsorships, Auctions, and other fun filled events have served as effective venues for High Noon’s fund raising efforts. Perhaps the greatest fun for all the members of the High Noon Club is to witness the ultimate use and benefit of the Club’s efforts as smiles on the recipients’ faces and those who enjoy the fruits of the Club’s labors: The Durango Nature Studies, Durango Children’s Museum, Durango River Walk, Durango Public Library, Rotary and Buckley Park, Habitat For Humanity, Manna Soup Kitchen, The Durango Homeless Shelter, Athletic Fields, Educational events and Programs, Project Merry Christmas, Veteran Service Organizations, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Mentoring Programs, the Durango Recreation Center, The Durango Ice Rink, Adaptive Sports and many others.