History was made on July 10th, 2001 when Helen Reisler was installed as the first woman president of the 92-year-old Rotary Club of New York.


An overflow crowd of 201 Rotarians, guests, and visiting dignitaries from all over the world came to witness this momentous occasion which took place in the Woodrow Wilson Room of the Princeton Club in New York City.


Helen made a dramatic entrance as five officers of the New York City Police color guard marched her in, followed by her Board of Directors. The room vibrated as the guests sang “New York, New York.”


The” Ambassadors of Youth Orchestra,” composed of twenty-five children ages six to ten years, serenaded the guests throughout the filet mignon lunch. These are formerly abandoned children who were rescued by our members and taught to play the violins by Ana Heifetz, grandniece of Joseph Heifetz, world-renowned violinist.


The guests received a warm welcome from Helen who thanked them for taking time from their busy schedules to attend the ceremony. She recognized the support this was meant to convey


A videotape was shown which highlighted one of the outstanding projects of the New York Club ---The Electric Learning Center in Spanish Harlem.


Bob Mutchler, known as “Motorcycle Bob;’ a Rotarian from California, stopped off at the Inauguration before continuing on his forty eight state motorcycling campaign to eradicate polio. Bob, who is a polio survivor, bestowed the Paul Harris Award on Helen’s husband and explained its significance to the audience.


Helen’s speech was directed to the large percentage of outside guests as well as the Rotary members. She explained the meaning and function of the “Rotary World” and how each individual club contributes to the global humanitarian effort. She mentioned at least fifteen local and international projects that The Rotary Club of New York will be working on this year.


Some of the changes Helen will be making this year include a monthly “Fellowship Day” with no speaker, more “hands on” projects, a closer relationship between the club members and the club Foundation, more media exposure, more communication between members, more exposure for new members, corporate membership, family membership, and “a president at the microphone each week who wears lipstick.



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