District 6630 Governor Pat Myers congratulates Thom Geist on 50 years of membership in the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River.

When Thom Geist joined the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River in June of 1970, his father asked him why he wanted to go to lunch with a bunch of old guys who sat around and sang songs. It didn’t take long for Geist to realize that there was far more to Rotary.

Honored last month at the 2021 Ohio Rotary District Conference for his 50 years of service as a Rotarian, Geist has served on various club committees and in numerous leadership roles including as the club historian.

He led the club as president from 1984-1985 when the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River was the third largest club in District 6630. Subsequently, he was elected to the club’s Foundation board where he served as chair.

There have been many favorite projects including participation in the distribution of dictionaries each year to all third-grade students in Lakewood and Rocky River and the planning of club social events including the annual clambake and wassail bowl Christmas party.

One of Geist’s most memorable activities was his involvement as a member of the club’s Scholarship Committee. Reading the applications and participating in the interviews with the high school applicants was a rewarding experience.

“So here I am, 50 years later,” he shared, “one of the old guys who sit around and sing songs, but with wonderful memories of what we’ve accomplished and proud of my small part in it.”

Also, during the district event, a Celebration of Life ceremony honored Rotarians who passed away during Rotary years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. Over the past two years, the Rotary Club of Lakewood and Rocky River lost five outstanding members: Martin Dodenhoff, William Knoble, Roger Perks, David Schiska, and Donald Strang.