Rotary Club of Fort Wayne Centennial Tower ribbon cutting at 10 am on Friday


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News release from the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne:

Rotary Club of Fort Wayne Centennial Tower ribbon cutting at 10 am on Friday

(September 26, 2015) – There will be a crowd of people rocking around the newest clock in Fort Wayne this Friday morning, October 2, at 10 a.m.


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At that time, members of the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne, regional Rotary dignitaries, area residents, Mayor Tom Henry, and third and fourth graders of Washington Elementary School will gather to officially “cut the ribbon” around the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne Centennial Tower. The Tower was installed August 24th.


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The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne adopted Washington Elementary School in 2004, with Club members serving as tutors and lunch buddies, hosting back-to-school picnics, helping with student carnivals, reading to students and performing other acts of service. Third and fourth graders from the school, under the direction of music teacher Lynn Bishop, will sing specially prepared songs for the occasion.

On Friday evening, Rotary International President K.R. Ravindran, of Sri Lanka will be the keynote speaker at the Club’s Centennial Gala at the Grand Wayne Center. His biography is below.


About the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne Centennial Tower

Located on the downtown Library Plaza along West Wayne Street, the Centennial Tower is the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne’s gift to the city in honor of the Club’s Centennial Year.

The Tower, which stands 22 feet tall and weighs 3.5 tons, includes:

  • Four backlit clocks visible night and day
  • A sculptural globe representing Rotary’s international reach
  • A digital carillon to play an infinite variety of tunes
  • A portable digital keyboard, enabling visitors to play the electronic carillon
  • A base with various plaques about Rotary International, the local Club and a recognition of donors
  • A main fame or steel with screens and decorative elements made of aluminum
  • Approximately 100 welds

The Verdin Company of Cincinnati custom designed the Tower for the Fort Wayne Club. The Company has completed 50,000 installations worldwide and is in its sixth generation of building bells, clocks, and towers. Verdin spokeswoman Suszanne Sizer estimated the clock required 350 man-hours to build.

MSKDT & Associates, Inc., led by MSKTD partner and Rotarian Jim Kratzat, provided the architectural coordination and structural base design. The Hagerman Group, led by president and Rotarian Nate Fink, constructed the base and installed the Tower.

The Tower cost $122,000, with an additional $47,000 for base, plaques and installation. Members and former members of the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne exceeded all fundraising goals, with pledges exceeding $203,000. The Allen County Public Library and the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission also contributed to the Tower.


Watch of video from 2013 of then Allen County Public Library Director and Rotary Club of Fort Wayne President Jeff Krull talking with AroundFortWayne about the Tower


To watch more of the interview with Mr. Krull, which covered a variety of topics, click here.


Beyond the Centennial Tower, The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne Club has chosen these service projects for its centennial year of 2015:

  • Local Service – install 100 Little Free Libraries: Based on the concept of “Take a book, leave a book,” Little Free Libraries are free-standing structures that provide a way to share books freely, to promote literacy, to foster fellowship, and to enhance the quality of life. The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne has partnered with scores of organizations throughout greater Fort Wayne to steward the Libraries. Structures can be found by city fire stations, along trail routes, within neighborhoods, inside Citizen Square, adjacent to and inside schools, and many other areas.
  • International Service – build a middle school in Africa: The Club coordinated the funding and construction of a new middle school in the Village of Gléi, Togo, West Africa. The Club’s International Service Committee led a joint funding sponsorship with Rotary Club of Chicago and Togo Rotary Clubs totaling over $45,000. The Club launched the project in 2013, using the model to build a classroom at a time. The first two of eight classrooms were built the spring of 2013, with final two rooms completed this year. Meanwhile, attendance has grown from around 600 students to more than 880 due to the greatly improved learning environment.

In addition to adopting Washington Elementary School, Club members conduct a broad array of youth-based programs, including scholarships for summer music camps and college, world affairs conferences for high school students, speech contests and leadership camps. Club member participate in holiday blood drives and complete semi-annual environmental cleanups at Headwater Park and area riverbanks.

The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne also has left its footprint of service around the world by helping to eradicate polio through contributions and on-site vaccination efforts in India and Africa, investing in projects that provide potable water to communities throughout the world, and advancing peace and understanding through the decades-long sponsorship of scores of inbound and outbound high school students through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.

At weekly Rotary meetings, members and guests have a front-row seat to hear community, business, industry, civic and other influential leaders discuss key issues and events. Recent speakers include Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Parkview CEO Mike Packnett, Julie Inskeep of The Journal Gazette, and Fort Wayne Community School Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson.

The entire community is welcome to attend the ribbon cutting at 10 am, Friday, October 2, at the downtown Library Plaza along West Wayne Street.


Rotary International President Ravindran Centennial Gala keynote speaker Biography


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K.R. Ravindran , 2015-16 Rotary International President, will be the keynote speaker at the October 2, 2015, Rotary Club of Fort Wayne Centennial Gala at the Grand Wayne Center.

Mr. Ravindran, of Western Province, Sri Lanka, is CEO of a publicly listed company, which he founded with a worldwide clientele in the tea packaging industry. He also serves on the board of several other companies and charitable trusts.

He is the founding president of the Sri Lanka Anti-Narcotics Association. As his country’s national PolioPlus chair, “Ravi” headed a task force consisting of the government, UNICEF, and Rotary and worked closely with UNICEF to successfully negotiate a ceasefire with the northern militants during National Immunization Days.

A Rotarian since 1974, Ravi has served Rotary International (RI) as treasurer; director; Foundation trustee; committee member, vice chair, and chair; task force member; RI training leader; and district governor. He also chaired the Schools Reawakening project, sponsored by Rotary clubs and districts in Sri Lanka, to rebuild 25 tsunami-devastated schools to benefit 15,000 children.

Ravi and his wife, Vanathy, are level 4 Major Donors of The Rotary Foundation. They have been married since 1975, and have two children and one grandchild.


About The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne (Downtown Rotary)
Incorporated in 1915, the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne is an organization of 150 business, professional, and community leaders who open doors through service through local, national and international service projects, as well as international exchange programs. The Club is a member of the Rotary global network, comprised of 1.2 million members who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. The Rotary Club of Fort Wayne meets every Monday (except holidays) at Parkview Field (second floor suite level) at 12:00 Noon. For membership information, contact Jane Wilks at 260.493.6236 ,, or visit


See also a post about the proposed Centennial Tower early in the project29th June 2014


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