Fort Myers Rotary Helps the War Effort
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Our country’s declaration of war on the Axis Powers awoke the slumbering economy. In Fort Myers, Buckingham Army Airfield and Page Army Airfield trained airmen and gunners, and the community busily supported the war effort. Our Club again rose to the occasion to make a positive impact. Club President Paul G. Franklin (1943-1944) pledged that the Club devote itself “to the one objective uppermost in everyone’s mind—helping to end this war and win a lasting peace.”
During the war years, many of the younger members of our Club took a leave of absence to enlist and fight in the war. Rotarians drove air cadets from Clewiston’s Riddle Field to Fort Myers for recreational leave and also furnished recreational rooms at Page Army Airfield. Club members assisted with scrap metal drives.
Bond Auctions for the War Effort
The Rotary Club of Fort Myers also organized war bond auctions at local movie theatres that raised $150,000. Another noteworthy event of the period was our investment in the Girl Scouts. The Club, which had long supported the Boy Scouts, extended equal support for Girl Scouts in 1944. Club membership during the war reached a record 60 members and continued to grow.