Sharpsburg-Aspinwall Rotary honors three men for 151 combined years of service
With a grin on his face, longtime Sharpsburg-Aspinwall Rotary Club member Dominic “Dom” Perrotte handed over two “happy bucks.”
In the Rotary, if members brag or have good news, they have to hand over cash. When his family, friends and fellow members honored Perrotte for his long-standing allegiance to the club, he was more than happy to break out the wallet more than once.
“I never expected anything like this when I showed up today,” Perrotte said of a surprise luncheon on June 21.
He was honored along with Sanford “Sonny” Galanty and Roy Yunker with awards to celebrate their combined 151 years of service to the local Rotary branch.
The event at Walnut Grove in The Waterworks was disguised as a regular weekly meeting while other club members conspired to recognize three of the longest-serving men since the club's formation in 1927.
Former club president and current member John Arch presented honorees with engraved plaques.
“All three of these guys have been an inspiration to me over the many years,” Arch said.
The Rotary is active in serving Sharpsburg, Aspinwall and surrounding communities. Meeting weekly, members participate in festivals, distribute Meals on Wheels and run monthly bingo for veterans.
Galanty, 89, joined 60 years ago. When he signed up in 1958 at age 28, he was the youngest member. Now, as one of the oldest, he looks back on why he joined. “Meeting the guys, the camaraderie and the fellowship, well, there's just nothing like it,” Galanty said.
As the vice president who is involved in many of Rotary's community activities, he holds the monthly veterans bingo closest to his heart.
“He's been running the bingo and doing a great job at it for more than 40 years,” Arch said.
While attending almost every weekly meeting throughout the past six decades, Galanty owned and operated Galanty's Hardware in Sharpsburg. Adjacent to his business on Main Street was Perrotte's grocery store, Dom's Market. Through their local businesses, the two provided a bridge between the community and Rotary.
“Between Sonny and Dom, we probably knew everybody in Sharpsburg because everybody in Sharpsburg was either in Dom's market or Sonny's store,” Arch said.
Perrotte, 89, joined the club in 1972. “Believe it or not,” Perrotte said, he has perfect, 46-year attendance.
“We were on vacation for two weeks and I made up my time in Hawaii,” Perrotte said. “I've been able to meet people from all over the world through Rotary.”
Yunker, 96, joined the club in 1973 and also has recorded perfect attendance. Wanting an outlet to help and serve his community, the O'Hara resident said the camaraderie was something he didn't expect.
“Its talking to my old friends, like Sonny, that makes me love coming here more every week,” Yunker said.
Rotary is seeking new members. The club meets at noon Thursdays at Walnut Grove in The Waterworks. For more, visit sharpsburgrotary.org.
Christine Manganas is a freelance writer.