Ted Gifford

PRID Dr. Edgar D. (Ted) Gifford D.D.S. Honorary Member Charter President Rotary Club of La Grange 1958-“59 District 644 Governor 1964-’65 Director Rotary International 1981-’83. Joined Rotary Global History in February of 2006
Rotary Recognition Awards: Presidential Humanitarian Citation 1981, Service Above Self Award 2003, and District 6450 Spirit of Rotary Award 2003.

He and his wife Caroline are level four Major Donors, Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation, and there is an Endowed Foundation Fund in his name.

(2005 Photo with his wife Caroline)

I am a Rotarian because on August 8, 1958 I telephoned the Rotary International Secretariat in Evanston, Illinois and spoke with Beth Maveety of the Extension Department about the possibility of organizing a Rotary club in La Grange, Illinois U.S.A. Miss Maveety told me she would inform District 644 Governor Mitchel P. Davis of my interest.
I was inspired to make that call because my uncle, a Perth Amboy, New Jersey Rotarian, who had taken me to a meeting of his club in 1949, and my wife Caroline’s father and grandfather who had been president of the Manistee, Michigan, and charter member of the Red Creek, New York Rotary clubs respectively.

On September 3rd, 1958 District 644 Extension Chairman Thor Holter, and a former Rotarian and La Grange minister Russell Kerr, met in my dental office. Four weeks later 27 La Grange area business and professional men applied for a Rotary charter.

After Past Rotary President Herbert J. Taylor spoke about “ROTARY PROGRESS WORLDWIDE” at our charter banquet on November 19, 1958 Chesley Perry (Rotary General Secretary 1910-42) addressed our club about Rotary Global History, and Australian Ambassadorial Scholar Brian Wiseman told us about his country and impressions of the U.S.A. during early weeks of our club’s existence which made me realize what enriching and rewarding opportunities Rotary membership provides.

For me it marked the onset of opportunities to assist others in our community, and opened a doorway for worldwide involvement and friendships with service-minded people. Why am I still a Rotarian after 47 years? Why do I continue to attend meetings and participate in other Rotary events?

Because I enjoy the fellowship and good feeling that exists at meetings and other Rotary activities, but beyond that because I consider myself fortunate to be involved in a progressive organization that provides humanitarian services, encourages ethical vocational standards, and promotes goodwill and peace.

Past D6450 District Governors, in 2005, PRID Gifford is third from the left.