Bill Neuleib of Geneseo is celebrating his 50th anniversary as a Geneseo Rotarian. He was recently honored with a special plaque by Rotary Club President Clarke Barnes during a weekly noon meeting of the club.
   “I really appreciate the honor,” Neuleib smiled. “It was totally unexpected. It means a lot to receive this recognition from a club which I have been a part of for five decades.”
   Neuleib joined the club in 1965 after being asked to join by several of his friends who were members. “I had wanted to join a service club and the timing was perfect,” Neuleib said. “I knew most of the business and professional men in the club and thought this would be an opportunity to know them better.”
   Neuleib said he wasn’t fully aware of the global presence Rotary has worldwide until he joined. “Finding out about Rotary International made my membership even more meaningful. They have held a large role in eliminating Polio on the earth. Only a few places exist on the planet where there are but a few cases. I have real pride in that.”
   He has definitely seen the revolution made by Rotary over his 50 years. “One of the biggest changes during my time as a member would have to be the addition of women to the membership. It raised a few eyebrows at first, but the ladies who became members were terrific and proved to be dedicated, good workers. That hasn’t changed. Women have become true partners in our club.”
   Neuleib’s daughters are a part of this partnership. Molly Hamer and Jane Scherer are both members of Geneseo’s Rotary Club and devote a lot of time and effort serving on various committees. In recent years, Molly and Jane have teamed up to lead Geneseo Rotary’s Strive program. The duo meets with high school seniors to help motivate them academically and, with support from Black Hawk College, provide financial assistance to those students who ‘strive’ to progress the most.
   The daughters clearly follow in their father’s footsteps. A few years ago Neuleib spearheaded a new scholarship opportunity for high schoolers called the Constitution Project, awarding students with monetary awards for their outstanding essays on the topic, “What the Constitution Means to Me.”
   Neuleib takes pride in knowing he is a part of Rotary’s service to the Geneseo Community. “We award scholarships to local students every year. In addition, we’ve added beauty to the City Park by erecting a gazebo at the north end.” This project marked Rotary International’s 100th anniversary. Neuleib continued, “Several of us who started the Geneseo Music Festival were Rotarians. It’s been a tradition in Geneseo since 1969. Aside from originating the festival, we managed it for a number of years until others stepped forward. We still sponsor the Music Festival Queen contest every year and host a supper and ice cream social at the event.”
   In addition
Geneseo Rotary hosts the Maple City 4 run on Music Fest weekend and sponsors the Queen float in the parade. Neuleib organizes the float project, as well.