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Rotarians reach centennial

Dick Drew, Governor of Rotary District 5020, and William H. Gates enjoy a moment during the Rotary club 100-year celebration.  - Jesse Beals
Dick Drew, Governor of Rotary District 5020, and William H. Gates enjoy a moment during the Rotary club 100-year celebration.
— image credit: Jesse Beals

As co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates Sr. has overseen nearly $7.5 billion in charitable grants since 2000.

But the work of Rotarians around the world, he commented Wednesday night, really inspires him.

“You’ve set a whole new standard for what people think a volunteer organization can accomplish,” Gates told Kitsap-area Rotarians this week. “The idea used to be that volunteer organizations were there to solve a problem down the street — not across the world.”

Bremerton native and Seattle Rotarian, Gates was keynote speaker at a countywide event Wednesday marking the 100th anniversary of Rotary International. The Kitsap Conference Center’s banquet hall was packed with hundreds of Kitsap County Rotarians and distinguished guests from the larger District 5020, which stretches from Vancouver Island through Pierce County and the Kitsap Peninsula. Through a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday

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