SaddleBrooke Rotary Club’s Beginnings
 
About 1994-1995, a Rotarian from Minnesota by the name of Harlan Nygaard moved to SaddleBrooke, AZ. He wanted to organize a Rotary Club. However, he did not realize the challenge this would entail. Where was a group of retirees organized into a Rotary Club? Would they have classifications? Active businesses? Were they far enough away geographically from other Rotary clubs? And SaddleBrooke was not even on the map! Rotarian Nygaard had to work with all of these obstacles.
 
Harlan Nygaard
1925 - 2000
Being visionary and persistent, he engaged enough interest in SaddleBrooke to get the required number of members, among whom would be officers and past Rotarians, but then they needed a sponsoring club. It seems that the club in Oro Valley was not interested in sponsoring them, perhaps because 1/3 of the SaddleBrooke community was deemed to be in the territory of another club as indicated in the initial application for membership, and that would have been Oro Valley.  However, the Rotary Club of Tucson consented to sponsor this new group.
 
Finally, in due time a check for $420 ($15 charter fee per member) dated 6-25-97 was sent to Rotary International for the SaddleBrooke Rotary Charter Member Admission Fee by the Rotary Club of Tucson. A recommendation to admit this club as a member of Rotary International was signed by Past District Governor Kenneth Rawson of the Tucson Rotary Club.
 
Officers included: Harlan Nygaard, President; Michael Caldwell, Vice-President; Barbara Marriott, Secretary; Cammy Moore, Treasurer; Kenneth Moore, Sergeant-at-arms; Roger Tillman, International Service; Carter Witt, Club Service; Patrick Green, Community Service; and James Stevenson, Vocational Service. Twenty-eight names, including still active member and Past Club President James E. Pfeifer, appear on the roster submitted.
 
And we know that nothing succeeds unless the District Governor supports the concept. Fortunately, Tony Brockington from the Yuma Crossing Club was a forward-looking Governor and lent his support to the project.
 
On April 18, 2002, a gala 5th Anniversary Celebration was held at which time Ken Rawson, Tony Brockington, and Roger Tillman formed a panel and discussed the formation of this club. At this time also, the first Harlan Nygaard lapel pin designed to recognize $1000 donors to the Nygaard  Fund in the SaddleBooke Rotary Foundation was awarded to Lois Nygaard, Harlan’s widow.
 
As SaddleBrooke was not yet on the map in 1997, the official title of the club granted by Rotary International was SaddleBrooke (Oro Valley) Rotary Club. By 2000-2001, members of the club were no longer happy with the designation, so President Doris Clatanoff wrote a letter requesting and giving reasons for having the name changed to the current title. Rotarian Ken Moore assisted by locating a map that gave proof that SaddleBrooke was now on the map. With the support of District Governor Don Cutlip of Yuma, this name change was granted by Rotary International. We also finally put the Rotary sign up on SaddleBrooke Boulevard that year.
 
Each SaddleBrooke Rotary Club meeting is called to order and adjourned by the ringing of a bell that dates back to the early years of the club.  The bell was donated by Kenneth Moore and was cast from spent shell casings fired in the Vietnam war.  Ken also made the elaborate stand that supports the bell.  Wood for this stand was donated by Lois Nygaard.