Scroll down for all the Bell stories and photos.

This is a Stand-In.  It's required during the times our club bell is out on secret missions.
This is ours!  The Bell & Gavel.
Bell & Gavel for the Walnut Grove Rotary Club
 

The History of the Rotary Bell ...

 
...begins in 1922 when the U.S. Rotarians organized an attendance contest.  The challenge was that the losing clubs would join in giving the winning club a prize.  The Rotary Club of New York City was declared the winner and was awarded a bell from a popular patrol boat, which was placed on wood that came from the HMS Victory.  Admiral Nelson's vessel at the battle of Trafalgar.
 
Since then, as on the ships, the bell used in Rotary meetings started to represent order, discipline and the time to guide us through the weekly hour and a half meeting. With its sound, the bell rang at the  beginning of the Rotary meeting, at which time people should stand in order to salute the US Flag and the Rotary flag. The bell was sounded once again at the end to adjourn the meeting. 
 
The gavel symbolizes the authority invested in the Rotarian elected to the highest position in Rotary, and through him/her, reminds those present of his/her authority. When presidents transmit their positions to their successors at the end of their mandate, they give the bell their last hit, turning the gavel over to their successors, symbolizing the transfer of authority.

The Thief Must Be "Nimble & Fast"

Co-President Tom believes the thief has to be quick and nimble because the Bell disappeared so FAST!

THE BELL IS MISSING

Co-President Tom:

Tom is making due with his Educator's Bell he received for 35 years of service in educating our youth.

As the Bell Tolls:  Tips Received, Suspect Spotted and Investigation is Underway

 

Dear Fellow Rotarians:

Co-President Tom was in the act of being Rotarian nice and socializing after our club meeting on August 15, 2022.
Yes....he took his eyes off the Bell for just a split second and it seems now to be missing.
 
Recently, acting on a sound tip and believing the thief has to be quick and nimble, Co-President Tom has been investigating tips.  Along with his new Sheriff and  while all the agents are looking out for the missing Rotary bell, surveillance video emerged and showed the missing bell probably involved a prominent member of our club. Experts are now checking the authenticity of the video before the take action.
 
RESCUE EFFORTS:  While we wait for any ransom notices, we are collecting donations to organize rescue efforts.
Your donation goes back into the local community where it is best needed and is tax deductible as allowed by law.  Thank you for donating to the community where Rotarians Serve to Change Lives.
 
If anyone has information on the location of the Rotary Bell, please let us know right away so a rescue team can be appointed.  If you can capture any photos, email them to admin@walnutgroverotary.org.
 
DESCRIPTION:  Bronze coloring, with special marking dating back to 1948.  Has a beautiful voice when nudged.  Please stay on the lookout.

DISCLOSURE:  This is just a GAME.  Feel free to participate in our recovery efforts or in the Defense of Mr. Leary!  THANKS!  There are stories about previous Bell shenanigans at this link:  As the Bell Tolls!

Breaking News - Bell Thief Is Arrested

 

Justice Has Been Served - James is now a Registered Bell Thief

 

October 24, 2022: The court room drama was about to begin at the lunch meeting as false evidence was brought against Dennis Leary for the theft of the Rotary bell. Based on Dennis' impeccable Rotary record, 50 years of perfect attendance and countless contributions to the community, former District Attorney Dave Stirling's successfully defended his client. Not only Dennis was vindicated, they even caught the real perpetrator James Fowler for having committed the crime.  Has justice been served?

 

DISCLOSURE:  This is just a GAME.  No Bell was hurt in the making of this event.  Feel free to participate in our recovery efforts or in the Defense of Mr. Leary!

 

The Trial of 2022

  
Evidence is mounting, tips are pouring in.  About 2 weeks after the Bell went missing, a man was seen trying to through the bell into the river.  His attempt failed when it landed on the waterside street sign.
 
Suspect, Dennis Leary has maintained his innocence and retained young and upcoming council, Dave Stirling as representation.  The former attorney and judge is on the case.
 
Defense fund efforts have been underway and we hear trial is set for Monday October 24th.
 
 
October 24, 2022 was the Dennis Leary trial for Bell theft.  However, his counsel did an outstanding job revealing the outstanding Rotarian Dennis is and the jury found him innocent....even though the Bell was sitting in the bag behind him.  While Dennis remained committed to his innocence, he did admit to stealing the Bell 30 years ago.  He is happy there are statutes of limitations and is able to come clean about that theft.  Dennis dodged one there.   

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Just Where did the Bell Go?

 
The Bell ventured out the farthest is has ever traveled.  Covering Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada, it seems to have been an adventure of a lifetime.  However, we are glad the Bell has returned to conduct beautiful music at our meetings.
To Jail or Not To Jail, Is Dennis Leary Innocent?
The Bell ventured out on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and found a partner-in-crime in Texas.
While in Moab Utah, the Bell took in the breath taking views at the Arches National Park.
On the case was our own Sheriff, Sargant-at-arms, Danny.  Is that Sheriff Elect Jim Cooper Assisting??
While in Mexia, Texas, the Bell was guided through lands wild pig hunting and fishing.  Here the Bell is pictured with his guide.
No air show in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is complete without the Bell taking a small plane ride.
No, the Bell isn't gasping at jumping.  It's the incredible Grand Canyon views at Mather Point that have taken its breath away.  Even if it doesn't have all the attention of our Co-Presidents. 
Two places at one time.  Sitting at the Arizona - Nevada border overlooking Hoover Dam, the Bell thinks about returning soon the Rotary.
After a horse ride on a Dala Horse in Lindsborg Kansas, the Bell was walking with a slight giddy up in its step.
As the Bell Tolls

As the Bell Tolls:  THE BELL IS RESCUED!!!   

Update 9/27/2021
The Bell has been RESCUED.  After multiple photos of the bell around town and noticeably bandaged, the Bell has been safely returned to President Jan.  The photos show, quite distinctly,  the "Help Me" efforts while trying to escape from its captures.  Thank you to those who donated to the RESCUE THE BELL efforts.  Thank you to committee members, Gail and Dan, for their sleuth like talents in the Bell's return.  Thank you Mark Rogerson for cracking the clues to rescue the Bell.  President Jan was all smiles and officially disbanded the committee.
 
Disclosure:  This is just a GAME.  Feel free to participate in our recovery efforts.  THANKS!  Read more stories about previous Bell shenanigans at this link:  As the Bell Tolls!
          

 

INSCRIPTION READS:

Presented to

Walnut Grove Rotary Club

by

Sacramento Rotary Club

Charter Night May 25th 1948

Having some fun with the bell is quite an ingenious game, as long as the bell doesn’t stay away too long and returns for meetings or important events.  It took a while to understand the humor behind a missing bell.  I think the day it struck me as hilarious was the first meeting after the Demotion Ceremony of President Larry when he brought a tricycle bell and called the meeting to order.  That was just plain great humor on great humor.  He had been warned, but nevertheless, the Bell went missing at his Demotion Ceremony.
 
But I still miss the Bell!  After hinting the missing bell was fun, it just needs to show up now and again.  Especially at important meetings or events.  It wasn't too long after that the Bell began sending hints of its location and sending photos in historical spots.  The Bell seems to be okay while gallivanting around the Delta.  
 
After missing many meetings it was the evening of our 70th Club Anniversary Dinner when it made its appearance as a gift to the President, all dressed in formal tuxedo and red bow tie.  That was funnier than funny.  Although, it didn't last long, and the Bell was off gallivanting around the Delta again.
 
There has been discussion about fining the Bell for missed meetings.  Only to have it show up at the doorstep with photo proof it tried to attend, therefore, it can't be fined.  
 
There are rumors the Bell has tried, repeatedly, to gain access to local establishments.  Claiming to be over 21 years of age.  But with no ID, it has been turned away.
 
Other sightings of the Bell include a days adventure on the Delta boating or watching the SF Giants play from McCovey Cove.  We've heard a home run ball was caught by the Bell, but it was some historic ball and the Bell returned it to the player.
 
We've heard from the Bell when it was kidnapped.  The ransom note "Help Me" was made from letters cut out of magazines.  Our local law enforcement solved the case and the town Deputy rescued the bell and brought it safely to the following meeting.  However, the story around town is a hefty ransom was paid for its return.  Some even say the Bell planned the entire kidnapping after watching a scene from Murder, She Wrote and escaped being booked by dropping some big name club members and spent the night in the Sheriff's custody before being returned.  It is said only the Bell knows for sure.
 
Today, the Bell is locked in President Rob's special made safe.  It has been quarantined and is abiding by the stay-in-place regulations for our County.  Most recently, the Bell has been at our Zoom meetings and makes beautiful sounds when it meets the gavel.  Now there's a relationship story!
 
As hybrid meetings were born, and meeting started to resume, our bell not only attended with its proper mask,  During our October 19, 2020 meeting, District Gov Nominee Karen Cendro presents the Bell a stunning red Rotary mask, which it is modeling beautifully.
 
The 2020-2021 year had the Bell traveling very little and pretty much staying safe.  It is a difficult year to travel too.   Our Bell wore an alarm.  At the slightest of movement, an ear piercing alarm would alert President Rob something was amiss.  It makes travel difficult when weighted down with such armor.  Let's see how President-Elect Jan LeRoy holds onto her Bell.
 
August 2021:  The Bell has been kidnapped!  President Jan has received a couple of text messages, but no ransom notice yet.  President Jan appointed a committee to rescue our Bell.  A rescue fund has been established.  It seems all we can do is wait.  The Bell is missed.
 
Update 9/27/2021
The Bell has been RESCUED.  After multiple photos of the bell around town and noticeably bandaged, the Bell has been safely returned to President Jan.  The photos show, quite distinctly,  the "Help Me" efforts while trying to escape from its captures.  Thank you to those who donated to the RESCUE THE BELL efforts.  Thank you to committee members, Gail and Dan, for their sleuth like talents in the Bell's return.  Thank you Mark Rogerson for cracking the clues to rescue the Bell.  President Jan was all smiles and officially disbanded the committee.
 
Thanks for listening to the stories.  Keep coming back for more photos and stories of "As the Bell Tolls".
Stay-In-Place Order.  Notice, mask ready!
Safely at home with President Rob.
Hybrid Meeting - Oct 19, 2020
The plunger wants its own story now.
District Gov Nominee, Karen Cendro presents the Bell a Rotary Mask...October 19,2020
Photo Predates CV19
A day trip to watch the SF Giants play ball.  The Bell's reflection from McCovey Cove.
As Captain, the Bell is piloting this beauty on a tour of the Delta.
The Bell at our 70th Anniversary Celebration in full tux complete with red bow tie.
At the door of our meeting room.  Honest attempt to attend, results in no fine.
Local historical lounge.  Didn't have any ID to get in.
Help Me the sign says in cut out letters.  I believe a hefty ransom was paid for its return.