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It’s a Wonderful Life: Rotary credits Eberhardt for preserving Skaneateles

At a recent Rotary Club meeting, Rotary Club President Chuck O’Neil presented Sherwood Inn owner Bill Eberhardt with the club’s coveted Presidents Award for his years of support to the organization and the community.

At a recent Rotary Club meeting, Rotary Club President Chuck O’Neil presented Sherwood Inn owner Bill Eberhardt with the club’s coveted Presidents Award for his years of support to the organization and the community.

— It was an admiration-fest when the Skaneateles Rotary Club recently awarded Bill Eberhardt with one of its highest honors — the club Presidents Award — during a recent Thursday club meeting in one of the Sherwood Inn’s dining rooms.

“Since the founding of our Club in 1926 and our very first meeting in February, 1927, we have had many friends of the Skaneateles Rotary Club over the years, but none, in my opinion, have been more gracious, accommodating, supportive and generous of our club than the person standing next to me, Bill Eberhardt, owner of the Sherwood Inn,” said Skaneateles Rotary Club President Chuck O’Neil.

Then after O’Neil praised Eberhardt, Eberhardt turned the spotlight away from himself and onto the Rotarians.

“What I have done for this club pales in comparison to what you have done for this community,” Eberhardt said. “From the foreign exchange students the club brings into the community to the on-going community service projects, the club is always doing good things. I am more proud that you are here than you are proud of me for helping you.”

Eberhardt said one of his first goals, when he purchased and began renovating the Sherwood Inn in 1974, was to get the Rotary Club to meet at his restaurant. He told of how he went to the Cedar House, where the club was meeting, to encourage Rotarians to come to the Sherwood Inn.

Rotarians said it is their privilege and good fortune to meet at such an excellent and historical venue each week. They said that as well as supplying excellent service and meals for 37 years, the Inn has supported the efforts and programs of Rotary in many other ways.

Rotarian David Lee reminded Rotarians that if it weren’t for Eberhardt, there would be no Sherwood Inn. He said the inn was dilapidated before Eberhardt bought it.

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