Oak Brook Rotarian marks perfect attendance
Tony Signorelliof the Oak Brook Rotary has had perfect attendance at weekly meetings for 50 years. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Name: Tony Signorelli
Favorite food: his wife’s lasagna, and spaghetti and meat balls
Favorite TV show: “Two And A Half Men”
Oak Brook Rotary meetings: 12:15 p.m. Tuesdays, at Mon Ami Gabi, 260 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook
Updated: November 26, 2012 2:18AM
OAK BROOK — It would be a huge understatement to say Tony Signorelli has gone out of his way to keep perfect attendance at weekly Rotary meetings.
Signorelli, 80, has been involved with the Oak Brook Rotary since 1970; before that he was a member of the group’s Hillside club for eight years.
Because Rotary is an international organization, members may attend meetings anywhere. Signorelli has used attendance at meetings in Egypt, Spain, England, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and Germany to maintain his perfect attendance over 50 years.
“That really has kept things interesting for me over the years,” he said. “In the early ’90s, I was at a meeting in Sweden, and they honored me by holding their meeting in English.”
Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations.
Signorelli is humble about the accomplishment.
“Rotary started in 1905; there are some guys who have made 60 or 70 years with perfect attendance, but I’m pretty proud of my 50,” he said.
Being able to attend meetings abroad isn’t the only way Signorelli his attendance. He had help from some friends to keep that perfect attendance for a couple of weeks in October 1990.
“I had triple bypass and was in the hospital for two weeks,” he said. “One of my friends was a Rotary official, and he came by with a couple of other guys and had the meetings in the hospital with me.”
Signorelli said he initially became involved in Rotary because a friend asked. It didn’t take long for him to become quite interested.
“They have such high goals, and it’s all about doing things to help people,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate in many ways, so I like the idea of doing things to help others.”
Signorelli spent most of his working life in sales, including a stint through the 1970s at an office supply company/store in Oakbrook Center. He also worked for about 15 years with the Ray Graham Association, which provides support and programs to people in DuPage County.
“I loved working there because it helps people with disabilities,” Signorelli said. “I couldn’t work directly with the people who were disabled; it was too hard for me, emotionally, but I was involved in promotion and events to raise money.”
Signorelli continues to work two days a week as a building manager in Elmhurst, and he continues to attend Oak Brook Rotary meetings.
“I still love it,” he said of his Rotary involvement. “I plan to keep on coming to the meetings.”