What is The Rotary Club International?
The Rotary Club was founded on 23rd February 1905. The first meeting was called by Paul P. Harris and he met with three other business owners. It was held at the Unity Building, Chicago.
Since that date, Rotary members have been combating challenges around the world.
At the very grassroots, Rotary brings together 1.2 million members to form an organisation of international reach and influence. It started with the ideas of Paul Harris. He was a Chicago attorney and formed the Rotary Club of Chicago in 1905 so that professionals from varied backgrounds could come together. His vision was that they would exchange ideas, develop lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.
The name ‘Rotary’ comes from the group’s initial routine of rotating meetings around the offices of each of its members.
Our Ongoing Commitment
Rotary members have consistently been a part of the majority of major historical events. Three key traits have remained strong throughout our history:
We are truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today, members in almost every country of the globe work to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.
We persevere in tough times. During World War II, Rotary clubs in Austria, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain were declared illegal. Despite the risks, many disbanded groups continued to meet informally. After the war, Rotary members came together, openly to rebuild their clubs and their countries.
We’re committed to service, and we’re not afraid to dream big and set really challenging goals.
The Rotary Foundation working with you
Since 1905 The Rotary Foundation has been transforming your gifts into useful and valuable contributions to the local, National and International Communities that we serve.
In the last 100 years, the Foundation has spent $3 billion on life-changing, sustainable projects. With your ongoing help and support, we can continue to make lives better in your community and around the world.
Rotary, along with our partners, has reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide since our first project to vaccinate children in the Philippines in 1979.
We are close to eradicating polio, but we need your help. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, there are ways to make a global impact and protect children against polio forever.
Rotarians have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. For as little as $0.60, a child can be protected for life against this crippling disease.