The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois,
USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney
who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit
he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name "Rotary"
derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.
In nearly 100 years, Rotary has grown from a small club of four members
to a worldwide network of men and women who share a common vision for a
better world. The world's first service organization, Rotary has a long
history of helping those in need and uniting people of different cultures and beliefs. Through
the work of individual Rotary clubs, and through the programs of Rotary
International and The Rotary Foundation, Rotary is making the world a better
The countdown to 2005 has begun. Explore the RI
Centennial Web site to learn about upcoming activities, Rotary history,
and much more.
Rotary club membership represents a cross-section of the community's business
and professional men and women. The world's Rotary clubs meet weekly and
are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.
The main objective of Rotary is service in the community, in the
workplace, and throughout the world. Rotarians develop community service
projects that address many of today's most critical issues, such as children
at risk, poverty and hunger, the environment, illiteracy, and violence.
They also support programs for youth, educational opportunities and international
exchanges for students, teachers, and other professionals, and vocational
and career development. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self.