Westerville Club History

A Brief History

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.

Rotary’s popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.

As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving the professional and social interests of club members. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization’s dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its principal motto: Service Above Self. Rotary also later embraced a code of ethics, called The 4-Way Test, that has been translated into hundreds of languages.

During and after World War II, Rotarians became increasingly involved in promoting international understanding. In 1945, 49 Rotary members served in 29 delegations to the United Nations Charter Conference. Rotary still actively participates in UN conferences by sending observers to major meetings and promoting the United Nations in Rotary publications. Rotary International’s relationship with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) dates back to a 1943 London Rotary conference that promoted international cultural and educational exchanges. Attended by ministers of education and observers from around the world, and chaired by a past president of RI, the conference was an impetus to the establishment of UNESCO in 1946.

An endowment fund, set up by Rotarians in 1917 “for doing good in the world,” became a not-for-profit corporation known as The Rotary Foundation in 1928. Upon the death of Paul Harris in 1947, an outpouring of Rotarian donations made in his honor, totaling US$2 million, launched the Foundation’s first program — graduate fellowships, now called Ambassadorial Scholarships. Today, contributions to The Rotary Foundation total more than US$80 million annually and support a wide range of humanitarian grants and educational programs that enable Rotarians to bring hope and promote international understanding throughout the world.

In 1985, Rotary made a historic commitment to immunize all of the world’s children against polio. Working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and national governments thorough its Polio Plus program, Rotary is the largest private-sector contributor to the global polio eradication campaign. Rotarians have mobilized hundreds of thousands of Polio Plus volunteers and have immunized more than one billion children worldwide. By the 2005 target date for certification of a polio-free world, Rotary will have contributed half a billion dollars to the cause.

As it approached the dawn of the 21st century, Rotary worked to meet the changing needs of society, expanding its service effort to address such pressing issues as environmental degradation, illiteracy, world hunger, and children at risk. The organization admitted women for the first time (worldwide) in 1989 and claims more than 145,000 women in its ranks today. Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Rotary clubs were formed or re-established throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

More than a century after Paul Harris and his colleagues chartered the club that eventually led to Rotary International, Rotarians continue to take pride in their history. In honor of that first club, Rotarians have preserved its original meeting place, Room 711 in Chicago’s Unity Building, by re-creating the office as it existed in 1905. For several years, the Paul Harris 711 Club maintained the room as a shrine for visiting Rotarians. In 1989, when the building was scheduled to be demolished, the club carefully dismantled the office and salvaged the interior, including doors and radiators. In 1993, the RI Board of Directors set aside a permanent home for the restored Room 711 on the 16th floor of RI World Headquarters in nearby Evanston.

1905  
First Rotary club organized in Chicago, Illinois, USA
 
1908

Second club formed in San Francisco, California, USA

1910
First Rotary convention held in Chicago, Illinois, USA

1912
The Rotary Club of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, becomes the first club outside the
United States to be officially chartered. (The club was formed in 1910.)

1917
Endowment fund, forerunner of The Rotary Foundation, established

1932
4-Way Test formulated by Chicago Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor

1945
Forty-nine Rotarians help draft United Nations Charter in San Francisco

1947
Rotary founder Paul Harris dies; first 18 Rotary Foundation scholarships granted

1962
First Interact club formed in Melbourne, Florida, USA

1965
Rotary Foundation launches Matching Grants and Group Study Exchange programs
 
1985

Rotary announces PolioPlus program to immunize all the children of the world against polio
 
1989

Council on Legislation opens Rotary membership to women worldwide; Rotary clubs chartered in Budapest, Hungary, and Warsaw, Poland, for first time in almost 50 years


1990

Rotary Club of Moscow chartered first club in Soviet Union
 
1990-91

Preserve Planet Earth program inspires some 2,000 Rotary-sponsored environmental projects

1994
Western Hemisphere declared polio-free

1999
Rotary Centers for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution established
 
2000

Western Pacific declared polio-free
 
2001

30,000th Rotary club chartered

2002
Europe declared polio-free; first class of 70 Rotary Peace Scholars begin study

2003
Rotarians raise more than US$118 million to support the final stages of polio eradication

2004
RI’s largest convention with 45,381 attendees, held in Osaka, Japan

2005
Rotary Celebrates centennial in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Contact Us

Westerville
P.O. Box 595
Westerville, OH
Where We Meet
Villa Milano Banquet and Party House
1630 Schrock Rd.
Columbus, OH 43229-1560
When
Thursdays at 12:00 PMMap It

Our recent Facebook posts

2 days ago

Mary Van Fleet

Will the annual Shredding Day scheduled for April 18, 2020 still occur at Hoff Woods Park? ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

5 days ago

Alan Briggs

A few years ago, I gave Rotary some photos of the ground breaking for Harris-Askins House. My father, Morris, was very involved with that project, as were so many other Rotarians. I found these photos of the dedication and some other events, so I thought I would share with you all. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Let’s play a game. In comments leave one word to describe Rotary. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
View on Facebook

Rotarians make their community a better place! During this unprecedented time we need to help our community and those in need. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Please note: all events have been canceled until April 8th due to Coronavirus. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Reminder this week’s Out of Body experience and lunch meeting is at Medallion Club at noon! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Don’t forget to spring your clock forward an hour or you will be late to Rotary! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

THANKS STAR HOUSE FOR ATTENDING OUR FISH FRY ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

1 month ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

52nd annual Fish Fry and Bake is in the books! Thank you to all the volunteers and the phenomenal turnout! We are excited to have had Star House be a part of the event this year! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We will be auctioning these beautiful paintings designed by Tatiana from StarHouse at 1:30 pm today during the Fish Fry! You still have time to get here! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us today for the 52nd annual Fish Fry & Bake 11:30 am to 5:30 pm at Otterbein Campus Center! NEW this year live local entertainment, bake sale and pop up stores with items made by Star House! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

FISH FRY ANNOUNCEMENT!
We will have a collection area established on the lower level of the Campus Center during the Fish Fry for donations to Star House. Thank you in advance for donating!
Needed Items:
-New Underwear (boxers/boxer briefs preferred for men)
-Boots & Shoes (comfortable for walking long distances)
-Bikes
-Tents
-Backpacks
-Blankets
-African American hair care products (oils and gels)
-Sleeping bags
-Large towels
-Men’s and Women’s Clothing (all kinds - can be new or very gently used)

As a guideline, please, we do not have a need for the following items:
-No used socks, underwear, bras, or swimsuits
-No open or used personal care items such as razors, deodorant, lip balm, makeup, etc.
-No boys or girls youth clothing, youth socks, or youth shoes for youth under the age of 14 (adult sizes only please)
-No baby or toddler clothes
-No household or kitchen items such as lamps; curtains; electronics; toasters; blenders; utensils; silverware trays; etc.
-No books; games; toys; or stuffed animals
-No bedding including sheets; comforters; bedspreads; pillows; pillowcases; etc.
-No amen’s high-heeled (or pumps) shoes or boots
-No stained or dirty clothing or items covered with pet hair
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us this Thursday at noon at Villa Milano for Westerville Rotary Foundation, A Legacy of Giving presented by Kirk Lawson Foundation President. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

2 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Be sure to join us this Thursday, February 13th at noon at Villa Milano! Our speaker is Matthew D’Oyly discussing The Great Debate held at Otterbein ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us this Thursday at noon at Villa Milano as Bill Tompos and his committee wrap up Rotary Honors Vets 5k and talks about the future of the event. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

January 9th luncheon features our own
Joe Meyer
Westerville: The War Machine of Prohibition
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

What is your New Year’s resolution for Rotary? Will you help recruit new members? Will you volunteer? Will you donate? ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

A few images from the 2019 Phil Brown Basketball Classic. Great event with Westerville home teams winning 5 of 6 games! Thanks to South announcer extraordinaire Rick Bannister for the South pics! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Come on out today to our Phil Brown Basketball Classic tourney at Otterbein’s Rike Center! Westerville Central, North and South boys and girls squads playing. North’s Lady Warriors ahead of Worthington Christian in game 1, 31-18. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Happy Hanukkah & Merry Christmas! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Be sure to attend this week’s meeting to find out what is new with the annual traditional Fish Fry! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Holiday party at the Harris-Askins House
The Rotary Club of Westerville’s Harris-Askins House Board of Directors hosted a Holiday Party for residents of the House on Sunday, Dec. 8.
A nonprofit, independent affiliate of the Club, the board operates the subsidized housing project for low-income seniors, which the Rotary Club of Westerville built and opened with the assistance of a HUD grant in 1985. The 60-unit Harris-Askins House is located at 200 S. State St.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Our friends from the Columbus Zoo brought along some furry pals to our special Rotary Family Day luncheon Friday, Nov. 29 at The Medallion Club.So great to see the armadillo, dingo, baby kangaroo and sloth, along with that rarest and most elusive critter, a Past President's grandbaby! Thanks to PP Carol Groseclose for the pics! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Reminder:
This week is our Christmas Party instead of our normal meeting. Party starts at 6 pm at The Lakes Country Club.
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Happy Thanksgiving! No meeting on Thursday! Be sure to bring family and friends to Friday event! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Reminder: No meeting Thursday however bring your family and friends for Rotary Family Day on Friday! Festivities begin at 11:45! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Family Day at Rotary November 29th 11:45 am at Medallion Country Club! The Zoo will bringing some of their best animals so you can see them up close and personal ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us this Thursday, November 21st to hear what Randy Auler, Director of Parks and Recreation, has in store for the gold medal winning parks and recreation department! #westerville #westervilleparksandrecreation ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us this Thursday, November 14th at noon. Our speaker is Judith Williams talking about Historic Uptown Westerville ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook
View on Facebook

5 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

5 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Rotary Club of Westerville's cover photo ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Don’t forget to set your clocks back or you will be early for your Rotary meetings this week! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

5 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

More photos from our 9th Annual Rotary Honors Vets 5k! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook