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

Coming Events

April 15 regular meeting
Speaker: Colleen Moidu
Topic: WeRISE: Westerville for Racial Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Engagement
April 15th 2021 12:00 pm
More info

Fish Fry this year will be ‘Lasagna-To-Go’ event
April 18th 2021 11:30 am
More info

April 22 regular meeting-Meet the new City Manager!
Speaker: Monica Irelan
Topic: Welcome for Westerville's new City Manager
April 22nd 2021 12:00 pm
More info

Contact Us

Rotary Club of Westerville
P.O. Box 595
Westerville, OH  43086-0595

Where We Meet (temporary)
Online via Zoom

When
Thursdays at noon

RI logo 2020-21

Our recent Facebook posts

Don't forget to join us by Zoom at noon TOMORROW for our regular weekly meeting. Speaker will be Lindsey Kerr of LifeLine Pilots, a nonprofit providing free air transportation to passengers with medical or humanitarian needs across 10 Midwest states. Zoom info remains the same as usual. See you there! ... See MoreSee Less
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1 month ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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Pop over to Meijer today to turn your $10 gift into $30 for WARM!This Saturday, you can triple your contribution to ending food insecurity in our community by purchasing a $10 #MeijerSimplyGive food donation card at the Meijer Polaris location, 100 Polaris Parkway. For every card purchased on March 13, Meijer will DOUBLE match it with $20 for a total of $30 to fight local hunger and support our pantry! Thank you Meijer for your generous offer! #MeijerGives ... See MoreSee Less
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THE ROTARY RAFFLE IS BACK!!!Buy your tickets online at westervillerotary.com/epay-secure/ and watch the drawing live on Zoom, during our weekly meetings. The Raffle returns THIS WEEK, Thursday, Feb. 11. Must buy by MIDNIGHT THE NIGHT BEFORE EACH MEETING. Come on and Get in the Game for our Foundation! ... See MoreSee Less
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3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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4 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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Good Morning, Rotarians! Reminder: Our noon meeting speaker today will be US Rep Troy Balderson, and there will be lots of info about our HOLIDAY PARTY and fundraising efforts. Be sure to stop in via Zoom at us02web.zoom.us/j/8743047403?pwd=TEFVek5RTEV1M2U3YUdRaUVKV2QwZz09 ... See MoreSee Less
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And another personal best -- for our community of Westerville! THANK YOU to all who donated and volunteered for our 2020 Rotary Holiday Food Drive for WARM, producing a new record collection for the drive!Goal met and exceeded - Westerville donated over 60,000 pounds of food in ONE day! Thank you Westerville!If your bag was missed, please bring it to WARM at 150 Heatherdown between 9am and 4pm, or visit our 24-hour drop-box with your non-perishable, non-glass donations. ... See MoreSee Less
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Rotarians, don't miss our meeting at noon tomorrow. Dennis Blair of the Sunrise club and Tami Santa from the school district will tell us about the Hope Squad program coming to Westerville's high schools. Check the Rotogram, website or Facebook Event on this page for Zoom login info. ... See MoreSee Less
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No meeting this week, Rotarians. Enjoy the holiday with your loved ones and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! ... See MoreSee Less
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5 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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5 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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A COVID-friendly stroll of the Rotary Honors Veterans 5K brought participants in this year's 'virtual' event together at the Westerville Sports Complex Sunday, Nov. 8, including President Ellen Cathers, immediate Past President Tom Shaver, Bill and Sheila Tompos and Joe Meyer, along with special guests Gretchen and Jim McIntosh of the SEALKIDS, the 2020 5K beneficiary. ... See MoreSee Less
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Several Westerville Rotarians pulled together for a Service Project for the Bed Brigade in Grove City Saturday, Nov. 7, building beds for needy families. ... See MoreSee Less
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5 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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We had a fantastic meeting today with almost 40 club members in attendance! Ann Bischoff shared what's happening with @starhousecolumbus, Central Ohio's only drop-in center for youth, ages 14-24, who are experiencing homelessness and their small children. The update includes the opening of the Carol Stewart Village in Franklinton. Their top needs right now are new clothing donations, mentors, grocery store driving service provided by a church or established organization, and donations since funding is being cut and needs are greater because of the pandemic. See starhouse.us/donate to learn more. ... See MoreSee Less
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6 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
World Polio Day is October 24th! Join @rotaryinternational in helping to keep its promise to the children of the world to End Polio, once and for all. #endpolio #rotaryinternational ... See MoreSee Less
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Rotarians! Remember to join us BY ZOOM at noon today, for our annual big celebration of World Polio Day! District Chair Dave Uhl will update us with latest in the worldwide battle. ... See MoreSee Less
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County Health Alert returns to Level 3 (Red);Club will meet by Zoom only effective Oct. 22 The Rotary Club of Westerville temporarily will hold its weekly luncheons online only, via Zoom, effective Oct. 22.The Public Health Advisory Alert for Franklin County on Oct. 15 was raised to Level 3 (Red), indicating a "very high" local risk to exposure to and spread of the novel Coronavirus. In accordance with Rotary International and Rotary Club of Westerville policies, we've paused all in-person, indoor club meetings. We will return to in-person meetings as soon as permitted by public health guidelines. By board-adopted policy, we will resume hybrid lunch meetings at the Old Bag of Nails (and on Zoom) upon the second Thursday following the county's return to a Advisory Alert Level 2 (Orange) or lower. Keep up with the local Coronavirus Alert status at covid-19.myfcph.org.In the meantime, STAY HEALTHY, and stay tuned for further announcements from the club – here and in The Rotogram. Join us via Zoom for our weekly noon-Thursday meetings, starting Oct. 22:Via one-click: us02web.zoom.us/j/8743047403?pwd=TEFVek5RTEV1M2U3YUdRaUVKV2QwZz09Manually via the Zoom app: Meeting ID: 874 304 7403 Passcode: 022056 ... See MoreSee Less
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6 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
Today’s meeting was full of recognition from our student’s of the month program and learning from Heather Dugan, award-winning author and speaker and founder of @CabernetCoaches®, an “all ages, all stages” group for women that fosters self-betterment through face-to-face friendships and social connection. She shared the concepts found in her latest book Are We There Yet? Coping and connecting in the time of COVID. ... See MoreSee Less
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Weekly lunch reminder, for Thursday, Oct. 1: Join us in-person at the Old Bag of Nails or via Zoom. Speaker will be the award-winning local author and podcaster Heather Dugan discussing staying connected amid the Coronavirus pandemic. Also returning this week; Our Students of the Month! ... See MoreSee Less
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7 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
Today’s Rotary meeting double the fun having Zenah Jepchirrchir, the president from our sister club in Kitale, Kenya, give a live(!) update about their projects. We also learned about the youth in foster care and the impact of My Very One Blanket from Jim Bownas. Thank you to the Blanket Brigade in proving MVOB with 80 blankets to distribute! ... See MoreSee Less
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Looking forward to seeing everyone at the evening social at beautiful Millstone Creek Park tonight! Bring your chairs and drinks, and remember your mask until you're seated. See you at the shelterhouse at 6! ... See MoreSee Less
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Westerville Rotarians, looking forward to seeing you for lunch Thursday! Great program planned, and our normal fun and fellowship -- even our Sergeant-at-Arms frivolity! Join via Zoomus02web.zoom.us/j/8743047403?pwd=TEFVek5RTEV1M2U3YUdRaUVKV2QwZz09Meeting ID: 874 304 7403Passcode: 022056 ... See MoreSee Less
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HEY Westerville Rotarians: Tomorrow is Thursday. What are you doing for lunch??? Why, YES, YOU HAVE A ROTARY MEETING. Indeed you do! And it will be an awesome one. Please join us as we make a donation from Lights of Liberty to Westerville Honor Flight and check out a fascinating program on Out Of Body Experiences. Be there or be square! Join via zoom at: us02web.zoom.us/j/85100283441?pwd=NTFHRTVjZStkUW0wZzloczkrQUtNZz09Meeting ID: 851 0028 3441Password: 277613One tap mobile+13017158592,,85100283441#,,,,0#,,277613# US Ohio ... See MoreSee Less
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The Rotary Club of Westerville will meet at noon Thursday, July 23, via Zoom.Our speaker will be Dr. Matt Chittum.Our topic is “The Dynamics of Change.”President Ellen Cathers reports she and Dr. Chittum have been doing Zoom meetings with people from all over the globe on this topic. She promises the meeting will be “more interactive than you might think” and invites all club members to jump on Zoom for the meeting.Please join in on Zoom at this link/using the below info:us02web.zoom.us/j/85100283441?pwd=NTFHRTVjZStkUW0wZzloczkrQUtNZz09Meeting ID: 851 0028 3441Password: 277613One tap mobile+13017158592,,85100283441#,,,,0#,,277613# US Ohio ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville
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Reminder: No meeting this week. ... See MoreSee Less
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Last night to light up your #4thofjuly weekend!As an organically socially distant show we are so happy to be able to provide this for our community during a time when we are all craving social interaction. It was been incredible to see you all again, even if it’s just a wave through a car window! There has been a great sense of community the past four nights at Lights of Liberty, #alonetogether from the comfort of your vehicle. See you tonight #columbus! 9:00-11:30pm | $10 per vehicle | 325 N. Cleveland Ave 43082 | online tickets www.eventbrite.com/e/lights-of-liberty-drive-through-digital-light-show-10-per-vehicle-tickets-11... ... See MoreSee Less
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9 months ago

Mandi Balla Roberts
She was beside herself with excitement! Thank you for putting this on!!!! ... See MoreSee Less
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Happy Birthday America! Our #popup light show will be in Westerville for two more nights! Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July! July 1-5 nightly | 9:00-11:30pm | $10 per vehicle | 325 N. Cleveland Ave 43082 | online tickets www.eventbrite.com/e/lights-of-liberty-drive-through-digital-light-show-10-per-vehicle-tickets-11... ... See MoreSee Less
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That feeling of being out of the house! Thank you @bbfantasyoflights for helping to make Lights of Liberty (pop up light show) possible with just two weeks of planning! We are proud to have an event that brings us #alonetogether Columbus! Don’t miss the best light show in town! July 1-5 nightly 9:00-11:30pm $10 per vehicle 325 N. Cleveland Ave 43082 online tickets www.eventbrite.com/e/lights-of-liberty-drive-through-digital-light-show-10-per-vehicle-tickets-11... ... See MoreSee Less
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