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

Jan. 30 lunch program at Villa Milano
Speaker: Michael Stinziano
Topic: 2021 property reassessment
January 30th 2020 12:00 pm
More info

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

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 weeks 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

4 weeks 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

4 weeks ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

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

View on Facebook

1 month 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

2 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

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

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

3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

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

View on Facebook

And the 5k is underway ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us tomorrow, Saturday for Rotary Honors Veterans 5k Run/Walk, November 2nd at 9 am at Alum Creek Park North! It is not to late to register at rotaryhonorsvets5k.org. Participates are treated to the infamous Sunny Street Café breakfast burrito and awesome tech shirts and metals! #walks #runs #5k #veteranevents #veterans #Rotary #halloween #trickortreat ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

No Tricks Only Treats! Join us this Saturday for Rotary Honors Veterans 5k Run/Walk, November 2nd at 9 am at Alum Creek Park North! It is not to late to register at rotaryhonorsvets5k.org. Participates are treated to the infamous Sunny Street Café breakfast burrito and awesome tech shirts and metals! #walks #runs #5k #veteranevents #veterans #Rotary #halloween #trickortreat ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Lace up your shoes and join us this Saturday for Rotary Honors Veterans 5k Run/Walk, November 2nd at 9 am at Alum Creek Park North! It is not to late to register at rotaryhonorsvets5k.org. Participates are treated to the infamous Sunny Street Café breakfast burrito and awesome tech shirts and metals! #walks #runs #5k #veteranevents #veterans #Rotary ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Only 5 days left to join your friends for Rotary Honors Veterans 5k Run/Walk, Saturday, November 2nd at 9 am at Alum Creek Park North! It is not to late to register at rotaryhonorsvets5k.org. Participates are treated to the infamous Sunny Street Café breakfast burrito and awesome tech shirts and metals! #walks #runs #5k #veteranevents #veterans #Rotary ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Join us in 6 days for Rotary Honors Veterans 5k Run/Walk, Saturday, November 2nd at 9 am at Alum Creek Park North! It is not to late to register at rotaryhonorsvets5k.org. Participate are treated to the infamous Sunny Street Café breakfast burrito and awesome tech shirts and metals! #walks #runs #5k #veteranevents #veterans #Rotary ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Raising funds to eradicate Polio with the Westerville Noon Rotary Club during World Polio Day! Meeting consisted of Guessing current number of polio cases in 2019, Polio Trivia, speaker on importance of immunization and raffle which raised over $3,000! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

3 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Thanks for the shout out Columbus Race Calendar! Hope everyone is getting registered for the 2019 Rotary Honors Vets 5K -- it's going to be a great event!Honor, Celebrate, & Recognize Vets That Have Provided the Ultimate 'Service Above Self' - mailchi.mp/columbusracecalendar/honor-celebrate-recognize-vets ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Thank you Franklin County Engineer Cornell Robertson for an interesting presentation and answering all our questions. #franklincountyengineer ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

4 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

Great time this morning landscaping new First Responders Park, with Sunrise Rotarians and visiting dancers from the Ballet Folklorio! Be sure to catch the awesome performance of these kids at WCHS this evening or tomorrow afternoon. Buy tickets online at www.locallevelevents.com/events/details/8160 ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Westerville Rotarians, remember: We will gather for our lunch meeting tomorrow (Sept. 12), at the Otterbein Campus Center, 100 W. Home St., 43081.
Our own Club member and Otterbein President John Comerford has made special arrangements for us to have this meeting.
Otterbein is in session so this will be a fun event with a great chance to mingle with some of the students. We’ll have a normal program, featuring speaker Lisa Bushman, owner of The Center for Counseling, Growth & Discovery.
ORDERING: When you enter the Campus Center, go up the stairs and get in line with the students. Order your lunch as you go through and pay the cashier for your meal. There is no meeting charge, only what you order for your lunch. After grabbing your lunch, proceed to Room One, which is the room on the west end of the building—the same room where we have breakfast the morning of the Fish Fry.
PARKING: at the Campus Center is generally not available. Please plan to park in the State Street lot directly across from Church the Messiah U.M., 51 N. State, and walk the couple of blocks down Home Street to the Campus Center. Consider buddying up with another Rotarian or two for travel to this unique off-site meeting!
If you need assistance in getting to the center, please email Wendell at wencaptain@msn.com and we can provide a ride if necessary.

Wendell McCurdy, Secretary - Rotogram Editor
The Rotary Club of Westerville
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Come on out to the Rotary Grill tonight during 4th Friday Uptown. We’re right in front of City Hall offering burgers, brats, dogs, chips, soda and water. Plus...treats for doggies on this Dog Days of Summer 4th Friday. It’s a beautiful night for a festival Uptown! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Rotarians, reminder: Our official meeting this week is the social from 6-8 tonight at the Rusty Bucket on Polaris Pkwy.Our District Governor Gary Vaughan will be there! Here's hoping you will be too! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Remember- its a Rotary Social this Thursday, August 15th, 6 pm Rusty Bucket bring your friends, spouse, prospective new member regular meeting fee applies ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

6 months ago

Rotary Club of Westerville

What a fun way to spend Monday night! Ten great ladies of Rotary Club of Westerville Next ladies night...hmmm....Top Golf?Rotary Club of Westerville Ladies night! Challenge: how many other clubs have Ladies night? #Rotary ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook