Rotary was founded by Paul Harris in 1905 as a fellowship organization- a place where business people of diverse backgrounds could establish associations and, perhaps more importantly, lifelong friendships. Today Rotary is an inclusive global network with over 1.2 million members in more than 35,000 clubs who unite across the globe to create lasting change. Areas of focus are:
- Promoting peace
- Fighting disease
- Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
- Saving mothers and children
- Supporting education
- Growing local economies
- Protecting the environment
Rotary is a true testament about how ordinary citizens can positively and substantially impact the world in which we live. In 1979 Rotary began its campaign to eradicate polio from the planet by pledging to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. By 2020 Rotary had enlisted numerous partners and successfully immunized more than 2.5 billion children, thus reducing polio cases worldwide by 99.9%. Rotarians have contributed more than $2.1 billion and countless volunteer hours to fight this debilitating disease.
In local communities Rotary clubs address problems such as homelessness, hunger, literacy and domestic violence. Rotarians are regularly called upon to assist with projects such as COVID 19 mass immunizations.
Rotary continues to be an organization in which lifelong friendships are made, challenges are welcomed, and problems are enthusiastically tackled.