What is Rotary?

George Shenk

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders united to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
The world's first service organization (founded in 1905), 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 place. Among its contributions, Rotary is the world's largest private provider of college scholarships and its Polio Plus program has helped immunize more than one billion children against polio in developing nations, with the goal of eradicating the disease.

From its beginnings as a four-member club in Chicago, Rotary has grown to be the world's largest service club. Today, there are approximately 1.2 million Rotarians, both men and women, belonging to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs, in 166 countries. You can spot a Rotarian by his or her Rotary Wheel pin. Indeed, one of the joys of being a Rotarian is being able to drop in on a Rotary meeting in almost any country on earth, and being greeted as a friend.

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