Rotary International is the world's first service club organization, founded in 1905 by Paul Harris in Chicago with the goals of fellowship and community service. Today Rotary is the largest service organization with more than 1.2 million members in 31,000 Clubs in more than 165 countries volunteering their time and talent to further the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self."
The Rotary Foundation enables Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.
The Rotary Club of Kalamazoo, the 142nd club, was founded On December 29, 1914 by 12 businessmen at a meeting at the Park-American Hotel. The members quickly acted upon the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self" and by May of 1915, they were working on their first charitable project, Lake Farm for Boys, which became the Lakeside Home. Dr. William E. Upjohn, the co-founder of the Upjohn Company, was an early member as was Jacob "Uncle Jake" Kindleberger, the paternalistic head of Kalamazoo Valley Parchment, a leading paper company then located out in the country; Col. Joseph Westnedge, who led the 32nd Michigan to war in France, was made our first honorary member. We have now grown to over 250 members and a long list of service projects and contributions to the community. We supported the founding of Pretty Lake Adventure camp and co-founded Camp Rota-Kiwan Boy Scout Camp in 1919 with the local Kiwanis Club. we donated $60,000 for capital improvements to Camp Merrie-Wood Girl Scout Camp in 1967, the Earthmobile to the Kalamazoo Nature Center and an emergency trailer to the local Red Cross.
We have delivered trucks and ambulances to Belize, wheelchairs to Mexico and the $750,000 Rotary Stage in Bronson Park. Read about our current Community Projects and International Projects here on our website.
Object of Rotary
To encourage and foster the idea of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
First - The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
Second - High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his or her occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
Third - The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his or her person, business, and community life;
Fourth - The advancement of international understanding, good will, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional men and women united in the ideal of service.
The Four-Way Test
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?