What is Rotary?
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 34,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster the following:
The development of acquaintance as an opportunity of service.
High ethical standards in business and professions, recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations as an opportunity to serve society.
The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life.
The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.
The Rotary Club of Chicago was organized in 1905 by Paul Harris, who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he felt in the small town in his youth. The club, with four members, met in rotation at the offices of the members - thus the name Rotary. Rotary became the world's first service club by providing public restrooms in downtown Chicago as their initial community service project.
Rotary's Four-Way Test
As Rotary as grown, its mission has expanded beyond serving the professional and social interests of club members. Resources 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 has embraced a code of service, call The Four-Way Test, that has been translated into hundreds of languages.