A Little History Lesson on the 116th Anniversary of Rotary

It’s been 116 years since Chicago attorney Paul Harris gathered a handful of friends together to form a new club.  Since the cold, windy day of February 23, 1905, his simple idea of inviting professionals with diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships, has become an international organization with more than 1.2 million members in nearly 36,000 clubs in 220 countries worldwide.

Over time, Rotary’s reach and vision gradually extended to humanitarian service, which for decades has addressed countless challenges in hometowns and around the world.

Rotary’s most ambitious service project is the eradication of polio from the earth finally and forever.  This project was officially adopted by Rotary International in 1985 when more than 1000 children a day were left crippled or in an iron lung.  In 1988, the World Health Organization and later the Centers for Disease Control joined in the effort.  Later, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began contributing millions in funding support which were matched dollar-for-dollar by Rotarians around the world.  As of February 23, 2021, the incidence of wild polio cases has been reduced by 99.9% with only Pakistan and Afghanistan still seeing cases.

Rotary found its way to Utah in 1911, when businessman Wesley E. King signed the charter for the Rotary Club of Salt Lake City, the 24th club worldwide and to this day, known by its members as “Club 24”.

On February 23, 2021, there are 45 Rotary clubs and about 1600 members in the Beehive State, doing “bigger, better, bolder service which changes lives” from Brigham City to Blanding and from Vernal to St. George.

Come join us and we’ll make history together.  For more information, contact your favorite Rotarian.