Rotary is... organization of business and professional people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.

...some 1.2 million service-minded people belonging to over 35,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries.

...service to youth through support for schools, scouts, and other youth organizations, and through career counseling programs.

...service to the elderly with low-cost housing, health care, and other special services.

...service to the disabled through medical treatment, rehabilitation training, sheltered workshops, and recreational opportunities.

...vocational service by promoting high ethical and vocational standards in the business and professional world and a wide range of other community, cultural, and environmental projects to meet the specific needs of communities.

...Youth Exchange, a program that annually sends over 6,000 young people of secondary school age abroad for a school year or a holiday.

...Interact and Rotaract, more than 9,000 service clubs in some 100 countries for young people of secondary school age and young adults, 18 to 30 years of age.

...Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), a program of seminars, conferences, and leadership camps to recognize and develop good citizenship and leadership qualities in young people.

...World Community Service, Rotary clubs in a donor country assisting a Rotary club in another country with manpower, funds, or equipment for a community project.

...The Rotary Foundation, established in 1947, which is spending some US$15 million annually to promote international understanding through educational and humanitarian programs.

...some 1,000 international scholarships annually, and international exchange awards to approximately 160 teams of young professional and business people each year.

...Polio immunization campaigns in developing countries worldwide. Rotary's ongoing effort to erradicate polio throughout the world.

...other health, nutrition and development projects on four continents. with Rotary clubs and districts of some 70 international charitable grant projects annually.

The Object of Rotary

To encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprises and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  1. The development of acquaintances as an opportunity for service.
  2. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of their occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
  3. The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to their personal, business and community life;
  4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional people united in the ideal of service.

Links to Madison Rotary Club Documents:


Our Club History:

The Madison Rotary Club was chartered in 1919, only 14 years after Paul Harris helped found the first Rotary Club in Chicago; seven years after the formation of the "International Association of Rotary Clubs" that would later become Rotary International; and four years after the Rotary Clubs then in existence were organized into "Districts," one of which consisted of Indiana. Six other Rotary Clubs had already been founded in Southern Indiana, with four more coming into being in the same year of 1919.

The Madison Courier of April 21, 1919 reports on the gala charter dinner at the Hotel Jefferson, at which the 22 original members of the Madison Club were welcomed, with numerous speeches, by a delegation of 18 members of the Indianapolis Rotary Club who had come down by train for the occasion. The list of charter members contains
several names still prominent in the Madison area, such as Scott, Yunker, Johnson, Garber, Inglis, Greiner, and Glass.

Since then the Madison Club has been frequently recognized both for its local service activities (many of which are described in more detail elsewhere on this website) and its participation in Rotary International's worldwide programs. Since Southern Indiana was split off into a separate District in 1938, three Madisonians (John Scott, Phil McCauley, and Dave Dionne) have served as District Governors.

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