Rotary is a global network of community volunteers. Rotary members are business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Some 31,000 Rotary clubs in more than 165 countries carry out service projects in their local communities and abroad to address such critical issues as poverty, health, hunger, illiteracy, and the environment.


Rotary clubs participate in a broad range of humanitarian, intercultural, and educational activities designed to improve the human condition. Rotary’s humanitarian grants support club projects that provide health care and medical supplies, clean water, food, job training, youth development, and education to millions of people in need — particularly in the developing world. In addition, Rotary provides more than 200 grants each year to fund the work of Rotary volunteers, who travel to parts of the world where their technical expertise and knowledge are most needed to alleviate hardship and solve problems.

Here are some representative projects that the Rotary Club of Ukiah has completed:

Local Projects

  • Landscaped the Sun House adjacent to the Grace Hudson Museum
  • Redeemed the Senior Center Debt
  • Built “pocket parks” for the City of Ukiah (Railroad Square, Post Office)
  • Constructed storage shed, irrigation system and fountain for Ukiah Players Theater
  • Built BBQ pits for the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds
  • Held annual Christmas parties for Trinity School
  • Organized outings for underserved youth
  • Helped build roof on Pavilion at Low Gap Park
  • Rebuilt the Rocket Ship at City Park
  • Refurbished fence for UVAH
  • Joint sponsor of water coolers at Ukiah High School
  • Put sod in at Ukiah High School
  • Sponsored annual Farmer’s Night

Annual Local Projects

  • Participate in fundraising events for Special Olympics, Skate Board Park, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, SPACE and others
  • Prepare pancake breakfasts and barbeques for local events
  • Provide scholarships, special recognition and leadership events for local students
  • Joint sponsor of Interact Club at Ukiah High School
  • Sponsor Guitars for the Troops and local veterans

International Projects

  • Financed and delivered a school bus, school supplies and a power generator for a 3-room combined school and health clinic in a remote area of Baja California
  • Financed medical missions and surgical supplies in Guatemala
  • Participated in the building of a school in El Salvador and Nicaragua through SEEDS of Learning
  • Provided financial support for a rainwater harvesting project, partnering with a local club in India 
  • Participated in the international student exchange for several years
  • Jointly adopted a village in Ugazi, provided school supplies and mosquito nets 
  • Purchased tires for a bus of an orphanage in Mazatlan Mexico
  • Jointly sponsored the building of a lunch room for a school in Mexico
  • Purchased stoves for a village in India
  • Jointly sponsored installation of solar panels for an orphanage in Mazatlan


Rotary builds understanding through international scholarships, exchange programs, and humanitarian grants. In 2002, Rotary launched the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution, an innovative program designed to educate tomorrow’s peacemakers. Hosted at seven leading universities around the globe, the program funds 70 World Peace Scholars each year for graduate studies in international relations, conflict studies, and negotiation — providing promising leaders the tools to further the cause of peace. Some 35,000 students from 110 countries have also studied abroad since 1947 as Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars. Rotary’s Group Study Exchange has helped more than 45,000 young professionals explore their career fields in other countries. And, each year some 8,000 secondary-school students experience life in another country through Rotary’s Youth Exchange program.

Polio Eradication

In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus, an ambitious program to immunize the world’s children against polio. Rotary’s grassroots leadership, volunteer support, and initial funding for vaccine provided the catalyst for the World Health Assembly’s resolution in 1988 to eradicate polio worldwide. Spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are the World Health Organization, Rotary International, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. As a result of this partnership’s efforts, polio cases have dropped by 99 percent since 1988, and the world stands on the threshold of eradicating the disease. Rotary members have given more than half-a-billion U.S. dollars and countless hands-on volunteer hours to this critical effort. The savings to be realized from polio eradication are potentially as high as US$1.5 billion per year — funds that could be used to address other public health priorities. The savings in human suffering will be immeasurable.


Paul P. Harris formed the world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905. The Rotary motto is Service Above Self and, as it celebrates its centennial, Rotary continues to concern itself with truth, fairness, improved relations between peoples, and world peace. Belonging to a Rotary club gives men and women an enjoyable and organized way to make a contribution to their community. Rotary members meet weekly to plan club, community, and international service activities. By using their skills and expertise globally, members also enhance their professional network, career development, and cross-cultural understanding. Rotary clubs are nonreligious, nongovernmental, and open to every race, culture, and creed. Members represent a cross section of local business and professional leaders. To learn more about a Rotary club in your community, please visit the information for prospective members section of the Rotary International Web site at or contact your local club.

An association of approximately 32,000 autonomous clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas, Rotary International is one of the world's largest service organizations. The goal for a club's membership is an up-to-date and progressive representation of the community's business, vocational, and professional interests.

An important distinction between Rotary and other organizations is that membership in Rotary is by invitation. Rotary clubs invite individuals to join and become members.

Membership is vital to a Rotary club's operations and community service activities. A primary goal of the club is to continually expand the club with committed members who have the interest and ability to get involved in service and humanitarian projects.

Prospective members must:

  • hold — or be retired from — a professional, proprietary, executive, or managerial position;
  • have the capacity to meet the club's weekly attendance or community project participation requirements;
  • live or work within the locality of the club or the surrounding area.

The membership process

Often a person being considered for membership is invited by a member/sponsor to attend one or more club meetings to learn more about Rotary. The sponsor may then submit the name of the candidate to the club's membership committee.

An individual who is interested in membership but doesn't know any Rotarians can contact the local club directly. Search the Club Locator and Rotary Web sites databases to find contact information for clubs. Some Rotary clubs maintain an office and may be listed in your telephone directory. Other resources include a Rotary club in an adjoining community, the local chamber of commerce, the public library, or other non-profit service organizations.

Classifications: professional representation

Rotary uses a classification system to establish and maintain a vibrant cross-section or representation of the community's business, vocational, and professional interests among members and to develop a pool of resources and expertise to successfully implement service projects. This system is based on the founders' paradigm of choosing cross-representation of each business, profession, and institution within a community.

A classification describes either the principal business or the professional service of the organization that the Rotarian works for or the Rotarian's own activity within the organization. Some examples of classifications include: high schools, universities, eye surgery, banking, pharmaceutical retailing, petroleum-distribution, and insurance agency.


Professional Networking

A founding principle of Rotary was to meet periodically to enjoy camaraderie and enlarge one’s circle of business and professional acquaintances. As the oldest service club in the world, Rotary club members represent a cross-section of the community’s owners, executives, managers, political leaders, and professionals – people who make decisions and influence policy.

Service Opportunities

Club members have many opportunities for humanitarian service, both locally and internationally. Service programs address such concerns as health care, hunger, poverty, illiteracy, and the environment. Rotarians experience the fulfillment that comes from giving back to the community.

International Awareness

With more than 32,000 clubs in over 200 countries & geographical areas, Rotarians gain an understanding of humanitarian issues through international service projects and exchange programs. One of Rotary’s highest objectives is to build goodwill and peace throughout the world.


Rotary was founded on fellowship, an ideal that remains a major attraction of membership today. Club members enjoy the camaraderie with like-minded professionals, and club projects offer additional opportunities to develop enduring friendships. Rotary club members who travel have friendly contacts in almost every city in the world.

Good Citizenship

Weekly Rotary club programs keep members informed about what is taking place in the community, nation, and world and motivated to make a difference.

Family Foundations

Rotary sponsors some of the world’s largest youth exchange, educational exchange, and scholarship programs. Rotary clubs provide innovative training opportunities and mentoring for young leaders and involve family members in a wide range of social and service activities.


Social activities give Rotarians a chance to let loose and have fun. Every Rotary club and district hosts parties and activities that offer diversions from today’s demanding professional and personal schedules. Conferences, conventions, assemblies, and social events provide entertainment as well as Rotary information, education, and service.

Ethical Environment

Encouraging high ethical standards in one’s profession and respect for all worthy vocations has been a hallmark of Rotary from its earliest days. In their business and professional lives, Rotarians abide by The Four-Way Test:

Of the things we think, say or do:

1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Leadership Development

Rotary is an organization of successful professionals. Team building, fundraising, public speaking, planning, organization, and communication are just a sampling of the leadership skills that club members can exercise and enhance. Being a Rotary leader provides further experience in learning how to motivate, inspire, and guide others.

Diversity in Membership

Rotary’s classification system ensures that a club’s membership represents a variety of the community’s professional men and women, including leaders in business, industry, the arts, government, sports, the military, and religion. Rotary clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds.

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