Fun Facts about Rotary  
 

What is Rotary?

The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The name "Rotary" derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.  Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs in 166 countries worldwide.  Read more about Rotary's history here.

A Brief History of Rogers Rotary

Late in 1916 Charley Baltzell, Division Superintendent for the Frisco Railway in Fort Smith, walked into a business office in Rogers, Arkansas. Erwin Funk, Perry Clark, and Morgan Mc Micheal were greeted with " Just the three men I wanted to see. What do you know about Rotary?" said Charley. This is how Rotary started in Rogers, Arkansas.

Reverend John Kirkpatrick, former Rogers Pastor and president of Fort Smith Rotary Club, enlisted the help of Charley Baltzell in organizing the Rogers Rotary Club.

Jim Allison of Nashville, Tennessee; the district governor of district # 6, fought for Rogers to become the first club in a community of under 5,000 population (Rogers was under 3,000).  Rogers became the 21st club in in Rotary district # 6, with clubs in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas. They became the 5th club in Arkansas.

Founded on the concept of community service, the Rogers Rotary Club served the community as the Chamber of Commerce 1917-1922 and sponsored the organization of the formal Chamber of Commerce in 1923.

The club committees would spend their time and efforts to:

  • see that the streets were oiled and the streets and sidewalks were kept swept and clean.
  • Gained approval for the WPA project for lake development at Diamond Springs.
  • Provided volunteers to help the local schools function for the full term.
  • Raised the necessary financial support that the school year might be completed.

Today, our Club's membership consists of approx. 120 members.  The membership is classification based to represent a broad section of the community, and is composed of people who truly care for not only our community, but the world as a whole!

We continue to focus on community and international service, which gives us all a wide variety of opportunities and fellowship in service.  Our Club's major fundraising activities include our annual Easter ham sale; as well as a Catfish dinner fry at the annual Frisco Festival, which allows us the opportunity to raise the funds needed to:

  • Provide scholarship funds for Rogers and Heritage High School seniors seeking higher education; Open Avenues in Rogers, a non-profit training facility geared to assist adults with disabilities in becoming more independent and employable;
  • Financial support to assist the low-income students in our public schools with basic supplies, working in conjunction with Counselors at the schools;
  • Sponsor Juniors in High School to attend RYLA Camp;
  • Provide donations to the Northwest Arkansas Children's Shelter, a facility which houses abused and neglected children from NWA.
  • Purchase dictionary's and distribute them to students in Rogers' elementary schools each year.
  • Financial support to our community's flagship annual event, the Rogers Frisco Festival
  • Contribute to the Rotary Foundation, which supports international Rotary Fellows college scholarships, and the PolioPlus campaign to eradicate polio worldwide
  • Provide scholarships to 5th grade students to attend Ozark National Science Center
  • Provide donations to the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.
  • Provide donations to the local affiliate of Project Lifesaver

Members of our Club also give freely of their time, and participate in many events throughout our community, including:

 

Fun History Factoid about our Club (provided by the History Committee):

  • In FY 85/86 the Rogers Noon Rotary successfully sponsored the Rogers Early Risers under then president Tom Woodruff!

 

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Rogers Noon Rotary    “Service Above Self”    Po Box 489, Rogers AR 72757