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
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
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
- Financial support to our
community's flagship annual event, the
Rogers Frisco Festival
- Contribute to the
Foundation, which supports international Rotary Fellows college
scholarships, and the PolioPlus campaign to eradicate polio
- Provide scholarships to 5th
grade students to attend Ozark National Science Center
- Provide donations to the
Northwest Arkansas Food
- Provide donations to the local
affiliate of Project
Members of our Club also
give freely of their time, and participate in many events throughout
our community, including:
Factoid about our Club (provided by the