Rotary Club of Benicia - Our History
NOTE -- As we interview more of our long-time members, we will update this page with more information about our local club, and we will add specifice dates are currently being fact-checked.
A Brief History
The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, Illinois, USA, was formed on February 23, 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. Its principal motto: Service Above Self.
Rotary's popularity spread throughout the United States in the decade that followed; clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents, and the organization adopted the name Rotary International a year later.
The Rotary Club of Benicia was chartered on December 9, 1966. Click here for a list of the club's Past Presidents.
In 1985, Rotary International made a historic commitment to immunize all of the world's children against polio. The Rotary Club of Benicia was also active in this pursuit. Working in partnership with nongovernmental organizations and national governments thorough its PolioPlus program, Rotary is the largest private-sector contributor to the global polio eradication campaign. Before efforts began in 1988, polio paralyzed more than 1,000 children a day, which totaled about 350,000 children annually. By 2006, the incidence of polio has since declined by more than 99 percent.
The Rotary Club of Benicia has been, and continues to be, involved in numerous community and international projects, such as:
Annual street cleanup
Benches on First Street
City of Benicia 9th Street Park
Dictionaries for all third graders each year
Flag holders and flags for First Street
Garbage truck for Tula, Mexico
Little Flock Orphanage in India
Projects at Benicia schools
Scholarships for high school seniors
Tree City USA
Wheelchairs for those in need