The Beginning - 1905 to 1920s
In a room in Chicago, Paul Harris had a bright idea. He planted a seed called Rotary, and that seed soon sprouted into a global movement. By the 1920s, Rotary Clubs were growing like weeds, nurturing local communities and supporting children with disabilities.
The Mid Century - 1930s to 1960s
The ‘30s saw Rotary keeping stride with the times, sharing values with the likes of FDR, an honorary Rotarian. Though not directly tied to the March of Dimes, Rotary was busy helping institutions for disabled children. And let's not forget Rotary's role in forming the United Nations, and UNESCO's creation in 1943.
The Modern Era - 1970s to Present
The ‘70s brought Rotary's move against polio, starting with a massive immunization in the Philippines. Other partnerships, like the one with the Gates Foundation, turned the spotlight on Rotary's relentless pursuit of a polio-free world.
The Ripple Effect: Rotary's Offshoots
Here's where Rotary's influence truly shines. Like pebbles tossed into a pond, Rotary's ripple effect has touched various shores:
Lions Clubs and Kiwanis: Borrowing from Rotary's playbook, these organizations embraced the community service spirit rather than being just social organizations.
Interact and Rotaract: Rotary's own kids, teaching the next generation the value of giving back.
Soroptimist, Zonta, and Round Table: Each of these found inspiration in Rotary's example, focusing on empowering various groups through service.
Today, Rotary’s still at the forefront leading the way toward peace, health, and education.