Rotary is the oldest and largest community service organization in the world. We are but a few of the 1.2 million Rotarians in 31,000 Rotary clubs in 166 countries. As a Rotarian, we are welcomed to visit any of these clubs. In our state of Ohio, you can find a Rotary club in almost every city or large village. The world’s Rotary clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, non-religious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. Our Centerville Rotary Charter date was June 13, 1972. 
The purpose of Rotary is to make the world a better place and the best place to start is within the local community. Rotary emphasizes community service activities by individuals and groups which enhance the quality of life and human dignity, encourage high ethical standards, and creates greater understanding among all people to advance the search for peace among ourselves. As part of Rotary International, our club also participates in international challenges, such as polio eradication, foreign exchange students, and the Rotary Educational Foundation. 
The motto of Rotary is thus, “Service Above Self”. 
The cost to participate in our Rotary club is only $200 a year plus meals. Currently meals run $156 per quarter. The initiation fee to join is only $50. To be a member, you must hold a leadership position in your job, believe in God and country, have high ethical standards, and regularly participate in Rotary meetings. 
Rotary clubs meet once a week, always on the same day, at the same time, and at the same location. Our club meets at Yankee Trace at noon each Thursday. A typical meeting of a club in our area follows this format: 
A meal (breakfast, lunch or supper) is served as members arrive. This generally takes 20 to 30 minutes. Members can discuss any issues they like, including information about their business, but some issues, like politics, should be avoided or discussed with care. It is a rule not to solicit business at meetings. A member should only give out a business card when requested. Some clubs begin the meeting towards the end of the meal time, while others wait until the meal is finished. The club secretary records attendance, as each member should attend at least 60% of the weekly meetings during a semi-annual period. Attendance at a meeting of another Rotary club counts towards this minimum. 
The President opens the meeting with a request for the group to say the Pledge of Allegiance, then asks a member to lead the group in song (such as America the Beautiful) and then requests a member to open the meeting with a prayer. (The President will arrange for volunteers in advance to lead the song and prayer - no surprises to anyone!) 
The Sergeant-At-Arms will introduce visiting Rotarians and ask members to introduce guests. He will announce birthdays, anniversaries or comment on local news involving members. He may “give out fines” ($1) for late comers, or those who are “caught” promoting their business, or for any other reason which might liven up the meeting (no harm intended to anyone.) He will request “Happy Bucks” (again $1) from members who wish to announce news about their business, family, or whatever. Rotarians are encouraged to share things about themselves in order to create a fellowship with one another. Jokes or teasing brings laughter but must be in good taste. 
The President, or other club officers, will then make any “short” announcements about club “happenings”. The official business of the club is conducted at monthly board meetings, not at the weekly meetings. However, usually several times a year, the club may have a “club assembly” at its regular meeting time to bring important matters before the club and, therefore, the usual weekly meeting format will be suspended. 
The focus of each meeting is a short presentation (at least 15 minutes to a max. of 20 minutes) by an “outside” speaker. The vice-president of the club is responsible for obtaining speakers. He will ask club members to obtain speakers for scheduled dates. Rotarians are “hungry” for new information about exciting events that go on in the world, and so effort must be made to obtain entertaining speakers with an informative message. A speaker can be almost anyone and their message may be about almost anything. We always enjoy those speakers who have a unique or intriguing story to tell. All topics are welcomed in a proper atmosphere so as not to cause conflict or be offensive in nature. 
A sampling of topics discussed by recent speakers at our club: a medical student’s trip to a poor country to provide medical relief, a student from Russia participating in a business exchange program, local school superintendent on the state school funding issue, DARE program in our local schools, minor league sports in Dayton, history of women in aviation, Montgomery County Auditor, Eldercare, scuba diving, WSU basketball, great inventors in Dayton history. 
Our club currently has a single fund-raiser, our annual pancake breakfast. Each member is required to raise approx. $150 by buying or selling tickets and to “serve” about two - four hours. Our board has determined that each member will be billed $ 37.50 quarterly to meet this requirement as standard procedure. Members may opt-out of this billing by notifying the current club secretary in writing of the proposed alternate payment plan and receive plan approval. This event raises $15,000 to $ 20,000 each year, of which approximately half goes to college scholarships to deserving high school students and the remainder for various community and international causes and activities. 
Typical Project Funded In One Rotary Year: 
Education Foundation Scholarships - $7,500/Yr - Dictionary Project for All 3rd Grade Students in District - Centerville-Washington Diversity Council - Thesaurus Project for all 5th Grade Students - International Service Projects - Operation Warm, provide new coats for kids - CHS Spirit Chain for Charity - Dayton House of Bread Food Pantry Sponsor - Project Read - Christmas Adopt A Family Program - Therapeutic Riding Institute - Centerville Americana Festival - Rotary Polio Plus Project 
In summation, individuals join Centerville Rotary for the opportunity to engage with other professional leaders while making a positive community impact through service projects both local and internationally – to make a difference. 
Websites with more information:,,
Completion of items listed below within six months of new membership will expand your vision about opportunities for Rotary service: 
1. Attend one of our Centerville Rotary Board Meetings – Currently 3rd Monday of month @ 5 PM at Centerville-Washington Park District, 221 N. Main Street, Centerville, OH 45459 
2. Serve as a greeter at a club meeting. 
3. Participate in a club service project and choose a committee on which you would like to serve. 
4. Make-up a meeting at another Rotary club or attend another Rotary club fund-raiser or project. 
5. Invite a guest to Rotary and propose a new member. 
If you have any questions call Membership Chair Crissy Allums,  (937) 435-2641, or by email at