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What is the International Rotary Club? The Rotary is a worldwide organization made up by 1.2 million male and female entrepreneurs, leaders and professionals providing humanitarian services and encouraging understanding, tolerance and world peace.
An international network of volunteers serving the community.
The approximately 31,000 Rotary Clubs located in more than 165 countries throughout the world conduct a wide array of initiatives serving local communities and other countries.
These initiatives seek to tackle problems such as poverty, hunger, illiteracy, social hardships and alienation and environmental decay.
The Rotary Clubs participate in a wide range of educational, intercultural and humanitarian activities designed to improve living conditions in the world.
The humanitarian grants finance initiatives such as: medical-health assistance, the supply of medicines, foodstuffs and drinking water, education, profession training and literacy programmes.
The Rotary was founded on the evening of 23 February 1905 when Paul Harris, a young Chicago attorney, got together with three friends to discuss an idea that had long been tormenting him: to create a club for people of different professions, organizing regular meetings to make friends, spend time together and to expand the professional knowledge of those in attendance.
From that meeting the idea of a men’s club began to take shape, with each member representing their profession. It was a rotating system with the aim of teaching each member about the other member’s activities, which inspired Harris to name his organization the Rotary Club.
The four founding members were descendants of different nationalities and also belonged to different religious faiths.
After the admission of a fifth member, the printer Harry Ruggles, the group officially took the name of the Rotary Club of Chicago.
News of the new organization spread rapidly and soon the members became so numerous that it was no longer feasible to hold meetings in the members’ offices. Thus the custom was born to hold weekly meetings at restaurants or hotels. Paul Harris never was of the idea that the Chicago club was to exist solely to facilitate the affairs of its members who belonged to the club. He had a profound belief in the values of friendship and from the very beginning he hoped that the civic club would take on broader initiatives.
Three years after the Chicago club was founded, a second club was created in San Francisco, which was joined the following year by an additional three clubs. In 1910, scattered throughout the United States, there were 16 clubs with more than 1,500 members, who began to spread the word throughout Europe. Various Rotary Clubs are located in Como, such as the Baradello Rotary where textile industry professionals, physicians, entrepreneurs, real estate consultants, attorneys and other professionals meet to organize social initiatives, while exchanging ideas about their professions.