District 5100 is one of 535 Rotary districts around the world. It encompasses the northern third of the state of Oregon and the very southwestern part of the state of Washington. The 4,000 Rotarians in our district are proud of our many service projects both in our communities and around the world. We welcome you to not only visit one of our 75 clubs or 5 Rotaract clubs, but also to have the opportunity to introduce you to the many educational, cultural and recreational opportunities available here.
The first meeting of what would become known as Rotary took place in Chicago when attorney Paul Harris invited a few business acquaintances to meet weekly for lunch. Initially, they “rotated” the location among their offices and simply referred to it as their “Rotary” meeting. Within a year they adopted the now-common practice of a regular meeting place but the name remains.
“No longer just your father’s Rotary club”
Rotary is a diverse group of men and women with a range of ages, a variety of races, and with creeds, cultures, and religious and political preferences all over the map.
We are 1.2 million business and professional leaders who take an active role in their communities while greatly enriching their personal and professional lives.
We represent people of all kinds: from young professionals to retirees, stay-at-home parents to corporate executives, blue collar and white collar and everyone in between. There are even “Rotaract” clubs exclusive to young-professionals and college students.
Our common ground? A desire to meet other people and work together to help people in need, all working under our motto, “Service Above Self”
Each club generally meets weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner at a regular time and place. The meetings are social events as well as an opportunity to organize work on service projects. Usually, meeting include general, member and community announcements, inspirational stories, and a guest speaker.
Guest speakers are often community leaders and politicians, business owners, topical experts, and representatives of projects the club supports.
In any case, you’ll find meetings to be entertaining, productive, educating, and a great way to spend time with old and new friends.
“…so diverse they almost defy categorization”
When you get involved in Rotary you’ll find lots of ways to make a difference in your community and in the world.
The projects Rotary is involved with are so numerous and so diverse they almost defy categorization. That’s because needs vary so widely from community to community. Local clubs determine their own projects based on the needs in their area and the interests and abilities of their members.
Want some examples of local projects?
Painting a domestic violence shelter, providing dictionaries to elementary students, funding arts and music education, delivering meals to the elderly, furnishing a children’s hospital playroom, providing college scholarships, mentoring youth at risk, building a community park, founding a therapeutic horse-riding program for children and adults with disabilities, hosting events for foster children, mentoring women prisoners in parenting skills…and the list could go on.
Local clubs also lend support to international projects. For example, they’ve helped people grow food around the world, taught millions of people to read, brought clean water to villages, worked towards peace, and have nearly eradicated Polio from the face of the planet.
With the passion of thousands of clubs, and 1.2 million members, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished. Undertakings big and small have Rotarians tirelessly at work and are truly changing the world. For example:
After 25 years of hard work, Rotary and its partners are on the brink of eradicating this tenacious disease. Thanks to Rotary and its partners:
- The Americas have been polio free since 1991
- The entire Western Hemisphere have been polio free since 1994
- More than 2 Billion children have received oral polio vaccine
- The Western Pacific region, including China and Australia has been polio free since 2000
- Currently, there are only three countries with polio remaining
Learn more about Polio Plus and the efforts of Rotary, its partners, and District 5100.
Seven Rotary clubs in Clark County Washington distributed 5,896 dictionaries to elementary students. Included in this number were 96 Spanish dictionaries for two Spanish immersion schools.
Food Bank Contributions and Volunteering
Beaverton Rotary club members repackaged food at the Oregon Food Bank. During just one two-hour shift enough food was repackaged to serve more than 4,800 meals. The club volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank once a quarter.
Conversation between two Clackamas Rotary members about a desire to encourage student health at Lot Whitcomb Elementary flourished into a club service project. The result is a half-mile loop walking path and a new gazebo near the school’s play structure.
Job Interview Clothing Drive
Portland Pearl Rotarians organized a clothing drive for men in transition at the Bud Clark Commons. More than 300 pieces of clothing were collected for men to use for job interviews.
Inmate Family Assistance
Wilsonville Rotary’s “Through A Child’s Eyes” collects and distributes more than 300 age and gender specific Christmas presents for the children of inmates at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s women’s prison. In addition, each summer TACE holds a two day, “in-wall barbecue” for inmate mothers and their children. The event features games and craft activities that the moms can participate in with their children. The event has become an important incentive for inmates, as mothers must satisfy CCCF’s parenting class requirements and stay demerit free for six months prior to the event.
East Portland Rotary Club hosts an annual Christmas party for 500 foster children and their families, including personalized gifts from Santa for each child. In addition, the club hosts more than 1,000 foster children to a day of fun at Oaks Park Amusement Center, an Easter egg hunt, and a summer barbecue at the Children’s Museum for hundreds of foster children.
“Serious business doesn’t have to be so serious“
Most clubs also hold social events at least quarterly and in some cases more often. You’ll find weekend golf events, wine tastings, happy hour, movie outings, event art walks. Rotarians know that even though service is serious business, it’s important to still have fun.
Often, club events also serve as fundraisers.
Portland Pearl Rotary
The Bet on the Pearl railroad-themed fundraiser casino night at the Union Station passenger’s lounge featured gambling, silent auction, live music, food and beverage. The evening of fun and fellowship raised money for a variety of club projects including support for the Open Meadow Transitional School.
Lewis River Rotary
Bacchus on the Block Wine Auction generates fun and funds to support their community teen center, county fire cadets, the school foundation, and the county food bank.
Clark County area
Rotarians and guests join together for an annual Rotarians Fore a Cause charity golf tournament. Recent beneficiaries have been Second Step Housing which helps provide housing for homeless women and families in the area, and Shared Hope International which works to prevent and restore victims of human sex trafficking.
Lake Oswego Rotary
Every year at the Lobster Feed and Charity Auction 600 guests enjoy lobster dinners under a big tent at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, one of the beneficiaries of the event. Other charities benefitted include the Clackamas Women’s Services/Domestic Violence Shelter, Oswego Heritage House, Clackamas Children’s Center, Child Advocates and others.