Our History

History of the Rotary Club of Lansing COVER 2The Rotary Club of Lansing was founded in 1916 as the 232nd Club in the Rotary International family. Within six months the club eliminated a so-called “death curve” on Okemos Road, donated much-needed footballs to the Boy’s Training School, spearheaded a city-wide vote that established a garbage-collection system for the city of Lansing, sponsored a charity ball to help raise money to pave the road between Lansing and East Lansing, and began a tradition of annual Christmas parties for underprivileged children.

The intervening years have provided an additional dimension to Rotary. Since its founding, it has become a decidedly international organization with 32,000 clubs today, two thirds of which are outside the U.S. The Rotary Club of Lansing has embraced this international mission. We regularly participate in exchange programs for high school aged students, and hosting young professionals from other countries through the Rotary Group Study Exchange Program. We also maintain a relationship with our sister club located in Otsu, Japan.

Lansing Rotary has a legacy of excellence. Its 280+ members represent a cross-section of our business and professional community dedicated to a higher standard – Service Above Self. This legacy continues because of the deep foundation established by generations of Rotarians who share the same core values. 

Over 90 years later this commitment to the community continues. Noteworthy local projects supported by the club since 2000 include: the Rotary Veterinary Clinic at Potter Park Zoo; the Hospice of Lansing Residential Facility; annual support to the children’s program for the challenged at North School; $100,000 to the H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Excel) Scholarship Program for Lansing at-risk youth; the Rotary Barn at Woldumar Nature Center; the Rotary Clock Tower; and a new gym floor for the Boys & Girls Club. Internationally, the club provided grants for projects in the Philippines, India, Mexico, South Africa and Kenya. Recently, larger projects were completed including the reconstruction of a school in Sri Lanka after the tsunami and a village water supply in Pacifica Ecuador.

In its origins, Rotary was an organization which provided professionals an opportunity to establish relationships they might not otherwise experience. Now, as then, our club reflects a membership of outstanding and compassionate civic leaders who enjoy the fun of fellowship, engaging speakers and professional-quality music. Opportunities to collectively make an impact on the Lansing community and the world, provide a major reason that being a member of Lansing Rotary is truly a rewarding experience

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