The world’s first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. Rotary’s popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents.
As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization’s dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self. Today, Rotary International flourishes worldwide with 1.2 million members in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.
Rotary is not affiliated with any political or religious organizations, and welcomes people of all ages, ethnicity, cultures, and religions to join in and help give back to the rest of the world.
Scott Brills is currently the president of the Rotary Club of West Bloomfield, located in Metro Detroit, Michigan. He and his club have been involved with both local and international service projects for a number of years, most recently through his charity rally to Mongolia in ’09. Shoebaru hopes to use the many connections Rotary provides to facilitate club visits and interaction with local peoples throughout the trip.