Rotary was founded in Chicago on February 23, 1905 by attorney Paul P. Harris. What started as a national movement expanded internationally within a few short years. The name “Rotary” was suggested by Paul Harris as meetings were rotated from office to office in the early days of the organization. An early member, Montague M. Bear, created and designed the original Rotary Wheel (based on a wagon wheel) and another member, Charles A. Newton, originated the luncheon idea. The Rotary motto reflects the goals of Rotary, “Service Above Self.”

The Geneva Rotary Club was established in 1919.Rotarians clean up Route 14 in Geneva

Geneva Community Service

Student Loan Fund idea initiated (1923); formally adopted by club (1930)
Deliquent Back-to-School Movement (1927)
Orthopedic Children’s Clinics (1929)
Learn to Swim Campaign (1929)
Support of Geneva General Hospital (1929)
Community Chest/United Way (1935)
Sea Scout Ship sponsored (1936)
Supported development of Boy Scout Camp Babcock-Hovey (1939) and its pool (1966)
Hi-Y Delegate to New York Assembly (1939)
Salvation Army kettles first manned (1940)
Rheumatic Fever Clinics (1946)
Athenian Youth Movement (1947)
Handicapped Children’s Camp Onseyawa (1956)
Est. birthday fund to support Geneva Free Library (1962)
Boy Scout Troop 9 at Prospect Avenue School (1966)
Radio Days (1969)
Handicapped Children’s Olympics (1970)
Minority Youth Support (1973)
Junior Rotarian Program (1973)
After-school basketball program at Prospect School (1975)
Support of D.A.R.E. (1980)
Student Honor Awards (1982)
Annual Red Cross Blood Drive (1985)
Poinsettia Sale (1989)
Community Dinner Program (1994)
Support of local Community Lunch and Food Pantry programs (1994)
Interact Club organized (1995)
Providing school-recess lunches and suppers at the Boys and Girl Clubs (1997)
Adopt-a-Highway Program (1997)
Santa Train Express (2001)
Fall Festival Express (2003)
Radio Auction (2004)
Rotary Club organized at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2004)
Contribution to Happiness House capital campaign (2006)
Establishment of an annual special-grant program to support local organizations and activities (2008)
Establishment of a club foundation so that contributions to club benevolent and philanthropic programs would be tax deductible (2009)
First Annual Service Above Self Dinner (2010)