History of the Rotary Club of West St. Louis County
Our club was first recognized by Rotary International in 1950 and was known as the Rotary Club of Ballwin.
Through the decades, the club has grown to include members from many of the surrounding areas.
In 1983 the membership of the Ballwin Rotary Club was significant enough to allow a new club to be chartered. On May 25th, 1983, the Chesterfield Rotary Club was chartered. In 2011, after a club revisioning plan was established, it was decided to modify the name of the Ballwin Rotary club to reflect the larger area we serve. On February 25th, 2011, the Rotary Club of West St. Louis County was officially recognized. The name change allows the club to grow with the area the club services. In 2010-11, the club was awarded the Presidential Citation with Distinction.
The Rotary Club of West St. Louis County service area includes the cities of Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Ellisville, Eureka, Manchester, Valley Park, Wildwood, Winchester and portions of West St. Louis County.
The club meets on Tuesdays at noon at St. John Lutheran Church, 15800 Manchester Road in Ellisville, Missouri. If the month has a 5th Tuesday, that meeting is held at a different location. Check this website for the alternative locations.
The world's first service club was the Rotary Club of Chicago, founded February 23, 1905 by Paul P. Harris and three of his friends. The name "Rotary" was derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among the member's offices. Rotary International expanded and has grown to an association of over 33,000 Clubs located in more than 200 countries.
Each club meets weekly to determine its own service activities and began by focusing on communities in need and helping the young and the elderly. More recently, clubs worldwide have concentrated their efforts on the eradication of Polio, clean water, literacy, and drug abuse prevention programs as well as many other international and local projects.
Today Rotary is a growing organization of well over one million volunteer business and professional men and women united worldwide. Best described by the motto "SERVICE ABOVE SELF", Rotarians provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and build universal peace and goodwill.
Past President's of The Rotary Club of West St. Louis CountyClick for the List
Our Ongoing Commitment
Rotarians have not only been present for major events in history—we’ve been a part of them. From the beginning, three key traits have remained strong throughout Rotary:
We’re truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today we’re working together from around the globe both digitally and in-person to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.
We persevere in tough times. During WWII, Rotary clubs in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Japan were forced to disband. Despite the risks, many continued to meet informally and following the war’s end, Rotary members joined together to rebuild their clubs and their countries.
Our commitment to service is ongoing. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. By 2012, only three countries remain polio-endemic—down from 125 in 1988.
Rotary Club Proclamations From the Past
How Rotary Began
“WHATEVER ROTARY MAY MEAN TO US, TO THE WORLD IT WILL BE KNOWN BY THE RESULTS IT ACHIEVES. -Paul P. Harris
Our 1.2 million-member organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.
- Warren G. Harding, U.S. President
- Jean Sibelius, Finnish Composer
- Dr. Charles H. Mayo, Co-Founder of Mayo Clinic
- Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor of the wireless radio and Nobel laureate
- Thomas Mann, German Novelist and Nobel laureate
- Friedrich Bergius, German chemist and Nobel laureate
- Admiral Richard E. Byrd, American Explorer
- Jan Masaryk, Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia
- H.E. Soleiman Frangieh, President of Lebanon
- Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator
- Manny Pacquaio, Filipino World-Champion Boxer and Congressman
- Richard Lugar, U.S. Senator
- Frank Borman, American astronaut
- Edgar A. Guest, American Poet and Journalist
- Sir Harry Lauder, Scottish Entertainer
- Franz Lehar, Austrian Composer
- Lennart Nilsson, Swedish Photographer
- James Cash Penney, Founder of JC Penney Co.
- Carlos Romulo, UN General Assembly President
- Sigmund Sternberg, English Businessman and Philanthropist