A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE NORTH HAVEN ROTARY CLUB
The North Haven Rotary Club is a member of Rotary International which was founded by a businessman named Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905, and is one of over 33,000 clubs world wide. Our local service club, which was chartered on October 16, 1941, meets at 7:15 each Tuesday morning at the Breakfast Nook Restaurant on the northern end of Washington Avenue.
The Rotary club includes business and civic professionals in leadership roles whose principal focus is on service to others, as well as promoting fellowship among the membership, while seeking the betterment of the community, both locally and throughout the world. Although members are encouraged to attend the meeting each week, Rotarians are merely obliged to attend a minimum of 50% of the time. Even that percentage can be met in a number of ways, including visits to other clubs, participating in a Rotary related activity, or involvement with a Rotary program on line, to name a few.
Ever mindful of the organization’s international motto, "service above self,” members volunteer for local, national, and even global initiatives, such as the ongoing battle (with the support of Bill Gates) to eradicate polio, or our local telethons on NHTV raising funds for Haiti and Japan. It is expected that all Rotarians seek to provide humanitarian services, encourage high ethical standards, and help to build good will, by adhering to an ethical code known as the Four Way Test. The test’s four components are truth, fairness, goodwill & friendship, and following practices that are beneficial to all.
Another important aspect of Rotary is its support for youth leadership. Our club sponsors youth programs such as New Generations, as well as the high school’s Interact Club. Presently, there are plans to organize a Rotoract club in the area which would enroll individuals aged 18-35. Furthermore, we recognize student accomplishment through two special secondary school programs in town known as the Student of the Month recognition and the Unsung Hero Award.
Within this focus on youth, we also provide major high school and college scholarships, work on a variety of literacy projects, and support an assortment of other educational programs, such as the distribution of paperback dictionaries to children in the third grade each fall, or the purchase of books, including the maintenance of the "career corner” located in the North Haven Public Library.
Scholarship funds are awarded through our tax deductible foundation known as the North Haven Rotary Foundation which has donated over $130,000 to 155 students since its inception in 1974.
Several annual fundraisers, including the food booth at the concerts on the town green each summer, the Day of Wine & Roses in late September, and the popular pancake breakfast in early November, have helped to furnish the money which is donated to numerous charities, most of which are local. A few examples of our annual causes include DARE, MADD, Relay for Life, the Eli Whitney Museum, the local Food Pantry, Meals on Wheels, Kids for Kids children’s charities, Best Buddies, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.
Recent international projects included the provision of water filters for a small town in India, as well as support for a mobile school in India. As noted above, for two years in a row we have sponsored telethons on local public access television which were entitled "Voices for Haiti, and most recently, "Voices for Japan.” The Japan drive which ended in June brought in $5,000. Additionally, each year we donate funds to assist a volunteer medical team from Yale/New Haven Hospital with their life altering surgical work in Honduras.
Green projects, such as the cleaning of the area around Todd’s Pond, as well as collecting trash along the banks of the Quinnipiac River, are two of our hands-on type of community service.
The basic costs of membership include the club’s annual dues, presently set at $150 (typically paid during the summer,) and a charge of $10 which is collected on each Tuesday morning to pay for the meeting which includes a buffet breakfast. For further details about our activities, join us for a breakfast meeting, or visit us on the internet at www.nhrotary.org, or on our club’s page on www.facebook.com.