What Is Rotary?

Rotary is a service organization of professionals who unite and take action to create lasting change. It spans worldwide and 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, in 1905 as a place where diverse professionals 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.

In 1913, New Castle was a burgeoning community with heavy industry and manufacturing. Local businessmen Atty. George Muse and pharmacist Scott Paisley initiated the effort that earned New Castle the distinction of being the 89th club chartered. As Rotarians, we work hard to preserve the honorable legacy, and we celebrate “Service Above Self” with the same enthusiasm as our predecessors.

Rotary consists of three parts that work to make lasting improvements in our communities and around the world:

  • Local Clubs – bring together individuals to exchange ideas, build relationships, and take action.
  • Rotary International – supports Rotary clubs worldwide by coordinating global programs, campaigns, and initiatives. Some goals of Rotary International are to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water/sanitation/hygiene, support education, and grow local economies. (https://www.rotary.org/en)
  • Rotary Foundation – uses generous donations to fund projects around the world. As a nonprofit, all the Foundation’s funding comes from voluntary contributions made by Rotarians and friends who share our vision of a better world. (https://www.rotary.org/en/about-rotary/rotary-foundation)

Who and How Do We Serve?

New Castle Rotarians exemplify “Service Above Self” in many ways. Annually, Rotary provides monetary donations to local service organizations through the grants and giving fund. Some past recipients of The Rotary Club of New Castle’s grants and giving fund are as follows:

  • United Way of Lawrence County
  • New Castle YMCA
  • RENOVA Music Festival
  • Human Services Center
  • City Rescue Mission
  • Cray Youth and Family Services
  • Eastbrook Mission Barn
  • New Castle Public Library

Local Rotarians also take part in various service projects throughout our community. This includes events such as Veteran’s Breakfast Club, mobile device collections for Crutches for Africa, Meals on Wheels meal delivery, physical labor at the City Rescue Mission, drives for clothing, hygiene products, and school supplies, and volunteer support to other community service projects. The Rotary Club of New Castle also supports Rotary Youth Leadership (RYLA) and Rotary Occupational and Vocational (ROVA) student retreats, high school Interact clubs, and contributes to international Rotary causes.

Member Expectations

To carry out our mission, Rotary meets weekly on Mondays at 12:00pm at The Confluence for lunch. Meeting attendance is strongly encouraged but not mandatory. Lunch meetings are a fun, laid back environment to share information, network, and learn more about the community through various speakers.

The Rotary Club of New Castle offers two membership options: personal or corporate.  The dues and expectations are the same for each membership option. The corporate membership allows organizations to designate an employee as a primary member but allows for other employees to participate in meetings, fundraisers, and service projects. Corporate members will also be designated as such on our website.

Dues are invoiced annually at the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1).  Please see the attached “Payment Options” sheet for more information regarding dues.

In addition to the monetary support of dues, Rotarians are expected to exemplify “Service Above Self” by participating in Rotary events. Our largest annual fundraiser is a lottery calendar sale. All Rotarians must sell calendars. This fundraiser is how we support our grants and giving fund, which is vital to our community. Rotarians participate in various service projects for which you will be asked to volunteer your time. No amount of time is too small, and many hands make light work.

Finally, Rotarians make a pledge to heed the Rotary Four Way Test:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  3. Will it build GOODWILL and better FRIENDSHIPS?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?


If one is interested in becoming a Rotarian, he or she must attend three lunch meetings, complete an application, and be nominated to the Rotary Board of Directors for membership.  Please send an email to rotaryclubofnewcastle89@gmail.com for more information or to start your application process today!