Southeastern North Carolina's oldest, largest and finest civic organization
Background: The Wilmington Rotary Club was founded in 1915, the 150th club in the Rotary movement. It is the parent (or grandparent) to numerous other Rotary clubs in eastern North Carolina. The Wilmington club is one of six in Wilmington, and is part of Rotary District 7730. The club celebrated its centennial in 2015. For details, go to Club History page.
Meetings: Beginning in July 2021, the club meets for lunch starting at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Grace United Methodist Church Activity Center in downtown Wilmington. The church address is 401 Grace Street; the Activity Center is at Fourth and Walnut streets. After a year of "virtual" online meetings using Zoom meeting software, meetings are now "hybrid." Members who cannot attend in person can still use a password from an emailed invitation to connect to any club meeting from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
For information about programs and other club events, go to Club Calendar page.
The Rotary Foundationis the Rotary movement's international financial arm. It supplies grants to support many of our club's projects, supplementing funds raised locally through the RCDW Foundation. To learn more, or to donate, go to the RCDW Foundation page.
Projects: Current activities include the Legacy Project, a partnership with Wilmington’s Williston Middle School; assistance for adult literacy tutoring through the Cape Fear Literacy Council; child literacy through the Williston Middle School and six of New Hanover County’s public schools; a water supply system for the villages of Coomacka, and Old England, Guyana, in partnership with the Georgetown, Guyana Rotary Club and several other Wilmington-area clubs; assistance to the Rotary Cottage at the N.C. Boys and Girls Homes at Lake Waccamaw; support for the Rotary Wheel Garden at Wilmington’s Greenfield Park; and funding for KIVA Microfunds, which makes small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. For details, go to Our Projects page.
What we believe: In November 2020, the club's Board of Directors endorsed Rotary International's statement on diversity, equity and inclusion:
As a global network that strives to build a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds, regardless of their age, ethnicity, race, color, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Rotary will cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which people from underrepresented groups have greater opportunities to participate as members and leaders.
The club's service priorities are based on part on Rotary International's seven areas of focus. (The seventh, the environment, is new in 2021.) The areas of focus are:
Peace and conflict prevention/resolution.
Disease prevention and treatment.
Water and sanitation.
Maternal and child health.
Basic education and literacy.
Economic and community development.
Membership: a choice for fellowship and service
The Wilmington Rotary Club is looking for accomplished business and professional people, of all ages and backgrounds, to become part of our community of service.
We are a service organization, but we are also a social group. For many of our members, the Wilmington Rotary Club is a large extended family. Rotarians represent a wide range of professions, and our members include many of Southeastern North Carolina's most influential leaders. That makes the club useful as a source of professional contacts.
The chief qualifications for becoming a Rotarian are recommendations from club members, a history of involvement with community, volunteer or service organizations, and adherence to Rotary's ethical standards. (See The Four-Way Test.) Joining Rotary doesn't involve any elaborate initiation process. We have no secret handshakes or high-signs, no hazing rituals or ceremonial regalia, as can be seen in the following historical video. We will, however, as in this 1931 "Betty Boop" cartoon, ask you the essential question for any prospective Rotarian: "Wanna be a member?"
Wanna be a member?
This cartoon is from the Fleischer Brothers studio, which brought us not only Betty Boop, but Popeye the Sailor, Felix the Cat, and other iconic characters. We offer it in the spirit of our club's informal watchword: "Is it fun?"
For a serious look at how to become a member, go to the Membership page.