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Service Above Self since 1915

Southeastern North Carolina's oldest, largest and finest       civic organization

What's new

Leaders in Service awards, our annual fundraiserSponsors needed for 2024-25 awards

The club is soliciting corporations, small businesses, and individuals to support Leaders in Service, and our many projects both in Wilmington and around the world. This event, to culminate in an awards ceremony May 1, is the club's chief fund-raiser. The 2023 awards program netted more than $70,000 for our club's projects and grants. Our 2024 goal is $100,000.

Rotary sponsors free dental-screening clinic for children

Rotarian and dentist Dr. Gabe Rich examines a patient at free dental clinicTwenty-five low-income children got dental screenings and cleanings at the first of four planned free clinics sponsored by the club. This took place on Feb. 17 at the St. Mary Health Center, a mission of St. Mary Catholic Church. The Rotary club supplied money for supplies, as well as seven volunteers, including dentists Dr. Gabe Rich and Dr. Coleman Burgess. All the patients received exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and X-rays and dental sealants as needed. Any dental disease, such as cavities, was documented and the children’s families given referrals for follow-up treatment. All were also given a take-home dental care kit.

Beginning teachers honored with cash awards

Five second-year teachers in New Hanover County Schools were honored as the 2024 "Rookie Teachers of the Year" on Feb. 13. These Rotary Club awards, issued annually since 2017, are meant to encourage beginning educators to continue in their profession. The top winner received $1,000; the other four got $500 each.

2024 Rookie Teachers of the Year honored by Rotary 

Rookie Teachers of the Year for 2024 are Maggie Sellers, Devin Pierce (top winner), Breylin Young, Sarah Wood, and Melissa Lawrence. Each got cash awards.

2024 Leaders in Service honorees named

Dr. Charles Hardy, founder of UNCW's College of Health & Human Services, honored in the government category Joanne Parker of Wilmington Health Access for Teens, honored in the non-profit category.Brian McMerty, founder of Men on a Mission at St. James Episcopal Church, honored in the private-sector category

From left: honorees Dr. Charles Hardy, Connie Parker, and Brian McMerty

The club's third annual Leaders in Service Awards honorees have been announced. The three will be recognized at a banquet on May 1. They are Dr. Charles Hardy, founding dean of UNCW's College of Health & Human Services, in the government category; Connie Parker of Wilmington Health Access for Teens, in the non-profit category; and Brian McMerty, founder of Men on a Mission at St. James Episcopal Church, in the private-sector category. Leaders in Service recognizes executives and other leaders who have made outstanding contributions to their community. Through sponsorships and ticket sales, it is the Wilmington Rotary Club's chief fund-raiser.

The latest club newsletter

Keep up with what our big, busy club does with our bi-monthly "Club News." It contains updates on club meetings, members, and our wide range of service projects. The print edition is distributed at club meetings; the digital edition is available here. See the lower left corner of this page for links to recent back issues. For the latest, go to current edition
For more updates, go to news page.

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For Rotarians

March 21, 2024: The club's annual "Golf Fore Fun" outing will be part of the Paws Ability Golf Tournament at Brick Landing Country Club, Ocean Isle Beach. Rotarians and/or spouses can participate, either by forming four-player teams or individually; individual participants will be assigned to a foursome. Cost is $45 per player and includes lunch. Anyone who wants to play should contact Steve Yates.

February 24, March 9, and March 16, 2024: Rotarian volunteers are needed for free dental screening clinics for low-income children. The site is the St. Mary Health Clinic at 412 Ann St., in the basement of the Tileston Building where the club meets. Tasks include guiding patients and their families and managing paperwork. (Professional services will be provided by two Rotarian dentists, assisted by hygienists and dental assistants.) Volunteers are needed from about 8:20 a.m. until early afternoon. To help, contact Coleman Burgess.

Through March 1, 2024: Members of the club are asked to nominate prospective honorees for our new "Legacy Award." To be presented at the Leaders in Service banquet May 1, this will recognize a local resident who has demonstrated significant, positive, long-term leadership achievements in the Wilmington and/or greater Cape Fear region. Nominees should have long service and have made a widely recognized and positive impact on the lives of others. Rotarians can make nominations through this online form.

Ongoing: Anyone participating in a service project is urged to get photographs of Rotarians at work for use in both public outreach and internal communication. Email  high-resolution photos to the club's PR Committee. (Contact info is in the club handbook.) Also helpful: Please follow, like, and share the club's social-media pages and posts. See links above.

Our club's background

The club was founded in 1915. For details, go to Club History page.

Our members and sponsors support both the Rotary movement's international financial arm and our own charitable foundation. Rotarians contribute to the global Rotary Foundation; they also give and solicit deductible contributions to our tax-exempt Section 501 (c)(3) foundation, The Rotary Club of Downtown Wilmington Foundation. This local foundation pays for our service projects, both locally and internationally, with some projects also aided by grants from The Rotary Foundation. To learn more about our fundraising, go to our club's local RCDW Foundation page and to Leaders in Service.


For details on how we spend our money and volunteer hours, go to Our Projects page.

What we believe

Our club has endorsed Rotary International's diversity, equity and inclusion statements. For details, go to our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page and to Rotary International's DEI page.

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.

For details about how to become a member, go to the Membership page.

Rotary's seven areas of focus

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.

  • The environment.

Rotary's Seven Areas of Focus

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