Service Above Self since 1915

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

Helping Ukrainian refugees in Moldova

Rotarians in Wilmington are sending money to partner agencies helping Ukrainian refugees in Moldova. Taking the lead is The Wilmington East Rotary Charitable Trust, a non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation, which has worked for years in Moldova. It is forwarding contributions, including those from Wilmington Rotary Club, to the Moldovan World Children’s Fund. Moldova is on Ukraine's southwestern border.

How you can help:

Give to the Wilmington East Rotary Charitable Trust. Fastest way is by phone with a credit card: Call Donna Flake of Wilmington East Rotary at 910-233-7835. Slower but also welcome: mail a check to Wilmington East Rotary Charitable Trust, PO Box 373, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480. Be sure the "memo" line indicates "Ukrainian refugees.") See link below to the Moldova World Children's Fund.
This effort supports two of Rotary's Areas of Focus: Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Maternal and Child Health.

More help for Ukraine

On March 2, 2022, the Wilmington Rotary Club sent money to three organizations that are helping to relieve human suffering caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We are updating information about these efforts as we get it and encouraging members and the public to help, too. The groups we are helping are:

  • Wilmington East Rotary Club foundation. As of April 5, this non-profit group had collected $21,000 -- in addition to what it raised through its January fund-raiser -- that Rotarians in Moldova are using to buy relief supplies for Ukrainian refugees. That includes beds and bedding, heaters and refrigerators, food and water, essential medications, and raincoats. Moldovan Rotarians are also making daily trips to Kiev, driving trucks carrying food, and returning to Moldova with evacuated Ukrainian children.
  • Moldova World Children's Fund. $1,000 club contribution. This organization is also supported by the Wilmington East Rotary Club's non-profit foundation (see above.) It is supplying relief to Ukrainian women and children who have fled to Moldova. For more information or to donate directly, go to
  • New Life Ministries/International Orphan Resource Center. $1,000 club contribution. New Life Ministries, based in Raleigh, supports four orphanages in Chernihiv that serve some of the estimated 150,000 orphans in Ukraine. For several years, this club has provided both money and member service to the IORC's work in Ukraine. See a graphic status report from February 2022. The organization has been sending food to the orphanages in the war-ravaged Chernihiv region, some of which were under Russian occupation, as well as two others, in Odessa and Ternopil. See an early March report on this from Raleigh TV station WRAL. On April 12, members of this club gave another $425 in cash, in exchange for Ukrainian "pysanki" Easter eggs. Additional donations are welcome and urgently needed. To give, go to and designate "IORC."
  • $1,000 club contribution. This organization is backed by Rotarians in Wilmington and Raleigh. To learn more about the group or to donate, go to

Rotarians and others may also want to help Ukraine through Rotary International channels. Former RI President John Germ has reminded us that the Rotary Foundation has a dedicated Disaster Response Fund.

  • Rotary Disaster Response. Rotary members and The Rotary Foundation play a unique role in disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts. Working closely with our partner ShelterBox and other organizations that specialize in disaster relief, Rotary members lead projects to support every phase of a community's recovery.

Our Club's 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.

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta accepts a check for $5,000 to The Rotary Foundation's Polio Plus fund from Wilmington Rotary Club President Cleve Callison. Mehta visited the club on Jan. 11, 2022.
Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta accepts a check for $5,000 to The Rotary Foundation's Polio Plus fund from Wilmington Rotary Club President Cleve Callison. It was a rare honor for our club to have Mehta attend our meeting on Jan. 11, 2022. During his visit, President Mehta emphasized the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion as core values for Rotary, both globally and locally.


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 Foundation

The Rotary Foundation is 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.


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.

Our fund-raiser: the Leaders in Service Awards, May 5, 2022

A chemist, professor and industrial entrepreneur; the head of a non-profit devoted to housing; and New Hanover County’s manager have been honored with Wilmington’s first-ever “Leaders in Service Awards.” A project of the Wilmington Rotary Club, the awards will be presented on May 5 to Yousry Sayed, J.C. Lyle, and Chris Coudriet.

Leaders in Service is meant to recognize executives in the private, non-profit and public sectors who are making Wilmington a better place to live and raise a family. Those honored have made outstanding contributions to the community in one or more of the seven Rotary Areas of Focus. They have also led their lives and conducted their business in harmony with the Rotary Four-Way Test and have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The event website,, has more information about Rotary’s goals.

The awards presentation will be a gala evening at the UNCW Burney Center. Hundreds of guests are expected to attend the May 5 reception, dinner, and awards ceremony. The Rotary Club has solicited sponsorships for this event, which will be the primary fundraiser for Wilmington’s oldest and largest civic organization.

What we believe

Diversity, equity and inclusion: 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.


In 2021, Rotary International strengthened that statement, which this club's Board will consider as well. That is available for download from this site's "Documents" section. See Rotary  2021 DEI statement.

For more on this subject, go to our club's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion page and to Rotary International's DEI page. Also, see the club's statement on diversity and Rotary's Four-Way Test, adopted in 2013.

Vaccination against Covid 19: Both Rotary International and the Wilmington Rotary Club urge their members to protect themselves and others and do their part to end the pandemic by getting vaccinated against Covid 19.

Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta and Rotary Foundation Chair John Germ issued a restatement of Rotary's position on vaccination on Dec. 16, 2021. Go to RI vaccination statement.

This club's Board of Directors has also stated our policy that all members and guests attending club meetings or other events should be fully vaccinated; those who are not, for any reason, are invited to attend meetings virtually.

Rotary's Seven Areas of Focus

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.

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.

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

What's new: 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.
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