What's new   Rotarians: get involved, volunteer, donate   Our club's background

Service Above Self since 1915

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

What's new

Leaders in Service awards, our annual fundraiserNominations asked for 2024-25 awards

Nominations for the 2024 Leaders in Service awards are being requested, both from the club and the general public.  This event, to culminate in an awards ceremony May 1, is the club's chief fund-raiser. Rotarian volunteers have begun soliciting sponsorships. The 2023 awards program netted more than $70,000 for our club's projects and grants. Our 2024 goal is $100,000.
Learn more, nominate honorees: go to Leaders in Service site
See TV spot about Leaders in Service nominations

International grant to combat teen pregnancy in West Africa

On Nov. 21, 2023, the club presented a $2,000 grant to Missions of Hope, a faith-based group working in the West African nation of Sierra Leone. This will support the group's "Let Girls be Girls" project, which provides education about pregnancy and sexual health to teenage girls.

Community dinner feeds hundreds, with help from Rotary

Rotarians helped Wilmington's Northside Food Cooperative feed members of more than 150 families at a "community dinner" on Nov. 17. The Wilmington Rotary Club has supplied money and volunteer work to support two such group meals. Of the club's $2,720 contribution, half came from the club's charitable foundation and half from a Rotary District Grant.

Global Grant buys equipment for Honduras health clinic

The Clinica Santa Maria in Reitoca, Honduras, unveiled new diagnostic and treatment equipment bought with a Rotary Global Grant in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 7. This $47,000 project, led by Wilmington Rotary Club, is a collaboration among multiple clubs in North Carolina, Honduras, and elsewhere. The international Rotary Foundation contributed $30,000; this club gave $6,000, and other local Rotary Clubs $7,000. Other funds came from Rotary District 7730 (Southeastern North Carolina), clubs in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and the Tegucigalpa Sur Rotary Club, which is the project's local sponsor. The clinic, in a remote and impoverished part of the Central America nation, serves a population of 50,000. It was founded by Laura Vinson, who runs the St. Mary Clinic in Wilmington, and strongly supported by Rev. Robert Kus, a former member of this club and retired pastor of Wilmington's St. Mary Catholic Church. "Father Bob" now lives in Honduras. Rotarians Tolis Vardakis and Tom Hoggard of the Wilmington club, along with Nancy Boston and her husband Jim of the Shallotte Rotary Club, attended the Nov. 7 event in Reitoca.

Rotarians help raise walls at Habitat house

The first on-site work day for the Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity "Rotary Build" house took place Oct. 28. Six members of this club, along with Rotarians from other area clubs, Habitat volunteers, and the future homeowner and members of her family raised prefabricated wall sections and installed sheathing. Next for the volunteers were roof sheathing and vinyl siding installation, done during work days  Nov. 4 and Nov. 18.

Grant will help support youthful artisans

Kids Making It, which gives young people training in woodworking and entrepreneurship, will benefit from $2,000 from the Wilmington Rotary Club. Half of that is a direct grant, which will help the non-profit buy supplies. The other $1,000 is the club's commitment to buy hand-crafted pens, to be used as gifts for guest speakers. The club presented the $1,000 grant on Oct. 17.

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.

Follow us on Linked-in.

Follow us on Facebook.

For Rotarians

Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12, & Dec. 19, 2023: Volunteer bell-ringers have signed up to help fill Salvation Army kettles. The month before Christmas every year, members of our club solicit donations to the Salvation Army's red kettles. We are assigned to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays outside Sam's Club, 412 S. College Road. Two Rotarians have signed up for each of our one-hour shifts. Still want to help? Follow this link to sign up.

Nov. 29, 2023: Third Wednesday socials resume from 5 to 7 p.m. at Junction 421, 5104 S. College Road. Open to Rotarians from all area clubs, as well as their guests, this is a casual "happy hour" get-together. The host restaurant provides hors de'ouevres and offers a cash bar.

Dec. 2, 2023: Members with interest or skill in gardening or landscaping are needed for a work day from starting at 8 a.m. at the Rotary Wheel Garden at Greenfield Park. Our club and others in Wilmington are collaborating to provide maintenance tasks at the garden, which is the world's largest Rotary symbol. Volunteers should bring a shovel or spade. Much of the day's work will involve turning over soil in the flower beds, and should be completed by noon.

Dec. 19, 2023: The club's annual holiday lunch meeting will be a fund-raiser for the Salvation Army. In addition to musical entertainment from Opera House Theatre Company, the meeting will feature an auction of various goods and experiences, including desserts, beverages, and entertainment. Come prepared to bid! Other donations will also be gratefully accepted. Cash, checks, credit/debit cards are all welcome. Or we can bill you along with your quarterly dues. To be auctioned off so far: Two tickets to Opera House Theater Company's "The Producers;" an escorted all-day black-water paddle adventure for eight, value $1,000; a 10-inch decorated cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes plus coupons for a year of cakes, value $350; a Paws4People puppy party at your home or office plus an Adventurer Membership to Wilmington Children's Museum, value: $500; Buffalo Trace Bourbon; and a decorated One Belle Bakery carrot cake, value: $200. And other auction items to be announced!

Until Jan. 15, 2024: The Leaders in Service committee needs nominations for our 2024 awards. We will honor three people, one each from the public, private, and non-profit sectors, who have led their organizations in making Wilmington and New Hanover County a better place to live, work, and raise a family. If you nominated anyone who did not receive the award in previous years, it's entirely appropriate to re-submit your nomination, either with updates, or by simply referencing your earlier submission. Make nominations on this page.

Ongoing: Donations are still needed to help get a Ukrainian refugee family settled in Wilmington. This is a joint project of our club and the Wilmington East Rotary Club. Contributions can be mailed to Wilmington East Rotary Club Trust, PO Box 373, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480.

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, donations: The club has a tax-exempt Section 501 (c)(3) foundation, The Rotary Club of Downtown Wilmington Foundation, to which deductible contributions may be made. This foundation pays for our service projects, both locally and internationally, in collaboration with The Rotary Foundation, and our club's local RCDW Foundation.


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

Club Leaders
Bi-monthly club newsletter
Weekly program speakers
Our Facebook Page