Service Above Self since 1915

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

Leaders in Service awards, our annual fundraiserOur 2022-23 Fundraiser

This event netted more than $70,000
for our club's projects and grants.

Learn more: go to Leaders in Service page

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.
Former Rotary International President Shekhar Mehta accepts a check for $5,000 to The Rotary Foundation's Polio Plus fund from Wilmington Rotary Club's then-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 September 2022, the club meets for lunch starting at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Upper Room in the Tileston building at St. Mary Catholic School in downtown Wilmington. The address is 412 Ann Street; the Upper Room is on the second floor, reachable by elevator. Also, after an experiment with in-person only meetings, the club is once more conducting "hybrid" meetings, held both in person and online using Zoom meeting software. Members get a Zoom link by email for each week's meeting.

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; partnership with Salud Hondu, a group that provides medical care to poor residents of rural Honduras; financial support for several groups helping Ukrainian orphanages and war refugees; child literacy through the Williston Middle School and six of New Hanover County’s public schools; 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.
Rotarians: Look for links to current service-project sign-up forms on Our Projects page.

Our fund-raiser: the Leaders in Service Awards, May 2023

Corporate, government, and non-profit leaders will be honored next spring honored with Wilmington’s second annual “Leaders in Service Awards.” A project of the Wilmington Rotary Club, the awards will be presented in May at a gala banquet ceremony.

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 page has more information about Rotary’s goals.

The Rotary Club is soliciting sponsorships for this event, which will be 2023's 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.

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


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Bi-monthly club newsletter
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Club Events (for programs, see: Speakers)