108 Years of Service

On October 20, the Rotary Club of Charleston will mark 107 years of service to the community. John D. Steele, president of Chieftain Manufacturing Co. began discussions for the need of a rotary club in Charleston. On December 1, 1915, the charter was granted.

One year following its establishment, Charleston Rotary Club took on its first project: purchase park benches for Ruffner Park on Kanawha Boulevard.

Rotary International logo

Service Above Self

One Profits Most Who Serves Best

Notable Events

  • 1918: Raised $24,000 to provide a three-year budget for the Boy Scouts.
  • 1919: Members staged a production of a session of the Continental Congress.
  • 1920: The club gave the 4-H boys sheep to raise.
  • 1922: The club contributed to establishing a Girl Scout camp and pledged over $100,000 to build the public library in Charleston.
  • 1961: Students visiting from Sweden were hosted by Rotarians.
  • 1963-1965: Rotary members hosted students from Norway, England, and Holland. They also sent students to Iceland, Mexico, and Holland.
  • 1969: The club accepted its first minority member.
  • 1987: The club raised $25,000 to fight Polio.
  • 1987: The club accepts its first female member
  • 1995: The club elected its first female leader.
  • 2014-2015: The club was awarded the Presidential Citation for its efforts to increase membership, enhance its service impact, and expand its network.
  • 2023: Dr. Michelle Foster started her term as the first African-American person to serve as Club President.
  • 2023: We completed the restoration of Celebration Station, a community playground in Charleston. It was a collaborative project that took more than three years to complete. The Community Investment Committee was instrumental in raising over $150,000, partnering on the development, and participating in the site preparation of this new and improved community treasure.