By: Matthew Kuhn, CFA®, AIF®
We all know there is more to life than just work and chasing the legal tender. After caring for family, we often feel the need and desire to give back to our communities.
I found fulfillment in Rotary. As a Rotarian, I’d like to share what Rotary has meant to me by touching on the history of Rotary and the kinds of projects we do today.
Rotary International has been around since attorney Paul Harris founded the first Rotary club in Chicago in 1905. New to Chicago, Paul Harris wanted to form a service organization where professionals of diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships.
Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member. Today the meeting places are set and you can find a Rotary club that meets morning, noon or night serving 1.2 million members in thousands of local clubs on six continents, each working to serve the communities in which they are located.
Rotary International has been working to eliminate polio worldwide since 1979. Thanks to the efforts of Rotarians, polio now exists in only three countries. To help sponsor this and other projects, local clubs host fund raising events such as pancake breakfasts, casino nights, a night at the comedy and magic club, and golf outings.
In addition to the polio project, local clubs take on their own individual projects. On several occasions, I have been able to take my children, Lauren and Matt Jr. along on service projects. The Torrance-Del Amo Rotary Club sponsors the Switzer Center, a school for special education children here in Torrance. In addition, The Del Amo club has a Santa deliver gifts to the special needs children at Washington School in Redondo Beach.
My current club in Centerville, Ohio, delivers thesauruses to local third-graders and jackets to underprivileged children as well working with local food banks and Habitat for Humanity. Both the Del Amo and Centerville clubs provide vocational and educational scholarships to local high school students
Some notable Rotarians include former U.S. President Warren G. Harding, Senator Dianne Feinstein, explorer Admiral Byrd, and astronaut Frank Borman.
If you are interested in giving back to your community through Rotary, you can visit www.rotary.org for more information on the organization to find the club nearest you. Additionally, you can contact me with any questions or if you want to learn more about my Rotary experience. I have been a Rotarian for over 15 years and I have found it to be extremely gratifying and rewarding.