In 1905, four Chicago businessmen—a mining engineer, an attorney, a tailor and a coal merchant—gathered and formed a club with the goal of providing connections for local professionals and service to their community. They named it the Rotary Club, as each week’s meeting would “rotate” amongst their offices. Within a year, the club was so popular (and large) that a regular meeting place had to be found. And so were the humble beginnings of the club, today called Rotary International, which now boasts some 1.2 million members in 32,000 clubs in over 200 countries.
Each club is run autonomously—within Club standards—and is responsible for inviting potential members regardless of race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political affiliation. While the admission of women only came after much in-house struggle (and a 1987 Supreme Court decision), the club has been far more progressive in encouraging the admission of “locals” in its international chapters (as early as 1919).
“Service above Self” is their motto and mission. Besides community service projects, Rotary International devotes time and energy to issues of literacy, youth development, education & scholarship, health issues, and peace & conflict resolution.
The enameled cufflinks, pictured above, bear the Rotary International logo. Click on the picture to learn more about them.
LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed. While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
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