Before 1918, Rotary International did not believe a club could be formed and thrive
in a community with a population of less than 10,000 people.
Charles City showed that it could, becoming the first ‘small community’ Rotary Club
on October 18, 1918, and paving the way for small town Rotary clubs everywhere.
Today, Charles City Rotary Club #433 is a very active part of District #5970 of Rotary
International. We are the community’s largest service club with a membership right
around 50, and meet each Monday of the year (except holidays or right after special
club events) from 12-1 p.m. at the Charles City Elks Lodge at 2111 Clark St. in Charles City.
Our members are active or retired business people who meet weekly for fellowship,
interesting and informative programs covering a variety of topics, and united in their
commitment to make their community and world a better place to live. Rotary’s motto
is ‘Service Above Self,’ which the club demonstrates through its community involvement,
humanitarian service, encouragement of high ethical standards in all vocations,
and work through Rotary International to help build goodwill and peace throughout the
In the early 1980s, Rotary International took the lead among other traditionally male
service organizations by allowing women to join, an idea the club embraced, including
electing Jody Meyer as its first female club president in 1992.
Every Rotarian has the privilege and obligation of seeking other qualified members.
In this way, all club members can help the club achieve a full representation of the business
and professional life of the community.
The local club and the Charles City community served as hosts for the 1981 Rotary
International District 597 conference. The conference was held in June, and marked the
first time a conference of this magnitude had been held in a city the size of Charles City.
Rotarians still speak of the quality of the program and the great hospitality shown by
Rotary is proud of its founders, its leadership through the years, and the steady
growth of Rotary clubs throughout the free world. We are proud of the humble beginning
with the original charter of Chicago, Number One, to our own charter Number 433,
to more than 20,000 Rotary clubs worldwide with more than 1,000,000 members. The
growth of Rotary in Charles City is evidence of the adherence to the original goals and
ambitions of the early visionaries in Charles City and a pledge of loyalty to, and dedication to the idealof "Service Above Self."