With more than 350 members, the Rotary Club of Louisville is one of the largest clubs of Rotary International’s 34,000+ clubs around the world. Our Club has been serving others in this community and worldwide for more than 100 years.
We welcome guests and visiting Rotarians from all over the world at our weekly luncheon meetings in downtown Louisville every Thursday. Our programs involve prominent leaders in every field, and our membership represents the business and civic leaders of our community and our state.
We are connected with each other, our community and with other Rotarians worldwide.
A Year to Remember 2020-2021
"Uniting Leaders: Building Community"
‘A Year in Review’
Throughout the year, our Club faced one of the most significant health crisis in our 109-year history, the COVID-19 global pandemic. While we missed seeing everyone in person, the Rotary Club of Louisville rose to the challenge and carried out its mission and focus, “service above self”, in a difficult year for all.
Weekly Guest Speakers- Timely and Relevant Topics
Through the adoption of virtual technology, the Club carried on its tradition as a premier platform for speakers. Each week a wide variety of guest presenters, leaders in their fields, informed, engaged, and inspired us. The full array of timely topics and top-notch speakers that we had the privilege of hearing included: Mayor Fischer, UK President Capilouto, U of L President Bendapudi, Susan Elkington, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky; Governor Andy Beshear, Mike Jones, CFO, UPS Airlines; Coach Scott Davenport, Bellarmine University; Kevin Nolan, President & CEO, GE Appliances; Tony Parrott, Executive Director, Louisville MSD; App Harvest Founder Jonathan Webb, Dr. Jason Chesney, Director, James Graham Brown Cancer Center and more, all available on the Rotary Club website here.
Building Awareness and Strengthening Communications
The virtual platform gave an opportunity for “Pre-Meetings” hosted by Rotarians, that elevated the Club’s committees, outreach, and other mission-driven organizations of significance and impact in the community.
Sparks, the club’s newsletter (launched in 1913) was reimagined, the Rotary Club website refreshed, digital platforms expanded, to include Facebook Live, to help members stay in touch and engaged throughout the pandemic.
A few media features include: The Rotary Club of Louisville the Evolve 502 Kickoff, WAVE 3 News, and Assignment Education on KET.
Rotary Club of Louisville Projects
There are more than 20 local and international projects our Club supports. Even during a challenging time, the Rotary Club of Louisville committees carried on their work. A few highlights include:
- Louisville Rotary Promise Scholarships – Our signature project promises college scholarships for qualifying graduates from Iroquois and Western High Schools, two schools with historically low numbers of students pursuing post-secondary education. Rotarians also mentored and provided support to students.
- Louisville Rescue Mission Monthly Meals – Provided meals for the men at the Rescue Mission.
- Repair Affair was Back!
Rotary District 6710 Awards presented to the Rotary Club of Louisville:
- Best Community Service Project – “Community Impact Committee Examines Diversity, Equity & Inclusion”
The Rotary Club’s CIC (Community Impact Committee) focused its efforts to learn more about the issues of racism, equity and justice. The group established six subcommittees actively developing plans to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Club and in the community. The Rotary Club adopted its first-ever DEI Statement and Commitment to Vendor Diversity Statement. And, a new standing committee, the DEI Committee, has been established with the chair holding a seat on the board of directors.
Early accomplishments include:
- Grant awarded for $10,000 to the Hope Wellness Clinic for the purpose of improving health outcomes in West Louisville.
- Partnered with Junior Achievement’s 3DE project -Rotary Club of Louisville teamed with NAACP to develop curriculum that will launch in the new school year of 2021.
- Best Ongoing International Service Project – “Life Mercy Academy Primary School Water Supply & Sanitation.”
The Rotary Club of Louisville partnered with the Rotary Club of Kampala Nsambya Uganda bringing to fruition clean water and sanitation to the school located in a small rural village in Uganda.
New Dues Structure & Meeting Venue
With the goal of broadening membership and attracting new members more reflective of the community, including more diverse and young professionals, a new dues structure has been implemented. Now members can purchase lunch separately from the former “pre- paid” lunch system.
June 3rd, our first in- person meeting in over 15 months, the Rotary Club joyfully convened at its new meeting venue, Savor at River House, a beautiful event space overlooking the Ohio River offering high-quality food and free parking.
Business Networking and Fellowship
- Business Synergy Events- Each month unique virtual experiences were offered to promote member to member business in small groups, while learning something interesting. The last two events were held in person and memorable.
- Social Committee Events
- Rotary Wild Lights Zoo Event
- Louisville City Football Club - virtual tour of Lynn Family Stadium and soccer game outing rescheduled.
With a year-long focus on literacy, the Club had as guest speakers Sharon Darling, founder, National Center for Families Learning, and Janine Broussard, founder, H.U.G. Reading, Inc. Significant grant awards were made to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Louisville chapter, Inc., the DePaul School, West End School, and H.U.G. Reading Inc.
Passing the Gavel
After an extraordinary year, President Julie Schmidt was pleased to pass the gavel to President Jean West, as the Rotary Club of Louisville continues its longstanding goal of emphasizing acquaintanceship, fellowship and making the Louisville community a better place in which to live.