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         The Rotary Club of Grinnell was organized on January 19, 1938, and obtained its Rotary International charter on March 31, 1938. The club has been meeting every Monday night of the year since that date.

       Some of the early charter members included such prominent Grinnellians as Roy Bates, Don Cunningham, Snap James, and Charles Vogel.

        For over 68 years, the Rotary Club of Grinnell has been the leading service organization in the city of Grinnell. The Rotary Club has actively provided both the voluntary services and the financial assistance to support various community and international projects. These projects have included Adopt A Park, Adopt a Highway, a collaborative effort with local youth groups to assist shut-ins, blood drives, and Shults & Company musicals. In addition, Rotary has financially assisted a variety of local agencies including: the Fire Department, Grinnell Day Care, Sister City, the Grinnell Senior Center, and a host of others.

         The Rotary Club of Grinnell has served as host to a foreign exchange student for many years from countries such as France, Spain, Germany, Mexico and Denmark. Similarly, numerous Grinnell high school students have had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a year abroad as part of the Rotary exchange program.

       The annual chicken barbeque was started in the mid-1950s based on an idea from the Mount Pleasant Rotary Club. What started with approximately 500 chicken dinners has grown into an event that cooks 1,900 chicken dinners and has become the official kick-off of summer in Grinnell.