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History of Atascadero Rotary Club The Atascadero Rotary Club was chartered March 20th 1950. The Club was sponsored by the Paso Robles Club. There were 22 charter members with Ralph Witmer 1950-1951, serving as the first club president. Women were first admitted to Rotary in 1989, Jackie Lerno served as the first female club president in the 1998-1999 Rotary year.

The Club Foundation was formed in 1991 when Jack Stinchfield was president. Over the past 25 years the Club and Foundation have contributed in excess of $150,000 to local high school scholarships.

The Atascadero Club has also been a generous supporter of Rotary International's Foundation, with over 140 Paul Harris Fellows having been sponsored. And the Club has been a major supporter of the Polio Plus campaign with over $50,000 contributed directly to Rotary International for the global eradication effort.

Rotary is an international humanitarian service-driven organization of men and women selected for membership by their leadership roles in the various businesses and professions of the community.

Rotarians have accepted the Ideal of Service as a basis for attaining fulfillment in their personal, professional, and community lives.

The Ideal of Service is exemplified by the motto: "Service Above Self"

Service above self is the thread that runs throughout the Rotary world uniting like-minded people in thought and action. Rotarians understand the theory of service as the true basis of success and happiness, then put theory into practice in service to their business or profession, their local community and world community.

Rotary is an organization that is truly international, apolitical, and without any specific religious or denominational affiliations. Rotary is not political. Rotary International and Rotary clubs are prohibited from issuing partisan political statements. Rotarians as individuals, however, are encouraged to be well informed of developments within their communities and the world that affect their vocations and communities in pursuit of the Rotary's object of world understanding and peace.

Membership in Rotary is based on a limited number of members representing each business or profession found in the community. This may seem restrictive but the purpose is to produce an inclusive membership that recognizes all local occupations. In this way the club is a true cross-section of the business and professional life of the community. It is the custom of Rotarians to relate to each other on a first name basis as equals in fellowship. Spouses and families of Rotarians are often included in Rotary activities. Rotarians are encouraged to invite guests to weekly meetings in order that non-Rotarian members of the community may be better informed about the club and its aims and objectives. Rotary cultivates understanding and cooperation by emphasizing common interests while avoiding commitment on partisan measures or activities on which people are so often divided. Rotarians, by example, stimulate others to accept and practice the Ideal of Service.