History:
Paul Harris formed the world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on February 23, 1905. Rotary's motto is "Service Above Self" and, as it celebrates its 102nd anniversary, the club and its 1.2 million members around the globe continue to focus on furthering truth, fairness, cooperation among all cultures and world peace. A 1942 Rotary conference held in London planted the seeds for the development of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and some 50 Rotary members served as delegates and consultants at the founding of the United Nations. Today Rotary holds the highest consultative status with the United Nations of any non-governmental organization. In this capacity, Rotary has a strong voice within the UN system and access to its people and resources worldwide. 
 
Polio Eradication:
In 1985, Rotary launched PolioPlus, an ambitious program to immunize the world's children against polio. Rotary's grassroots leadership, volunteer support, and initial funding for vaccines provided the catalyst for the World Health Assembly's resolution in 1988 to eradicate polio worldwide. Spearheading partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are the World Health Organization, Rotary International, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF. As a result of these efforts, polio cases have dropped by 99% since 1988 and the world stands on the threshold of eradicating the disease. Rotary members have given more than half a billion U.S. dollars and countless hands-on volunteer hours toward this critical effort.