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Rotary Overview

Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. There are over 1.2 million Rotarians, in over 34,000 clubs around the world, in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

Rotary International

Rotary was founded by Paul Harris, in Chicago, Illinois, on February 23, 1905. Today, although its headquarters are in the Chicago area, Rotary is truly international – fewer than half of the members are in the United States. Rotary International (RI) is headed by a President and Board of Directors. The President of RI, like District Governors and Presidents of Clubs, serves for only one year and is elected from among the ranks of Rotarians who have served Rotary over the years in many positions.

The mission of Rotary International is to support its member clubs in fulfilling the Object of Rotary (printed on the inside front cover) by:

  1. Fostering unity among member clubs;

  2. Strengthening and expanding Rotary around the world;

  3. Communicating worldwide the work of Rotary; and

  4. Providing a system of international administration. 


Rotary Districts

Rotary is organized into Zones and Districts worldwide. LARC is in District number 5170. District 5170 is divided into 9 Areas, which overall contain 53 Clubs in the San Francisco Bay area, including: Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, from Oakland to Hollister and from Watsonville to Livermore.

Each District is led by a District Governor, who serves for one year. The DG is selected by a committee of our five most recent District Governors from among Rotarians who have served the District in many roles. For 2014-15, our District Governor is Judge Ed Jellen of the Rotary Club of Oakland #3.

To help the Governor lead the 4,000 Rotarians in our District,
the District is further divided into nine Areas, each headed by
an Assistant District Governor. The Los Altos Rotary Club is in Area #9, which also includes: East Palo Alto, Los Altos Sunset, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Palo Alto University. Shawn Curby of the Los Altos Sunset Club is the current Area 9 Assistant District Governor. 


The Rotary Foundation

Rotary International, headquartered in Evanston, Illinois, is not merely an administrative operation. Like the individual Clubs that are active in community service in their respective communities, Rotary International is active in its community and the world. The operating arm of RI that undertakes these world-scale programs is The Rotary Foundation (TRF).

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians
to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through
the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. TRF is a not-for-pro
fit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.