The Beginnings of the Naples, NY Rotary Club
In the fall of 1938, several men from Canandaigua came to Naples to kindle interest among Naples businessmen into forming a Rotary Club.  After several preliminary meetings, a group of interested men led by Robert Allen held an organizational meeting on February 10th, 1939.  They continued to organize until the Naples Rotary Club was officially chartered on May 1st, 1939. Robert Allen was its first president until July 1st, 1939, when Charles Salyer took over. At the first anniversary in 1940, President Elect Emil Stoll read a report of the Naples Rotary’s activities for the first year. He pointed out the Club’s community service for the year. They sponsored the first Soap Box Derby, donated to the Bristol Springs Church,  the milk fund at Naples Central School , the Interchurch softball league, the Girl Scouts, a first aid course with the Naples Chapter of the Red Cross and the fund for Finnish Relief. On June 12, 1945, our young club, only 6 years old, became the proud parent of the Prattsburgh Rotary Club.
Rotary is a 1.2 million-member, worldwide organization started with the vision of one man—Paul P. Harris. The Chicago attorney formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago, on 23 February 1905 as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of each member.


Rotarians have not only been present for major events in history—we’ve been a part of them. From the beginning, three key traits have remained strong throughout Rotary:
We’re truly international. Only 16 years after being founded, Rotary had clubs on six continents. Today we’re working together from around the globe both digitally and in-person to solve some of our world’s most challenging problems.
We persevere in tough times. During WWII, Rotary clubs in Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Japan were forced to disband. Despite the risks, many continued to meet informally and following the war’s end, Rotary members joined together to rebuild their clubs and their countries.
Our commitment to service is ongoing. We began our fight against polio in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. By 2012, only three countries remain polio-endemic—down from 125 in 1988.


Rotarians are your neighbors, your community leaders and some of the world’s greatest history-makers: 
  • Warren G. Harding, U.S. president
  • Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer
  • Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of Mayo Clinic
  • Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor of the wireless radio and Nobel laureate
  • Thomas Mann, German novelist and Nobel laureate
  • Friedrich Bergius, German chemist and Nobel laureate
  • Admiral Richard E. Byrd, American explorer
  • Jan Masaryk, foreign minister of Czechoslovakia
  • H.E. Soleiman Frangieh, president of Lebanon
  • Dianne Feinstein, U.S. senator
  • Manny Pacquaio, Filipino world-champion boxer and congressman
  • Richard Lugar, U.S. senator
  • Frank Borman, American astronaut
  • Edgar A. Guest, American poet and journalist
  • Sir Harry Lauder, Scottish entertainer
  • Franz Lehar, Austrian composer
  • Lennart Nilsson, Swedish photographer
  • James Cash Penney, founder of JC Penney Co.
  • Carlos Romulo, UN General Assembly president
  • Sigmund Sternberg, English businessman and philanthropist
Ready to make history with us? Get involved.