Rotary Club of Racine Founders

About Our Club

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Racine Founders Rotary Club Mission Statement:

To provide service to our local and international communities with a focus on youth, while promoting integrity and generosity through fun and active fellowship of community leaders.





The origins of our Club date back to 1983 when Robert C. Clarke, president of Downtown Club, established an ad hoc "make up" session that met Friday mornings at the Holiday Inn.

Rotary International functionaries caviled at the idea of an unchartered make up group and so, at their urging, steps were undertaken to become the first chartered Rotary morning club in the racine area. (At the 1983 Rotary International Conference in Toronto, Mr. Clarke was admonished by an Asian delegate that make up clubs were "irregal." Mr. Clarke responmded appropriately). A small band of illuminati headed by Dave Perkins, Tom Harmann, Dave Nielsen, Brian McMahon, and Bob Randelman founded the yet unnamed and unchartered club mid-1984 with Mr. Perkins as president

The initial challenge was to reach the requisite 25 minimum membership to obtain a charter from Rotary International. After scouring the greater Racine area for qualified candidates who could fit into the few available classification slots, a group of 22 diversified, slovenly individuals was identified. The club then shamelessly "borrowed" three (Bucky Hanson, Joe Vlasak, and Ron Jones) members from the Downtown Rotary Club to round out the initial 25-member roster.

Working closely with Rotary International headquarters in Evanston, IL., the Racine Rotary Founders Club was chartered on April 19, 1985 (April 19 is the birthday of Paul P. Harris, who was born in Racine). The initial club officers consisted of Michael Ricker, President; Tom Harmann, Vice President; Brian McMahon, Treasurer; and Bob Randleman, Secretary.

The first non-charter member to join the club was Dennis Gambel. This set a precedent for membership standards that the club has found difficult to maintain.

---Bob Randleman