Q:  When did Rotary start?
A:  Rotary was organized in Chicago, Illinois on February 23, 1905
      Our local Winona Rotary Club is # 1348 and was chartered February 10, 1923
Q:  Who is Paul Harris?
A:  The founder of Rotary.
Q:  Why is it called Rotary?
A:  The original members Paul Harris (Lawyer), Sylvester Schiele ( Coal Buyer), Gus    Lehl (Mining Engineer) and Hiram Shary (Merchant Tailor) first met in rotation in the charter member’s offices, rotating the chairmanship at each meeting; thus the name ROTARY.
Q:  When were women first invited to join Rotary?
A:  In our District 5960:  1987
      Worldwide:  1989
Q:  How are speakers chosen at each meeting?
A:  The President works with a program chair to determine speakers and they will accept ideas at any time from membership.  Often they are working several months out but can make changes for special occasions.
Q:  What is a classification talk?
A:  A time when a member speaks briefly about their life and their current job.  Some program chairs designate classification talks a month in advance and will approach one or several members to give their talk at a weekly meeting in lieu of an outside speaker.  Many times the Club will ask new members to give their talk with short notice if a speaker had to cancel at the last minute.

Q:  What is the minimum attendance requirement? 
A:  100% attendance is encouraged but 50% attendance is required for membership. 
Q:  Why do we have to make-up meetings?
A:  Our club must report all attendance figures to our district each month and your absence affects our goals of attendance.  When members are not present, the Club is not able to make a difference in its community and world.
Q:  How can I make-up a meeting?
A:  If you are traveling outside of our area or you want to attend a club nearby, go to the club locator at www.rotary.org and find the club make-ups in our state, country or world.  Make- ups may be made either 14 days prior to or fourteen days after our regular Wednesday meetings.  Once you are at the make-up meeting, ask someone at the registration table for a make-up form and they will hand one to you with the Club’s name and officer signature.  Take this card to your next Winona Club meeting and give to the secretary. If you are unable to do this, just tell or email the Club Treasurer and you will not be charged for the Winona meal that you missed.  However, you will need to pay the meal cost at the make-up meeting.
Q:  What counts as a make-up?
A:  The club has recently expanded on the opportunities for make-up by allowing the following activities to count:  attending a Board meeting, Club committee meetings lasting at least 35 minutes, going online to attend a Rotary International E-Club meeting, attending any service project that we are working on, attending a fireside chat or any district or international meeting. In addition any contributions to written articles about Winona Rotary for website, E-bulletin or public promotion. You can email the Club Treasurer to let them know of your make-up activity and they will credit your account with that meal cost. 
Q: What is a Rotary District?
A:  A district is a defined territory within which a group of clubs, as determined by Rotary International, is associated for administrative purposes.  Winona belongs to District 5960 with 65 clubs and 4 Rotaract Clubs that covers eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The District Governor is an appointed volunteer who becomes the link between individual clubs and Rotary International.
Q:  What are the dues and what are they used for?
A: Annual dues (billed quarterly):
    Club                $116
    District             $60
    International     $85
    Meals              $572
    Total Annual   $833
Currently, if you bring a guest you will be billed $11.00 for each guest.  If you make up a meeting and get a make up card to our Treasurer or email our Treasurer, you will be credited $11.00 for that meal. 
Q:  What is a Paul Harris Fellow?
A:  An individual who contributes, or in whose behalf is contributed $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation.

Club Activity
Q:  What are the five avenues of service in a Club?
A:  The cornerstone of activity in a club that falls in the following categories:
  • Club service which focuses on strengthening fellowship and the effective functioning of the Club, i.e., all the activities that make up our noon meetings, etc. 
  • Vocational Service which encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.
  • Community Service which covers the projects and activities that the Club undertakes to improve life in its community. 
  • International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace. (Polio)
  • New Generations Service recognizes the positive change implemented by youth
and young adults through leadership development activities, involvement in
community and international service projects, and exchange programs that enrich
and foster world peace and cultural understanding.
Q:  What is the Four Way test?
A:  These four questions are recited by all members of our Club at the end of each meeting to help us remember and focus on Rotary’s values and guide us in how we think and act in our personal and professional lives:
            Is it the truth?
            Is it fair to all concerned?
            Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
            Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Q:  What are some of the projects of the Club?
A:  Locally we clean up Lake Winona each Spring, deliver dictionaries to all 3rd graders in Winona County, host exchange students from other countries, renovate Lake Park Lodge, installed Frisbee golf courses around the lakes, honor students of the month based on application  from Cotter, WSHS or Hope Lutheran, built the Windom Park gazebo, read to elementary students monthly, select students from Cotter and WSHS to attend leadership Camp Enterprise and Camp RYLA once a year, resurface the bike path around the lakes and helped with flood relief from the flood of 2007. We also provide hard covered books for babies once a year and they are distributed through public health nurse visits.  We provide scholarships to students attending SMU, WSU and MN SE Tech in Winona.  We also partner with the organization Feed My Starving Children by soliciting and organizing work teams of children and adults in the Winona area who hand pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children and those meals get shipped to nearly 70 countries around the world. In 2013 we created and volunteered at the Rotary Ride The Ridges bicycle event. 
Internationally we have raised money to stop Polio, built toilet facilities in third world countries, kept a kindergarten school open in Mongolia, built a dam for clean drinking water in Rajkot, India.  We raised money for a computer school for girls in India and donated books for Africa. In addition local members travel to other countries as part of the Group Study Exchange (GSE) or Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE).  We often host teams in our homes from other countries as well. We have sponsored and hosted high school exchange students from numerous countries and have sent out Winona high school students to other Rotary Clubs throughout the world.
Q:  How do you raise money for these projects?
A:  Our annual rose sale has netted the Club roughly $6,000 per year.  In addition each member is charged for the Wednesday meal, and if they do not attend that meeting or make up that meeting, the money goes towards these projects.  Ride the Ridges bicycle event is also used to raise funds and through sponsorships we have been able to raise $12,000 per year. We also have a local general fund that is invested each year to earn additional dollars.
Q:  What committees are currently active?
A:  Program Planning, Community Gifts, Dictionary Project, Group Study Exchange,   Lake Clean Up Project, Literacy Projects, Matching Grants, Membership, Presidents Council, Public Relations, Rose Sale, Rotary Foundation Giving, Rotary Scholarships, , Social, Youth Exchange Program, Your mentor and sponsor will explain each of these with you and have you choose one that most interests you.
Q:  What if I want to bring a potential new member to the Club?
A:  You may invite any potential member to lunch several times to see if they would be a good fit for our organization. The Club will pick up the cost of these lunches if you sign your name and potential new member’s name on the sign-in sheet by name badges.  If your guest is interested in membership and you believe they would make a good Rotarian, you may pick up a one page application form at the name badge table that must be filled out by you or the potential new member.  This form is also available on the website. Give this completed form to the President or Membership Chair and they will follow the steps necessary to begin the process.  All current members of Rotary were asked to join the Club by another Rotarian.  We prefer that guests are not introduced as potential members and  that they do not attend the weekly meetings until they are accepted so we may use the weekly meeting time to make the required verbal announcements asking for feedback on the proposed member.
Q: What are the different types of membership?
A:  There are 4 different types of membership: 
  • Active:  Any newly accepted members fall into this type.  Any active member will also have a “Classification”.  Active members are expected to attend meetings on a regular basis.  They are billed near the beginning of each quarter.
  • Active excused (Rule of 85):  This type is available, upon request and approval by the Board of Directors.  Any active member whose age and years of membership total 85 is eligible for this type of membership.  Active excused members are expected to attend as many meetings as possible.  They will be billed for a minimum of 5 meals each quarter.  (No credits for make ups paid to other clubs are given.). Their attendance does not affect the clubs attendance percentage.
  • Leave of Absence:  Any regular member may apply to the Board of Directors for a leave of absence for medical reasons or anticipated absences due to extensive travel.  The Board will only approve a leave of absence on a quarter by quarter basis. Dues continue to be paid but meals are not paid.
  • Honorary:  If approved by the Board of Directors, any former Rotary member or member of the general public may be made an honorary member.  There are no charges for any honorary member unless that person attends a club meeting as a guest when the current rate will be charged.  Honorary members will be provided with a complementary subscription to the Rotarian magazine.
Q:  Is it okay to solicit other members in the Club?
A:  It is not okay to solicit members of the club for your business.  We are a service club and our focus is doing work to improve our communities and world.  Over time as Rotarians begin to know you, they will ask more about your company and the services it provides and may eventually want do business with you.