Rotary has been important to the Burlington community since 1951 when Jim Parker brought together a group of community-minded residents to found a local chapter. Mr Parker remained active in the club for almost 70 years until his death.
Today there are four clubs – Rotary Club of Burlington, Burlington Lakeshore Rotary, Burlington Central and Burlington North – encompassing more than 350 community-minded members who meet regularly and participate in fundraisers to support their commitments to Burlington and international programs.
Their community service programs encompass a wide range of needs within Burlington, including annual student scholarships including awards for mature students; construction of affordable housing; food insecurity programs for school children and seniors; construction of community centres; support for the Carpenter Hospice; funding for the expansion of Joseph Brant Hospital; significant support for the Joseph Brant Museum expansion; and Indigenous child and student support programs.
Internationally, the Burlington Rotary Clubs support polio eradication efforts and programs to support education in Third World countries, providing incubators for babies in Mexico and more.
Annual fundraising programs like the World’s Largest Rib Fest, held annually at Spencer Smith Park, attract thousands of people to the city requiring a cooperative effort that sees all four clubs working together.
Other major fundraising efforts include the annual Lakeside a la carte event, supported by local restaurants and wineries; a yearly Lobster Fest each spring; a Porsche lottery; and a major golf tournament.
You’ll also find Rotarians at work at various smaller community events.