By Kristin Boza
Rotary International was founded by Beverly/Morgan Park resident Paul Harris in 1905 as a way for professionals to befriend one another, network together, and work to improve their communities. His home at 10856 S. Longwood Dr., where many of the first Rotary Club of Chicago meetings were held, is currently under renovation and attracts numerous Rotary visitors each year to see where it all began. Many visitors were able to see it during BAPA’s Home Tour in 2019. Today, Rotary International has approximately 1.2 million Rotarians and 35,000 Clubs worldwide, serving its mission to “unite people to create lasting change in communities and globally.”
Only recently has Rotary Club had a nearly official chapter in the community. Rotary Club of Beverly Morgan Park Mount Greenwood (BMPMG) currently has 18 members; 20 are needed to gain a full charter, and they are seeking many more members to be a part of this historic opportunity.
Rotary Club is working hard to recruit and begin brainstorming ways to improve the local community.
“As a club, I believe we all have the desire to lead a purpose-driven life and make a difference,” said Jason Dugan, Rotary Club BMPMG president-elect. “We want to make an impact on our community, as well as the world at-large. We all have different ideas and visions as to exactly what that impact look like or how it is pursued, and I think that will ultimately be a strength of this club.”
Just like its founder, the local Rotary Club wants to achieve their community-driven goals while networking and having fun with their neighbors.
“Fellowship, networking, personal and professional growth — all of these are integral ingredients in what we ultimately would like to achieve as a club,” Dugan said. “When you take into consideration that the very founder of Rotary International was from our area and the rich history that surrounds that, just to have this opportunity to be here at the onset of such a worthy cause is exciting.”
Dugan and the rest of the founding members of Rotary Club BMPMG have met with many Rotarians at the district level to ensure the Club’s viability.
“We are an inspired group and we have a nice mix of experienced Rotarians as well as those who are new to Rotary. I believe that gives us a significant head start,” Dugan said. “We are learning more about one another as a club and as individuals. Each meeting brings increased progress and further clarity toward how we want our club to function. It’s an exciting time, and an ideal time for interested members of the community to check out a meeting and consider becoming a part of the club.”
Currently, the Club is in the planning stages for a volunteer project to partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry to provide food for those in need.
The Rotary Club Beverly Morgan Park Mount Greenwood meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, 6 p.m., Beverly Bakery, 10528 S. Western. To find out more, contact the Club at RotaryBMPMG@gmail.com.