Club History

The Rotary Club of Summerland has a long and proud history supporting the local community and contributing significantly to international projects while promoting fellowship and having fun.  Our Club was formed in 1945 under the sponsorship of the Kelowna Downtown Rotary Club and has been active ever since.

We are recognized as one of the top clubs in District 5060 (our District) which is an International District encompassing parts of the interior of British Columbia and the State of Washington.  The District stretches from Clearwater, BC in the North to Prosser, WA in the south, a total of 60 clubs.

Our Club fulfills all the requirements of the Five Avenues of Service and our strong showing is ultimately due to the tremendous leadership of our Club executives over the years and to the hard work and active participation of our membership – they truly emulate Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self”.
Club Operations


The Rotary Club of Summerland operates in accordance with its Constitution and Bylaws which are based upon the Rotary International (RI) Constitution and  RI Bylaws.


Our Club is organized to fulfill the five avenues of service – Club, Community, International, Vocational and Youth Service – and the important functions of Membership, Public Relations, and The Rotary Foundation.  The Club has five officers plus four directors.  The officers include:  President, President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and the immediate Past President.

Board of Directors

The Board carries out the management function of the Club and all its activities.  The Officers and Directors of the Club make up the Board.

Budgets and Funding

Revenues - The major sources of revenues for the Club include our annual fundraising dinner and auction event and editing the Summerland Telephone Directory.  Other sources of funds are club dues, meeting contributions (Happy dollars, 50/50, etc.), and net revenues from various events in the community where we provide food services.  Typically, revenues will total approximately $75,000.00.

Expenses - Major expenses include meal costs for guests such as speakers and Rotary exchange students, funds for The Rotary Foundation, RI and District dues, and all the other typical administrative costs of running an organization.  Typically, expenses will total approximately $25,000.00.

Donations - Our Club provides donations to many organizations in the community, funds various projects, provides bursaries and scholarships, supports youth activities, among many others.  Typically the Club provides donations of approximately $50,000.00 each year.

International Projects - The Nakuru project in Kenya is the Club’s major international initiative.  Funding for this project comes mainly from our Club, other Clubs, our District, TRF, CREID, and other government organizations.  To date, our Club has raised over one million dollars for this very worthwhile project.

Club Fees and Member Expenses - Club Fees of $250 are paid semi-annually in installments of $125.  Costs for meals or coffee are payable at each breakfast or dinner meeting. Other expenses which members are encouraged to contribute to include 50/50 tickets and happy dollars the proceeds of which are contributed to The Rotary Foundation. In addition, Club members are also expected to contribute a minimum of $100 to the Rotary Foundation (tax deductable).  Please note that the Club will match Rotary Foundation donations up to a maximum of $100.  Typically, the Club collects Rotary Foundation donations in November, which allows time to issue a charitable donation receipt for the current tax year.

Operating Year - In accordance with Rotary International, the Club’s operating year is July 01 to June 30.

Club Meetings - Club meetings are at the heart of all of our activities. The first objective of Rotary is the development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service. Joining your fellow members at regular meetings and social events is an important part of being a Rotarian and meeting Rotary objectives.

Regular Weekly Meetings - Most Club meetings follow a regular pattern and are held on each Tuesday at 7:00 a.m. with the exception of the first Tuesday, when the meetings are scheduled for 6:00 p.m.  An official Greeter, rotated on a weekly basis through the membership, is assigned to greet members and guests as they arrive.  A typical meeting agenda may include:
Call to order;
Introduction of visitors;
Correspondence, announcements and Rotary Information;
Committee reports;
New or unfinished business;
Guest Speaker or other program features; and
O Canada and Adjournment.

As a rule, morning meetings start promptly at 7:00 and are scheduled to end not later than 8:00 to allow members to proceed to the rest of their day.  Often, informal committee meetings are held immediately after adjournment to address any issues of specific interest.

Board Meetings - The Board meets monthly at a minimum, usually at 7:00 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.  This is when planning and direction is provided for the ongoing work of the club and its committees.

Spousal Meetings - Six evening meetings per year are designated as “spousal” to allow spouses an opportunity to participate.  These meetings are held every other month beginning with February and ending with December.

Summer BBQs - The evening meetings during the summer are held at various members’ homes in a BBQ format.

Firesides - Occasionally, a meeting will be designated as a Firesides whereby the membership is divided into smaller groups who meet at different members’ homes with the aim of informing new members of how the Club and Rotary work and to allow wide ranging discussions on the operation of the Club.

Fellowship/Club Assemblies - In a month, two regular meetings follow a standard format and usually include a Guest Speaker or other program. The remaining meetings will be held to foster fellowship among members with no guest speaker scheduled.  Committee reports and other club issues can be dealt with at these meetings.

Annual General Meeting - Our Club is a Charitable Society under Provincial and Federal laws.  One of the requirements is to hold an Annual General Meeting.  This meeting would typically occur in the November/December timeframe and may also provide an opportunity for members to approve the previous year’s financial statements, elect new officers and directors, and/or other activities as determined by The Board.

Nominations and Elections - The immediate Past President chairs the Nomination Committee and provides a slate of officers and directors for the Board for the incoming year.  Typically, these would be scheduled for a regular or annual meeting with the appropriate notice.  Normally, the incoming Board should be identified not later than December 31 or each year.

Budget Approval - The Treasurer and President prepares an annual budget for approval by the membership usually at a specified regular meeting.

Duties of Officers and Directors - The duties of Club Officers and Directors and other key positions on detailed for members under the My Summerland Rotary page of the Club website.

Club Projects - Our club undertakes many projects in all five Avenues of Service and we have a lot of fun along the way.

Club service is achieved through attending our weekly meetings, participating in Club projects, fellowship events, and participation on the Club executive and board.

We have many Community projects to improve life in Summerland.  These include the Rotary Beach Walkway, Memorial Park, Summerland Asset Development Initiative (SADI), Adams Bird Sanctuary, a number of walking trails, Dale Meadows playground and ongoing work towards the Trail of the Okanagan.  We provide food services and support to Summerland’s many festivals including Festival of Lights, Action Festival, and the Shakespeare Festival and provide Appreciation Events for the Summerland Pioneers.  We have administered the Meals on Wheels program for over 30 years.  The Club has also been instrumental in the formation of PPHS for non-profit seniors’ accommodation.

Our club participates in international projects directly and through donations to the Rotary Foundation – we are second in per capita TRF donations in the District and retain a 100% Sustaining Member status.  Our international activities include Group Study Exchanges and over 40-year involvement in Youth Exchanges.  Many of our members have participated directly in Rotary’s polio projects, in providing pro-bono dentistry to third world countries, and other initiatives.

One major international project our cub is very proud of is the provision of water tanks in the Nakuru region of Kenya.  Through the original initiative of Summerland Rotarians, our Club has already provided over 1000 water tanks in the region, which has had a dramatic impact on the overall quality of life for thousands of women and children.  This project has provided the community with a secure source of water and has freed up many locals to pursue micro-businesses and other worthwhile efforts, With the support of many district Rotary Clubs and The Rotary Foundation, the Club raised almost one million dollars toward the eventual construction of over 4000 tanks helping tens of thousands of people in the East Africa nations of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. This project has been recognized by the United Nations and we were invited to make a presentation at the UN as part of the UN’s Rotary Day and it is seen as one of the most effective Rotary Water Programs in the World.

Many of our members have volunteered their vocational experience to assist people in many countries around the world.  Locally, we sponsor many youth activities – Blossom Pageant, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Career Development, $100 Challenge, a Public Speaking Competition and Bursaries and Scholarships.  We are strong supporters of the Rotary Foundation and Paul Harris Fellowships.

Our Club Mailing Address - Correspondence to the Club can be sent to the appropriate officer or member at the following address:

The Rotary Club of Summerland
Box 232, Summerland, BC, Canada  V0H 1Z0

Our Place in the World of Rotary - Rotary is organized into Clubs, Areas, Districts, Zones, and Rotary International.  We are Club 207, Area 5, District 5060, Zone 22 of Rotary International.

Our Club on the Web - Our web site is a very useful source of up-to-date information and can be accessed at It contains a range of useful information on Club activities, member profiles and Club history.  Any questions regarding use of the site should be directed to the Club webmaster.
Some key email addresses:

Club Public Relations - In the past, Rotary tended not to publicize our good deeds to any degree.  This has changed and now active public relations are encouraged.  Our Club achieves this in many ways including Media Releases of key projects and achievements and an Annual Supplement in the local paper usually in October and through signage in the community.  Club members are also encouraged to promote Rotary through wearing of Rotary clothing and paraphernalia in public.

Club Directory - A Club Directory providing information on Club members is available on our web site.

Rotary Paraphernalia - Various Rotary items such as tee shirts, license plate frames, pins, plaques, etc. can be purchased through the Club Secretary or the Rotary Website. at
Club Membership


Rotary is a grassroots organization and it is at the Club level where projects and the work of Rotary are carried out.  Clubs are the foundation of Rotary and operate autonomously. The ideal composition of a Rotary club reflects the community’s demographics, including professions, gender, age, and ethnicity, which helps enrich the Club’s fellowship and service.

Members of a Rotary Club are called Rotarians.  What Rotarians get out of Rotary depends largely on what they put into it and our Club encourages members to fully participate in and enjoy their Rotary experience. However, Rotarians are NOT members of Rotary International since under RI’s constitution, only Clubs can be members of RI.  Rotarians belong to their Club but not to RI.

It is important to remember that the primary purpose of Rotary membership is to provide each member with a unique opportunity to serve others, and membership is not intended as a means for personal profit or special privileges.  Rotary policy, originally approved in 1933, is that in business and professional relations "a Rotarian should not expect or ask for anymore consideration or advantage from a fellow Rotarian than the latter would give to any other business or professional associate with whom he has business relations." However, new or increased business, which results from natural friendships created in Rotary, is entirely acceptable.

Club Service

All Rotary clubs share the primary goal of serving their community and those in need around the world.  Participation in club projects helps members learn about their club’s involvement in local and international projects and where they can best apply their time and talents.

There are four key responsibilities of Clubs and Club members:

  • Sustaining and increasing membership;
  • Participating in service projects in their community and the world;
  • Supporting the Rotary Foundation financially and through participation; and
  • Developing leaders to serve Rotary at all levels.

Keeping members interested in Rotary is another responsibility.  Good club fellowship and early involvement in service projects are two of the best ways to sustain the club’s membership.

First Names

From Rotary’s beginning, members have referred to each other on a first-name basis.  This encourages the personal acquaintanceship and friendship that are cornerstones of Rotary, which would be more difficult if formal titles were the norm.  Our club name badges foster the first-name custom.  However, members should be aware that in Europe, club members may use a more formal style in addressing fellow members and in some Asian countries, the practice is to assign each new Rotarian a humorous nickname which relates to some personal characteristic or which is descriptive of the member's business or profession.  Regardless how a Rotarian is addressed, the spirit of personal friendship is the initial step, which opens doors to all other opportunities for service.

One exception to the use of titles – it is customary to address the President during meetings as President “First Name” – e.g. President Mick.


Rotarians are successful in their career and personal lives because they practice good inter-relational skills including fellowship with other Rotarians.  Our weekly meetings provide key fellowship opportunities including visiting with fellow members, meeting visitors you have not known before, and sharing personal friendships with other members.   Warm and personal friendship is the cornerstone of every great Rotary club and Rotary clubs around the world are known for their friendliness and willingness to welcome Rotarians from any club.  Our members are encouraged:

1. To sit in a different seat or at a different table each week;
2. To sit with a member they may not know as well as their long-time personal friends;
3. To invite new members or visitors to join their table;
4. To share the conversation around the table rather than merely eating in silence or talking privately to the person next to them; and
5. To make a special point of trying to get acquainted with all members of the club by seeking out those they may not know.

International Responsibilities

Rotary offers each member unique international opportunities and responsibilities and encourages Rotarians to take a somewhat different view of international affairs.  Rotary philosophy could be summarized as: A world-minded Rotarian...
1. Takes responsibility for the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace;
2. Resists any tendency to act in terms of national or racial superiority;
3. Seeks and develops common grounds for agreement with peoples of other nations;
4. Defends the rule of law and order to preserve the liberty of the individual so that he may enjoy freedom of thought, speech and assembly, and freedom from persecution, aggression, want and fear;
5. Supports action directed toward improving standards of living for all; and
6. Strives always to promote peace between nations.


Rotary stresses regular attendance because each member represents his own business or profession and thus the absence of any member deprives the club of the values of its diversified membership and the personal fellowship of each member.   Also, by missing meetings, the member will miss out on important events and information.

Regular attendance is essential to a strong and active Rotary club.  Although the Club constitution requires less than 100 percent attendance, the custom has emerged that 100 percent is the desirable level.  Many thousands of Rotarians achieve a 100 percent attendance year after year and they take great pride in maintaining their 100 percent record in their own club or by making-up at other Rotary club meetings.  Our Club recognizes members who achieve 100% attendance each year with a special pin.

Rotarians can make up meetings by participating in a club service project, attending a club board meeting, a Rotaract or Interact club meeting, or online at one of several Rotary e-clubs.  It is especially gratifying to be greeted as a friend at any club anywhere in the world when traveling on business or vacation. Attending weekly club meetings allows members to enjoy their club’s fellowship, enrich their professional and personal knowledge, and meet other business leaders in their community.  There are many Rotary Clubs in the Okanagan.  This allows a member to easily make up any Club meetings they may miss.  In fact, we can expand our Rotary horizons by attending make-up meetings at any Rotary club in the world — a practice that guarantees Rotarians a warm welcome in communities around the globe.  Find meeting places and times in the Official Directory or through the Club Locator at

Rotary International Convention

Each May or June, Rotary International holds a worldwide convention "to stimulate, inspire and inform all Rotarians at an international level." The convention, which may not be held in the same country for more than two consecutive years, is the annual meeting to conduct the business of the RI. This event features speeches by world and Rotary leaders, spectacular entertainment reflecting the local culture, and unparalleled opportunities to experience the true breadth of Rotary’s international fellowship. The conventions are truly international events which 15,000 to 40,000 Rotarians and guests attend. All members should plan to participate in a Rotary International convention to discover the real internationality of Rotary. It is an experience you'll never forget.

District Conferences

Every one of Rotary's over 500 districts has an annual conference. These meetings are considered so important that the Rotary International president selects a knowledgeable Rotarian as his personal representative to attend and address each conference. The program always includes several outstanding entertainment features, interesting discussions and inspirational programs. The purpose of a District Conference is for fellowship, good fun, inspirational speakers and discussion of matters, which make one's Rotary membership more meaningful. Rotarians are encouraged to attend their district conference; an annual motivational meeting that showcases club and district activities. It allows Rotarians to become more directly involved with charting their district’s future.

A district conference is for all club members and their spouses, not just for club officers and committee members. Every person who attends a district conference finds that being a Rotarian becomes even more rewarding because of the new experiences, insights and acquaintances developed at the Conference.   The many activities include talent shows, home hosting, recreational golf, and/or tours.

Types of Membership

There are two types of membership – active and honourary.  An active member is one who has been elected to membership in the Club under a classification and enjoys all the obligations, responsibilities and privileges of membership.  Active members can hold office and serve RI at the district and international levels.  They are expected to meet attendance requirements, pay dues, and bring new members into Rotary.  Honourary memberships are offered to people who have provided meritorious service in regard to Rotary ideals.  They are elected for one year only and continuing membership must be renewed annually.  They cannot propose new members, hold office and are exempt from attendance and fee requirements.

Our Club also recognizes spousal and corporate memberships. Spousal memberships are available to the spouses of Rotarians within our Club.  Corporate memberships are available to corporations or organizations which have a primary member and designees represent their corporation or organization within the Club.

Sponsoring New Members

To keep clubs strong, every Rotarian must share the responsibility of bringing new people into Rotary. Even new members can bring guests to meetings or invite them to participate in a service project. The value of Rotary speaks for itself, and the best way to spark the interest of potential members is by letting them experience fellowship and service firsthand. While August is specifically designated as Rotary Membership Month, Club members are encouraged to sponsor new members at any time.  Some ideas for finding new members include:
1. Rekindling old relationships/Rotary alumni
2. Handing out Rotary cards to prospective members
3. Wearing Rotary pins/clothing/other paraphernalia
4. Having a competition by setting up teams in the club
5. Recycling The Rotarian
6. Visiting local businesses/professions to highlight Rotary
7. Inviting prospective new members to meetings
8. Having a membership committee
9. If you know someone – Just Ask
New members must be sponsored by an active member of a Rotary Club and be elected to membership by the members or the Club.  This is the only way for someone to become a Rotarian.  A sponsor should:
1. Invite a prospective member to several meetings before proposing membership;
2. Provide orientation and other information prior to proposing membership;
3. Once elected, the sponsor should accompany the new member each week for the first month of membership;
4. Encourage the new member to become involved in Club activities and projects.

New members are formally inducted into Rotary at a special ceremony once they have been accepted in the Club.