About Watertown Rotary
The Rotary Club of Watertown was chartered in 1914. We are one of 66 clubs that belong to District No. 7040, which includes portions of Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec (including Montreal) and Northern New York State. Our Club has a diversified membership of approximately 150 individuals who live in and/or work in the Watertown Area.
Volunteer contributions and fund-raising activities allow our club to contribute to the many international projects of the Rotary Foundation including:
These contributions and fund-raising activities also allow our club to support our own local community projects.
Apart from the ideal of Rotary among our membership, we sponsor special projects, contributions, programs, bursaries and scholarships.
Our Club At Work
From early in our history, a primary objective of the Watertown Rotary Club has been community service. This has continued over the years with service to our local, national and international communities. Our record has been one that exemplifies the spirit and goals of our international organization, Rotary International. Emphasis on community service has not only remained firm, but actions on behalf of others have expanded, allowing our Club to keep pace with social and educational changes.
If one reviews our Watertown Rotary club's ninety six year history, the extent of our club's community service is evident. However certain types of community service at the local level have endured over the years and deserve special mention.
Of all of the types of service in which our Watertown Rotary club has been engaged, work with handicapped youth is the one with the longest duration. It started in 1917 when is was discovered that no one was providing braces, hospitalization and surgery for crippled children. Some work began to be done along these lines until, several years later, it had become a major concern of our club. This service was provided until other community agencies assumed responsibility. By then, the Watertown Rotary Club had provided help for some twenty-six major surgical cases. In addition, treatment was provided for many lesser afflictions, such as eyeglasses for needy children, crutches, orthopaedic shoes, x-rays, and transportation.
When Rotary assistance was no longer needed for this form of help to handicapped youth, our emphasis changed. The Rotary club of Syracuse, NY had begun its sponsorship of Camp Goodwill, a summer camp for the physically handicapped. Our club began making contributions directly for support of the camp, and paid tuition and transportation costs for handicapped children in Jefferson County to attend this camp. This support continued over many years. More recently, our Watertown Rotary club in cooperation with the Watertown Sunrise Rotary club have been funding a Rotary camp for the handicapped at Dodge Pond. This camp is owned and staffed by St. Lawrence County ARC, and Rotary camping is for a one-week period. Our Watertown Rotary club currently contributes over ,000 USD annually toward the operation of this camp.
Another long affiliation of our club has been with scouting. Rotary brought Boy Scouting to Watertown, and made a special effort in organizing and financing a troop at the Jefferson County Farm School. Many of these boys were from broken homes, and members of our Watertown Rotary club spent considerable tome with them. Our club was very proud of this troop, outfitting them at two different times with new uniforms, sending a group each year to Scout Encampments, and organizing their Drum and Bugle Corps. To this day we have continued to support both Boy and Girl Scouting through funding for equipment and funding and physical assistance for maintenance of summer camps.
The Watertown Rotary Club found another area of service with the opening of Jefferson Community College. The need was immediately evident for scholarships for needy students. Our club provided such scholarships when the college opened its doors. The program has continued and expanded until now there are seven partial tuition scholarships offered each year.
The full sweep of The Watertown Rotary Club's community service is immense. Countless hours are contributed by members for projects that need no funding or are funded from special grants exclusive of community service funds. Examples include supervision of the annual youth hockey tournament and the annual tree planting throughout the city each spring.
For more information about our club, or to find out how you can get involved with the Watertown Rotary Club, please contact our club.