About our Club
We are a very active club of 30 members who want to make a difference in our community and our world. We partner with other clubs on projects both large and small.
Brief History of the Rockville Rotary Club, by Dr. Steve Cromwell and Eileen McGuckian
The Rockville Rotary Club, sponsored by the Frederick Rotary Club, received its charter on October 11, 1929. The fifteen charter members included 6 businessmen, 2 attorneys, 2 physicians, a banker, a minister, a dentist, a funeral director, and the principal of the local high school. The club’s initial Charter Night -- at the new Manor Country Club in late November – attracted about 100 Rotarians from other clubs.
The new club met briefly at the Rockville Volunteer Fire House on Perry Street and at a local restaurant across from the fairgrounds before continuing their luncheons at the Hungerford Tavern restaurant. In 1947, the club assembled for a short time at Normandy Farms, then settled at Rockville United Methodist Church on West Montgomery Avenue. There, women of the church served a weekly family-style luncheon until 1995. Following two years at the Ramada Inn on Route 28, the club relocated at beautiful Glenview mansion, in Rockville Civic Center Park. In 2008, our 35-40 members moved back to the middle of town to the Greystone Grill (in the redeveloped Town Center), and then to Ambrosia Grille in 2009. We enjoyed a hearty lunch and developed a friendship with the owners and servers, but the owner passed away and the restaurant closed at the end of January 2013. After trying different venues, in the spring of 2013 the Rockville Rotary Club settled into the Potomac Grill in the Talbot Center on the Rockville Pike.
Over the years, the Rockville Rotary Club has made numerous charitable contributions, both locally and internationally. We have sponsored the planting of trees, financial support for the Christ Child home, equipment for the Easter Seals Treatment Center, uniforms for the high school band, and funds for numerous local charities. In 1979, the Rotary Club established the Rockville Rotary Foundation, which through the years has raised more $1.3 million. The interest from and donations to this fund are used to support charitable and civic activities, immunization and treatment programs, cultural programs, and help for area homeless and disabled citizens. In 1995, $9,650 was awarded to nine community nonprofits. In 2014, Foundation grant awards amounted to more than $52,000__.
In addition, since 1985 the club, with the Montgomery County Roadrunners and the City of Rockville, has sponsored an annual Twilight Run. This community event has generated thousands of dollars annually for the City’s recreation fund, as well as grant funds for Rotary Foundation grants and Rotary International’s Polio Plus immunization program.
Rockville Rotary has charted numerous milestones. For decades, the club held a Farmers and Businessmen’s luncheon and honored outstanding students from Rockville and Richard Montgomery High Schools. We have sponsored the formation of four other Rotary Clubs: Bethesda-Chevy Chase (1934), Silver Spring (1940), Potomac (1960), and Gaithersburg (1966). In 1982, Anne Bullard and JoAnne Hanson became our first female Paul Harris Fellows, and in 1987, the first women were admitted to membership: Anne Bullard (honorary) and then Leah Barnett and Eileen McGuckian. We are also proud of the two District Governors elected from our club: Jim Buchanan (1974-75) and Bob Hanson (1982-83).
In international service, our club has supported Rotary Scholars for many years. We raised about $70,000 for the PolioPlus immunization program to eradicate polio and other childhood diseases throughout the world. The Rockville Rotary Club has maintained wonderful fellowship and active participation by outstanding members of the business and professional community to carry out the basic principle of Rotary – Service Above Self.
Other current club service programs include distributing dictionaries to third grade students in Rockville elementary schools, holiday family adoption, ground-breaking international as well as local grant projects, and (with other Rockville civic organizations) the annual Rockville Public Safety Awards.