The Rotary Club of LaGrange sponsored the organization of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove in the last three months of 1960, and Downers Grove formally received its Club charter on Monday, January 30, 1961.
The new organization quickly found itself comfortable with a broad range of activities and service projects, plus a strong emphasis on youth. Some highlights are: the annual Halloween window painting project, which provides a safe, family-oriented Halloween activity for young children; support for young people’s activities with emphasis on music, sports, and leadership training; and sponsorship of exchange students at the high school, college, and graduate levels, both coming to the U.S. and going abroad. Each year we award six scholarships to help pay freshman-level college level expenses to six Downers Grove students graduating from high school. One long-time annual fund-raising activity of the club has been our participation each June in the Salvation Army Donut tag day. On a more exotic note, we have also helped provide solar ovens for underdeveloped regions.
Our first large-scale fund-raising priority was support of the Rotary International “Polio-Plus” campaign to eliminate polio world-wide, feasible only because of the strong international reputation of Rotary as a grass-roots service organization able to mobilize volunteer workers and broad-based local efforts around the world. We are currently supporting the final push to complete this unique project.