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Rotary - Our History

Rotary was founded by Chicago businessman Paul Harris in 1905.  In the 93 years since its conception, Rotary has expanded to encompass more than 28,000 clubs with more than 1.2 million members in 156 countries.


Rotary is an organization of business professional people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.


Rotary's official motto is: "Service Above Self".  This is a principle that best explains the philosophy of unselfish volunteer service and is the beleif of all Rotarians.

The individuals listed on these pages are Lockport Rotarians and members of Rotary International, the largest and oldest service organization in the world. 


Lockport Rotary was chartered on Janurary 19, 1966.  We were sponsored by the Joliet Rotary Club and celebrated our start on Feburary 10, 1966 at D'Amico's 214 Restaurant in Joliet.

Our club's first meeting was at the Blue Willow restaurant on Route 7 in Lockport.  There were 29 charter members.  The first officers were:

President......................Earl "Red" Wood Vice President..............Willard Anderson
Secretary.....................John Cutter
Treasurer.....................Larry Smith
Sergeant-at-Arms........Jack Caristrom

Our first President, "Red" Wood, was a dynamic leader and an individual who had an outstanding likable personality.  He was friendly and up-front with everyone.  He made all who came to Lockport Rotary feel welcome and comfortably at ease.  Mr. Wood initiated and fostered our reputation as one of the friendliest and fun loving clubs in the district!  Each of our club's 38 past presidents have tried (in their own way) to uphold "Red" Wood's legacy.

We are involved in a wide variety of community service projects, some of which are:

  • Top 10% recognition dinner for the Lockport H.S. graduating seniors
  • Scholarship money to Lockport and Romeoville H.S. seniors
  • Ringing Bells for Salvation Army at Chistmas time
  • Delivering food baskets to needy families at Christmas time
  • Participating in Community Caring Day (United Way of Will County)

With Dane Walker as president, the Lockport Rotary club sponsored it's first club - Bolingbrook Rotary; Charter night was April 3, 1975.  In 1982, Bolingbrook Club sponsored the Plainfield Rotary Club.  Charter night was Saptember 22, 1982.  Mario Carli was president and Dane Walker, as extension chairman for District 6450, was very much involved with this sponsorship.

Under the leadership of Tom Ziegler, Lockport sponsored and chartered New Lenox Rotary Club on Janurary 19, 1991.  In 1996, under the leadership of President Soviak, Lockport sponsored it's first Interact Club at Lockport High School. The club is still active today and helps us with our Christmas Food Basket Program.

Lockport Rotary at it's 34th year entered the new millennium with it's first women president, Sandy Pesavento.  Under Sandy's leadership and help from Assistant Governor D. Carlson and Ray Darin, Lockport sponsored it's third club - Romeoville Rotary Club.

In 2005, under President Diane Seiler, the Lockport Rotary Club obtained it's first matching grant with the Moraine Valley Club and District 6450.  The funds purchased touch screen computers for Special Ed students at District 205.  President Seiler, with the Governor's Representative, D. Carlson, sponsored our 4th club, the Rotary Club of Shorewood; chartered Feb. 23, 2005 (The first new club in the district starting the second century of Rotary.)

In 2007, under President Ron Cornolo, a children's park at Garfield and Division streets in Lockport was renovated and dedicated "Rotary Park".  The park was rededicated in 2014 after major renovations supported by the Club under President Mark Harmon.

Lockport Rotary will continue to be a club known for it's friendliness and commitment to service in helping others as we enter the 21st century.