Founded in 1915, the Rotary Club of Tulsa has always been about service to others, both locally and internationally.
As Tulsa’s largest community service club and the seventh largest out of over 33,000 Rotary Clubs around the world, we have evolved as a leader in bringing parties together and spearheading projects that help mankind.
Two years after the club started in our new city and state, living conditions in Tulsa for some were hard. When a Rotarian came across a homeless orphan boy living in a discarded crate in a downtown alley, wheels were set in motion for our first major community project. That year, Tulsa Boys’ Home was formed.
When Tulsans recognized the lack of quality medical care for its youngest citizens, the Rotary Club of Tulsa founded Childrens’ Medical Center.
Rotarians organized Tulsa’s first Big Brother-style organization, and along with other community leaders, helped form the forerunner of today’s Tulsa Area United Way.
During war years, Tulsa’s largest service club organized blood drives and bond sales. We outfitted ambulances and provided them to the war effort, and then later to other Rotary Clubs for use in third world countries.
In 2000, we spearheaded an annual water well drilling program in Nicaragua. Working with a partner Rotary Club in Léon, each year Tulsa Rotarians travel to help bring fresh, drinkable water to the poorest parts of that Central American nation. With the support of individuals, The Rotary Foundation and other Rotary Clubs, we have successfully drilled more than 150 wells in villages, and at schools and hospitals, which has dramatically improved the lives of these Nicaraguans.
The Rotary Club of Tulsa founded the Medical Supplies Network, Inc., now a Rotary District 6110 project. Monthly, MSNI ships container loads of no-longer-needed medical equipment from regional hospitals and clinics to medical facilities in impoverished nations.
From its beginning, Tulsa’s Up With Trees organization has counted on the Rotary Club of Tulsa – along with the 14 area Rotary Clubs – as a strategic and faithful partner. You’ll find Rotary plantings all over Tulsa, and volunteer Rotarians helping maintain them.
For our Oklahoma Centennial Project, Rotary – with the benevolence of generous Tulsans – purchased and preserved the mammoth Beryl Ford Collection of historical Tulsa pictures and artifacts. The public can now access the thousands of photos through TulsaLibrary.org.
Through our local charitable foundation, Rotary Club of Tulsa Foundation (formerly Tulsa Rotary Community Fund), Rotary has provided more than $1 million in grants to area charities. The fund is supported by the generosity of Rotarians and with proceeds from the club’s signature event, the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards.
Founded in 1999, the club’s annual Crescendo Music Awards bring to Tulsa outstanding musicians from prestigious colleges and conservatories to compete for prize money. It is recognized as one of the top five competitions for students in the country.
In 1976, the club launched Camp Enterprise, an annual three-day camp for high school juniors, where lessons of free enterprise combine with fun, outdoor activities and team-building. This has been one of the nation’s most successful, longstanding weekend camps where students learn the basics of building a business.
Week after week since 1915, the Rotary Club of Tulsa has provided outstanding weekly programs of interest and entertainment. Nationally recognized speakers, politicians, authors, educators, entertainers and business leaders have sought the podium before our audience of influential and successful community leaders.
As the club approaches its centennial in 2015, a significant project of public art is planned as a gift for the people of Tulsa. In 2010, a downtown Rotary Plaza will feature five bronze sculptures representing Tulsa’s volunteer spirit and the role Rotary has played in the development of Tulsa and support of Rotary projects around the world. Designed by noted artists Jay O’Meilia and David Nunneley, the sculptures will be a gathering place for noontime workers and enjoyed by tourists who visit our beautiful city.