About The Cadillac Rotary Club

The intent of the Cadillac Rotary Club (Club) is for each Rotarian to experience a solid connection, deep meaning, true sense of purpose, and strong sense of satisfaction with the Club.  There is to be a sense of honor and healthy pride in being a member of and belonging to the Cadillac Rotary group.  It is this relationship between the Rotarian and his or her Club that provides the foundation from which Service Above Self can become actualised.
As a Cadillac Rotarian there is a quality that distinguishes you from the average citizen.  You are committed to working with others as a team for the shared purpose of contributing to the betterment of the lives of others.  Though there are times you do not directly see with your eyes the positive impact you help bring about as a Rotarian, there is absolutely no question that your dedicated commitment does make a difference locally and beyond!
The first Rotary Club was organized in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris.  This group met in “rotation” at the offices of its members, thus the name Rotary.  There are now over 32,000 clubs around the world with over 1.2 million members.
Cadillac Rotarians are members of the Cadillac Rotary Club and the Club is a member of Rotary International.  Rotary International is governed by a president and Board of Directors elected from around the world.  The Cadillac Club is belongs to District 6290 which includes much of West Michigan from the Grand Rapids/Holland area north into Ontario, Canada (Wawa).  Each District elects a yearly District Governor.
Cadillac’s Rotary Club was chartered in 1920.  The Club has a Board of Directors elected by membership for a two year term.  Past Presidents nominate to the Board of Directors the future Club President as well as members for upcoming open Board positions.  The Board of Directors makes the final decision for President Elect and send to the general membership for vote on the upcoming open Board positions. Board meetings are monthly and always open to all Rotarians.

It is a distinct privilege to be a Rotarian.  There is fellowship with like-minded men and women from diverse professions and there are unique opportunities to serve the community.  As a Rotarian there are important obligations that are to be taken seriously.  Attendance at the weekly meetings is an important obligation.  Bringing new quality members into the Club is a very important responsibility of every Cadillac Rotarian.  Being an active part of this Club is essential.  There are many choices as to what can be done to help the Club in its quest to provide Service Above Self.  Your participation on committees, helping with fund raising, and rolling up your sleeves for Action Days are vital activities to the success of the Club.

Paying quarterly dues is also very important.  Meals are $10 each and dues are $40 per quarter (that is only $13 a month for dues!).  There is a one-time initiation fee of $45.  Fines at the weekly meetings are typically $1-2 and there is a $3 cost for your birthday, the birthday of your spouse, and your anniversary.  In return, the Club will sing to you.

Becoming a Paul Harris Fellow is important and then a Sustaining Member of the Rotary International Foundation ($100 per year).  The initial Paul Harris Fellow is $1,000; however, the Club has ‘specials’ where it will match the first $500 and at times an additional $250 to the first $250 given.  These monies can be billed to your account on a quarterly basis if preferred.
Having some interaction with our foreign guest from the Youth Exchange program is important.  Introducing yourself and inviting this person over for dinner or to go bowling or whatever goes a long way toward promoting peace and providing a positive image of America and our Rotary Club.
We shake hands with one another, including those sitting at the head table and at your table.  Make sure lunch guests at your table are properly introduced.
When you invite a personal guest to lunch you will be billed $10.  When you invite someone with the intent of potential membership, inform the secretary and the Club will pay the charge.  This fee will be picked up by the Club for several luncheons and by that time there should be adequate understanding as to the fit of the individual and our Club.
New members are to follow the Red Badge program and upon completion of requirements are awarded full member status (Blue Badge).


Rotary activities occur upon a solid foundation of integrity and regard for others.  The Four Way Test of Rotary follows and is to be considered when making decisions, both business and personal:

  1. Is it the Truth​
  2. Is it Fair to all concerned​
  3. Will it build Goodwill and Better friendships​
  4. Will it be Beneficial to all concerned

Here is a description of some of what our Cadillac Rotary Club does to serve our LOCAL COMMUNITY.


The Charitable Requests Committee considers smaller grant requests, focusing on those that will positively impact the most people and in particular on grants benefitting school age children. Our annual budget the prior five fiscal years was $7,500 (this year it is $8,000), and grants are considered on a first-come basis. Typically the entire budgeted amount is awarded over the course of each fiscal year. Many grants are recurring, while others are one-time awards. Over the past 5 years grants have been given for such things as:

  • Camp Torenta scholarships (a matching grant each year, based on other scholarship gifts raised) - $2,500 to $3,000 each year, totaling $15,500​
  • Girls on Track & Girls on the Run - $5,375
  • Project Christmas - $2,250​
  • Dept. of Human Services, summer camps - $1,500
  • Feeding America food bank - $1,350​
  • OASIS/Family Resource Center projects - $1,275
  • Wexford 4-H, equestrian program - $1,200​
  • Boy Scouts, summer camps - $1,000
  • CAPS, field trips & camps - $1,000​
  • CAPS Adolescent Wellness Center, start-up - $1,000
  • Silent Observer - $1,000​
  • YMCA programs - $800
  • Kettunen Center - $800​
  • Cadillac Athletic Boosters, soccer dugouts - $750
  • United Way - $700​
  • Downtown Cadillac Association, Children's Christmas - $650
  • Coats for Kids - $500​
  • CHS Cheer Team - $500
  • Manton Schools - $500​
  • Manton Food Bank-$500​
  • CAPS Backpack Program (food for afterschool)-$1,000
  • Meals on Wheels - $400


A leadership training program for youth emphasizing: fundamentals and positive ethics of leadership, citizenship, personal growth, communication skills as a leader, problem solving and conflict management skills, self-confidence, self-improvement, healthy esteem, team building, advanced thinking, planning, organizing, and taking action through presentations, workshops, and activities.

The Life Leadership conference is Rotary District 6290’s official Rotary youth Leadership Awareness Program held annually in Tustin, MI.


This is a mentoring program intended to help high school seniors who are struggling academically to have a more successful senior year both academically and emotionally.  The relationship between the STRIVE facilitators and the student members supports transition into a more mature and responsible adulthood.  Scholarships are awarded and character building through volunteer service encouraged.  Click: S.T.R.I.V.E. for more information.


Interact is Rotary International’s service club for mature and responsible students age 12 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance. The goals are to:  encourage and foster goodwill and peace through a world of fellowship of youth and world understanding; develop leadership skills and personal integrity; demonstrate helpfulness and respect for others; and understand the value of individual responsibility and hard work.


Junior Rotarians are high school students selected by the school counselor based on an excellent academic record, as well as experience in community involvement. The students are invited to attend Rotary meetings, volunteer on projects, and talk about their experiences with Rotary.


This committee identifies outstanding high school scholars and awards scholarships for college expenses.


This committee is responsible for hosting students from other countries and for sending area students to other countries.  This cultural exchange is designed to help promote peace.


This committee helps bring about cultural experiences for Cadillac, typically in the form of musicians at the Rotary (Performing Arts) Pavilion ($7,500 budget).  Money has been donated for such things as: the Sculpture Exhibit, Cadillac Council of the Arts, Friends of the Library, Cadillac Symphony, and the Earthwork Collaborative, as well as a variety of musicians.


  • $10,000 YMCA Teen Impact Program​
  • $25,000 Mercy Hospital Surgical Wing​
  • $10,000 CAPS After school Program​
  • $15,000 Mercy Hospital Urgent Care​
  • $5,000 Wexford Historical Society​
  • $10,000 Cadillac Garden Club


  • Stringing of City Park Christmas Lights​
  • Clam River Clean Up​
  • Project Christmas​
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing​
  • Camp Torenta Clean Up​
  • Food Truck Distribution
Oversee, foster and bring fellowship of the Rotary Club of Cadillac those people who cannot or may not wish to join the club as a Rotarian (e.g. due to time and travel constraints and other commitments), but who nevertheless would like to help promote the Rotary ideals & event in our community and have a link to our club. 
Chair reports to Club Services Chair.


The financial giving from the Cadillac Rotary Club, in large part, comes from the funds raised.  With respect to major projects, 75% of money raised at the annual auction is given to the project itself, while the remaining 25% is placed into the budget for funding of other Service Above Self activities (e.g., Charitable Requests, Literacy, Scholarships, Cultural Arts).  The Cadillac Rotary Club has given out more than 1.3 million dollars for major projects in our community.

Examples of what Major Projects monies have done include:

  • YMCA Outdoor Playground Equipment​
  • Renovate Cadillac Rotary Pavilion​
  • Kenwood Beach Bath House​
  • Clam River Greenway​
  • Centennial Board Walk​
  • Copper Dome on Historic Museum​
  • Lakefront Rest Rooms​
  • Ice Arena
  • CASA-WISE Sports Complex​
  • Camp Torenta​
  • Diggins Hill Tennis Courts​
  • Mercy Hospital


About  50 books a year go to OASIS for distribution to children in our community. This has continued for at least 7 years.  Each year we participate in the Reading Month Project by reading books to all the K-3rd grade classes in Cadillac and then donating the hardcover books to the schools' libraries. Last year we donated over 50 books. This program has also continued for at least 7 years.  The above books cost about $500 a year.  The budget is $3,000.

Other literacy contributions include:

  1. Donation of $2,149 to Lincoln School for an upgrade to their Accelerated Reading Program in 2011​
  2. Donation of $750 to assist with the startup of the Adult Literacy Committee in 2009​
  3. Donation of $400 to assist with educating tutors for the Adult Literacy Committed in 2012​
  4. Donation of $500 to Wexford-Missaukee ISD for their Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) program in 2007​
  5. Donated 100 books to the Family Expo.

Here is a sampling of what the Cadillac Rotary Club does at the INTERNATIONAL LEVEL.


The Cadillac Rotary Club hosts students from other countries and sends area students to other countries.  This helps plant the seeds for a lifetime of international understanding and sensitivity intended to promote peace.   The annual budget is $2500.


About 50 books a year go to the Dominican Republic, as well as other school supplies.  The annual budget is $900.


The goal of the Rotary International Foundation is to make the world a much better place and the focus is on those most in need where the most good can be done.  The Foundation is a worldwide network of individuals who contribute to relevant social concerns to change lives for the better. Its mission is to do good in the world.  Its aim is to spread the field of service to the international level by putting money and talent to work for the best interests of humanity.  Its intent is to capture the true spirit of Rotary by advancing international understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty. 

International service projects include, as examples: medical care and equipment, water filters, wheelchairs, hunger, poverty, occupational training, clothing, disaster, and education. These projects focus on: preventing and resolving conflict while promoting peace; preventing and treating disease; providing clean water and sanitation; promoting maternal and child health (e.g., educate mothers, train medical personnel, provide health services); promoting basic education and literacy (build libraries and schools, student mentoring); and economic and community development to impoverished communities.

Rotary International Foundation Programs have six primary areas of  focus:

  • Disease Prevention/Treatment​​
  • Water and Sanitation​​
  • Maternal and Child Health​​
  • Basic Education and Literacy​​
  • Economic and Community Development​​
  • Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution​
  • Polio Plus Program-protecting children from polio (donated $6000 over the last three years)

Volunteer Program

  • Providing specialized expertise in other countries
  • travel to a different country to provide intensive service where a great need exists
  • give of your expertise and service to another country.
Ambassadorial Scholarships Program- help cover all necessary travel and educational expenses for one academic year
  • ​ambassador of good will
  • peace, friendship
  • cultural understanding
  • undergraduate and graduate students
  • vocational training
  • teachers of handicapped students
  • journalism
Matching Grants Program-to support various educational or charitable projects of Rotary clubs and districts to further international understanding
  • passenger van to transport homeless children in Mexico to school
  • provide water and sanitation system for a village in Haiti
  • establish eye clinics in villages in Bangladesh
  • equip a science education center for underprivileged children in India)
  • Grants for University Teachers Program-to teach in developing countries
  • Rotary Peace Program-where international seminars or conferences and other activities focus on the causes of conflict and examine activities that enhance and improve the search for peace
  • Group Study Exchange Program-where business leaders and professionals travel abroad, as a way of promoting world understanding, international fellowship, and enhancing vocational and professional skills

Paul Harris Fellows

  • Paul Harris is known as the founder of Rotary and in 1957 the Paul Harris Fellow was established as a way of financially supporting the Rotary Foundation.  $6500 is budgeted annually for the Paul Harris Foundation. Becoming a Paul Harris Fellow involves making a contribution of $1,000 or more to the Foundation (all at once or installments). There is high honor in becoming a Paul Harris Fellow because it represents the strong commitment toward improving the condition of the world by helping those most in need.  The Cadillac Rotary Club will match $500 given by each member to the RI Foundation. Money can be billed on a quarterly basis.​
  • Becoming a Paul Harris Sustaining Member involves making an annual contribution of $100 or more to the Foundation after becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.​
  • Each Rotarian can earn points through the Foundation by becoming a Paul Harris Fellow and continuing to donate to the RI Foundation. One point is earned for every dollar contributed to the RI Foundation (above the original $1000 to become a Paul Harris Fellow).​
  • Our District (6290) receives money from the Rotary International Foundation, money that was donated to the Foundation by clubs in the District.  After three years, fifty percent of the monies donated by the individual clubs in our District are returned to the District.​
  • November is Rotary Foundation month.


The Cadillac Rotary Club has always had a big concern for helping needy foreign countries with major problems. $8,000 is budgeted annually for various projects abroad. Sometimes our contribution is matched by our District (6290) and at times by the Rotary Foundation as well. One of the biggest projects we spearheaded was the provision of the first diagnostic ultrasound machine in a region of 500,000 people in Nigeria, where we partnered with another Rotary Club, our district and the Rotary International Foundation.  In recent years we have contributed to: building wells in a slum area in Kenya; providing many water filters in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and several other Central American countries to assure clean drinking water; building a restroom for a rural medical clinic in Uganda; giving library support in Haiti and Ethiopia (books and equipment); sending shelter boxes (which include a large durable tent) for disaster areas in Pakistan and Haiti; and funding a major Cataract surgery project for the poor in Bangladesh (along with other clubs and our district). Occasionally, our efforts go to needs in the USA. We did provide disaster relief to a community in rural Kansas that suffered severe tornado damage but was not getting much help from governmental resources and donated $1000 to the Staten Island Rotary Club for help with Hurricane Sandy damage. 
This committee is involved in hosting adults from other countries to study and get to know our culture and also sending others to foreign lands to study and get to know those cultures.  This helps to promote peace and also enhance business/professional skills.

The Cadillac Rotary Club also has committees that focus on the internal aspects of the club itself.  These committees include the following.

  • PROGRAMS-This committee is responsible for the regular club meeting programs.  Solid programs help maintain membership and provide awareness of important aspects of our community.​
  • CLUB AWARDS​-This committee is charged with the responsibility of recognizing and acknowledging those Rotarians, and even non-Rotarians, for outstanding service above self contribution, attendance, and other noteworthy acts consistent with the goals, aims, intentions, objectives, and principles of Rotary.​
  • MUSIC-This committee is responsible for making sure there is a song leader for each regular club meeting.​
  • SERGEANT AT ARMS​-This committee is responsible for making sure there is a Sergeant at Arms present at each regular club meeting.​
  • MEALS​-This committee is responsible for the location of meals and cost negotiation.​
  • FELLOWSHIP-This committee is responsible for fostering positive connections between club members through special programs and group activities.​
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS-Advertising, Web Site, Press Releases, Rotary Recognition​
  • FUND RAISING-This extremely important committee is responsible for raising money needed to fund the Rotary Club.  The three primary fund raising events are: the Auction, Festival of Trees, and STRIDE for STRIVE race.​
  • INVOCATION-This committee is responsible for prayer at each regular club meeting.