Welcome Letter from President

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Appleton!

The first Rotary Club was established in Chicago in 1905. This innovative concept was the world’s first service club and is now one of the leading service organizations globally, with a rich history of making a positive impact in communities worldwide. We are part of a remarkable network of over 35,000 clubs, with more than 1.2 million members who share a common passion for service.

As the current President of the Rotary Club of Appleton, I am honored to continue the incredible legacy of service that our club has upheld since its inception in 1917.

Our club has played a vital role in expanding the reach of Rotary by sponsoring 12 other clubs, and we take immense pride in being the sponsor of the Appleton North High School Interact Club. Together, we aspire to Rotary International’s mission to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise.

At the heart of our efforts lies the motto "Service Above Self." Rotary members are dedicated volunteers who work at the local, regional, and international levels to promote peace, combat diseases, ensure access to clean water, support education and economic development, aid mothers and children, protect the environment, and eradicate polio. Through these initiatives, we strive to make a lasting difference in the lives of individuals and communities, while experiencing deep personal and professional development by learning about our communities and how we can support individuals and organizations that are making a difference.

The Rotary Club of Appleton has touched countless lives in the Fox Valley and beyond. Our projects address a wide range of needs. Whether it's providing college scholarships and leadership development for high school students, offering assistance to children with disabilities, delivering dental services to underserved children, supporting early childhood care and development, combating food insecurity, or teaching children about hand hygiene, we are committed to creating positive change.

Furthermore, our dedication extends beyond our region. We have joined hands with international partners to rebuild communities ravaged by natural disasters in Pakistan, Nepal, and Haiti. We have
worked collaboratively to enhance healthcare systems in Peru, Guatemala, and Sri Lanka. We have also been instrumental in improving access to clean water and sanitation in Burundi, India, Sierra Leone, and many other countries. We have supported the donation of generators in war-torn Ukraine. We collect donations in conjunction with the Partners for the Americas program for Nicaragua.

In the previous Rotary year alone, our club made a remarkable impact, with contributions totaling over $100,000. In addition, we have engaged with many local nonprofits to offer volunteer support on service projects including the Girl Scouts of North East Wisconsin, Lawrence University, the United Way Fox Cities Diaper Bank, Feeding America As members of the Rotary Club of Appleton, we recognize that the world and our club is changing and in 2023-2024 we are embarking on a visioning process to ensure that our club’s priorities match the priorities of our members and our community. If you are new to Rotary, or perhaps a past member, this is a great time to join us and be a part of defining who we are and what we do far into the future.

I invite you to explore our website and learn more about the incredible work we do. If our mission resonates with you, I encourage you to consider joining us. Attend one of our meetings, participate in a
service project, engage in conversations with our members, and reach out to us for more information.

We warmly welcome you to become a Rotarian.

Thank you for your interest, and I hope to have the pleasure of meeting you soon!


Colleen Rortvedt
Rotary Club of Appleton