Skip to main content

Rotary projects around the globe

June 2024


United States

Thanks to the foresight of the Rotary Club of Bucyrus, Ohio, students were outfitted with 6,600 pairs of glasses for the 8 April total solar eclipse. In late 2022, with the eclipse still nearly two years away, “we talked about how neat it would be to get solar eclipse glasses for every school in our county for their students for the big event,” says Julie Rexroad, a club member, Interact club adviser, and science teacher at Wynford Local Schools. Once the club approved the $4,300 purchase, members designed, ordered, stored, and eventually delivered the glasses, purchased online from a company recommended by a local astronomy club. “Our location in Ohio is in the totality zone, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime event for most,” Rexroad says. For those missing out, northern Ohio can always look forward to 2099.


Atop self-crafted engineering marvels of corrugated paper and tape, about 80 cardboard toboggan enthusiasts sledded during a timed contest of the Rotaract Club of North Simcoe, Ontario, in February. The challenge is held in conjunction with Penetanguishene’s Winterama, a 76-year-old staple in the town, and is open to competitors at no cost, attracting as many as 160 each year. “We’ve seen so many amazing sleds, and each year they get even better,” Club President Elana Durtnall says. The club awards prizes for categories such as most creative, most team spirit, and fastest sled, with the speediest clocked at about 28 kilometers per hour (17 mph) by the radar of auxiliary officers of the Ontario Provincial Police. Club members handle tasks such as registration, social media promotion, sponsorship acquisition, and assistance with building a Rotaract cardboard toboggan used to promote the event in the parade the previous day.

  • 1806.00

    Last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio

  • 98.00%

    Amount of corrugated cardboard in Ontario households that is recycled


Rotary clubs in District 1200 hold a full menu of skills tests in disciplines including writing, speaking, music, technology, and more, but the Young Chef event is among the most popular. At a district-level qualifier directed by connoisseurs of the Rotary Club of Burnham-on-Sea in February, seven high school students whipped up three-course menus in two hours. The victorious victuals included venison steaks accompanied by fondant sweet potato, pea puree with juniper berry red wine sauce, and strawberry mille-feuille, a puff pastry dessert. The winning chef and a runner-up advanced to the regional final in Cardiff, Wales, in March. “We find it a rewarding competition for us as well as the contestants,” says Jane Gibbs, a Burnham-on-Sea club member who has organized Young Chef assemblies for more than a dozen years.


India is home to 1 of every 8 people with the trait for thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder when the body doesn’t make enough of the protein hemoglobin, hurting red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. While mild forms might not need treatment, other cases could require frequent blood transfusions to help increase blood cells to manage anemia and resulting fatigue. The Rotary Club of Calcutta Metro City is promoting awareness and treatment of the disease with its thalassemia-free India initiative. In February the club coordinated an educational event attended by 50 young women and mothers in Sonarpur, West Bengal. The gathering was one of dozens of such events since 2022, reports club member Subhojit Roy. Besides its focus on encouraging screening and delivering its message to young adults and rural residents, the club lobbied thousands of provincial legislators and members of the Indian Parliament to promote testing and government funding of treatment, he says.

  • 9.00

    Michelin three-star restaurants in the United Kingdom

  • 300.00 million+

    Carriers of the thalassemia trait worldwide


After providing food and medicine to villagers in Nyamok during the pandemic, the Rotary Club of Metro Kuala Lumpur heightened its assistance to the impoverished community in Pahang state, a five-hour drive from the club base. Rotarians embarked on a project to construct three toilets as well as five kitchens and washing areas for food preparation for the Orang Asli ethnic group. The club lined up a District 3300 grant, other sponsors, and volunteers and then plotted the logistics, including the acquisition of plywood, bricks, cement, and tools, along with the three trucks used to deliver the materials along muddy roads into the remote village. After three days of construction with help from community members, the job was complete, club member Jennifer Lim says. Members installed more ceramic tiles in March to improve the appearance of the toilet facilities, Lim says.

This story originally appeared in the June 2024 issue of Rotary magazine.

Rotary projects make a difference in communities around the world.