(Carmen Rodgers) The Tallassee rotary Club welcomed three new inductees to the club on Thursday, Oct. 17. Pictured from left to right: Jerry Cunningham, Whitney Watson, Valisa Hadley and Lee Lambert. 

The Tallassee Rotary Club is celebrating 90 years of service in the Tallassee community. Club president Whitney Watson is planning a big party to observe the event and all Rotarians, both past and present, are encouraged to attend the party.

“I hope all Rotarians will join us.,” Watson said. “We will have cake for everyone. I really want to this to be good time for everyone who is or has been a member of the Rotary Club.”

Tallassee Rotary Club is part of Rotary International, which is an international service organization whose stated purpose is to bring together business and professional leaders in order to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world.

The organization is non-political organization that is open to all people regardless of race, color, religion, gender or political preference. There are more than 35,000-member clubs worldwide, and 1.2 million individuals — known as Rotarians — have joined.

Local Rotarians meet every Thursday for lunch at the 1220 Café and Cozumel depending on the week. Rotarians gather weekly to fulfill their first guiding principle to develop friendships as an opportunity for service.

"It is the duty of all Rotarians," the Rotary Club’s manual of procedure states, "outside their clubs, to be active as individuals in as many legally constituted groups and organizations as possible to promote, not only in words but through exemplary dedication, awareness of the dignity of all people and the respect of the consequent human rights of the individual."

The Rotarian's primary motto is "Service Above Self;” its secondary motto is "One Profits Most Who Serves Best.”

The first Rotary Club was formed when attorney Paul P. Harris called together a meeting of three business acquaintances in downtown Chicago at Harris's friend Gustave Loehr's office in the Unity Building on Dearborn Street on Feb. 23, 1905. In addition to Harris and Loehr, who was a mining engineer and freemason, Silvester Schiele, who was a coal merchant, and Hiram E. Shorey, who was a tailor, were the other two who attended this first meeting. The members chose the name Rotary because initially they rotated subsequent weekly club meetings to each other's offices, although within a year, the Chicago club became so large it became necessary to adopt the now-common practice of a regular meeting place.

Rotarians may be best known for their campaign against polio. The most notable current global project, PolioPlus, is contributing to the global eradication of polio. Since beginning the project in 1985, Rotarians have contributed over $850 million and hundreds of thousands of volunteer-hours, leading to the inoculation of more than two billion of the world's children.

In 2008, Rotary received a $100 million challenge grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotary committed to raising $100 million. In January 2009, Bill Gates announced a second challenge grant of $255 million. Rotary again committed to raising another $100 million. In total, Rotary will raise $200 million by 30 June 2012. Together, the Gates Foundation and Rotary have committed $555 million toward the eradication of polio.

Furthermore, as of October 2012, only Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan still had a few known cases of polio.

TheTallassee Rotary Club is always inviting new members to join the club. For more information about the Tallassee Rotary Club, contact Watson or visit the club on Facebook at