100th Anniversary


(Dowload PDF Ledger article)


On November 1, 2019 the Canton Rotary Club celebrated its 100th anniversary. The club is a local branch of Rotary International, a service organization with over 35,000 clubs worldwide and more than 1.2 million members. Rotary is “a non-political and non-religious organization open to all people regardless of race, color, religion, gender, or political preference, and 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 Rotary Club of Canton was formed in 1919. According to an article in the Canton Daily Register (a fore-runner of the Ledger) members from Rotary Clubs in Peoria, Galesburg, and Monmouth were in attendance at the inaugural meeting in October of 1919, with the official club charter issued on November 1. The first club president was T. L. Greer.

The club began with 20 charter members, and soon began to expand, with its first new member, Dr. E.P. Coleman, in December of 1919.
Since then, Canton Rotary Club has undertaken a variety of service projects, both locally and internationally. Some recent contributions include annual donations to local organizations such as the YMCA and YWCA, an annual scholarship to deserving students of Graham Hospital School of Nursing, a foreign exchange student program, building and hosting the Little Free Libraries at the YMCA and Big Creek Park, and involvement in a variety of local events.

Rotary International, through the support of their clubs throughout the world, lives up to their motto: “Service Above Self” through projects such as Peace Fellowships, Youth Exchange, and their prime goal of eradicating polio. Their mission to end polio has been so effective that in the past two years there have been polio cases in only two countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Canton Rotary Club is also know for its one fundraiser, the annual citrus fruit sale, which is going on now. Canton Rotary will celebrate its centennial with a Public Image project to promote Rotary, by hosting a literacy project with Lincoln Elementary School, and they will be inviting anyone who’d like to learn more about Rotary to attend one of their meetings.

To learn more about Rotary or to request an invitation to attend an upcoming meeting, contact club president, Rolf Sivertsen at rolf.sivertsen@cantonusd.org

“Canton Rotary Club: the most fun you’ll ever
have serving our community and the world!”

Famous Rotarians:

Rotary membership contains a virtual “who’s who” list of notable historic and public figures.  Locally, one of the more well-known Canton business figures, William H. Parlin, of the P & O Company, was a Rotarian. Other well-known Rotarians include:

  • J.C. Penney
  • Walt Disney
  • Harland Sanders
  • Sam Walton
  • Bill Gates
  • Neil Armstrong
  • Charles Lindberg
  • Thomas Edison
  • Orville Wright
  • Pope Francis
  • Prince Charles
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Winston Churchill
  • Adlai Stevenson
  • Norman Vincent Peale
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Richard Nixon
  • George Bush
  • Gerald Ford

Support the valuable work that Canton Rotary does through participation in their annual fruit sale fundraiser–going on now. To purchase fruit, contact any Rotary member, or one of the board members listed below.

Canton Rotary Club is made up of many of the most prominent business and community leaders in the Canton area. Meetings are held Wednesdays at noon for lunch (except for the last Wednesday of the month)at Graham Hospital, and if you’d like to attend as a guest, you can receive an invitation from any Rotary member or by contacting club president, Rolf Sivertsen by email: rolf.sivertsen@cantonusd.org.

Canton Rotary Club Member Benefits

Membership in Canton Rotary Club offers a variety of valuable benefits:

  • Networking opportunities with many of the Canton area’s top business leaders.
    Position your business as an active supporter of important community causes.
  • Members are entitled to attend meetings at any other Rotary club anywhere in the world and enjoy the fellowship with Rotarians worldwide.
  • Rotary helps members practice and develop valuable leadership skills through a variety of leadership roles and opportunities.
  • A variety of opportunities for service and to “give back” to the community.
  • Develop lifelong friendships with vibrant, positive people.
  • A variety of experiences that engender personal growth, professional development, and continuing education.
  • FUN! Rotarians are invariably fun-loving, big-hearted people that you’ll LOVE being around!

To learn more about Rotary, be invited as a guest to attend an upcoming meeting or to purchase fruit during our annual fruit sale, contact any Rotary member–or reach out to one of these board members:

Rolf Sivertsen
Kim Bunner
Kyle Cook
Mitch Williams