In 1905, Rotary was founded in Chicago by a man named Paul Harris, who was striving to create a way to meet with other business people to regularly exchange ideas and concerns and promote their vocations. His efforts were met with enthusiasm and the organization has grown substantially throughout the years. Today, Rotary boasts over 1.2 million members in more than 34,000 clubs worldwide.
Grand Forks Rotary has a specific focus on projects that promote literacy in our community. A recent one is the United Way's Imagination Library program. Imagination Library was developed in 1995 by country singer Dolly Parton, who is passionate about introducing preschool children to the foundation of a lifetime of reading. Dolly's vision is that every young child in the world will have his/her own collection of books before starting school.
The Imagination Library is currently at work in 1,100 communities in three countries. Each month, from the day the child is born until his/her fifth birthday, a carefully selected book arrives in the home mailbox. More than 560,000 children each month receive books through the generosity of local donors, including the Grand Forks Rotary Club, who provide the funding for implementation of the Imagination Library via the United Way of Greater Grand Forks.