About Us

Club Membership - A Call to Service Opportunities

On August 2, 2023, the topic of membership was discussed, with the discussion being led and presented by two membership experts from Rotary International: Sarah Diller, and Charles Poole. It was a very informative meeting. In the photograph, Charles on the left, Sarah on the right, and club member - Past President Jerry McIlvain - is in the middle.



Our Rotary club, the Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District (Rotary CFD), was established in 1985. we meet for a luncheon meeting at 12:10, on the first and third Thursdays of each month, at the Berghoff Restaurant - in downtown Chicago. We routinely order our lunch off of the menu, which is routinely followed by a presentation from a speaker, after which we eat our meal.

The club meetings are an opportunity to break bread and share fellowship. Diversity is sought after, with members welcome irregardless of gender, race, nationality or religion.

We are starting to do more service projects, now that the pandemic is winding down; Examples include:
We have re-packed commodities at the Food Depository of Greater Chicago.
We have assisted in efforts to get winter coats to veterans in need.
We periodically get together at a member’s home to pack art supplies into backpacks, to distribute to students participating in our “Smart Art program” - discussed below.

Our signature service project is our “Smart Art” program - which is a joint project in conjunction with the Smart Art Meuseum - affiliated the University of Chicago. We take classes of students, typically in third grade, on a field trip, both before and after eight weeks of art instruction in the classroom.The lessons incorporate a strong emphasis in promoting peace in the world.

Even upon casual observation of the students at the visit before, and then after the eight weeks of instruction, reveals a decidedly increase in engagement of the students with the different pieces of art in the museum.

Our club is just one of 46,000 rotary clubs, worldwide; there are some 1.4 million members in the organization. The signature philanthropic project of the international organization, Rotary International, has been an effort to eliminate polio from the world. At this stage, a constant effort is required to terminate periodic breakthroughs (three countries remaining) of the polio virus. It should be noted, that Bill Gates of Microsoft fame, has provided several hundred million dollars to join in the effort to eliminate polio.

Reputed to be the first service club, the first meeting of the first Rotary Club was in 1905, organized by Paul Harris in Chicago.

Of interest to anyone asking about the nature of Rotary, the following one sentence definition was formulated by Rotary International in 1976:
         “Rotary is an organization of business and professional people united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.”

For further information on our Rotary Club, our contact email is: 

And OUR FACEBOOK PAGE is: Rotary Club of Chicago Financial District


On July 20, 2023, our very own club member, Vickie Dorgan, presented a program regarding a recent trip that she made to Spain to complete her third pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago; there are several trails for pilgrimage to one of the most important sites in Christianity, because of the presence of Saint James tomb at the Cathedral there. In 2024, Vickie plans to take the fourth pilgrimage.

The traditional routes of pilgrimage, transverse France, Spain, as well as Portugal. Tradition mandates that the last 100 km of the pilgrimage are required to be walked by foot. Otherwise, various forms of transportation are permitted, such as a boat, or a train, but not cars and motorcycles, and possibly buses.

This pilgrimage came into existence when it became too dangerous to go to Jerusalem, or Rome, during times of the crusades and the reformation. There are many small stores and shops and restaurants to be available for supplies along the different routes.

Pictured is Vickie, standing in front of the map, showing for several rows off standing in front of the map, showing the various routes to the Santiago cathedral.


Multidistrict Event to educate public on what Rotary does, and to encourage philantropy

Presentation to the community of the spectrum of what major projects Rotary does, featuring the Shelter House Project, as well as the iron lung as part of our teaching materials for Polio Eradication Project October 2022. Dozens of Rotarians participants participated, and substantial numbers of Chicagoians walked along Michigan Avenue - along the "Miracle Mile." were interacted with.

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