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We are pleased you have chosen to join our Rotary club and welcome you as a new member. Two committees will work with you as you become a member: The Orientation Committee exists to help you understand Rotary International and the Boise Rotary Club. The chair is Todd Sawyer. The Fellowship and Welcoming Committee exists to help you integrate into our club and to make all members feel welcome. The chair is Jennifer Christiano. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact either chairperson.

You are joining a global organization of community volunteers. We have approximately 1.2 million Rotarians organized into about 32,000 clubs throughout 168 countries and geographical areas. Our club is one of the oldest having been chartered on June 17, 1917.

We are a large club with approximately 200 members. We recognize it can be intimidating for new members. But we want you to know that all of us are truly glad you have joined us and we want to get to know you. This paper will help acquaint you with some of our activities and customs.

You have been sponsored by a current member of our club. Usually your sponsor will be your mentor for your first several months. If your sponsor cannot carry out this function, a member of the Fellowship and Welcoming Committee will be assigned to you as your mentor.

All Rotarians throughout the world are joined together in a common belief in service to others. This belief is set out in several statements which are quoted below.

Rotary Definition

"Rotary is an organization of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world."

The Object of Rotary

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;

SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;

THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;

FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Rotary Motto

"Service Above Self"

Rotary Four-Way Test

We have encapsulated our belief and support of ethical behavior in the Rotary Four-Way Test: "Of the things we think, say or do:

1. Is it the TRUTH?

2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"

Rotary Organization

Rotary is organized through three tiers: clubs, districts and international. You are joining the Boise Rotary Club, one of six clubs in Ada County. The 39 Rotary clubs in Idaho (and Ontario) south of the Salmon River, consisting of approximately 2000 members make up Rotary District 5400, one of 529 Districts throughout the world.

The primary work of Rotary occurs at the club level. The district and international levels exist to support the clubs, to give us consistency throughout the world, and to help the clubs work together to support the Object of Rotary

Other Information about Rotary

Enclosed is a copy of The ABC's of Rotary. We encourage you to read through this booklet from time to time. You can also go to the Rotary International web site for additional information (


Meetings are held each Thursday from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Crystal Ballroom on the second floor of the Hoff Building at 8th and Bannock Streets. Meetings start with a buffet lunch, followed at about 12:30 by the President's half hour where we say the pledge, have an opening invocation, sometimes sing, tell stories, celebrate successes, tease each other and raise money for the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation (more on the Foundation below). From 1 to 1:30 we enjoy a program which is intended to be educational, informational, and sometimes entertaining; usually presented by a professional. We end promptly at 1:30 p.m.

You are welcome to sit at any table, and encouraged to sit at different tables each week. For the first few weeks your mentor will expect to sit with you and to introduce you to your fellow Rotarians at the table.

From time to time you may need to leave early. If you must do so, it is courteous to apologize directly to the speaker before the meeting begins. We also provide a fine bucket where those leaving early may deposit $1 as penance for their early departure.

Meetings are for developing fellowship, collegiality and friends. While we recognize that one of the reasons for joining the Boise Rotary Club is to get to know people, we ask that you do not use your associations in Rotary for business networking or for personal business gain. We are joined together through our commitment to service, not by our interest in selling our product or service to our fellow members.


We are proud of our programs. The programs are arranged by the Program Committee. The committee is always looking for ideas for informative programs presented by skilled speakers. We do not allow commercial programs designed to promote a particular service or product. While we do not shy from controversial topics, we do try to present balanced viewpoints.


Regular attendance by membership is one of the factors that makes our club successful. We realize that our membership is very busy with work and other civic and personal activities and understand that most members cannot attend every meeting. While attendance is not mandatory, we encourage all members to attend as many meetings as possible (we would like to see you make at least 60% of the meetings). Regular consistent attendance adds to the effectiveness of our club as an organization and allows for the collegiality and public service for which we are known.

As a Rotarian, you will be welcome at any meeting of any Rotary Club anyplace in the world. Meetings can be "made up" by attending meetings of any other Rotary club within two weeks before or after the meeting missed. Ada County Clubs meet as follows:

Meridian, Monday noon, Meadow Lakes Village, Meridian

Boise Sunrise, Tuesday, 7 am, 2nd floor Owyhee Plaza

Boise Metro, Tuesday noon, Owyhee Plaza

Boise Southwest, Wednesday noon, Doubletree Riverside

Boise Centennial, Thursday, 7 am, Perkins Restaurant, 300 Broadway

Eagle/Garden City, Thursday noon, Plantation Golf Course

Cogs lists more District 5400 Rotary Club meetings on the inside back cover. The RI web site contains a locator to find clubs throughout the world if you are traveling out of the area. We encourage all members to visit other clubs from time to time for the purpose of developing more collegiality.

You should record your attendance on an attendance slip and place it in the cup in the center of each table. If you make up at another club, they will give you a card to turn in, or you can simply notify the Rotary Office by email, or by noting the date and club on your next attendance slip. You will be given a meal credit on your bill for your make up since you will be expected to pay for your meal at the club where you made up.


Initiation fees are $100. Dues are $85 per quarter; meals are $78 per quarter and are charged whether or not you attend. Both are billed quarterly. There are charges for other optional activities (e.g. a golf outing). Other charges can usually be added to your quarterly bill for your convenience. We do appreciate prompt payment of your bill.

Committees of the Boise Rotary Club

Our work is carried out through about 25 committees. We say about as we are continually creating new committees to support the work of our club. Each committee has a chair and is supervised by a director. We ask that all members participate in at least one committee. Membership is by volunteering.

Enclosed with this memo is a list of current committees and their chairs. Your mentor will work with you to acquaint you with the committees and to assist you in joining a committee which interests you.

Social Functions

Our club has many social functions each year. The three most significant ones are:

  • Summer Picnic for Rotarians and their families (August evening, replaces a meeting)

  • Christmas Party for Rotarians and their families (December, replaces a meeting)

  • Rotary Ball (a dinner dance on a February weekend evening for Rotarians and their significant others, replaces a meeting; singles welcome)

All members are welcome to attend these social functions. We especially encourage our new members to attend these events as they provide another way to get to know each other. Your mentor will call you to invite you personally to attend.


You are welcome to invite guests to join you at the meeting. Please sign your guest in at the greeter's table and either pay for your guest's lunch at the time or ask that the charge be added to your bill. You will be asked to make a brief introduction of your guest.

Proposing New Members

We are always seeking new members who share our value of service. To sponsor a member, complete a New Member Proposal application available at meetings or from the Club office. The completed sponsor form should be turned in to the Rotary Office and the proposed member needs to furnish a copy of their resume electronically to

Proposed new members names are published in our weekly newsletter and must be approved by the Board of Directors before an invitation to join will be extended. This process usually takes three to four weeks from the time you submit the documentation.


The Boise Rotary Club supports two foundations:

Rotary International Foundation (often referred to as the "RI Foundation," the "Rotary Foundation," or the "Foundation"). The Rotary Foundation raises about $75 million each year from members throughout the world. The funds are spent three years after they are raised on humanitarian projects. Over time you will grow to be familiar with the many good works of the Rotary Foundation. At this time it is sufficient for you to know that whenever we talk about an international project, it is usually Rotary Foundation money which supports the project.

Our most ambitious project has been a nearly 20 year effort to eradicate polio. Rotarians throughout the world have raised in excess of one-half billion dollars to purchase vaccine and have facilitated vaccinations such that the disease is nearly eliminated. The Wall Street Journal said in 2005 in an editorial that the Rotary Foundation is one of the most effective humanitarian foundations in the world and should receive a Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts.

While your contributions are personal and voluntary, we encourage all Rotarians who are able to do so to contribute at least $100 per year to the Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization so your contributions are tax deducible. Your bill will include a charge of $25 each quarter for your Foundation contribution. If you do not wish to pay that charge, simply withhold the $25 from your payment.

We recognize those who have contributed $1000 as Paul Harris Fellows. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary. If you give $25 per quarter, you will join the ranks of Paul Harris Fellows after ten years. Naturally, we hope you will be able to complete your fellowship sooner. If you are giving at the rate of $100 per year ($25 per quarter) you will be designated a "Sustaining Member" of the Foundation until you complete your fellowship.

From time to time there are matching funds available to help you reach this goal. Such matching funds will be announced from the podium and/or in our newsletter.

We also encourage bequests. Those who have informed the Foundation of a bequest in their will are designed "Benefactors."

Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. Six Ada County Rotary Clubs now belong to the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation which was originally formed by the Rotary Club of Boise in 1984. The Foundation has principal of over $600,000. Grant requests are accepted from qualified 501 (c)(3) charitable organizations with selection of grants awarded based upon the alignment of proposal objectives with the Foundation's Funding Objectives and the ideals of Rotary.

Like the Rotary International Foundation, contributions are voluntary, but we do encourage all members who are able to do so to contribute at least $100 per year to the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. The Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization so your contributions are tax deducible. Your bill will include a charge of $25 each quarter for your Foundation contribution. If you do not wish to pay that charge, simply withhold the $25 from your payment.

We recognize those who have contributed $1000 as Bob Gibb Fellows. Bob Gibb was a much beloved member of the Boise Rotary Club. If you give $25 per quarter, you will join the ranks of Bob Gibb Fellows after ten years. Naturally, we hope you will be able to complete your fellowship sooner.

Fines and Happy Dollars

At nearly every meeting our President will take time to raise some money for the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. S/he may fine members for egregious behavior and/or may ask for happy dollars.

Rotarians are fined in good nature for having done something that is newsworthy such as having a picture in the newspaper or something else that is high profile. Members may be fined if they fail to wear their Rotary pin to meetings. Fines are generally a few dollars. Occasionally, there will be large fines. Rest assured that large amounts are determined in advance or volunteered and you will not be surprised by a $100 fine levied on you.

Often members will be invited to share good news with the club and to offer "happy dollars" to celebrate the good news. All such happy dollars are voluntary.

Remember all fines and happy dollars are contributions to the Greater Boise Rotary Foundation. If you pay a fine or contribute happy dollars, you can simply write the amount on your attendance ticket. You will be billed at the end of the quarter. Many members find this convenient, and that it gives them a record of their contributions for tax purposes.

The Boisetarian

The Boisetarian is our weekly newsletter. Members of the Club Bulletin Committee write the newsletter. Our office sends it by email, generally on Monday each week.


COGS is our directory. It is currently published once a year. COGS is for your personal use only. Please do not use it as a commercial mailing list or share it with others.

The Rotarian

The Rotarian is the official publication of Rotary International. You will receive it monthly. It contains news and articles of Rotary activities around the world.

District Conference

Our district holds a conference each May in Sun Valley. All District 5400 Rotarians are invited to attend the conference. We strongly encourage you to attend District Conference, especially during your first year of membership. At District Conference you will learn what all of our clubs are doing together to a make the world a better place. It has been said you will not begin to appreciate the power and good work of our movement until you have attended a district conference. Details on the conference will be provided in the spring.

Our club feels the District Conference is so valuable; it pays the registration fees for any member who attends. This means you can attend a conference in beautiful Sun Valley for only the cost of the room (which is always very inexpensive in May!) and transportation and incidentals. Significant others are welcome to attend with you.

Annual Convention

In May or June of each year the entire Rotary family gathers for the Rotary International Convention. Usually around 30,000 members from all over the world attend. More information will be provided throughout the year and will be published in The Rotarian. International meetings are held in cities all over the world, most recently in Los Angeles, California. You are always invited to attend these gatherings, which are always interesting and will lead you towards a better understanding of the value and influence of Rotary in the world today.

Orientation Activities

All Rotarians wear badges at the meetings as a means of introduction. All Rotarians are on a first name basis, and your first name will be prominently displayed on your badge. You will receive a "Red" badge at your introduction. This identifies you to our members as a new Rotarian.

We have several activities we would like you to do prior to receiving your blue badge. These activities are intended to give you a broad exposure to your club and to Rotary International and give the club exposure to you. Your mentor will work with you to help you complete these activities.

The attached New Member Orientation Activities lists the tasks. Please date the activities as you complete them. When all are completed, please turn the sheet into our club assistant who will arrange for the President to present your Blue Badge at a future meeting.

Lyrics to "Here We Have Idaho"

We usually sign our state song, Here We Have Idaho at the beginning of each meeting. The words are:

And here we have Idaho

Winning her way to fame

Silver and gold in the sunlight blaze,

And romance lies in her name.

Singing, we're singing of you.

Ah, proudly too

All our lives thru,

We'll go singing, singing of you,

Singing of Idaho.


ABC's of Rotary

List of Committees and Chairs

List of New Member Orientation Activities

Updated July 2008