Wilmington Rotary History

The Manteno Rotary Club sponsored the formation of the Wilmington Rotary Club, which was then chartered on March 28, 1938.

This web site is dedicated to the memory of Louis Henry Max who became a member shortly after the club was chartered in 1938. Mr. Max was recognized on many occasions for his 54 years of perfect attendance.

The Club has lasting memories of the important fund raisers and donations. Many will remember the annual horse show on Wilmington island. The Club also donated the materials needed to build the Bobcat football field concession stand and funding for the installation of the water fountain at the corner park. The public shelter on the South Island (originally the Boy Scout cabin) and the concession stand on the North Island, were built by the club.

Every year local high school students attend the Rotary sponsored World Affairs seminar and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA). The Club is proud to have provided an annual scholarship to a graduating Wilmington High School student. The Club has been providing scholarships since the 1980's. The high school is fortunate to receive nearly $100,000 in scholarships and grants each year.

The Club also helps with contributions to Kuzma Cottage and the Wilmington Pastoral Association to meet their needs helping more than 750 needy local people each year.

The Club has had the honor of hosting two long term Rotary fireign exchange students. They visited from South Korea, Thailand and Poland. Also, two businessmen from England stayed with a local Rotarian for a week as part of a Group Study Exchange.

One of the members also hosted three attendees to the Rotary International's 75th Anniversary. More recently, the Club hosted two Soviets who were visiting Chicago and Washington D.C. as a part of a large group of business representatives.