President's Message


...And we are living in extraordinary times.  The COVID-19 pandemic and related “Shelter-in-Place” requirements have suspended our lunch meetings and other events.  We are focused on our 75 members, local non-profit service organizations and the college students who are in school on our Rotary scholarships - making sure they are all supported during this most unusual time. Once we get the OK, we will resume our weekly lunch meetings and other community events.
- President Pete Nelson
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Welcome to the Rotary Club of Menlo Park, an extraordinary organization.

What is Rotary? 
We, along with the International Red Cross, are the oldest worldwide humanitarian service organizations.  You will find our 36,000 Rotary Clubs distributed in 168 countries.  We are 1.2 million members strong. Our Vision is clear:  “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”

What do we do?
Internationally, there are too many and too varied service projects to list here.  Our current top priority is eradicating Polio from the world.  Yes, the world.  Polio is gone in America because children were vaccinated in the 1950’s.  That is not the case worldwide.  When we took this on, 400,000 children became crippled by Polio every year. Today there are a handful, fewer than 50, in only 3 countries.  Eradicating a disease from the world has only been done once before: Smallpox.  Changing the world?  Rotary is.

Locally, our Club of 75 members serves our community in remarkable ways.  
  • We grant need-based college scholarships, some $145,000 this year, to local high school seniors.  We now are helping to support 60 students who are in college, realizing their potential through education.  
  • We built a community garden in the Belle Haven neighborhood, turning a weed and trash-infested vacant lot into 35 garden beds for local families to grow their own produce.  
  • We invest (over $30,000 this year) in local non-profits to improve the quality of life for those in need.  
  • And, we volunteer our time and energy where needed: St. Anthony’s Dining Room on Middlefield Road and Ronald McDonald House, among others.
I joined Rotary years ago after pondering the questions:  “What did you do to make a difference in someone else’s life - to help someone achieve his or her dream - to serve those in need, not only in this community, but worldwide?”  When you think about it, giving back is how the system must work.  This is what Rotary is all about.  "Service above self.”

-- Peter Nelson, Menlo Park Rotary Club President 2019-2020

What is Rotary?


Who are Rotarians?