Club Service
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Community service is a big part of the Charles City Rotary Club, where ‘Service Above Self’ is not just lip service.  The Club participates in a variety of ongoing community service projects as well as larger scale projects.
Ongoing community projects include:
  • Annual scholarships for graduating high school seniors
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)
  • Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign
  • Annual Parking Lot Clean Up
  • Christmas Caroling
  • United Way Shoe Drive
  • Care for the Friends Garden at Highway 14 bike trailhead
  • Assistance with mulching a Lion's Field Park
  • Financial support to local groups and projects from other non-profit groups
Large community projects have included........
1919 - 200 metal signs were erected within a radius of 30 miles of Charles City reading "Charles City - The Tractor Town."
1920 -  Teams were appointed to solicit members for the Charles City Building and Loan Association. Coach Howard Jones and Aubrey Devine of the University of Iowa football team were brought here for the football banquet in 1921.
1922 -  $10 was contributed to the City Improvement Association for their campaign to rid the city of rats.
1923 – The club assisted in the Farm Bureau membership campaign.
1924 - Walter Fluent founded the Student Loan Fund with his International Convention expense money.
1925 – The club passed a resolution prohibiting the ringing of the telephone during meetings.
1926 – Th club assumed the responsibilities for taking the High School Band to Council Bluffs for the state contest. The entire club conducted a publicity campaign in behalf of Miss Liza Niemack, a local girl who had just returned from her music studies in Europe.
1929 - The club purchased football season tickets for each of its members.
1930 - The club endorsed the Boy Scouts fund raising campaign and contributed $100 to it.
1931 - Dues were reduced from $25 to $15.
1932 - Purchased 25 planks for seats in the park.
The records for 1933-37 were lost in the Hildreth Hotel fire, but in 1936 Miss Gladys Goddard gave a 15-acre parcel of land along the Cedar River north of town to the Rotary Club of Charles City. A community park and picnic area was developed and maintained by the club until 1960, when ownership of the property was transferred from the Rotary Club to the Floyd County Conservation Commission. The parcel continues to bear the name "Rotary Park" and serves as a wildlife area. In the summer of 1985, under the supervision of Dennis Sande, fellow Rotarian volunteers planted over 500 pine trees at Rotary Park to promote soil conservation and provide refuge for wildlife.
1940 - "Sparks From the Rotary Wheel" were inaugurated.
1942 – The club attendance fell into the "cellar" rating in the district.
1943 - Rotarian Tom Marnette gave his life in the service of his country.
1944 - The Student Loan Fund after 20 years showed total assets of $3,293.16 and had loaned $8,217.65 to 34 students.
1945 -  A juke box was purchased for Teen Tavern, the youth center.
1946 – The club was awarded for the best all-around program in the District by the President of Rotary International, during the presidential term of Leo Schula.
1947 - The club was awarded the certificate for the most outstanding community service in the district during the term of Jim Keith. The hospital room fund, which was started in 1947, was completed in 1948 with a major contribution by Dr. Joe Salsbury.
1949 - "Dean Laun Day" was sponsored to honor a local boy who played football at Iowa State.
1950 - Donald Swartz was elected as the district’s representative in the Rotary Foundation Fellowship Study
1952  - Waste receptacles were installed on main street corners.
1953 - A foot bridge was built at Camp Christie.
1954 – Radio series on the "Rotary Program" was inaugurated on radio station KCHA.
1965 - When the new Floyd County Memorial Hospital was completed, the club completely outfitted one room. For years an annual project to support the local hospital, and add a measure of comfort to the patients, included the acquisition of wall hangings which have been created by local artists. This has proven to be an excellent support of the Charles City Arts Council and an appreciated contribution to the hospital and the patients.
1981 – The Shell Rock Music Association presented a show as a part of the District Conference in Charles City. The success of the show and the acceptance of the group by local fine art patrons established the event as a long-time annual project of the club. Proceeds were used for community service projects.  In 1983 the proceeds were donated for the restoration of the Junior High School Auditorium. The 1984 proceeds were donated to the construction of the Senior Citizens Center in Charles City.
1991 – The club constructed sun arbors at the newly rebuilt Lions Field Municipal Swimming Pool. Then in 1994 the Charles City Rotary and Lions clubs joined forces to raise funds and provide the labor to construct a large community playground at Lions Field Park, adjacent to the swimming pool. The fund-raising campaign was so successful that there was enough left over after construction of the playground to use as seed money for a new community recreational trial along the Cedar River.
2000- Rotarians used their experience with the Lions Field Park playground to help the Lincoln parents Organization assemble the new playground equipment at Lincoln Elementary School.
2001 - The club took on the massive project of re-painting every fire hydrant in town as a fund-raiser, and in
2002 - Hosted a pasta supper fundraiser at the Middle School as Charles City welcomed the 10,000-plus participants in the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). The club also donated a portable defibrillator to the Charles City Police Department to be carried in squad cars for faster treatment in health emergencies.
2003 -  For its Rotary International centennial project, the Charles City Club purchased and erected three wooden archways for the new Friends Garden established at the head of the community recreational trail. The garden was created in memory of Rotarian Robert Jakoubek, who passed away in 2002 and helped spearhead the
trail project.
2009-2010 - Rotary called on past experience and installed a new playground at Wildwood Park.
2012 - Rotary, along with other service club members, redid the service club entry signs bordering Charles City. Also, in 2012, Rotary purchased a Home for Haiti, which was built by Sukup Manufacturing and will be installed in Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake.
2013 – The club refurbished the sun arbors at Lion’s Field Pool
2014 – The club put down fresh mulch at the Lion’s Flied Playground
2015  - The club provided fire extinguishers to the community giving them away at the annual Fire Prevention Month breakfast and various community event.
2016  - Following the popularity of the fire extinguishers, the club purchased first aid kits to distribute throughout the community during community events and school registration.
2017  - Following a challenge from Rotary International for every Retrain to plant a tree, the club embarked on a community tree planting project in partnership with the Floyd County Conservation and Charles City High School Ag students.  More than 60 trees were planted in parks and along the recreational trail.
2018 - Phase II of the Tree Planting project added 60 more trees around the community.
2019 - The Club partnered with local daycare centers and healthcare providers to distribute CO detectors
2019 - Following other playground projects, the Club was contacted to partner in updating the playground at Washington Elementary School to a new all-inclusive playground featuring equipment able to be used by people with all abilities.
2019 - Members of the Club certified their pets to become support dogs and provide visits to local care centers.
2020 - Child safety kits with common household safety items were distributed to families in the community. The COVID-19 Pandemic didn't slow the opportunities to serve. The Club partnered with other community organizations and the Rotary Foundation to provide PPE, laptops for care centers and tools for classrooms.
2021 - The Club and community lost Ellen Bengtson in a tragic bike accident. At the young age of 28 years old, she had achieved academically, professionally, and musically. Her life had brought her to Charles City, where she was a Rotary Club of Charles City, Iowa member and an environmental engineer at Cambrex Charles City, Inc. Then, on August 2, 2020, her life ended in a tragic bicycle accident. The Ellen Bengtson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established through the Floyd County Community Foundation to honor Ellen and her academic achievements and love of learning. “Our family hopes that scholarships from this fund will have a positive impact on the lives of women for years to come,” said Peter Bengtson, Ellen’s father and fund founder.
To learn more about Ellen or to give to her scholarship fund, visit
2021- The Club purchased CPR training equipment for the Police Department. One of the local officers has received certification as a CPR instructor and now with the equipment, the CCPD will be able to recertify their own officers.  
2021 - Thanks to the generosity of our members locally and throughout District 5970, Charles City Rotary raised $3,060 to purchase supplies for relief in Haiti in partnership with GoServe Global.
2022 - The Club partnered the annual radio auction with TLC: The Learning Center to help raise funds for TLC's  "Grand Plan," establishing a new location in the 1970s section of the former Middle School at 500 N Grand.
2022 - New bleachers were purchased and installed at Spotsmans Park  
2022 - The Club sponsored new fall banners for Main Street

2023 - The Charles City Rotary Club partnered with Central Preschool sharing funds from the annual radio auction for new playground equipment and program support at the preschool. 
2023 - The Club helped re-stored old school scoreboards with new wireless controllers at the Lions Field baseball diamonds. 
2023- A team of local Rotarians along with the City of Charles City, Charles City Lions Club, Floyd County Izaak Walton League, Charles City Community Schools, DNR Foresters and others are began a project to replace some of the trees lost to the Emerald Ash Borer. The first round in the fall of 2023 included a little over 100 trees. Teams will continue to water and monitor the trees to help them get a strong start.