The Rotary Club of Lansing

In 1905, Paul P. Harris formed the first Rotary Club in Chicago. The Rotary Club was formed as a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful lifelong friendships. 

In 1916, the Rotary Club of Lansing was formed. It is now one of the largest Rotary Clubs in the State of Michigan with over 200 members contributing to the club, the community, the nation and the world.

Unique Events and Experiences for Lansing Rotarians

Weekly Music Performances: What started as a tradition of club members leading the group in patriotic songs has expanded into a rich experience of varying musical guests performing each week. Guests range from outstanding local singers and musicians to world-renowned professional artists – many of which are from traveling Broadway plays, artists performing with the Lansing Symphony or special guests at local festivals. Even Lansing members have shared their remarkable talents as featured musical guests. 
Loftus Day: Completely unique to the Rotary Club of Lansing is the annual Loftus Day celebration. In 1924, Rotarian Frank Loftus decorated the grave of recently deceased Rotarian Charles Nichols with flowers once a year. This trip started a tradition. Loftus Day is held during a September meeting at which time the Rotary Club holds a memorial service and then Club members, in small groups, proceed to all the cemeteries in the Lansing area to place flowers on the graves of deceased Rotarians.
Holidays for Kids: Lansing Rotary’s Holiday Program for special needs children is one of the most beloved traditions. There is a holiday feast, entertainment, and merriment and each child receives a special gift direct from Santa and the help of Rotary elves. So many Rotarians have mentioned how the true spirit of the holidays, starts with these children and the joy they bring Rotarians each year.

A History of Giving and Celebration

The Rotary Club of Lansing has contributed over $2 million into the community and completed dozens of service projects both locally and internationally.
One of the larger gifts to date was given to celebrate our club’s 100th year. The Club contributed $250,000 to Impression 5 Science Center to build a two-story, interactive water room. The room encourages children and families to explore all of the wonders of our most precious natural resource.  Providing clean drinking water is a global goal of Rotary International and this local hands-on exhibit called “Flow” highlights the importance of water in a fun an immersive way.
To celebrate the City of Lansing’s 150th year, the Rotary Club of Lansing spearheaded the planning of the Sesquicentennial celebration including a parade and other events to celebrate Lansing’s rich history.  The Club also raised and contributed funds to build the iconic sculpture “Inspiration” located in Rotary Park to commemorate Lansing’s 150 years.
Most recently, $400,000 was gifted to a community development project along the Grand River, now named “Rotary Park”.  The park features a community gathering place on downtown Lansing’s riverfront for residents and visitors to enjoy gathering along the urban beach, electric forest, outdoor fireplace and enhanced riverfront.  Rotary Park has become a “destination” location for community members as well as out of town visitors. 
To learn more about The Rotary Club of Lansing’s more notable projects completed both locally and internationally, visit our projects page

Over 100 Years of Legacy

Today, the Lansing Rotary Club reflects a membership of outstanding, influential, and compassionate civic leaders who enjoy networking, attending engaging meetings with dynamic speakers and quality entertainment as well as opportunities to make a difference in the Lansing community and in the world.
The legacy of The Rotary Club of Lansing continues because of the deep foundation established by generations of Rotarians who all share the same core values today that were held by the founders of Rotary, both locally in 1916 and in Chicago in 1906. The club’s commitment to this community continues through the local and international projects it completes. Members are committed to a mission that puts Service Above Self, turns business leaders into community leaders, and impacts communities in a significant and meaningful way.