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Rotary Club of Cambridge North
Service Projects

The Four Avenues of Service


The Avenues refer to the four elements of The Object of Rotary. The four avenues describe the primary areas of Rotary activity, and they include: (1) Club Service, (2) Vocational Service, (3) Community Service, and (4) International Service. Each are discussed hereinbelow.


(1) Club Service


The success of a Rotary club's projects depends on its ability to function effectively. Through the committees under the Director of Club Service, Rotarians promote and strengthen their clubs by keeping them active and interesting through membership development, fellowship activities, well-run weekly meetings, stimulating guest speakers, an informative club bulletin and communicating Rotary information within and outside the club. Attendance is particularly stressed, because it is impossible to participate and contribute to fellowship without being there.


Classification is an important cornerstone of club service, and one of the chief sources of the strength and diversity of Rotary. Each member holds a classification that describes his or her business or profession. Each Rotary club aims to include as many different classifications as possible. The purpose is to make each club a microcosm of the community.


(2) Vocational Service


Rotary was founded at a time when entrepreneurs were unrestrained by any kind of official ethics, and when robber-barons were the norm in business. Paul Harris had the idea that if friendship and business mixed, there would be more friendship and more business. Today, Rotarians promote vocational service by urging and supporting "high ethical standards in business and the professions." The Four-Way Test exemplifies this effort. In addition, Rotary clubs undertake special projects to provide occupational information for youth, initiate vocational training programs, and provide job-training and placement for the disabled.


The Rotary Club of Cambridge North provides funds aimed at Cambridge youth through programs designed to enlighten them about different careers, including:



        RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award)

        Camp Enterprise (3-day camp on business, entrepreneurship and free enterprise" system)

        Adventures in Citizenship (Ottawa)

        World Affairs Seminar


(3) Community Service


The first Rotary clubs met just to enjoy each other's company, but they soon realized that this was not enough to keep them together over a long period of time. As Rotarians tend to be "doers", it was a natural move to look for projects.


Paul Harris initiated the first Rotary community project when he led a successful campaign to build public comfort stations at City Hall in Chicago, despite opposition from local saloon owners, who offered these services in an attempt to bring in customers. Now Rotarians dedicate their time, money and expertise to a wide range of projects aimed at improving the quality of life in their communities. These projects include such things as combating hunger and violence, promoting literacy, addressing problems of drug use and AIDS, meeting the needs of children, the disabled and the aged, and responding to environmental issues.


The Rotary Club of Cambridge North, through our various committees under Community Service, supports the following initiatives and programs:


               (i)  Allocations (Minor)


Miscellaneous requests for funding within the local area are presented to the allocations committee for consideration. Examples of these requests range from, but are not limited to, individuals with financial or physical needs, athletics, neighbourhood associations and shelters for disadvantaged.  To read some examples, please go to the home page of our club website at and click on the Site Page for Community Giving.


               (ii) Major Funding


Whenever the club builds up a sizeable balance in our account, we go to the community in search of needs that we can support that will "make a difference".  To read some examples, please go to the home page of our club website at and click on the Site Page for Community Giving.


               (iii)  Environmental Initiatives and Local Projects


Through the club's Environment & Local Projects committee, club become involved in hands-on projects throughout the community, which may include trail upkeep, tree-planting, clean-up projects or serving with other local organizations.


               (iv) Kid's Ability Centre


The Kid's Ability Centre (formerly The Rotary Children's Centre), located at the Chaplin YMCA in Cambridge, has been a recipient of funding from our Rotary Club since its inception. The Centre provides training and support for the physically and mentally challenged. A wide range of therapies are also available through the Centre to area families.


               (v) Seed Money


Over the years our club has been instrumental in giving seed money to various organizations to get them on their feet. These have included such worthwhile projects as the Rotary Family Crisis Centre (now called Haven House), the Cambridge Trail (linking Hespeler to Preston), initial furnishings for St. Luke's coffee shop, and, with the other Cambridge Rotary Clubs, the initial funding of the Kid's Ability Centre (formerly The Rotary Children's Centre).


(4) International Service


Rotary became international in 1910 with the founding of the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. In 1914, eight clubs in England and Ireland helped house Belgian refugees fleeing from their homeland before the war. International Service developed as an Avenue of Service in the aftermath of World War I, when people were beginning to realize that people were interdependent, and that steps had to be taken to prevent war. International Service includes such projects as eye camps in India, orphanages in Nepal, well-digging in Africa, improving farm methods in the Philippines, school books for developing countries, relief supplies to victims of natural disasters and Group Study Exchanges.


The Rotary Club of Cambridge North, through our various committees under International Service, supports the following initiatives and programs:


               (i)  Club International Projects


To read some examples of international projects in which our club has been actively involved and/or to which our club has donated funds, please go to the home page of our club website at and click on the Site Page for International Projects. 


               (ii) Youth Exchange


Our club has been a great supporter of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.  This program enables our club to sponsor a local student to travel to another country and engage in that culture for one year, living with Rotarians as a member of their family.  Reciprocally, our club welcomes a foreign student who is placed in the care of 3-4 Rotary families, each having the student become a member of their family for a 3 or 4-month period. It has been our experience that the host family (and their children) profits as much from the experience as the Rotary exchange youth. It is a special feeling when an exchange youth from years earlier takes a holiday back to Canada to visit his or her host parents and club. Our club has even had students come to Canada on their honeymoon or become permanent citizens years later.


               (iii) Rotary Foundation


Our club is a strong supporter of the Rotary Foundation.  There is too much good to say about the good work of the Rotary Foundation in the World to contain it in this document.  Please go to the home page of our club website at and click on the Rotary Link for Rotary Foundation.