Mascots in field with text, 13th Annual Orangeville Rotary Ribfest


About Rotary


Rotarians are business and professional leaders who take an active role in their communities while greatly enriching their personal and professional lives. Each club is a diverse group of professional leaders from the community that the club serves–RCO members include business people, farmers, professionals, police officers, bankers, retirees, educators and more.

The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise; high ethical standards in business and professions; the application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life; the advancement of international understanding, goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.


In 1905, Paul Harris and other Chicago businessmen formed Rotary to serve their community. In 1910 Rotary became international with the formation of a Club in Winnipeg. Today Rotary International (RI) has 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs around the world.

In 1937, the Rotary Club of Orangeville (RCO) was chartered and has served our community without interruption ever since. Rotarians are men and women from all walks of life living in and around Orangeville, all united in our commitment to serve our local community and the broader world community.

Our contributions locally include Rotary Park, Skateboard Park, funding our Hospital, Island Lake North Trail and, currently, a Splash Pad for Fendley Park. Internationally, we support RI’s programme to eradicate polio around the world.

The many dedicated Rotarians who have exemplified “Service Above Self” throughout our 78 years have laid the foundation that enables RCO to continue serving Orangeville and surrounding areas.

Several of the fund-raising activities the Club has embarked on over the years have become very successful community-building events in their own right, including:

  • Chicken then Beef BBQ Days 1958-1974
  • Lord Dufferin Horse Show 1971-1977
  • Maple Syrup Festival 1977-1981
  • Taste of Autumn 1995-2009
  • Annual Industry Luncheon 2004-present
  • Orangeville Rotary Ribfest 2010-present

Other innovative fundraisers have included:

  • 1980s Park Lotto, a lottery to raise funds for Rotary Park
  • 1992 Rotary’s Monte Carlo Night and $20,000 Cash Lotto
  • 1995 – 2 uniquely local events: Splash for Cash lottery established to guess when a fish hut on Island Lake would sink through the ice in the spring; and Jail ‘n’ Bail where local celebrities including Mayor Mary Rose, were tried for [fictitious] offences, convicted and jailed for up to 30 minutes. Funds were raised through “bail” payments!

We try to apply the Rotary 4-Way Test to all we say and do:

The 4-Way Test

  1. Is it the truth?
  2. Is it fair to all concerned?
  3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

To find out more about Rotary International, the Rotary Club of Orangeville, or our affiliated community group of supporters and volunteers, “Friends of Rotary”, please visit our website:

Or contact us in writing at:

The Rotary Club of Orangeville
P.O. Box 265
Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
L9W 2Z6.

RCO Banner


RCO has provided leadership in the community including:

  • Rural-Urban meetings 1937-41 and 1946-82, to establish better relations between town and country people through better understanding of each other’s lives
  • Children’s Committee 1938-40, to coordinate medical treatment for children
  • Teen-Town Group 1946-52, to facilitate safe, fun get-togethers for teens
  • Let’s Make Orangeville Shine 1992-present, an annual community clean-up event now scheduled to coincide with The Town of Orangeville’s Earth Week activities
  • Probus Club of Orangeville 1997, RCO established Probus, a social group for retired professional and business people
  • Dictionary Project 2009-present, to provide every Grade 3 student in the area with their own dictionary
  • Youth Leadership ongoing, sending local students to Rotary events for youth and young adults: Rotary Youth Leadership Award a 5-day youth leadership training event, Camp Enterprise a 3-day camp with focus on youth leadership in business
  • Student Aid ongoing, in 1979 the student aid programme was converted to the Orangeville Rotary Club Foundation; the Foundation provides bursaries to deserving students from area high schools to assist with funding their post-secondary education

As well, Rotarians are encouraged to become involved in leadership capacities in other community organizations and RCO members have done so over the years. A partial list of these organizations includes: Boy’s Athletic Club, Boy Scouts, Children’s Aid Society, The Door Youth Centre, Community Living Dufferin, Dufferin Hospice, Girl Guides, Headwaters Health Care Centre (formerly Dufferin Area Hospital), Ontario Society for Crippled Children, Orangeville Arena Fund, Orangeville Public Library, Theatre Orangeville, Special Hockey International (Orangeville Wolves), Westminster Milk Fund, and minor league hockey, lacrosse and soccer.


RCO has partnered with Town of Orangeville, Dufferin County, Theatre Orangeville, other service clubs and non-profits, local schools, and many local charitable organizations including the Credit Valley Conservation Authority and Headwaters Healthcare Centre, to successfully deliver service and infrastructure projects.

A partial list of partnership projects include:

  • Orangeville Community Arena 1938-56
  • Rotary Park 1980-84
  • Orangeville Public Library 1984-87
  • Skateboard Park 2004-06
  • Sports Hall of Fame 2005-present
  • Fendley Park Splash Pad 2010-14
  • Waste Management Dufferin County 2010-present, partnering at Ribfest and Let’s Make Orangeville Shine to divert waste from landfill during the event and to educate and encourage use of good practices throughout the year
  • Dictionary Project 2009-present, partnering with local school boards including the Upper Grand District School Board and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Why Not Marathon 1997 – in partnership with Royal LePage, a coast-to-coast fundraiser for the physically disabled; the Dufferin leg of the run was 16 km.
  • Industry Luncheon 2004-present, in 2004 RCO hosted a community business lunch with keynote speaker Paul Cellucci, US Ambassador to Canada; this event continues as the Annual Industry Luncheon, a partnership of RCO with the Greater Dufferin Homebuilders Association and the Greater Dufferin Chamber of Commerce
  • Island Lake Trails 2010-present – in partnership with Credit Valley Conservation to provide stewardship of the North Trail. RCO plans to build a gazebo in 2013 and provide additional signage. RCO members have also contributed manpower to the Friends of Island Lake to build new raised walkways which are nearing completion.
  • Commitment to Care Campaign 2014 – 18 – in partnership with the Headwaters Health Care Foundation and other service clubs to raise $16 million for the Hospital

Rotary International


The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;

SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;

THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;

FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.


Based on the Object of Rotary, the Avenues of Service are Rotary’s philosophical cornerstone and the foundation on which club activity is based:

1. Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the effective functioning of the club.

2. Vocational Service encourages Rotarians to serve others through their vocations and to practice high ethical standards.

3. Community Service covers the projects and activities the club undertakes to improve life in its community.

4. International Service encompasses actions taken to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the globe and to promote world understanding and peace.

If you would like to learn more about Rotary International, please visit