A Brief History

Our club was founded in 1913, so we just passed our 100 year anniversary of making a difference in the community. Over the span of time, we were involved in some significant endeavors, including:


1939 Establishment of the Better Business Bureau

1953 Helped bring the Braves to Milwaukee

1982 Created Second Harvest, now Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin

1990 Launched the Children’s Health Education Center, now the Healthy Kids Learn More e-Learning Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

1994 Founded River Revitalization Foundation with Milwaukee Kiwanis

2002 Purchased naming rights of the Milwaukee Rotary Amphitheater at Discovery World

2007 Created the free Live @ the Lakefront concert series at the Amphitheater

2008 Initiated the renovation of the Brown Street Academy and Johnsons Park

2013 Opened the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum

2017 Joined community leaders to create the MKE Urban Stables

Rotary Through the Years

Each month in the WAVES Newsletter, Rotarian Bill Durkin recaps a few years of our history, comparing Rotary events with those in Milwaukee, the country, and the world. Click the links below to read about Rotary Through the Years.


October WAVES: 1912-1020

November WAVES: 1921-1929

December WAVES: 1930-1938

January WAVES: 1939-1947

February WAVES: 1948-1956

March WAVES: 1957-1965

April WAVES: 1966-1974

May WAVES: 1975-1983

June WAVES: 1984-1992

July WAVES: 1993-2000

August WAVES: 2001-2012