Southtowne Rotary Club

Southtowne is known as not only one of the largest, but the Eugene Rotary club with the “most fun” and the “best food”. We meet once a week on Thursdays at noon at the Eugene Mission. Our 90+ members (membership fluctuates between 90 and 100 members) are actively involved in both the local and international communities promoting the Rotary motto of “Service Above Self”.

Southtowne elects a new president and board every year. All members have the opportunity to serve on committees, lead committees, or seek board election. There are also district-wide committees and leadership roles that members can learn about and work toward.  For more information on Southtowne leaders and committees, click here.

Southtowne was founded in 1975, becoming the 15th club in our district. Although our original charter 40+ years ago required members to live or work in the Southtowne area, that is no longer the case. For more information on the history of Southtowne, click here.

Interested in Membership? Learn more.

About Rotary

Rotary is a global network of community volunteers. Rotary members are business, professional and community leaders in Eugene and throughout the world  who meet regularly to plan and implement community service activities and network with other professionals. For those interested, members can also choose to become involved in international humanitarian service efforts. More than 1.2 million men and women in over 200 countries and geographical areas belong to over 33,000 Rotary clubs.

Rotary builds international understanding through scholarships, exchange programs, and humanitarian grans. Throughout the world, Rotary clubs participate in a broad range of educational, intercultural and humanitarian activities designed to improve the lives of others.

Anyone can be a Rotarian. Sometimes Rotary is associated with older wealthy men because of Rotary’s origins, but our club and most clubs are now quite diverse.  The only requirement is a heart for service, a commitment to active membership and a motive to build goodwill within the club and our local and global communities.

If you’d like to become a Rotarian, click here to learn about membership and join us at one of our weekly Zoom meetings!

joelle southtowne president 2023

A Message From President Joelle

Greetings Fellow Rotarians,
The story of my life – travel. As I am riding up Interstate 5 to Seattle for work, I am reminded of why I love this beautiful state of ours. Interstate 5 in and of itself is not beautiful, but you know what I mean. It’s the beginning of October, the sky is blue, and it’s 83 degrees. In the distance, I can see Mount Hood and St. Helen’s. Closer are the beautiful rolling hills and lush green trees just beginning to turn their fall colors; we truly live in a magnificent place. The right place and the right time to reflect.

Reflecting on my life and what brought me to Southtowne Rotary. As a kid, I was my daddy’s shadow; I went with him everywhere. he took me to work when he could on golfing excursions. There was one epic trip to Carmel, California, with me, Dad, and Uncle Terry for a golf tournament. I got to be the DJ in the Cadillac El Dorado, changing out the 8 track tapes. But the thing that got me to Southtowne was volunteerism.

You see, I can remember as far back as the 6th or 7th grade when my dad was a member of Lion’s Club (Mom was an auxiliary member). I have distinct memories of going with my dad to deliver food boxes to those in need during the holidays. I figure that is where it all began; volunteering has been ingrained in my DNA since childhood. Volunteering led me to join and spend 24 years in the United States Army. In the Army, I learned that I don’t just “volunteer”; I have a propensity to serve. That is why we are all here, that is why we are in Rotary, we have a propensity to serve.

It says so in our motto; “service above self.” Before
joining Southtowne Rotary, I had my hands in all kinds of volunteer opportunities locally and nationally.
With Rotary, I feel like I can put all (or at least most) of my volunteer eggs in one basket. We are doing such great things in Southtowne Rotary, locally and internationally. Our members blow me away with their thoughtfulness, kindness, and giving spirits.

From our community food box drives to supporting the unhoused with organizations such as 15th Night and SVDPs Youth House, sending medical supplies to countries in need, providing educational materials and support to local families, and offering scholarships to underserved college-going students through the Southtowne Rotary Foundation. We are spreading our global volunteer opportunities with endeavors like StoveTeam International, Project Amigo, and support for the San Migule School for Special Education in San Miguel de Allende and many other programs. These are the things that make me proud to be not just a Southtowne Rotary member but to also serve as your president. I hope to continue to make you all proud club members and keep the continued excellence (and fun) that makes Southtowne Rotary a great place to serve.

About Eugene

Eugene, Oregon is located in the lush Willamette Valley, 120 miles south of Portland. With a population over 160,000, it’s the second largest city in Oregon. It is known for its unique, exciting mix of arts, culture, education, scenic beauty, and passion for recreation. Natives call Eugene “Track Town USA,” the “Emerald City,” and “A Great City of the Arts and Outdoors.”

Nestled between the Willamette and McKenzie rivers, which are magnets for water sports and recreation, Eugene has more than 100 parks and 2,600 acres of open space that offer the perfect settings for every outdoor activity you can imagine. Luckily for sports enthusiasts, temperatures are mild year round.

Home to the University of Oregon, Northwest Christian University, and Lane Community College, Eugene is a center for higher learning. It’s also well known for it’s top-notch college sporting events, from powerhouse Duck football at Autzen Stadium to track and field at historic Hayward Field, the home of running legend Steve Prefontaine.

abaout eugene

Eugene is also an arts and culture destination, offering museums, festivals, performances and shows year-round. The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History are located on the University or Oregon campus, and The Hult Center for the Performing Arts downtown anchors the arts scene with two world-class theaters. Downtown is a great place to shop, dine and people-watch with blocks of art galleries, restaurants and boutique shops.