The Rotary Club of Naperville Downtown (the “4:44 Club”) is one of four Rotary Clubs serving Naperville, Illinois. Chartered in February 2007, the Club is a member of Rotary International and District 6450, the birthplace of Rotary.
The Club meets weekly at 4:44 PM on most Wednesdays. We are currently meeting by Zoom, with plans to resume in-person meetings in July following applicable guidelines. Typically, members and guests start “arriving” at 4:30 PM -4:44 PM for fellowship and fun and begin the official meeting at 5 PM where the focus is on engaging and enlightening programs, complete with Q&A.
All Rotarians from around the world are welcome as well as those community-minded individuals interested in the weekly educational program. Whether a Rotarian or not, guests always are welcome to this casual small interactive club.
Meeting & Notes Schedule / 4:44 Rotarians work together to plan enlightening programs at all meetings throughout the year. Members are responsible for arranging programs and contacting the Program Coordinator with ideas for the calendar. Speakers include community leaders, leaders of local charitable organizations, the club’s scholarship recipients, and their college administrators. Recent programs have included an employee of the U.S. Forest Service presenting on “pollinators” and a Bronze level gardener recommending plants to attract such pollinators in support of Rotary’s newest area of focus, to “Support the Environments”. Rotary’s other areas of focus (7) are Basis Education & Literacy (the club annually gives two scholarships to single parents attending two local community colleges), Maternal & Child Health (the club joined with a club in Sibiu, Romania last year to provide needed neonatal care equipment under a Rotary Global Grant), Peace & Conflict Prevention/Resolution, Disease Prevention & Treatment ( the Club members individually and the Club through its annual Rotary Ride are strong supporters of Rotary’s mission to eradicate Polio), Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, and Community & Economic Development (the Club provides grants to local charities and related organizations – during COVID it participated in a program to provide i-Pads to long term care facilities so the residents could stay in touch with loved ones).
The Club recognizes its 100 percent member-investment in the Rotary Foundation and also honors a number of community members with Paul Harris Fellowships, an honor individual Rotary clubs may from time to time bestow on individuals who meet high professional and personal standards set forth by Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary in 1905. Founded in 1917, the Rotary Foundation is a nonprofit corporation that “supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs.”
Members of RCN/Downtown are actively engaged in many community and service initiatives to augment Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self.”
When Club members identify charitable causes for their grants, they qualify the cause by asking, “Will the grant make a difference, and will it fulfill an unmet need?” In the broad spirit of all Rotary Clubs around the world, the Club has its own personality and charitable focus.
Members of the Club has also taken over the annual Naperville Rotary Ride which this year will take place on August 8, 2021, with proceeds going to Loaves & Fishes Community Services and 360 Youth Services which both provide staffing for 2 of the 3 rest stops and well as Naperville Responds for Veterans and of course, Rotary’s Polio Plus program.
Kevin K. McQuillan, President & Rotary Ride Director
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