Rotary Club of West Liberty was chartered in December 1924. There were 20 business men who had interesting starting a service club, as no other service clubs were available at that time. In 1924, most of the Rotary Clubs that existed followed the Rotary ideals of forming a service club where each of the members only did business with each other and not others who were in the same profession. The organizer was Dr. Lester Royal, a family physician in West Liberty. For many years the club remained in the 20’s for membership, until the 50’s when it swelled for short time near 50. In the 60’s and until 2015, the club membership was in near 35 and then gained many younger men and women.
In the early 90’s West Liberty did their first international project in India as water wells. This was under Rotary Governor Ken Noble, who is from the West Liberty Club. Since that time our club has helped communities in Nepal (water well plus collection and distribution system); Jales, Brazil (Post cancer rehabilitation Center for rural clients to receive treatment and rehabilitation – note clinic was established by Weber Kitiama (1969 Rotary Exchange student’s father); Manzanillo, Mexico (new kitchen, new beds and classroom furniture, and other items for orphans); water wells in Haiti (collaboration with Kalona, IA well driller); funding for a 3-H grant in India (new hospital); Oaxaca, Mexico ( musical instruments for children in Oaxaca whose lives were living and feeding at a dump); Cameroon, Africa (assist District Governor build homes from mud in community) and eradication of Polio (started in 1988 and continues).
West Liberty Club has received 4 Community Service Grants in the last 6 years. Those grants have provided solar lights on Heritage Trail, warm coats for families; modifications to Wapsi Park shelter area; and renovations to the back of Ron-de-Voo park where large planters with native grasses and a stone base was established. In addition, the addition of playground equipment to West Liberty Parks and Recreation was funded in 2018.
While driving around West Liberty, the Rotary wheel can be noticed at many locations (more than 30), where either projects of the club have occurred or for branding visibilities.
The Rotary Club not only does physical projects that can be seen, but also projects that assist the citizens of our community. Some of these are as follows: Christmas food boxes where over 100 families are feed, blood drives, books for the library, reading items for the public schools, scholarships for graduating seniors, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (4 – 6 youth), Boys State, projector for Simpson Home, defibrillators for West Liberty Community Center and First Church United, Little libraries locating in strategic areas, performance stage at Muscatine County Fair, installation of plants and mulch at small gardens and Ron-de-Voo park and delivery of Meals on Wheels.