Avenues of Service

Rotary clubs around the world channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through five Avenues of Service, which are the foundation of club activity.


Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest.
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Youth Service recognizes the importance of empowering youth and young professionals through leadership development programs such as Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, and Rotary Youth Exchange. 
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Vocational Service calls on every Rotarian to work with integrity and contribute their expertise to the problems and needs of society. 
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International Service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding. We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad, and more.
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Club Service focuses on making clubs strong. A thriving club is anchored by strong relationships and an active membership development plan. 
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Community Service

Community Service encourages every Rotarian to find ways to improve the quality of life for people in their communities and to serve the public interest.  For Madison Rotarians, this can be as simple as staining the deck of a disabled veteran to purchasing medical equipment for the hospital. 


Done-In-A-Day Projects

Our Done-in-a-Day Projects cover just about anything you can imagine.  Some past projects:

  • delivering annual Thanksgiving Food Boxes to local families
  • working at a Wounded Warrior softball game
  • working with CASA to build a wheelchair ramp
  • participating in the annual SS Kids program (school supplies)
  • cleaning graffiti from Rainbow Mountain hiking trails
  • donating health and hygiene products to underprivileged children

When we find a need, we find a day to put our "Service Above Self" motto to work. Often, we team with other charitable organizations; other times, we solely provide the service.  Some projects benefit a large group while others may serve just one individual.  But, regardless of the magnitude, every one of these projects changes the life of someone.  If you'd like to participate, let us know.  I'm sure we can talk one of the kids out of their drill.

Sponsoring Community Facilities

In recent years, Madison Rotarians have generously donated funds to the Madison Hospital and to the Hogan Family YMCA.  These community facilities acknowledged our contributions with plaques on the Hospital's beautiful Grand Staircase and at the YMCA's Community Room.  These plaques are simple reminders of not only Rotarians' contributions, but also of the lasting partnerships between Rotary and these outstanding facilities.  We also serve the Madison and surrounding communities by annual donations to the Madison Library in memory of Rotarian Helen P. Lee.  In February 2017, we hosted the first annual Steve Croomes Memorial Mardi Gras Party at the Madison Senior Center. 

Madison Street Festival

On the first Saturday in October, Madison Rotarians participate in the annual Street Festival in historic downtown Madison.  The Street Festival is Madison’s largest annual event and includes a parade, a juried Art Show, Car Show, Children’s Area, Entertainment, Community Showcase, Arts & Crafts, Information Booths, and great Southern Food.  Please join us in October in beautiful downtown Madison where you can visit the Rotary Tent to learn more about our service projects. You can’t miss us… look for the young folks at the soccer kicking booth!

Christmas Downtown

Since 2005, Madison Rotarians have celebrated a special Christmas spirit by supporting the holiday events in beautiful, historic downtown Madison. Beginning on the 2nd Saturday in December, we participate in the annual Madison Christmas Parade with our award-winning “Parrots of the Caribbean” holiday float.  This Family of Rotary event provides an exciting evening of fellowship for Rotarians, friends, and especially the Rotary children who ride on the float as our special elves.  In addition, we offer a warm holiday welcome under the Madison Roundhouse by serving free hot chocolate and a variety of cookies to all residents enjoying the parade. 

Rotary on the Christmas Tree Tinsel Trail, 2016

In the last several years, the City of Madison has incorporated the Christmas Tree Tinsel Trail into the holiday offerings downtown. Rotary is proud to be one of the earliest supporters and several times the People's Choice Award Winner.  And since 2015, we participate in the Madison Arts Council's Christmas Card Lane along the parade route.  The Christmas spirit then continues from downtown to the Madison Public Library where we join the fun of the Christmas wreath decorating contest sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Youth Service

Rotary's programs for students and youth can change the lives of those who participate. Through programs such as Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), Rotaract, and Interact, young people can earn scholarships, travel on cultural exchanges, or help a community through a service project.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is an intensive training program for community youth leaders. Young people chosen for their leadership potential attend an all-expenses-paid seminar to discuss leadership skills and to hone those skills through practice.  During the 3-day, 2-night conference, Rotarian leaders demonstrate our respect and concern for youth and provide an effective training experience for the young potential leaders.  The curriculum encourages leadership of youth by youth and publicly recognizes young people who are rendering service to their communities. 

RYLA enables our Rotary Club to acknowledge the service of youth to the community while exposing a large number of young people, their families, and peer groups to the Rotary ideals of service.  It enthuses young leaders, provides them with enhanced leadership techniques, and helps prepare them for future participation in Rotaract and Rotary clubs.

A Rotaract club is an organization sponsored by a Rotary club.  Consisting of young people aged 18 to 30 years, it aims to provide its members in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual assistance, the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and methods to promote the development of their personality, taking into account the physical and social needs of the community and to work for good relations between peoples.
Rotaract helps young people:

  • Increase their professional competence and leadership skills;
  • Respect the rights of others and recognize the value of each;
  • Recognize the dignity and importance of all useful occupations and consideration as a means of action within society;
  • Accept, observe and promote high ethical standards as a basis for any professional activity;
  • Appreciate and understand the needs, problems and potential of the community and other countries;
  • Lead, in individual or collective action in the public interest favouring local or international agreement.

Interact is Rotary International's service club for young people aged 12 to 18. Interact clubs are generally sponsored by a Rotary club or clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting. Each year, an Interact club completes at least two community service projects, one of which features international understanding and goodwill. Interact helps students develop leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrate helpfulness and respect for others, understand the value of individual responsibility and hard work and advances international understanding and world peace.  Interact is one of the most significant and fastest growing programs in Rotary, with more than 10,700 clubs in 109 countries and geographical areas, and with more than 200,000 members

Vocational Service

International Service

International service exemplifies our global reach in promoting peace and understanding.  We support this service avenue by sponsoring or volunteering on international projects while seeking partners abroad.

Through a cooperative effort with the Rotary Club of Choluteca, Honduras, Madison Rotarians sponsor several humanitarian projects in the communities surrounding Choluteca.  Our EcoStove Project not only provides safe, clean cooking stoves, but also supports the local laborers and economy.  In addition, we conduct vision and dental clinics each year in these communities.  We also deliver clothes, school supplies, vitamins, and books to the families.  For over a decade, Madison Rotarians have traveled to these remote villages to experience first-hand the importance of this international service.

Along with 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide, we are proud to be a part of the End Polio Now campaign.  We support this global effort to eradicate polio with our Change for Change Campaign and annual donations to Rotary International’s Polio Plus Fund. We are very close to the realization of this goal.

Club Service