2021 – our Centennial year!

DeKalb Rotary – District 6420 – Club 3063

DeKalb Rotary Club Facts & Figures

The DeKalb Rotary Club was organized with 21 charter members on January 22, 1921 under the sponsorship of the Joliet Rotary Club.  The Club’s founding officers were President – Willard W. Wirtz, Vice President – EA Shetter, Secretary – EE Woods, Treasurer – CW Whitten and Sargent at Arms – Dr O.W. Nelson.

In 1923, one of the club’s first projects was the construction of an outdoor swimming pool built on South Malta Rd (Taylor St).  The pool was located at the present day site of Lions Park.  At the time the Chicago Tribune called it the “world’s largest outdoor swimming pool.” 

In September 1926, John McQueen of Kirkland donated land to the club.  It was located north of Kirkland on the Kishwaukee River and was given in trust to be used to establish a campground for Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations in DeKalb County.  Totaling 27 acres, the club built and maintained an outdoor swimming pool, six cottages, a mess hall, an administration building, a halfway house and six wooden screened-in shelters.  The club, under the leadership of Cy Kallal, who joined the club in 1936, our club spent many hours each year on maintenance projects at the site until it was handed over to the Scouts Two Rivers Council in St. Charles, who sold the property in 1980 to the DeKalb County Forest Preserve.  The Scouts are still enjoying the use of those facilities today.

There are two achievements of which our club is particularly proud.  The first was our sponsorship of the Sycamore Rotary Club in May of 1944.  And the second being our joint sponsorship with Sycamore of the Kishwaukee Sunrise Rotary in 1991.

Our participation in the Polio Plus campaign is notable, with Jim Forster being involved at the International level and our club being recognized by Rotary International as one of the top 50 clubs in the world in giving for the initial fund raising effort.  Our club has donated more than $100,000 to the polio eradication program.

Our club has had 3 district governors (Herman Cortelyou, DeWitt Osgood and James Forster) and 2 members with over 50 years of perfect attendance (Cy Kallal (59) and Del Shafer (60)).  Our first female member was Diane Leifheit.

In 2016/2017 we completed a Rotary International Centennial Project.  In cooperation with the DeKalb Park District, we purchased and placed a flagpole and shelter at Rotary Park, off State Street in DeKalb.

Join Us for Dinner

We welcome you to join our club for dinner on Monday evenings at The Ellwood House Visitor’s Center. Our meeting begins at 6:00 pm.

Learn More

For more information about the DeKalb Rotary Club contact us today.


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