From the Vision of One to Many
The Gilbert Rotary Club was chartered by Rotary International on January 18, 1984 and was sponsored by Mesa Rotary. Charter members of the club reflected the population, 12,102, and character of Gilbert, a growing suburban community in the Phoenix metropolitan area with deep agricultural roots. This was reflected as well in the desire to be a morning breakfast club.
Members included a funeral director, Gilbert schools administration, town management, agriculture (Marvin Morrison and the Sharp brothers Clyde and David all of whom were dairy farmers), political leaders, real estate, construction, and banking. The club met at a restaurant in Mesa called Sir George’s (now the Mi Amigos restaurant) between Baseline and Southern Avenues on Gilbert Road.
Gilbert Rotary’s Centennial ProjectThe Gilbert Observatory was dedicated October 23, 2006 and was the Centennial Project by Gilbert Rotary to celebrate 100 years of Rotary.
The club first moved to the Val Vista Lakes clubhouse, then in the tradition of Rotary moved to various restaurants around Gilbert, now meeting at Egg and I restaurant in far southern Gilbert. There are now no original charter members still with the club. The fundraiser the club was known for was a pancake breakfast. In later years golf tournaments replaced the food, given the regulation by county health, and given the influx of residents it also matched their interests and support. Gilbert Rotary has hosted several exchange students over the years from France, Sweden, Brazil, Germany, Japan and most recently Austria.