Who we are
Purpose of the Festival
- To raise money for Twin Ports Rotary Clubs and their charitable giving.
- To raise funds for the festival’s charitable partner, the Essentia Health Foundation.
- To provide a free, fun, family event.
The misson of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders. Rotary International consists of 1,222,293 members and 34,118 clubs.
Harbortown Rotary Club
Harbortown Rotary Club was chartered on March 24, 1984 with 24 members, and current membership is now approaching 90. Just as the club membership is comprised of people from many walks of life, it was decided early on that the goals of the club would not be limited to simply growth of membership, but also growth of fellowship, community and international service.
Harbortown has a solid reputation for community service. The club’s first service projects included helping move the county social services offices and painting a senior center office. These hands-on projects required a time commitment from members and became the heart of the club’s community service efforts from the beginning. Not only are these types of projects needed in the community, but they also serve to strengthen the ties among club members as they work side by side in service to others.
Further examples of past community service projects include construction of a playground at the Bethany Crisis Shelter, construction of a playground at Women’s Transitional Housing, extensive work at the Janette Pollay Girl Scout Camp (including making the facilities handicap accessible), and numerous projects at the Duluth YMCA and at the Y’s Camp Miller in Sturgeon Lake. Harbortown Rotary Club has a major commitment to community service projects for youth and senior citizens and is always seeking suggestions for opportunities in these areas.
One of the guiding principles of Rotary International (the governing body of all Rotary Clubs) is to provide service to all of mankind – both locally and globally. With this directive, the Harbortown Rotary Club is also very active in international service projects. Whether it be in South America, Africa, Central America, Caribbean Islands or India, Rotarians from Harbortown have joined together with citizens of these countries to complete projects as simple as painting schools and hospitals to as complex as building water reservoirs and rural clinics.
Sometimes service to others takes the form of monetary contributions. In order to raise funds to contribute to these worthwhile organizations and projects, the Harbortown Rotary Club raises funds through several fundraising events each year. Club members sell poinsettias, trip raffle tickets and contribute several hundreds of hours of volunteer time organizing and orchestrating the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival.
This festival is the club's single largest fundraising event and requires participation from each and every club member to make the event profitable, as well as fun for all. The continued success of the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival will allow Harbortown Rotary Club to remain very active and generous in service both here in the Twin Ports, as well as around the world.
Superior Rotary Club 40
Superior Rotary Club 40 was the first Rotary Club in Wisconsin. Chartered in 1912, the club has grown from the initial 24 members to a thriving and active club of almost 80 area leaders in business, education, government and non-profit organizations. Since its inception, Superior Rotary Club 40 has taken the Rotary motto “Service above Self” to heart by energetically participating in projects and services that benefit the community. Rotarians from Superior have served not only with their hands but also with their pocketbooks, contributing untold hours and dollars to community projects and Rotary activities.
The Superior Rotary Club 40 takes its commitment to serve seriously as evidenced by the many projects that it has undertaken to benefit the community. The revenues from major fundraisers (such as the pancake breakfast and Birthday fund and raffle) have supported the annual club-sponsored Rotary youth tennis tournament, and each year the Rotary awards two college scholarships to outstanding senior high school students. The club has also lent the expertise of its membership in mock interview experiences with students in both Superior and Duluth and has contributed to the expansion of the Superior YMCA building.
Over the years, the Superior Rotary Club 40 has recognized that it can maximize its service by entering into joint projects with other Rotary Clubs in the Twin Ports. Some examples of these joint efforts include being co-hosts for district conventions and Rotary Foundation dinners, as well as supporting fund-raising projects in all the Clubs. In 2001, Superior Rotary Club 40 joined hands with the Duluth Harbortown Club as a partner of the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival.
At each meeting of the Superior Rotary Club 40, the membership recites together the Rotary Four-Way Test. This weekly reaffirmation of the principles of Rotary helps the club remember what it means to be a Rotarian. It reminds members that they have an obligation to be more than just another citizen of the community and that they must take seriously the aim of all Rotary Clubs--is “Service Above Self.” Co-sponsoring the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival with the Harbortown Rotary Club is just one example of that commitment.
Superior Sunrise Centennial Rotary Club
Superior Sunrise Centennial Rotary Club was officially chartered as club No. 68,396 on February 23, 2005, the day of Rotary International’s Centennial. Superior Sunrise Centennial was formed not only to offer a morning Rotary option for community members, but also to expand Rotary opportunities in the community. Charter members numbered 28; 18 from our sponsoring club, Superior Rotary Club 40, and 10 members new to the Rotary family. Like all clubs, Superior Sunrise Centennial has experienced an ebb and flow in individual members; however, overall membership has remained strong at 28. It’s also a size that has fostered fellowship and generated camaraderie among members that may not occur in larger clubs.
From its beginning, Superior Sunrise Centennial has actively engaged in Rotary’s four avenues of service. All members take turns to perform club service activities associated with conducting an effective meeting, including greeting guests and members, offering invocation, securing and introducing programs, and engaging members in lively rounds of fellowship.
Members routinely enjoy community service projects such as assisting the Salvation Army with their annual bell ringing campaigns, volunteering with other organizations’ food drives, collecting back packs and school supplies for needy school children, adoptingfamilies at Christmas, and implementing an “Adopt a Not for Profit,” program whereby the club assists a local organization for a year with projects/services requested by the nonprofit organization.
Superior Sunrise Centennial members display vocational service in evaluating senior projects at the Superior High School, providing vocational highlights to club members, supporting the Northern Pines Girl Scout Council, and collaborating with the Chamber of Commerce’s Youth Leadership Superior Douglas County program.
During our short tenure, club members and generous supporters have created 23 Paul Harris Fellows, and our annual RI Foundation drives have generated over $10,000 in support of international service projects. Through the club’s efforts, a UW-Superior professor applied for and was awarded a Rotary Grant for University Teachers to spend a semester in Sri Lanka.
Superior Sunrise Centennial members have deep roots with the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival. Several of our charter members (former Superior Rotary Club 40 members) were actively engaged in giving birth to the first festival event in 2001. Superior Sunrise is honored to be a Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival Associate Partner since the 2008 festival.