Rotary in Indian River County

 Founded in 1926, the (first) Rotary Club of Vero Beach has been serving our community through both local and international projects for over 95 years.  Currently, we have 50 members.

Our Foundation was created in 1996 and we currently have over $375,000 in assets raised through member donations and annual fundraisers. . We support our youth and elderly populations, college scholarships and the environment. RCVB focuses on giving back to the community in small but effective and long-term ways. 

 Our club-initiated HomeStay in Indian River County some 43 years ago. At that time, the RCVB was the only Rotary Club in the county. 
COVID-19 made this past fiscal year a universal challenge from which our club was not immune. In person meetings were cancelled and rather than sit back and wait for things to return to normal, the Board took action and initiated weekly meetings via ZOOM. Doing so meant we were no longer billed for lunches at the Yacht Club which created a unique opportunity to help those in need. Club membership rose to the occasion and in lieu of paying for lunch, generously contributed to the charitable causes identified each week via donations and happy dollars. In addition to our planned giving, almost $5,000 was additionally raised during the ZOOM meetings.  The Club Foundation continued to meet remotely and solicited grant requests from agencies which were on the front lines working with our community to provide immediate assistance. This resulted in over 30K being donated to the community thru RCVB.

     The Rotary Club of Orchid Island is a small club comprised of 16 members.  We are small in numbers, but we have a tremendous outreach in our community which focuses on child related projects.  Our signature project is feeding food-insecure children.  Our club partly funds a feeding program, which is run by Sebastian River High School's International Baccalaureate students.  Nearly 400 food-insecure children are provided weekend food on a weekly basis. 

     During the school year, each month, our club honors a local high school student who has excelled academically.  The student joins us for lunch and talks about how they have made a difference at their school with regard to community service, extra curricular projects, and what their plan is for college. 

     Our literacy project consists of purchasing hard cover books for elementary school age children.  We ask each of our speakers to sign a book to commemorate their visit.  Once we accumulate 20 books, we present them to a local elementary school library. 

     Sixteen members strong, the Rotary Club of Sebastian was formed in 1988 and is the second oldest Rotary Club in Indian River County. Focusing our efforts on children, we provide funds to the backpack program at a local elementary school (which provides food to needy kids to take home); we purchase backpacks and school supplies for kids in need; we donate Rotary dictionaries to all third graders in the five elementary schools in north Indian River County on an annual basis; and we provide college scholarships for high school seniors annually.

     In 2016-17 we sponsored an anti-bullying program for all middle schoolers at Sebastian River Middle School, and we sponsored an Arbor Day Tree initiative which provided a tree seedling to all fourth graders in the five elementary schools in north Indian River County.

     We also make an annual donation to the local Little League baseball and sponsor the attendance of at least two students on an annual basis to RYLA. Our projects are funded through our two fundraisers: an annual golf tournament and ShrimpFest & Craft Beer Hullabaloo.

     The Sunrise Rotary Vero Beach club was founded in early 1989 with 32 members, has grown to 92, and currently the largest club in the district. In the past 5 years the club has donated $277, 613  to local and international charities. This past year 65 projects were either hands on or funded by the club. 

     Our mission of the "The Young, the Old, and the Environment," guides our activities and giving initiatives. Our major fundraiser is in February, the Florida Craft Brew and Wing Fest with a new one being added, the Ring of Fire Chili Challenge.

     The club developed a matching funds program for some of the requests, to encourage the beneficiary organization to also find additional monies within the community, leveraging our charitable giving.

Oceanside Rotary Club was chartered in March 2009. We are a small club of 26 members.

We have tremendous outreach in our community focusing on several projects that include serving our Veterans by providing essentials to our military troops serving locally and overseas called our Holiday for Heroes Project. We also visit local assisted living facilities where we bring together Veterans and their families to talk about their military experiences while having a catered breakfast. Our Santa for Seniors Project brings smiles to the faces of the elderly at Christmas time. Our Literacy Project consists of our Little Free Library with free books available for adults, teens and children in our two artfully decorated libraries located in downtown Vero Beach. Our other community projects include Josh the Otter “Learn to Float Program” and our Annual Beach Clean Up. We recently have become involved with the Interact Program at the local High School.

Our signature Fundraising Project is the Wild Game Feast with proceeds benefiting local 501 (c)3 organizations.  Our Club Foundation has been granted a Matching Grant to repair a Guatemala Bus for our District Charity Giving project.