Paso Robles Rotary
Dedicated To Community Service Since 1924
In early 1922, J. Valentine Wachtel Jr., President of the Paso Robles National Bank, became interested in forming a Rotary Club. He initiated an exchange of correspondence with Homer Hayward of the Salinas Rotary Club, John Williams of the 2nd Rotary District and Guy Gundaker, the President of Rotary International. This culminated in a formal application to Rotary International November 13, 1923. The original charter for the Paso Robles Rotary Club (#1602) was dated January 15, 1924 and was formally presented at a special banquet at the Paso Robles Hot Springs Hotel on March 15, 1924. This affair was attended by the 19 charter members and their wives as well as members from the Rotary Clubs of Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Monterey and the sponsoring club, Salinas. “Val” Wachtel became the first President with Directors, Ellsworth Harrold (Secretary), R.C. Heaton, Ray B. Lyon and Frank Booth.
In July 1963, the Paso Robles Rotary Club was incorporated under the Law of the State of California. In July 1988, Paso Robles Rotary Service, Inc. was organized as a separate corporation to administer the charitable activities of the Rotary Club. The IRS, granted this corporation Tax Free Charitable Organization status the same year.
Originally the weekly meetings were held at the Taylor Hotel. In 1929, meetings were moved to the Paso Robles Hot Springs Hotel. Meeting returned to the Taylor Hotel in 1931 and back to the “new” Paso Robles Inn in 1942. In 1978, requirements for more space triggered a move to Joshua’s Restaurant at 13th & Vine. Following the closure of Joshua’s, the meeting place was moved to the Paso Robles Golf Club. In 2004 the meetings were brought back to the historic Paso Robles Inn Ballroom.
Charitable donations to community organizations include, The Food Bank, Women’s Shelter, Hospice, Pioneer Day Collections & Old Timers Luncheon, Salvation Army Bell Ringing, and more.
The Paso Robles Rotary Club regularly supports the youth of the community through 4-H/FFA Auction, Boy Scout Troop 60, Skills USA, Bearcat Relay, Third Grade Dictionary Project, Library Foundation, Boy’s & Girl’s Club Fun Day, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards), Youth Arts, Ambassadorial Scholarships and $30,000.00 in Paso Robles high school scholarships.
Open World Program, funding International Grants to countries in Sri Lanka, Peru, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Romania, Bali and Mexico for water well projects, bakeries, wheel chairs and latrines.
The Paso Robles Rotary Club meets every Thursday at Noon at The Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. For more information visit www.pasoroblesrotary.org.