Our Club History

The Rotary Club of Newport News (RCNN) was chattered August 1, 1916 with E. I. Ford serving as its first president.  There were about 28 all male charter members representing large businesses primarily in downtown Newport News.  Meetings were held twice monthly at the Warwick Hotel (dinner on the 1st Tuesday and lunch on 3rd Wednesday).  Over the years it met at various times and places until 2000 when it was a Tuesday breakfast club at CNU.

The Rotary Club of Denbigh (RCD) was chartered December 5, 1993 with Jim Betts as its first president.  The RCD was sponsored by the RC of Oyster Point which years before had been sponsored by the RCNN.  RCD always met Thursday noon at the Patrick Henry Airport.

Due to declining membership both clubs consolidated on July 1, 2000 and kept the Newport News name and charter of August 1, 1916.  The newly combined club had 51 members with Michael Shapiro serving as president.  Meetings were Tuesday noon at Angelo’s on J. Clyde Morris Blvd. before moving to the James River Country Club about nine years ago. The Rotary Club of Newport News now has 93 (48% females) active members with 4 of our past 5 presidents being female.  The club has come a long way for the better over the past 98 years.

What would it take to change the world? Rotary’s 1.2 million members believe it starts with a commitment to Service Above Self.

In more than 34,000 clubs worldwide, you’ll find members volunteering in communities at home and abroad to support education and job training, provide clean water, combat hunger, improve health and sanitation, and eradicate polio.