The Villages, FL, USA

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Service Above Self!

alt The Villages Logo

The Early Years[edit]

The Rotary Club of The Villages is a member of Rotary International. District 6980 is composed of clubs in the five counties of Central Florida. The Villages club was chartered on June 1, 1996.

Societal Contributions[edit]

Rotary has maintained it's strength over the years by concentrating efforts on issues that are relevant to communities around the world; such as, literacy, peace, education, and health.

Community Service[edit]

The Rotary Club of The Villages is the oldest of the three Rotary clubs in The Villages. With over 100 members from all professions, we annually raise nearly $150,000 for many local charities. During 2013-2014, our club provided nearly $60,000 in scholarships to area schools. One hundred percent of all contributions and proceeds from our fundraisers go towards our work in the community, our state, and the world.

International Service[edit]

Shelter Box USA Every year, hundreds of thousands of families across the world lose everything when disasters strike. Through no fault of their own and often with no warning, families lose their homes, their possessions and their livelihoods. Every day they are faced with a battle for survival and our mission is to help them.
ShelterBox is the premier international aid organization that provides emergency shelter and life-saving equipment following disasters such as earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict.
ShelterBox was founded in 2000 on a very simple principle: the right to life and dignity. We asked, "What would a family need to survive if they lost their home?" This question became a quest to provide a compact, universal tool kit to families displaced by disasters. ShelterBox would afford dignity, self-sufficiency and most importantly, human survival in the chaotic weeks following an earthquake, tsunami, landslide, flood or other disaster.
The top priority of many aid organizations is to provide food, water and medical care to help people survive the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Without protection from the elements, survivors are at a higher risk as they await nourishment or medical attention. We recognized that little or no assistance was given in terms of proper shelter to help them through the first few days, weeks and months as they tried to rebuild their lives. In response, ShelterBox developed a solution to help disaster survivors during the critical period following a disaster but preceding reconstruction.

Each box supplies an extended family with a tent and life-saving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.
The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value.
The donation amount to sponsor each box is $1,000, which includes delivery direct to those who need it. Each box bears its own unique number so as a donor, you can track your box all the way to its recipient country via the web site.
Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organizations, international aid agencies and a global network of volunteers.
Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief, providing emergency shelter for people who need it most following more than 180 disasters in over 85 countries. Our club donates Shelter Boxes around the world when need arises.

Youth Services[edit]

The Aquaponics Project was a vision of Ralph Cowell, a member of the Rotary Club of the Villages. Ralph did an area needs assessment and determined that the Boys and Girls Club in Leesburg was interested in working with the Rotary Club to establish an Aquaponics greenhouse to produce Tilapia fish, vegetables and herbs to help feed and provide good nutrition for the families of their kids in Lake County. These kids attend the middle school and The Villages Charter School and range in age from 6-18.
In addition, the Rotary Club and Boys and Girls Club entered into a three year agreement with the First Baptist Church of Lady Lake and Pastor Paul Harsh to provide a site for the project.
The church also provides after school meeting places for BGC programs at this location.
The fourth non-profit partner is Morning Star Fisherman from Dade City Florida. They run a large aquaponics farm and provide hands on class room instruction to teach the art of aquaponics farming. They will also be an educational consultant and trainer for this project.
Freddy Williams the area CEO for BGCLSC is very excited about the food and educational value of this project and has hired and trained a team leader Stephan Alderman for this project.
The Rotary Club of the Villages has donated $8,000 for the greenhouse, tanks, and plant beds. Rotarian David Reed as project Manager has put in countless hours researching and drawing up the plans and building this project with the help of club members.
It is the goal of all involved to use this as a showcase Aquaponic site that will be duplicable for other groups and children in need in Rotary District 6980 and other communities.
We sponsor

  • The Villages High School Interact Club
  • The Villages Charter Middle School Interact Club


  • Taste of Class
  • Chili Cook Off


1996 1996-1997 1997-1998 1998-1999 1999-2000
2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004 2004-2005
2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010
2010-2011 2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 Richard Phoebus 2014-2015 Ric Hutchens
2015-2016 Gail J. Lazenby 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020


2014 10th annual Taste of Class en Blanc, the Savannah Center

The 2014 10th annual Taste of Class en Blanc, October 19th 2014 at the Savannah Center, event served over 500 guests. The guests were decked out in white, It was a feast for the eyes. A feast of restaurants from around the Tri-county area served up their best dishes. A 100% of the proceed will be used to provide needs and services throughout our area. This year's chairman was Roy Smith Jr. Roy and his committee did outstanding work.

Meetings and Information[edit]

Please join us at our weekly meeting!
Thursday of each week at 7:00 am
La Hacienda Regional Recreation Center

1200 Avenida Central, The Villages, FL 32159 USA
Take 27/441 north, first stop light past The Villages golf cart bridge to Avenida Central. Then turn left for one block and then turn left again.
Contact us at
Rotary Club of The Villages
P.O. Box 1645, Lady Lake, FL 32158-1645 USA

Phone: 352-233-0370
Email the Club


District 6980

Club Virtual Presence[edit]

Club Facebook
Club Website
Taste of Class Event