Who We Are

We are neighbors, friends and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Our differing occupations, cultures and countries give us a unique perspective. Our shared passion for service helps us accomplish the remarkable.

Welcome Message From The President

Mike Milward

Welcome to Rotary Club of Watsonville
I am so pleased to greet you as this year’s President of the Watsonville Rotary Club.  Our club is comprised of neighbors, friends, indeed leaders and problem solvers from all walks of life in our community who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

For more than 110 years, Rotary’s people of action have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, we are always working to better our world, and we stay committed to the end.

In the Watsonville Rotary Club we find that when we build relationships through service, we are the ones who are served.  We develop important personal and professional relationships through our common efforts toward the betterment of the community in which we live and work.  While the growth of our business or organization is not our motivation in joining Rotary, it is, in fact, what happens.

The Watsonville Rotary Club was founded in 1927 and our future is bright due to our active work in the community and our growing membership. We represent the Pajaro Valley through the efforts of our dynamic members who embrace Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self.”  Our members are committed to the betterment of our local community in a variety of ways, especially by supporting youth violence prevention programs and educational attainment for our youth through our Community Grants program.  In addition, we work collaboratively with other Rotary clubs, locally and internationally, to help support humanitarian causes in some of the poorest regions around the world with projects that feed the hungry, provide shelter, clean water and sanitation, literacy and medical services.

I invite you to visit our Prospective Members page to learn how you can become a member of this dynamic nonprofit organization.

Our club meets every Wednesday at the Elks Club in Watsonville from 12:15 to 1:30 pm. We always have a healthy lunch, plenty of good humor and fellowship, and an excellent program featuring top quality speakers who provide presentations related to the critical issues facing our local community and beyond.

What Makes Us Different

Our distinct point of view and approach gives us unique advantages. Our multidisciplinary perspective helps us see challenges in unique ways. We apply leadership and expertise to social issues and find unique solutions. Our passion and perseverance create lasting change. We make a difference at home and around the world.

How Do We Work

Our impact starts with our members, people who work tirelessly with their clubs to solve some of our community’s toughest challenges. Their efforts are supported by Rotary International, our member association and the Rotary Foundation, which turns generous donations into grants that fund the work of our members and partners around the world. Watsonville Rotary is led by our members, responsible leaders who help to carry forward our generation’s mission and values in their elected roles.


Our History

The Watsonville Rotary Club was founded on May 21, 1927, the same day that Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris. A small article on the front page of the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian newspaper covered the first meeting with huge headlines above the article about Lindbergh’s feat. The club has an average of 70-80 members with our most veteran member having joined the club in 1947. We have always been an active club in the community and around the world.  Our Rotarians have provided funding and sent members to Peru and Guatemala over the last 20 years to work on a variety of projects including literacy, health education, medical support and water sanitation. We provide support for local schools including financial support, student college scholarships, equipment and enrichment activities.  We have an annual grant program for local non-profits that serve Watsonville youth through an annual grant program We host a Job Shadowing Day for 80 students from Watsonville High where our members and other professionals  provide quality career “hosting” for the students.  We sponsor foreign exchange students through the Rotary Exchange program. We sponsor an annual speech contest and recognize student achievement at local partner schools at our weekly meetings. Our weekly Speakers engage the membership and guests with information about local, national and international issues.

Youth Involvement In Rotary

watsonville interact clubINTERACT meets at Watsonville High School during lunch every Wednesday in room 403 (Ms Shellman’s class.) Interact is an international organization of service that fosters leadership and responsible citizenship, and promotes international understanding and peace. Interact is a club for youth ages 12-18 who want to connect with others in their community or school. Interact club members have fun while carrying out service projects and learning about the world. The name “Interact” was created by combining the words “international” and “action.” Interact clubs are sponsored by Rotary clubs and Interact clubs organize at least two service projects a year: one that benefits their community and one that encourages international understanding. While Interact clubs receive guidance from individual Rotary clubs, they govern and support themselves and are included in Rotary International’s “Youth Services” Avenue of Service.


 atsonville rotaract clubROTARACT meets most Wednesday evenings 8:00 pm in the Amah Matsun Conference Room above the Baytree Bookstore on the UCSC campus. UCSC Rotaract annually invites 20 high school Interactors to the UCSC campus to tour the university and to attend workshops about applying for college and campus life.