Rotary Club of Classic City of Athens – Some History

In the early 1970s the Rotary Club of Athens, then part of District 692, began the process of extending a new club in the Athens area. The Rotary Club of Athens West was officially organized April 8 and admitted to RI April 24, 1975. Past district governors H. Randolph Holder, Billy Hudson, and Ed Benson assisted in the chartering process, and the club’s early meetings were held at the home of Randolph and Clementi Holder. In 2000, our club held a celebration to commemorate our first 25 years, with a party attended by many former members as well as current ones.

On February 9, 2006, the Board of Directors of Rotary International officially approved our club’s request to be renamed “The Rotary Club of the Classic City of Athens, Georgia USA.” As Classic City Rotary Club, we are open to members from anywhere in the Athens area, and have a diverse and active membership.

Each year, our club takes on significant service activities locally and internationally. Club members have helped lead Rotary service and fellowship projects in Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, Italy, Afghanistan, and Mexico. Innovative fund-raisers that have helped support this service over the years have included Vidalia onion sales; auctions; chili cook-offs; celebrity roasts; wine tastings; music events; and raffles.


Club is chartered as “Athens West” Rotary.


Becky Eiss serves as the club’s first female president. (Presently, 50% of our membership is female.)


To celebrate Rotary’s Centennial, our club develops and improves a public-access plaza to the North Oconee River Greenway in downtown Athens.


The Vic Chesnutt Songwriter of the Year awards program is initiated by Classic City Rotary.


Classic City Rotary achieves 501c3 nonprofit status.


Classic City Rotary exceeds its goal of planting one tree per club member to landscape JJ Harris Elementary School in north Athens.


Club changes meeting location from the Holiday Inn to Trumps, then holds virtual meetings during the pandemic.


Gerry Taylor is the first Classic City Rotary member to serve as District Governor for District 6910.


We will celebrate 50 years of serving the Athens community!

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