Rotaract

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Rotaract clubs around the world are celebrating World Rotaract Week, 8-14 March, honoring the chartering of the first club in North Carolina, USA.

During the week, Rotaract clubs are asked to partner with their sponsor Rotary clubs to complete a service project together, attend each other's meetings, and encourage a nearby Rotary club to sponsor a new Rotaract club in its area.

Rotaract enjoys a 42-year legacy. In the late 1960s, noting the success of the recently formed Interact program, for youth ages 14-18, the RI Board realized the need to provide opportunities for service, activity, and fellowship to young adults no longer of Interact age. The name Rotaract (derived from "Rotary in Action") was selected to show the program's close affiliation with both Rotary and Interact clubs.

RI President Luther Hodges inaugurated Rotaract in 1968, with the Rotaract Club of North Charlotte becoming the first club. The club received its charter on 13 March and had 21 members.

Within a day of the first club's certification, the Rotaract Club of the University of La Salle was chartered in Tacubaya, Mexico. The Rotaract club of Secunderabad, India, was certified the following week.

Since the 1950s, many Rotary clubs had been starting unofficial clubs for young adults, fueling Rotaract's rapid growth in its first few years. Rotaract grew from 21 clubs in 1967-68 to 289 clubs a year later. There are now more than 8,000 Rotaract clubs in 167 countries and geographical areas.

Rotaract clubs were originally open to young men and women ages 17-24. Since 1991, young adults ages 18-30 have been welcomed.