Chaska Rotary Club has been a driving force in our community for more than 60 years, volunteering our skills and resources to solve issues and address community needs. 
Here is a brief decade-by-decade history of our club, along with a recap of the things we’ve accomplished.
Chaska Rotary Club was organized on May 11, 1961, admitted to Rotary International on May 31, 1961, and officially chartered on June 29, 1961. Our club started with 21 members, who initially met at the Green Lantern Restaurant, then the Chaska Bell Restaurant.
During the early 1970s, when the Jonathan community and the Chaska community were each vying for businesses and schools, Rotarian George Klein, president of Klein Bank Corporation, brought the two community factions together. In George’s honor, the George Klein Memorial Award was created and is presented each year to the person in Chaska who best exemplifies our motto of  “Service Above Self.”
In the 1980s, the club undertook several large projects, most notably the renovation and moving of the 1872 School House. The schoolhouse was dedicated September 9, 1984, and donated to the school district. Our club received a special achievement award from Rotary International for the hard work and dedication the club showed in accomplishing this project.
The 1980s also saw the implementation of annual donations to the Rotary Foundation, along with raising money for Rotary’s goal of eradicating polio, the establishment of Rotary scholarships, and annual parties in “the party barn.”
In 1989 Rotary welcomed women, and throughout the 1990s, several women served as president of the club. The 90s saw our club begin participating in the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Additionally, one of our most impactful programs, Christmas in May, was launched in 1995. Through this program our members help rehabilitate homes for low-income families. Its success has outgrown Chaska Rotary Club and is now a communitywide event utilizing the skills of our entire community to help repair, paint, build and renovate for those who are unable to.
2000s and Beyond
Our fifth decade saw our club undertake additional community outreach. We launched a new program, STRIVE, a scholarship program that recognizes and rewards high school seniors who show the most academic improvement. Also during this decade, Chaska Rotary Club began supporting various world projects, particularly in South America. Additionally, our club initiated the Russian Productivity Enhancement Program. Through this program 13 Russian business leaders were invited to be our guests for three and a half weeks. They stayed with Chaska Rotarians, visited local business and community organizations to form a better understanding of how a free market can generate economic growth.
Our New Teacher Breakfast was instituted in the early 2000s and continues to this day. Each fall we invite newly hired teachers in District 112 (both public and non-public) to join us for breakfast. Their supervisors introduce each new teacher and we’re inspired by a keynote speaker.
Chaska Rotary Club continues to make a positive impact on our community. In addition to the larger projects included in these web pages, we raise money through fundraisers and meeting activities to help local nonprofits and community groups. Our motto, Service Above Self, is alive and well within our club.