The Rotary Show began seven decades ago in the midst of World War II, when the club decided to tap laughter to raise both money and spirits. Its history included a period when the production toured the region.
From the beginning, the Club has striven for 100% participation from Club members. Each year local members are challenged to be creative and do just a little more than the year before.
Significantly, this commitment has continued unabated since 1942. Although it would have been easy to abandon the show once oil and gas royalties started coming in, the club remains committed to engaging its members in the bonds of a shared activity that connects the membership and supports the community.
There are many interlocking pieces that come together to create the annual Rotary Show. They include:
- Work on the Production Team that creates content for the show
- Select and arrange the musical numbers
- Sing in the Rotary Chorus
- Sell ads for the program, which is the major source of revenue
- Act in one of the many sketches or deliver the news
- Work tech – set up, stage crew, lighting, sound, tear down, etc.
- Sell concessions in the lobby and auditorium before the show
- Entering audience during the pre-show
There are many months of ad sales, show preparation, music rehearsals, and other groundwork that go into the show each year. Beginning in 2008, the Rotary Club of Traverse City (noon club) invited the Traverse Bay Sunrise and Traverse Bay Twilight clubs to join in the show and to share in the proceeds. The combined efforts of all three clubs helps create a variety show that continues to have new energy and fresh ideas.