First Cincinnati Rotary Do Days Inspires Community-Wide Service

The Rotary Club of Cincinnati is launching two days of community-wide service on October 21 and 22 – marshalling the energy of volunteers throughout the community to benefit 20 local non-profits. The event is Cincinnati Rotary Do Days, but you don’t have to be a Rotary member to join the team and get do-ing.

“Volunteers can sign up on the Rotary Club web site, through an on-line volunteer match-up platform,” said co-chair Owen Wrassman. Close to 300 volunteer slots range from doing health checks and installing smoke detectors to painting classrooms, doing outdoor clean-up, serving meals and welcoming guests at a Girl Scout conference.

“The projects we’re doing are not real glorious, but they’re a lot of practical things that need to be done,” said Susan Wilkinson, who is co-chairing Do Days with Wrassman.

“This is a way to introduce people to the great work that is being done by so many non-profits in our community, and to give everyone an opportunity to get involved,” she said.

The October volunteer blitz is only the beginning, said Wrassman. “We’re starting with 20 volunteer sites this year, but we want this to grow into annual Do Days of service drawing thousands of volunteers for non-profits across the region.”

The 2022 Do Days is a chance to be part of the start of a huge service movement, he said.

Rotary is a worldwide service club of business and community leaders with a mission of “Service Above Self.” Cincinnati Rotary Do Days grew out of the Cincinnati club’s Hands-on Service program where members pitch in where needed at non-profits across the region.

“Volunteering is ingrained in our members- it’s why we do Rotary,” said Wrassman, who is president of the board of the Reds Community Fund and is a retired vice president of finance for Baird & Company. Wrassman, of Indian Hill, said got his first taste of volunteering more than 40 years ago, helping to coordinate a program that recruited retirees as classroom mentors for high school students. “That lit a fire,” he said. “You could see the impact one person can make. That’s what attracted me to Rotary.”

Wilkinson, who is retired associate director of the Hoxworth Blood Center, said her volunteer roots stretch to Candy Striper days as a hospital aide.

“I’ve been very blessed in my life. Whatever I can do to help others is just part of who I am,” said Wilkinson, of Anderson Township. She said the Rotary club is the largest gathering of community-minded professionals in the region. “We were able to draw on the resources and the energy of our members to make Do Days happen,” she said.

Fellow Rotary member Doug Bolton is the CEO of Cincinnati Cares, the on-line platform that connects volunteers to non-profit needs and a partner in the Do Days project.

Each site will have a Rotary ambassador to greet volunteers and facilitate the project.

More than half of the volunteer slots already are filled with Rotary members and teams from corporate partners.

Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval will declare Oct 21 and 22 “Cincinnati Rotary Do Days” with a proclamation presented at 3:45 p.m. Oct. 21 at the St. Francis Seraph Ministries in Over the Rhine – one of the Do Days sites where volunteers will be serving meals to people who are homeless or otherwise in need.

The Cincinnati Rotary Do Days project addresses a critical need of all non-profits said Mary Pat Raupach, executive director of St. Francis Seraph Ministries.

“Without volunteers, we could not do what we do,” she said.

“We so rely on the talents, the skills and the life experience these volunteers bring – their energy and, most of all, their hearts.”

Volunteer opportunities and registration for Cincinnati Rotary Do Days is available at

Written By: Peggy Hodgson, Rotary PR