RI President's Message - March 2017
Forty years ago, the Rotary Club of Duarte, Calif., admitted three
women members, in violation of the Rotary International Constitution.
As a result, the club's charter was terminated by RI.
Undeterred, the club's members continued to meet. They put an X
over their Rotary insignia, made themselves new pins, and dubbed
themselves the Ex-Rotary Club of Duarte as they continued to fight
for the right of women to serve as Rotarians. Ten years later, a
restored Rotary Club of Duarte sent Sylvia Whitlock, Rotary's first
female club president, to a presidents-elect training seminar. Not
long after that, in 1989, Rotary's Council on Legislation permanently
ended Rotary's status as a men-only organization.
Today, with more than 240,000 women in our clubs, Rotary is stronger
than ever. We are women and men from nearly every country of the
world, serving our communities in more than 35,000 clubs. At the
club level, we need men and women of all backgrounds, ages, cultures,
and professions; internationally, we need clubs in every city, country,
and region of the world. The better our clubs reflect their communities,
the better we can serve them. Our diversity is our strength.
It is difficult for most of us to imagine today why anyone argued
so strongly against the idea of women in Rotary. Looking back, I
think that opposition came from a simple resistance to change. Rotarians
loved Rotary the way it was and couldn't imagine it any other way.
We still love Rotary as much as we ever did. We love the friendships
and connections we make there, and the ability Rotary provides us
to serve humanity. We believe Rotary has tremendous value in our
own lives and in the world at large. And we recognize, more than
ever, that for Rotary to continue to grow, it needs to embrace the
world it serves – in all of its diversity, all of its variety,
and all of its evolving needs for service.
The Rotarians of today owe a debt of gratitude to the Rotarians
of Duarte 40 years ago. Their determination, persistence, and enduring
goodwill set the stage for the organization we have become: Rotary
John F. Germ
Source: Rotary International
Trustee chair's message
When you give to The Rotary Foundation, you can be completely
confident that your fellow Rotarians put those donations to work
on life-changing projects in our six areas of focus. That confidence
should inspire our continued support, especially when we consider
the remarkable results.
In March, as we observe Water and Sanitation Month, let's take
a closer look at how Rotarian-led projects are providing millions
of people with access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities.
This area of focus has long been high on many Rotarians' service
agendas, and for good reason – 663 million people do not
have access to clean water, and one-third of the world's population
live without access to a toilet.
Think about how different life would be if you had to spend hours
each day fetching water or worry about the threat of dysentery,
cholera, Guinea worm, and a host of other waterborne diseases.
Our efforts in providing clean water have far-reaching effects.
An estimated 10,000 clubs participate in water- and sanitation-related
projects, with strong support from our Foundation. In 2015-16
alone, The Rotary Foundation provided $19 million for global grants
in this area of focus.
And that's just one of the six critically important issues that
our Foundation is addressing today. In 2015-16, our Foundation
provided $76 million for all global grants, which also fight disease,
save mothers and children, promote peace, support education, and
provide economic opportunities to many people worldwide. Your
gifts are what make this good work possible.
Our Foundation was conceived in 1917 to "do good in the world,?"
and that is exactly what it has been doing for 100 years. To celebrate
this milestone, I encourage all Rotarians to consider making a
special centennial contribution to ensure that we continue our
urgent and transformational work throughout the world.
Kalyan Banerjee - Trustee
Celebrate the new year
January marks the start of a new year on many
calendars, but in Rotary, we begin our year in July. That puts us
at the halfway point — a good time to take stock of our progress
and set goals for the remainder of the year.
An annual to-do list for The Rotary Foundation
might include the following items:
Contribute to the End Polio Now campaign to take advantage
of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2-to-1 match.
Start a simple or large-scale project in your
community supported by a grant and keep the community informed.
Recommend a promising candidate for the Rotary Peace Centres programme.
Host a Rotary Scholar or vocational training team.
Enroll in Rotary Direct for easy recurring giving.
Include a bequest to the Foundation in your estate plan.
Apply for a Rotary International credit card, which allocates a
portion of each purchase you make to The Rotary Foundation.
As you can see, there are many ways to support
our Foundation and carry out its humanitarian mission. This year,
we have another item to add to our checklist: Celebrate The Rotary
Here are some of the ways you can observe
Work with your club to plan a birthday party, fundraiser, or event
in your community to let others know more about Rotary and its Foundation.
Download a promotion kit from rotary.org/foundation100 for ideas.
Promote your club’s Foundation grant projects to local media.
Dedicate club meetings to the discussion of Rotary Foundation
Read the history of The Rotary Foundation in Doing Good in
the World: The Inspiring Story of The Rotary Foundation’s
First 100 Years. Copies are available in hardback or e-book
format at shop.rotary.org.
Share your centennial plans and events on social media using #TRF100.
Of course, the biggest birthday party of all
will take place in Atlanta from 10 to 14 June, when thousands of
Rotarians will come together for the Rotary International Convention.
I hope you will join me and the Foundation Trustees to make this
the best party of the year.
Trustee Chair's Message, January 2017
- Kalyan Banerjee, Trustee Chair 2016 - 17