RI President's Message - May 2017
As you read these lines, final preparations are well underway for
our 108th Rotary International Convention, 10-14 June in Atlanta.
We're looking forward to one of the biggest and best Rotary conventions
yet, as we celebrate not only a wonderful year of Rotary Serving
Humanity, but a full century of Doing Good in the World through
The Rotary Foundation.
If you haven't already made plans to attend, it's not too late to
register at riconvention.org. There is simply no better way to round
off another great year in Rotary than by coming together with 40,000
or so of your fellow Rotarians to share ideas, find inspiration,
and have a great time together.
We're excited to have Bill Gates, a friend and partner in our work
to eradicate polio, speaking at our convention this year. And it's
worth arriving early to attend a special Presidential Peace Conference,
scheduled for 9-10 June and featuring Bernice A. King, daughter
of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.
I'm proud to host a convention that is practically in my own backyard:
Atlanta is a vibrant, modern state capital just a two-hour drive
from my home city of Chattanooga, Tenn., and it's a great place
to experience the famous hospitality of the American South. Our
Host Organization Committee has a great week planned, starting with
the "Blue Jeans and Bluegrass" kickoff event on Saturday
Come on over to Centennial Olympic Park, right across from the House
of Friendship, and get in a dancing mood with Grammy Award winner
Ricky Skaggs and his Kentucky Thunder band. Meet up with friends
old and new at the Centennial Celebration Block Party or on the
Peace Tour of Atlanta. Roll up your sleeves for the Habitat Home
Build, or tie up your laces to take part in the 3K Walk/Run to End
Polio Now. And before you say goodbye, come back to the House of
Friendship for one more party: our Foundation's 100th birthday party,
with (of course!) cake and ice cream.
It's going to be an incredible experience, and Judy and I are looking
forward to celebrating with you – or, as we say in the South,
with y'all! See you in Atlanta!
John F. Germ
Source: Rotary International
Trustee chair's message
- May 2017
As we near the end of our yearlong celebration of The Rotary Foundation's
100th anniversary, let's stop to think about what the world would
be like if Rotarians had never created an endowment fund for doing
good in the world.
I think we can say for certain that without Rotary's historic
PolioPlus program, the world would not be on the verge of eradicating
Although public health officials and governments would have carried
out routine vaccination efforts, it was Rotary's leadership and
support that provided the impetus to move beyond containment of
the virus to global eradication.
And let's consider the other diseases our Foundation grant projects
have prevented and treated by providing access to health care,
clean water, and adequate sanitation. Malaria, cholera, HIV/AIDS,
Guinea worm – the list goes on and on. How many thousands
of people have avoided suffering and even death because Rotarians
carried out projects?
Without the Foundation, many more people would have remained illiterate
and many others would not have the vocational skills needed to
earn a living and provide for their families.
And then there is our quest for peace. In 2002, the first peace
fellows started class at the Rotary Peace Centers. Today, hundreds
of our graduates are using their skills to prevent and mediate
conflict and help those whose lives have been devastated by war.
In villages around the world, you see hundreds of signs identifying
Rotary Foundation projects. They stand beside water wells and
are affixed to clinics and schools. When I see one of these signs,
I feel proud to be a Rotarian and I think, "My contributions
helped make this happen."
Let's never forget that behind every one of these signs is a story
of the people whose lives have been touched and perhaps even saved.
It is their stories that demonstrate conclusively how much better
the world is because The Rotary Foundation exists.
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