RI President 2018-19 Barry Rassin
- June 2019
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
As I look back on all the things I have seen and the people I have
met since becoming president of Rotary International last July,
I am certain of this: Rotary’s capacity to transform lives
for the better is unparalleled. Our impact is far beyond anything
I could have imagined when I first became a Rotarian.
I think about the Rotarians I met in Pakistan, who partnered with
Coca-Cola to improve sanitation in Karachi’s neighborhoods
while supporting polio eradication efforts. I think about the Puerto
Rican Rotarians who are helping entire communities rebuild their
lives after Hurricane Maria. I think about the German Rotaractors
who are working to save bees — whose role as pollinators is
so important to our planet — from extinction. I think about
the six Rotarians and Rotaractors who were honored as People of
Action: Young Innovators at Rotary Day at the United Nations in
Nairobi, Kenya, in November for their work to create novel solutions
to tough challenges.
It seems like only yesterday that I stood on a stage in San Diego
and asked you to Be the Inspiration in your clubs, in
your communities, and in the world. Your response was an inspiration
to me. You are paving the way for Rotaractors to become our future
leaders, helping start new Rotaract clubs and working to include
Rotaractors in Rotary events and projects in your communities. You
are working hard to eradicate polio, participating in 4,200 events
in more than 100 countries for World Polio Day. And you are carrying
out transformative projects that will create lasting change in your
communities and in the world.
This year, I also saw how Rotary’s work to build peace is
bearing fruit. The 98 Rotary Peace Fellows who are studying at our
peace centers will soon graduate, joining more than 1,200 others
in applying their conflict resolution skills to problems that need
solutions. And this month, Esther and I will travel to Hamburg,
Germany, for a convention where people of all races, nationalities,
religions, and political backgrounds will unite because they want
to make the lives of all people better.
Seeing what Rotary means to people — to the communities we
serve and to Rotarians themselves — has deepened my affection
and admiration for all that Rotary is and does.
Soon it will be time for Esther and me to return home to Nassau.
When we get there, I will look out on the vast sea that surrounds
our island, and it will remind me of Rotary’s limitless possibilities,
and of the amazing future that awaits us beyond the horizon. I look
forward to sailing there with you.
Trustee Chair's Message - June
Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair
Trustee chair's message
A message from The Rotary Foundation Trustees
As thousands of Rotarians around the world board flights
to Hamburg for the Rotary International Convention in just
a few days, someone in line might see one of our pins or
a Rotary tag on our luggage and ask, “Are you a Rotarian?”
After we answer with an enthusiastic “yes,”
there’s much more to say about how we, as people of
action, are making the world a better place — through
our connections within clubs and through the transformative
power of The Rotary Foundation.
We can talk about how Rotary implements projects that will
help communities long after we’re all gone. We can
describe how clubs in one country pool funds with those
from another to make communities healthier, more prosperous,
and better educated. We can share how our clubs partnered
with global health leaders to bring the scourge of polio
to its knees. And we can proudly note that much of the good
that Rotary does now and will do in the future is because
of the Foundation and its promise to transform gifts into
projects that change lives.
As we gather in Hamburg to mark another successful Rotary
year, we have much to celebrate. At publication time, we
had approved 1,078 global grant applications, with total
funding of $76.5 million.
Last July, we launched the community assessment component
as a requirement for all global grant or vocational training
team applications as part of our commitment to sustainability.
That approach also informs why we established the Rotary
Disaster Response Fund and Grant this year, which allows
distribution of grants up to $25,000 for worldwide Rotarian
We also saw the Rotary Peace Centers significantly grow
and increase their impact. From among record numbers of
applicants in 2019, around 100 Peace Fellows will be chosen,
and once they graduate, they will join more than 1,200 others
in applying their conflict resolution skills to global problems.
And as of this writing, we are extraordinarily close to
meeting this year’s fundraising goal, but we still
need your help to surpass it.
We are committed to strengthening and growing the Foundation
for the future. As we look forward to a new Rotary year
and opportunities to make an even greater impact in communities
worldwide, we would like to thank our chair, Brenda M. Cressey,
for her leadership during the past two months. Should you
have questions about the Foundation’s recent leadership
transition, we invite you to find more information at my.rotary.org.
There are countless ways the Foundation fuels our ability
to be proud Rotary members. In turn, there is so much we
can do to help it grow.
End your Rotary year on a high note: Visit my.rotary.org/donate.
We thank you for your generosity and for all you do in Rotary.
Ron D. Burton
Trustee Chair 2018-19
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