R. I. President Message

RI President 2018-19 Barry Rassin, - July 2018

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Dear Fellow Rotarians,

One year ago, your Rotary International Board of Directors adopted a new vision statement, reflecting our aspirations for our organization and its future. It reads, “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change – across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”

That simple sentence distills so much of what is essential about Rotary. We unite, because we know that we are far stronger together than we could ever be alone. We take action, because we are not dreamers, but doers. We work
to create lasting change
that will endure long after our involvement has ended – across the globe and in our communities. And perhaps most important of all, we work to create change in ourselves – not just building a better world around us, but becoming better people ourselves.

A quotation attributed to French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry goes: “If you want to build a boat, don’t begin by collecting wood, cutting boards, or assigning tasks. Begin by awakening in the souls of your workers a longing for the vast and boundless sea.” Each of us came to Rotary because we had a longing – to have an impact, to make a difference, to be part of something larger than ourselves. That desire, that vision for a better world and our role in building it, is what drives us in Rotary. It’s what made us become members, it’s what motivates us to serve, and it’s what led me to choose our theme for this Rotary year: Be the Inspiration.

I want to see Rotary Be the Inspiration for our communities by doing work with a transformational impact. It’s time to start moving forward, by removing the barriers that are holding us back. Let’s make it easier to make adjustments in our clubs or start new clubs that suit different needs. Let’s work to strengthen Rotaract and smooth the transition from Rotaract clubs into Rotary. Let’s give all Rotarians the flexibility to serve in the ways that work best for them, so that every Rotarian finds enduring value in Rotary membership.

Truly sustainable service, the kind of service we strive for in Rotary, means looking at everything we do as part of a larger global ecology. This year, I ask all of you to Be the Inspiration for sustainable service by addressing the impact of environmental issues on our work. The environment plays a key role in all six of our areas of focus, and that role is only becoming greater as the impact of climate change unfolds. It’s time to move past seeing the environment as somehow separate from those six areas. Clean air, water, and land are essential for healthy communities – and essential for the better, healthier future we strive for.

Be the Inspiration – and together we can, and we will, inspire the world.

Barry Rassin
President 2018-19

 

Trustee Chair's Message - July 2018

Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair 2018-19


About a year and a half after I joined my Rotary club, I terminated my membership because I missed four consecutive meetings. That was the rule at the time. I’ll freely admit – I didn’t care much for the food or the weekly meetings. I didn’t think they were the best use of my time. But the real issue was that I wasn’t engaged. I had no role, I had no reason to be a member, and I didn’t need to go to a luncheon meeting every week that appeared to offer me absolutely nothing. 

But then my incoming club president asked me to chair the club’s Rotary Foundation committee for the next Rotary year. That was a turning point for me, and the rest is history. I want you all to think about engaging those members who have their doubts about Rotary. In 2018-19, I need your help. I want you to join me in focusing on our four core goals for the Foundation.

First, the No. 1 priority of our entire organization (and this won’t be a surprise) is ending polio. We must fulfill our promise of a polio-free world to every child.

Second, we must increase the sustainability of our service efforts within the six areas of focus. This means conducting thorough needs assessments. It means working with communities to see what they really need and get them to buy in – to own the project and measure it over time.

Our third priority is to encourage districts to use all their District Designated Funds. Whether through district grants, global grants, or PolioPlus, there are many ways to form transformative partnerships and put these funds to work.

Finally, we choose to build our Rotary Foundation Endowment to $2.025 billion by 2025. Our comprehensive fundraising goal for the year is $380 million. These funds will allow us to continue the life-changing programs that Rotary members undertake every day. But we each need to think about our Rotary legacy. The Endowment is our future.

So please join me, and let’s make this a legacy-building year for Rotary. Your legacy, Rotary’s promise.

Ron D. Burton
Trustee Chair 2018-19

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