Rotary International President Ron Burton's January 2014 Message
Dear fellow Rotarians,
We often talk about Rotary as an extended family, with all of its branches and generations. We value our youth program participants and alumni as important members of the Rotary family, and we place a special emphasis on service to children and families. We do this because we know that for any family, the youngest generation is the future. That is absolutely true for us in Rotary.
We know that it is essential for us to bring in a new generation of younger Rotary members. We've spent a lot of time talking about how to attract young professionals to Rotary – but perhaps we haven't talked enough about why they don't stay.
There are plenty of young people, some of them youth program alumni, who do join Rotary. But when they begin families of their own, many of them leave. It isn't hard to see why: These are young professionals who are already spending more time than they want to away from their families. No matter how much they love and value Rotary, they are not going to prioritize their Rotary service over their spouses and children.
Nor should we ever expect them to. This is why it is so important for us to find ways to welcome families into Rotary, so that Rotary and the family are never in competition for a Rotarian's time. Whether it's by planning service projects that involve the whole family, or providing child care during meetings, or being flexible about meeting places and times, we need to make Rotary service a viable option for those with young children.
When you welcome families into Rotary, you're saying: Your family is not an obstacle to your Rotary service. They're not something that has to be scheduled around. Instead of mom or dad going out to Rotary and leaving everyone else at home, Rotary goes on the family calendar. The family of Rotary is real. Those children are going to grow up seeing their parents involved in community service, and being involved in service themselves. Not only is that a great thing for the family – it's a great thing for the Rotary club, which will be helping to nurture a new generation of active, service-minded young members.
At every stage of our lives and our careers, Rotary has something for all of us – a way to let us do more, give more, and be more. Rotary is big enough for us all.
Ron Burton, President, Rotary International
Rotary International Foundation Chair D. K. Lees
RI Trustee's message - January 2014
January is Rotary Awareness Month –
a time to learn more about our organization. The more we're known
for our good work, the more good work we'll be able to do.
The most important responsibility we have is also the simplest: It is leading by example. We cannot ask Rotarians to make our Foundation a priority if we have not made it a priority ourselves, by making our own donation. This was the thinking behind President Ron's idea of the "First Class": In this Rotary year, every district governor has made a contribution, in his or her own name, to The Rotary Foundation. I believe that every Rotary leader should do the same. We cannot ask others to do what we are not willing to do ourselves.
Our goal in The Rotary Foundation has always
been Doing Good in the World, and we have an organization of people
with the right skills and connections to get the job done. We have
earned the confidence of our communities and the world. We take
our responsibilities very seriously.
I know that you have the ambition and the imagination. So I ask you all to act on them: to support our Foundation yourselves, and to encourage others to do the same – so that all of us can do more good in a world that needs our help so much. Rotarians worldwide worked to improve the lives of people in need.
Tremendous strides were made toward the eradication of polio. We made history on 13 January, when India marked one full year without a single new case of the disease. Long considered the toughest nut to crack, India has now been removed from the list of polio-endemic countries — leaving just Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Also in January, we were able to announce that Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge had been surpassed, six months ahead of schedule. On 30 June, the Challenge closed, having raised over $228 million for polio eradication, thanks to the generosity of Rotarians and friends of Rotary around the world. We are confident that Rotary will continue to lead the way toward the momentous achievement of global polio eradication.
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Rotary eClub NY1 * Updated 2014