R. I. President & TRF Chair's Messages

Rotary International Ray Klinginsmith's Aug. 2010 Message

August 2010

My fellow Rotarians,

Building Communities – Bridging Continents

Several Rotarians have asked me how I chose the RI theme for my presidential year, so let me explain. After reviewing all the past themes, I decided to search for a few words that would fulfill two objectives – to give outsiders a glimpse of our purpose, and at the same time to make Rotarians proud of their membership.

I searched for words to describe the passion, the creativity, and the generosity of Rotarians. And as I sought the right words, I kept in mind that Rotary is a spirit of service as well as an organization of Rotary clubs, and that we need to share our core values of service, fellowship, diversity, integrity, and leadership with other people and organizations. I considered many words and phrases. The four words I finally selected to convey Rotary's current mission and highlight our achievements describe what Rotarians do best, which is Building Communities – Bridging Continents.

I hope you agree those four words aptly reflect who we are and what we do as Rotarians. We are a unique organization and certainly one of the best in the world. We build the spirit and resources of our local communities in an important way, and we are a prominent player on the world stage with PolioPlus and our international service projects.

Rotary has changed the world, and Rotarians will continue to change it in a positive way. The formula is simple: For us to succeed, all we need to do is to focus our best efforts on doing what Rotarians are passionate about and what Rotarians are the best in the world at doing, which is Building Communities – Bridging Continents.

Ray Klinginsmith
Building Communities / Bridging Continents
President, Rotary International, 2010-11


TRF Chairman's August 2010 Message

The Rotary Foundation's Strength depends on membership, extension, and contributions

It is interesting to note that three countries – India, Japan, and the United States – alone account for 46 percent of the Rotary population worldwide. Together with Korea and Taiwan, they are among the largest contributors to The Rotary Foundation.

This is, of course, of greatest importance to The Rotary Foundation, as the possibility for it to support various programs is totally dependent on contributions from Rotarians, clubs, and districts. I am happy that in spite of the world financial crisis, Rotarians have been very generous and supported their own Rotary Foundation. This is something that we shall never forget – The Rotary Foundation belongs to the Rotarians.

Unfortunately, the membership numbers have been very static for quite a number of years. Controlling retention is one way to make membership increase or, at least, not decrease.

Another is extension. For instance, I feel it is time to seriously study the possibility of re-entering Cuba and again investigate the possibilities of expanding into China on a larger scale. I am sure this can happen if we really try. If we do not, it will never happen. These are just a couple of examples – there are many more.

Consequently we can note how membership, extension, and contributions all are linked together, and it is every Rotarian's responsibility and honor to work toward these goals as we are Building Communities – Bridging Continents through Service Above Self.

Foundation Trustee Chair, 2010-11

Source: Rotary International

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