Sounding an upbeat message for Rotary
District Governor Karen White brought a message of hope and inspiration to our meeting on Sept. 23.
White, a member of Rotary Club of Plymouth, began by imploring Rotarians to "Get your ask on!" Meaning, proudly wear the "Ask Me About Rotary" buttons that are available from International. She also encouraged us to be a "gift to the world" by giving of our time, talents, and resources.
White's district, 6270, comprises most of eastern and southeastern Wisconsin, and includes 55 clubs. She encourages every club to have each member take the Every Rotarian Every Year pledge. This is a commitment of $100 to Rotary Foundation each year. This money is invested for three years, after which 50% is available for matching grants to clubs. (See the article below for more on Every Rotarian Every Year.)
On the polio front, White noted that Nigeria has been polio free for one year. If no new cases appear in the next two years, the country--and, indeed, the entire continent of Africa--will be declared polio free.
The fight against polio has made great strides elsewhere. Afghanistan had 304 cases in 2014, and 27 so far this year. There were 28 cases in Pakistan in 2014, and just 6 this year. White praised the efforts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
for its support over the years. She says the foundation is committed to the cause until polio is eradicated.
White acknowledged that our club meets just two times a month, down from weekly. As district governor, she will encourage clubs to think outside the box. Doing so can help clubs remain vital and strong.
Nearing the end of her visits to Rotary clubs, White now turns her attention to Interact and Rotaract clubs in this district. "It's important that they feel connected to Rotary," she says.
White reiterated this year's theme as her call to action. "Be a gift to the world," she says, "for our time is now."
Also during this meeting, Erica Moranski of New Berlin Junior Women's Club discussed the efforts of her organization. For years, NBJWC has been raising money for a splash pad at Malone Park. They have raised $175,000 so far for a project estimated at $1 million.
Part of that cost, she says, would be for removing the existing playground equipment. The city is expected to do that next spring anyway.
Moranski learned recently that the city will not provide any tax dollars. NBJWC is now considering a universally accessible playground, possibly with a small splash pad. That will bring down the total cost. She invited Rotary Club of New Berlin to consider a donation.
To learn more about NBJWC, visit their website
Encouraging Rotarians to support the Rotary Foundation
Barb Senn, Annual Giving Chair for our district (6270), discussed Rotary's Every Rotarian Every Year program during her visit on Aug. 26.
She began with a review of Rotary Foundation's efforts, led by the polio eradication program ("an amazing feat," she calls it).
Next, Rotary will turn its focus to water and sanitation issues, she predicts. "We take it for granted in this country to turn on the tap and get clean water."
All told, Rotary is involved in six service activities:
* Peace and conflict prevention/resolution
* Disease prevention and treatment
* Water and sanitation
* Maternal and child health
* Basic education and literacy
* Economic and community development
With that as backdrop, Senn encourages Rotarians to donate to the Rotary Foundation. Contributions are invested for three years. Rotary uses income from those investments for operational expenses, then returns 50% of the funds to the districts. (The other 50% is applied to international efforts.) Clubs can apply for matching funds for qualified projects. As a result, it is possible for members' donations to be returned to their communities.
Senn, a member of Fond du Lac Morning Rotary Club, says Rotarians can give as little or as much as they like. Those donations can be annually or spread throughout the year. It is the commitment she asks clubs and members to make.
As she travels the district, she reminds Rotarians about our core philosophy of Service Above Self. By supporting the Rotary Foundation through Every Rotarian Every Year, Rotarians help the organization "continue the good work we do." Download a brochure about the program here
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