R. I. President Message

RI President 2018-19 Barry Rassin - Feb. 2019

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Dear Fellow Rotarians,

In my travels over the past year, I've visited many strong, vibrant clubs and districts that are transforming their communities. When I attend their meetings, I can feel the energy. When I meet their members, I can see they are people of action. And when I look at their communities, I can recognize the impact of their work.I've also visited communities with Rotary clubs that were hardly more than social clubs. It shouldn't ever be that way. Fortunately, there's a simple approach that I believe can help revitalize any club.

I'd like to challenge every Rotary club to come up with at least one high-impact service project. Each club already has the potential, the resources, to make it happen. It has the power to change people's lives — completely.

It doesn't take millions of dollars. One of the most transformational projects I've been a part of involved providing a Jeep to a group of midwives in Haiti. We had asked the midwives what we could do for them, and they told us they needed a way to reach expectant mothers in a remote part of the country. We supplied a Jeep, painted it pink, and put the Rotary logo on it. Three years later, we went back to see how they were doing. They were excited by the outcomes: They told us that the mortality rate for mothers and infants in that region had dropped by 50 percent.

That's what I call transformational service.

But Jeeps don't last forever, and after eight years on the road, that vehicle was on its last legs. So we bought a pink Land Cruiser. It's still on the road, allowing the midwives to provide prenatal care to women in that remote region.

What makes a project transformational? It doesn't have to involve a lot of money, but it has to reach people and have a major impact in the community. That is the key, and that is where careful planning and thorough research come in. So do your research. Leverage your resources. Seek partnerships that can increase your impact. And then take action.

Of course, service is only part of what a strong club must offer. It must also have good speakers, provide leadership development, involve Rotaract and Interact, and bring value to its members and reasons to participate in Rotary events.

If your club is transformational and well-organized, everything else will follow. Members will be engaged, and new members will be eager to join you. Fundraising will be easier: People love to give when they see how their money is making a difference and when they know the organization is accountable. Your club will be vibrant, relevant, and alive — and it will Be the Inspiration to those within its ranks as well as to the community it serves.

Barry Rassin
President 2018-19

 

Trustee Chair's Message - Jan. 2019

Ron D. Burton, Trustee Chair 2018-19


Trustee chair's message

Every second of every day, Rotarians are doing good in the world through The Rotary Foundation. They are planning, funding, implementing, and completing projects, both locally and globally. It is a source of great pride for us all.

To me, this is one of the unique features of Rotary membership. You can get as involved as you choose. You can participate in a project from beginning to end, or you can join in anywhere in the process. But it all starts with you and me making a gift to our Foundation so that funds are available.

For many of us, a district grant offers the quickest and most convenient way to participate in grant activity, because it usually involves a local project. A district grant project is a good way to showcase Rotary, to get publicity, to involve prospective members as well as the beneficiaries, and to add value to your own community.

Global grants offer us a way to participate in international projects in one or more of our six areas of focus. As we develop a project idea, we conduct a needs assessment to determine what is needed in the community, the resources required and how they can be accessed, and how to carry out the project collaboratively with Rotarians, partners, and others in the field. We make sure that our project includes Rotarian involvement, benefits the greatest number of people, and can be maintained by the local residents once it is completed to ensure a long-term effect for the community. We all take comfort in knowing that these steps have been meticulously followed.

And, because of this proper stewardship and accountability, we all continue to contribute our time, talents, and treasure. You see, it is our Foundation. We are proud of it, and it is truly making a difference in our world!

Ron D. Burton
Trustee Chair 2018-19

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