The U. S. Congress Designates Rotary International Day

The US Congress designates February 23rd as Rotary International Day.

Happy Birthday Rotary!
Rotary International Proclamation
Unanimously approved and read at the 109th U.S. Congress

WHEREAS, Rotary International, founded on February 23, 1905 in Chicago, Illinois USA, is the world's first and one of the largest non-profit service organizations; and

WHEREAS, there are over 1.2 million Rotary club members comprised of professional and business leaders in over 31,000 clubs in more than 165 countries; and

WHEREAS, the Rotary motto "Service Above Self" inspires members to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards, and promote good will and peace in the world; and

WHEREAS, Rotary funds club projects and sponsors volunteers with community expertise to provide medical supplies, health care, clean water, food production, job training, and education to millions in need, particularly in developing countries; and

WHEREAS, Rotary in 1985 launched Polio Plus and spearheaded efforts with the World Health Organization, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF to immunize the children of the world against polio; and

WHEREAS, polio cases have dropped by 99 percent since 1988 and the world stands on the threshold of eradicating the disease; and

WHEREAS, Rotary is the world's largest privately-funded source of international scholarships and promotes international understanding through scholarships, exchange programs and humanitarian grants; and

WHEREAS, more than 35,000 students from 110 countries have studied abroad since 1947 as Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars; and

WHEREAS, Rotary's Group Study Exchange program has helped more than 46,000 young professionals explore their career fields in other countries; and

WHEREAS, 8,000 secondary-school students each year experience life in another country through Rotary's Youth Exchange Program; and

WHEREAS, there are over 387,000 Rotary club members in more than 7,700 clubs throughout the United States sponsoring service projects to address such critical issues as poverty, health, hunger, illiteracy, and the environment in their local communities, and abroad.

Therefore, we, the United States Senate/House of Representatives, do hereby proclaim February 23, 2005, as Rotary International Day and encourage all citizens to join us in recognizing Rotary International for 100 years of service to improving the human condition in local communities around the world.

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Dec. 10, 2004: Rotary International President Glenn E. Estess Sr. will serve on a new federal commission to evaluate the effectiveness of the delivery of U.S. humanitarian and development assistance around the world.

According to the 10 December announcement issued by U.S. President George W. Bush, Estess will be one of 21 members of the Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People (HELP) Around the Globe Commission, which the U.S. Congress created to identify barriers to the effective delivery of aid to developing nations and devise new approaches to ensure that assistance reaches those most in need.

The HELP Commission will report its findings to Congress within two years after it is established. Estess, who will serve for the life of the commission, is among six members appointed by the president and one of two representing non-governmental organizations. The commission’s launch date has not been finalized.

"I'm honored to be chosen to represent the private sector on this important commission," said Estess. "I believe this clearly demonstrates the important role Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation play in the field of development assistance and humanitarian aid worldwide."

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