R. I. President & TRF Chair's Messages + R. I. Changes

Rotary International President Ron Burton's September 2013 Message

Rotary Website Redesign

Dear fellow Rotarians,

RI President's monthly message, September 2013

Paul Harris famously wrote, “This is a changing world: we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again.” While we will never know what Rotarian Paul would havethought of the Internet Age, I think I do know what he would have said about the idea of a Rotary website: that not only should we have one, but that it should be the best possible – keeping up with advances in technology, and always responding to the needs of Rotarians.

I’m proud to announce that after a redesign that has taken two years from concept to completion, the new Rotary.org is now live and availableto Rotarians and Internet users everywhere. It contains many of the features you’ve asked for, most notably a much improved search function and navigation, new ways to connect with your fellow Rotarians around the world, and a more personalized experience that will connect you with the information that’s interesting to you.

Rotary’s new website is actually two sites: one for the family of Rotary, and another for people interested in finding out more about Rotary. When you create an account and log on as a member, you’ll gain access to a host of new Rotary tools. One I hope you’ll all use is Rotary Club Central, an efficient and effective way for clubs to set goals, track their progress, and maintain continuity from one administration to the next. You can also create or join a Rotary group, an interactive discussion forum that gives you a way to find and talk to Rotarians with similar interests. You can exchange ideas and experiences, and benefit from the experiences of others from all over the world, at any time of the day or night. It’s a tool with wonderful potential to improve our service by allowing us to learn directly from others already involved in projects similar to those we might be planning.

For non-Rotarians, the new site will show what Rotary is and what we do, highlighting the uniqueness of Rotary and how Rotary clubs strengthen their communities. They’ll be able to see a snapshot of different Rotary projects and areas of service, find out more about how Rotary works, and explore ways to get involved.

I am excited about this new window on the Rotary world and invite you all to visit, explore, and learn – as we write the story of Rotary, again and again, together.

Ron D. Burton
President, Rotary International

Rotary International Foundation Chair D. K. Lee's September 2013 Message

Trustee Chair's message, September 2013

PolioPlus Update

In Korea, we have a proverb that means, "After hardships comes happiness," and it is an encouragement to work hard in the face of adversity.

Polio eradication is long, hard work, but when we have finished this job, we will have achieved something wonderful – and lasting.

Since PolioPlus was launched, we have immunized over two billion children and have seen a 99 percent decrease in polio cases. These past few years, we have made enormous progress.

But this last effort – the home stretch – is the hardest. It costs approximately US$1 billion every year to maintain our fight against polio. Even once we see no new cases of polio, we are committed to supporting eradication until the world is certified polio-free – a full three years after the last case is recorded. We're getting closer, but we are not there yet.

Until that historic moment, we must continue the fight with everything we have. We have to keep up the momentum, keep up the energy, and keep up the awareness. Every Rotarian needs to understand what polio is and why we are committed to its eradication. The answer is simple: If we were to stop our fight against polio now, we would lose everything we have worked for over so many years. Very soon, we would see a resurgence of polio to the levels some of us remember from 30 years ago, when more than 1,000 children were paralyzed every day. Polio would again be epidemic – and we would have lost the opportunity of a lifetime.

This is something we cannot and will not consider. We are in it until the end – and the end is truly This Close. Polio is a global health emergency not because the end is so distant – but because it is in sight.

Dong Kurn (D.K.) Lee
Trustee Chair, Rotary International

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