R. I. President & TRF Chair's Messages

Rotary International John Kenny's November 2009 Message

November 2009

My fellow Rotarians,

The playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire; you will what you imagine; and at last you create what you will.”

There is no shortage in this world of people able to imagine a better future. But in Rotary, we do not just imagine that future – we will it, and we work to create it. This we do through our two great strengths: our Rotary clubs and our Rotary Foundation.

Over the years, I have been privileged to witness firsthand the fruits of the outstanding work carried out by Rotarians all over the world, supported by the programs of our Foundation. One thing that impresses me is how these programs focus not on short-term satisfaction or reward for the giver. The best Rotary programs and projects focus on building for the future – and making lives better for generations.

Two decades ago, we Rotarians made a promise: to make life better for the entire world, forever, by eliminating polio. It has always been an ambitious goal, but it has always been a realistic one. And now, thanks to our Rotary Foundation, we are closer than ever to reaching it.

It is my hope that with the help of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rotary’s US$200 Million Challenge, there will soon come a time when we will be able to say that we have made polio a thing of the past. For if we fail now, we will fail all those who have gone before us, and every child to whom we made a promise. If we fail, we risk our own good name, and the good name of all the Rotarians who came before us.

We will not fail. We can and we must succeed. I know that each one of you recognizes that The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands – and that the future of our Foundation is as well.

The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands.
John Kenny
President, Rotary International

TRF Chairman's November 2009 Message

Make an impact with a Gift to The Foundation

My wife, Mary, and I have three children and eight grandchildren. Looking back on many happy years of raising a family, I recall most clearly the days that stood out in some way from the others. I remember the day my son had his tonsils out – and ate a cheeseburger the same night! I remember the weddings, the graduations, and the births of each child.

But when I talk to my children about what they remember of their own childhoods, the answers are so surprising. They remember events that Mary and I have long forgotten – the simple moments that happened as part of normal life yet still created profound memories. These are the moments that define who we are. What we see, what we hear, and what we experience as we grow older shape the person we become. Everything we do as parents has an impact, whether we realize it at the time or not.

As Rotarians, we have a similar responsibility to consider the consequences of our every action. We cannot predict how significant our words and decisions will be. But we do know that everything we say and do has an impact. Our responsibility is to ensure that the cumulative effect is a positive one.

When we give to our Rotary Foundation, we know that the result will be positive. When I served as RI president, I saw the truth of this in so many ways. The poorest parts of the world are the places where the local clubs have the fewest resources. By giving to our Foundation, we bring help to the places where Rotary is needed the most – and fulfill the Foundation’s mission of Doing Good in the World.

Glenn E. Estess Sr.
Foundation Trustee Chair

Source: Rotary International

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