R. I. President & TRF Chair's Messages

Rotary International John Kenny's December 2009 Message

December 2009

My fellow Rotarians,

The idea of the family of Rotary is a simple one, and one that we celebrate every December during Family Month. Every Rotarian is part of the Rotary family – but our family is much larger than just our 1.2 million members. The family of Rotary includes every one of the men, women, and children who are involved in our work: the spouses and children of our members, our Rotary Foundation program participants and alumni, and all of those who are part of our programs, in the tens of thousands of Rotary communities around the world.

The youngest generation of the Rotary family is composed of our Rotaract clubs and Interact clubs, the participants in our Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program, our Ambassadorial Scholars, and our more than 8,000 Rotary Youth Exchange students every year. As in any family, our youth are our brightest promise for the future. Of course, it is my sincere wish that many of these young people go on to become Rotarians in good time. But Rotary is a part of them even today – and they are a part of us.

My wife, June, and I have been married for over 40 years, and I have been a Rotarian for nearly as long. Although women were not eligible for Rotary club membership at that time, June has been a part of the Rotary family from the day I first entered the Rotary Club of Grangemouth. There is no question that my Rotary service has demanded a great deal of both of us since then – but there can be no question that we have both reaped more than we have sown.

I believe that Rotary club membership can and should enhance our home lives and family interactions. As we work to attract more and younger qualified members, we would do well to remember that today's young professionals are often balancing work and family responsibilities. Adding in a commitment to Rotary service should complement, never compete with, those responsibilities. By scheduling meetings outside of the workday, planning activities that involve family members, and welcoming family members whenever possible, we help to ensure that every Rotary family will feel a true part of the greater Rotary family.

Every club should strive to achieve a balanced interaction between Rotarians and their families – and the family of Rotary. Only by working together, as a family, can we ensure that the Rotary of today grows into an even stronger Rotary of tomorrow.
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The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands.
John Kenny
President, Rotary International

TRF Chairman's December 2009 Message

Foundation Supports a Strong Rotary Family

This year marks my 50th as a Rotarian. I cannot recall whether, on the day I first joined a Rotary club, I gave any thought to what my involvement with Rotary might be in 2009-10. I am sure I never expected that Rotary would have become so much a part of the Estess household that it would feel to all of us like family.

I often talk about how The Rotary Foundation supports the entire family of Rotary. Rotary is like a family in so many ways – in the ways we lift each other up, help each other grow, and accomplish things together that we never could alone.

Through Rotary, with the help of our Foundation, we can take on challenges that no one else has the ability, or the inclination, or the organizational resources to tackle. We in Rotary share what we have in a way that no one else does – with love, with kindness, and with simple generosity. And that is why, when I was traveling with my wife, Mary, during Rotary's centennial year, she so often said to me, "The finest people in the world must be Rotarians."

What we have both seen in the last 50 years, over and over again, has been a pure and overwhelming desire to be of assistance – a desire that, thanks to the Foundation, is backed with financial and practical resources. Rotarians work to address needs that seem so large or so intractable that no one else will even try – or sometimes so insignificant that no one else will bother. In our Rotary family, we rise to these challenges because we know we can – with the strength of our Foundation behind us.

Glenn E. Estess Sr.
Foundation Trustee Chair

Source: Rotary International

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