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Building peace, one act at a time
By Arnold R. Grahl
Rotary International News -- 14 September 2009
Gregorio Hernandez (left) and Lisa Monette (right) plant trees in Thailand as an act of peace. Photo courtesy Lisa Monette
Lisa Monette knew she wanted to do something for her class project that would have a lasting impact.
Monette, a Rotary World Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University, joined forces with three other peace fellows who were thinking along similar lines. Together, they dreamed up A Million Acts of Peace, an effort they launched online 27 August to encourage one million people to carry out one act of peace each.
"The idea sort of grew out of the thought that people can do little things that may not mean that much," Monette says. "But if you have a million people doing little things, you can have a big impact."
Monette's collaborators include Gregorio Hernandez Jr., a major in the Philippine army; Raseema Alam, a peace-building trainer and consultant from Canada; and Virender Singh Malik, a retired colonel from India. All have now completed the three-month program. In addition to the Web site, the peace fellows created a page on Facebook and are heavily promoting their effort through Twitter.
Their Web site defines an act of peace as "anything you do to further your understanding of another person, place or culture." It can also include efforts that help the vulnerable, outcast, or needy. So far, Monette says the group has tallied about 150 acts of peace, counted as people e-mail them or contact them via Facebook.
"Communication really is the key to preventing conflict. And dialogue is the key to solving conflict," she adds. "If we can get people talking and working together with others, we have achieved our goal."
Monette was sponsored for the Rotary World Peace Fellowships program by the Rotary Club of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She took a short leave from her job as a spokesperson for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, specializing in issues related to Asia and terrorism and security worldwide.
She says her grandfather was a Rotarian, and her father, aunts, and uncles participated in the Rotary Youth Exchange program. As a high school student, she took part in a one-week program sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ottawa that brings students to the Canadian capital to teach them about citizenship and develop their leadership skills.
"I fell in love with Ottawa," says Monette, who attended Carleton University to earn a degree in communications and political science.
She says she and her collaborators hope to hit their mark by the end of the year. But she admits she won't be terribly disappointed if they fall a bit short of their target: "To get so many people thinking about peace to us is the most important thing."
They are taking their message to Rotary clubs and districts to solicit as much help as possible.
"We really think this has a good connection to Rotary," she says. "It fits with Rotary's values. Rotary is all about peace."
12-16-09 - What Rotary club just celebrated a milestone?
New York club turns 100
By Ryan Hyland
Rotary International News -- 9 December 2009
Celebrating the Rotary Club of New York's centennial during a 6 November gala are (left to right) District Governor Karl F. Milde Jr, his wife, Cheryl, celebration chair Arcadio Casillias, Barbara Wankoff, and club president David Wankoff. Photo by linzphoto
The Rotary Club of New York recently celebrated 100 years of service and fellowship with a formal gala at the Union League Club of New York.
"This is a celebration of our club's historic impact on New York City, the United States, and the world," said Arcadio Casillas, past club president and centennial celebration chair. "We celebrate past success not as a culmination, but as a commencement of a renewed New York Rotary."
From its support of the Safe Water Project for families in Africa to its diligent fundraising for local families affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the New York club has improved the lives of millions at home and abroad.
The centennial gala, held 6 November, raised more than $100,000 for the club's foundation, which will distribute the funds to city charities that help the homeless and needy.
"Service has been the key to our success," said club president David Wankoff. "Exemplifying our motto, Service Above Self, our members often put their own personal and business affairs aside to serve the community."
Rotarians from several countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, flew to New York City to celebrate the club's centennial.
Jean-Claude Gruffat, a former New York club member, now a member of the Rotary Club of Paris, flew in from France to attend the party.
"I had to be here for the centennial celebration. It's such an extraordinary accomplishment," said Gruffat, whose business obligations prompted a move to Paris. "I came not only as a former member but as a friend and partner."
Gruffat's Paris club has partnered with the New York club on several projects in Africa and Eastern Europe.
Established on 24 August 1909, the New York club is Rotary's sixth oldest and has more than 120 members.
12-09-09 - What are the Avenues of Service, which form the foundation of club activity?
For years, Rotary’s commitment to Service Above Self has been channeled through the four Avenues of Service, which form the foundation of club activity. To get started on a project, think broadly about how your club and its members could contribute within each avenue.
Club Service focuses on strengthening fellowship and ensuring the smooth functioning of Rotary clubs. Learn about effective club service in Membership and Training.
Vocational Service involves club members serving others through their professions and aspiring to high ethical standards. Rotarians, as business leaders, share skills and expertise through their vocations, and they inspire others in the process. Learn more.
Community Service is the opportunity Rotary clubs have to implement club projects and activities that improve life in the local community. Learn more about community service and assessing your community.
International Service encompasses efforts to expand Rotary’s humanitarian reach around the world and to promote world understanding and peace. It includes everything from contributing to PolioPlus to helping Rotary Youth Exchange students adjust to their host countries. Learn more about participating in World Community Service.
11-11-09 - How many nationalities and ethnic groups live in Montreal?
2010 RI Convention in Montréal, Québec, Canada, 20-23 June
Sophisticated yet friendly, Montréal offers an ideal setting for Rotarians to gather at the 2010 RI Convention. More than 80 nationalities and ethnic groups reside in Montréal. In addition, it is also the largest francophone city outside of Paris, making it the most bilingual metropolis in North America. Register early now for “An International Experience” and to receive the best rates and accommodations. To go to the convention and experience the fellowship and Rotary at an international level
* Register for the convention and ticketed events
* Reserve your hotel
* Purchase host event tickets
There are several ways to register for the 2010 convention:
* Online registration
* E-mail for special tour group forms and other information
For questions, e-mail RI.
Note: You must be a registered Member Access user to register online for the convention. (Read more about becoming a Member Access user.)
User registration for Member Access may take longer than one business day. You will receive e-mails with step-by-step instructions to complete set up of your user account. Then, log in to Member Access, go to the left hand navigation bar and, under services, select "Register for Meetings" and on the next screen, "2010 RI Convention." To complete your convention registration, enter your credit card information to pay your fees.
An alternative method is to fax or e-mail your registration form. Register by 15 December to save money! 2010 housing
Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis, so book early to secure your preferred hotel. Booking for RI Convention housing begins 20 June 2009. Confirmations will be issued from Tourisme Montréal's Housing Bureau beginning in July.
* Online reservation through Tourisme Montréal's Housing Bureau
* E-mail: email@example.com
* Phone: +1-514-844-0848 / 1-888-722-2220 (toll-free North America)
* Fax: +1-514-844-6771
* Mail: Tourisme Montréal's Housing Bureau
1555 Peel Street
Bureau 600 Montréal, Québec H3A 3L8 Canada
2010 host event tickets
The host committee has planned events, tours, and a Host Hospitality evening with multiple options to help convention goers experience Montréal's cultural offerings with local Rotarians. Some of these events have limited capacities, so be sure to purchase your tickets early.
* Online ticket purchases
For questions, e-mail the HOC.
The venues will be the Bell Centre for plenary sessions and the Palais des congrès de Montréal for breakout sessions, booths, and the House of Friendship. These venues are within a short walk or métro ride of each other and many of the downtown hotels.
For more information about the destination and to download walking and métro maps, go to www.tourisme-montreal.org.
Information for first-time convention attendees.
10-28-09 - What is the Rotary/Google connection?
Rotary, Google join forces
By Donna Polydoros
Rotary International News -- 31 August 2009
A selection of covers throughout the years. Scans of issues of The Rotarian are now available through Google Books.
Rotary has teamed up with Google to make nearly 100 years of The Rotarian available free online.
Full-color, searchable scans of all issues of the magazine from 1959 to 2008 are now available through Google Books, with more issues to follow. The site is accessible from The Rotarian's page on the RI Web site.
Users can select from a gallery of issues organized by decade or click "Search all issues" to search the entire catalog for a word or phrase.
The collaboration is part of an initiative to make Rotary's historical resources more accessible to Rotarians worldwide.
"Google is doing all of the scanning and indexing to make the material searchable -- and at no cost to Rotary," says Stephanie Giordano, archivist for Rotary International.
More than 72,000 pages will be available once Google finishes scanning and uploading all 1,100 issues. The first issue was published in January 1911, when the magazine was called The National Rotarian.
Some issues of interest include December 1979, which reported on Rotary's first polio immunization project; the February 2005 centennial issue; and issues from the 1980s discussing the admission of women into Rotary.
Try it for yourself. Browse past issues now.
For a history of the magazine and a preview of early issues, check out a photo gallery of The Rotarian through time.
10-21-09 - How can Rotary save you money?
The Planned and Major Gifts Division of Rotary International often advises members who are considering donations of US$10,000 or more on how to maximize the impact of their gifts, as well as the potential U.S. tax benefits.
A charitable remainder trust is one in which the donor irrevocably places assets in exchange for an income, either for life or a certain number of years. This type of trust allows donors to reduce capital gains taxes on gifts of appreciated property and is a great strategy for incorporating charity into estate plans. It can be funded with cash, real estate, publicly traded stock, closely held stock, bonds (including tax-exempt bonds), and certain other assets.
Income will be earned at a rate agreed upon by the donor and the Foundation, with a minimum of 5 percent of the initial trust principal. If Rotary is named the trustee for your charitable remainder trust, it will cover up to 50 percent of the fee charged by the custodian bank, Northern Trust, to administer the trust.
Karena Bierman, senior planned giving officer for The Rotary Foundation, says that, for U.S. residents who include the Foundation as a beneficiary of a charitable trust, a charitable remainder trust passes the "four-win" test: Donors can receive a tax deduction in the year the gift was made, avoid capital gains taxes on the donation of appreciated assets, receive lifetime income from the donation, and enjoy recognition for the gift that supports the Foundation while they are still alive.
"Trust assets are invested right away to enable the Foundation to get the most out of the gift," Bierman says, "while the donor gets income and a tax benefit. That way it maximizes the benefit to both the donor and Rotary."
10-14-09 - When did the Rotary Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary?
Since the 1989 Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary clubs, women have been playing an increasing role in the organization. Today's leadership continues to encourage clubs to seek diversity by actively recruiting women. Watch a video, and read more about the history of women in Rotary.
Watch the video
Read more . . .
10-07-09 - What does EREY stand for and what does it mean?
09-30-09 - What is Rotary's $200 Million Challenge?
Help eradicate polio
Contribute to stopping polio
The biggest obstacles to eradicating polio are the underfunding of the global initiative and insufficient political commitment from the remaining polio-affected countries. Rotary International believes the primary source for additional funds can and should be governments of polio-free industrialized countries. Your contribution through Rotary will help ensure that we keep doing our part to get the job done.
Contribute to Rotary's $200 Million Challenge
Rotary's US$200 Million Challenge is the Rotary Foundation's response to the two grants totaling $355 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help eradicate polio. Every dollar given to PolioPlus will be counted toward the $200 million match, which must be completed by 30 June 2012.
Give through Rotary
Friends of Rotary are welcome to add their support to Rotary’s number-one goal. Contribute to Rotary's $200 Million Challenge today .
09-23-09 - What are the five Youth Programs of Rotary District 6940?
Five Rotary Youth Programs — Rotary Youth Camp, Rotary Youth Exchange, Interact, Rotaract, RYLA — help provide young people with education and valuable life skills to ensure a better future.
Rotary Youth Camp
The North Florida Rotary Youth Camp is supported by the Rotary Clubs in the eastern part of District 6940 around Tallahassee, and is dedicated to giving your child an unequaled camping experience. The camp enables campers to grow in self-confidence and to experience success in physical activities and human relationships.
Rotary Youth Camp is intended for any child, age 9-16, with a physical limitation, which would make it difficult or impossible to participate at other camps.
Rotary Youth Exchange
Every year approximately 7,000 students ages 15 to 19 go abroad under the auspices of the Rotary Youth Exchange program, either for the academic year or an extended period of time. The increased self awareness and global perspective that they derive from the experience would not be possible without the commitment of the many volunteer host families and the dedication of those Rotarians who serve as Youth Exchange officers. In fact, this commitment and enthusiasm is transferred to many exchange students who continue their involvement after their exchange as members of ROTEX.
Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people ages 14 to 18. Interact clubs are sponsored by individual Rotary clubs, which provide support and guidance, but they are self-governing and self-supporting.
Club membership varies greatly. Clubs can be single gender or mixed, large or small. They can draw from the student body of a single school or from two or more schools in the same community.
Each year, Interact clubs complete at least two community service projects, one of which furthers international understanding and goodwill. Through these efforts, Interactors develop a network of friendships with local and overseas clubs and learn the importance of
* Developing leadership skills and personal integrity
* Demonstrating helpfulness and respect for others
* Understanding the value of individual responsibility and hard work
* Advancing international understanding and goodwill
As one of the most significant and fastest-growing programs of Rotary service, with more than 10,700 clubs in 109 countries and geographical areas, Interact has become a worldwide phenomenon. Almost 200,000 young people are involved in Interact.
Rotaract is a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30. Rotaract clubs are either community or university based, and they’re sponsored by a local Rotary club. This makes them true "partners in service" and key members of the family of Rotary.
As one of Rotary’s most significant and fastest-growing service programs, with more than 7,000 clubs in about 163 countries and geographical areas, Rotaract has become a worldwide phenomenon. How does it work?
All Rotaract efforts begin at the local, grassroots level, with members addressing their communities’ physical and social needs while promoting international understanding and peace through a framework of friendship and service. What are some other opportunities available to Rotaractors?
Rotaractors may also
* Assist in organizing Interact clubs or mentor Interactors
* Participate in Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
* Become Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholars or Group Study Exchange team members
* Seek membership in their local Rotary club
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is Rotary's leadership training program for young people. RYLA participants can be ages 14-30, but most clubs and districts choose to focus on a narrower age range, such as 14-18 or 19-30.
RYLA emphasizes leadership, citizenship, and personal growth, and aims to
* Demonstrate Rotary's respect and concern for youth
* Provide an effective training experience for selected youth and potential leaders
* Encourage leadership of youth by youth
* Recognize publicly young people who are rendering service to their communities
09-09-09 - What is the source of the Rotary name and where was it first used?
History of Rotary International
The first four Rotarians: (from left) Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram Shorey, and Paul P. Harris Courtesy of Rotary Images
The world's first service club, the Rotary Club of Chicago, was formed on 23 February 1905 by Paul P. Harris, an attorney who wished to capture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth. The Rotary name derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.
Rotary's popularity spread, and within a decade, clubs were chartered from San Francisco to New York to Winnipeg, Canada. By 1921, Rotary clubs had been formed on six continents. The organization adopted the Rotary International name a year later.
As Rotary grew, its mission expanded beyond serving club members’ professional and social interests. Rotarians began pooling their resources and contributing their talents to help serve communities in need. The organization's dedication to this ideal is best expressed in its motto: Service Above Self.
By 1925, Rotary had grown to 200 clubs with more than 20,000 members. The organization's distinguished reputation attracted presidents, prime ministers, and a host of other luminaries to its ranks — among them author Thomas Mann, diplomat Carlos P. Romulo, humanitarian Albert Schweitzer, and composer Jean Sibelius.
09-02-09 - What is the name of the President-Elect of Rotary International, and where is he from?
Ray Klinginsmith, an attorney, served as general counsel, professor of business administration, and dean of administration for Truman State University (formerly Northeast Missouri State University) for more than 20 years. The president of the Chariton Valley Association for Handicapped Citizens since its inception in 1982, Ray received the 1988 Parent/Caretaker Award from the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. Ray is an alumnus of The Rotary Foundation's Ambassadorial Scholarships program, which took him to South Africa in 1961. He has served as RI director, RI Board Executive Committee chair, Foundation trustee and vice chair, Future Vision Committee member, Council on Legislation chair, and 2008 Los Angeles Convention Committee chair. A Major Donor, he is a recipient of the Foundation's Distinguished Service Award. Ray and his wife, Judie, live in Kirksville. [Spouse: Judie]
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