February 23, 2014 by tvo320
Today is Rotary’s 109th Birthday! Rotary’s surely looking good and is celebrating with 1.2 million members worldwide. I am SO fortunate to be connected to Rotary as an Ambassadorial Scholar. It is truly a privilege to be representing Rotary, sharing Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self” and taking action to create positive change. One example is the End Polio Now Campaign. Since 1985, Rotary has led the battle against polio and now with the help of several partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, polio has been reduced by 99%! When Rotary started the battle, over 125 countries were on this list and now only three remain: Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Incredible. You can take part in making this possible by signing the petition here. I already have!
In honor of Rotary’s birthday, I’ll be attending a Rotary Breakfast with my host club, the Rotary Club of Pine Rivers and then will be part of a Leadership Panel for the Interact District Conference. I look forward to (and hope) to share words of wisdom to the attendees. Rotary has been a leader for over a century and they have cultivated an environment for anyone to connect with Rotary in some fashion at any point in his/her life. You can become a member by joining a club, advancing your education by becoming a Rotary Peace Fellow or Global Grant Scholar, participating in a Rotary Youth Exchange, Rotaract, Interact, or Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA), volunteering with any Rotary service project, and so much more. When I take a step back and think about what Rotary does for others, I am blown away.
I also think it’s very important to mention Rotary’s founder, Paul Percy Harris. In 1905, he had the vision to begin one of the world’s first service organizations that was for business and social networking with the primary focus on local and international service projects. The name Rotary came from the group’s practice of rotating meetings among the offices of the members. One man’s idea still lives on and inspires others, inspires me. I believe that we are all capable of so much more than we can conceive or believe. I am proud to be a small part of Rotary’s bigger picture and hope you’ll join me in wishing Rotary a happy and healthy 109th!