Welcome to the 2017-18 Rotary Year!
We have come to the conclusion of an incredible year, capped off by our District Conference in May and the Rotary International Convention in June. Both of those events remind us of why we are Rotarians and how we are “Making a Difference” at home and around the globe.
Hundreds of Rotarians attended the District Conference at the Albany Expo. What a celebration of our successful year under DG David Reece! Awards and thanks to so many clubs and Rotarians. Thanks, PDG Dave, for a wonderful year.
Over 50 District 5110 Rotarians joined over 30,000 Rotarians from around the world in Atlanta for the annual RI Convention. Bill Gates addressed the group, as did Andrew Young, Ashton Kutcher, Jack Nicklaus and Rebecca Bender of our very own District 5110! While there, Gates committed to continue his 2 for 1 matching Polio Plus contributions. The Gates Foundation, many countries and health organizations around the world announced their total commitment of $1.25 billion of the $1.5 billion dollars that it will take to finish our work of eradicating polio from our planet in the next few years! Will this be the year that no new cases of polio are reported?
At the Convention, Jim and I were joined by representatives of our adult exchange groups to meet with our counterparts in Guatemala over lunch, including District Governor Julio Grazioso of District 4250. Many thanks to Rae La Marche, our new Group Study Exchange Chair and PDG John Cox representing the Rotary Friendship Exchange Committee.
I heartily urge you to start planning for next year’s trip to Toronto. Over 11,000 Rotarians are now registered to join in the fun and education. District 5110 has already begun making plans with District 5100 for a multi-district social event during the convention. You won’t want to miss the fun!
We begin our new Rotary year with renewed excitement. Our challenge, as shared with the club presidents at this spring’s training events, is to build on and strengthen the best of our traditions while embracing the change that will allow us to remain relevant in today’s world so that we can successfully answer the question, “Why should I join Rotary?” To do that, we will strive to improve the environment, promote peace and enhance business partnerships developed through mentoring and networking. We will celebrate Women in Rotary while recognizing the contributions of all Rotarians.
We are looking for each club to grow its membership this year, to continue our world-class level of Foundation giving, and complete adoption of the new public image graphics on webpages, brochures, social media pages and other means of communication.
All of this will mean an increased pride in being a Rotarian, more meaningful relationships, increased opportunities for leadership development through mentoring and networking and increased recognition of Rotary’s importance in the community.
I am looking forward to visiting your club in the months ahead. I hope to induct new members, present Paul Harris Fellowships, recognize a Quiet Rotarian in each club along with presenting a Making a Difference Award for those Rotarians who have gone above and beyond in their service to their club and others. I am excited to learn how clubs are making a difference in their communities.
Congratulations to both our immediate past presidents, officers and committee chairs on an outstanding job last year, and welcome to our incoming presidents! I look forward to working with you and your clubs this year!
District Governor Claudette and the 2017-2018 Club Presidents of District 5110