Be a Gift to the World

–submitted by Stan Inhorn; photo by Will Anzenberger

Club President Ellsworth Brown pictured here with District Governor Mary Van Hout

Club President Ellsworth Brown pictured here with District Governor Mary Van Hout

On September 23, Rotary District Governor Mary Van Hout described her personal relationship to Rotary and the many ways it has affected her life. She said that one word “Give” defines how her Rotary membership has affected her civic involvement.    Many people are wary of becoming involved or giving of their time and money to philanthropic organizations but they underestimate the benefits that accrue.

This year’s Rotary International motto is “Be a Gift to the World.” This motto emphasizes the five core values of Rotary:

  1. Friendship – You have many friends throughout the community.
  2. Leadership – There is an opportunity for personal development.
  3. Integrity – This is based on the 4-way test of Rotary.
  4. Service – You place service above self.
  5. Diversity – You understand the value of acceptance of other political views, religions, ethnicity, social and economic status.

Mary learned many of these values growing up in a small rural area in Wisconsin where she observed how neighbors helped each other by working in teams to carry out their chores. When she was 10, her mother died, and neighbors displayed random acts of kindness to Mary and her several siblings. In 2000, Mary learned about the Rotary Orphan Train Project, and she took her first international trip to Guatemala. The Rotarians’ intent was to institute a computer program, but the Catholic sister in charge of the orphanage insisted that the money could be better used to build a poultry barn. The girls would then learn how to grow their own food as well as developing business skills. Since this trip, Mary has pursued many other international service projects. She implores Rotarians to balance the “Giving” word with “Getting” as you consider the many benefits of Rotary membership.

Did you miss our meeting this week?  CLICK to watch the video.

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