Category Archives: Rotary District 6250

Who We Are as Rotarians Worldwide

–submitted by Valerie Renk


Joe & Tina Ruskey

After a standing ovation, Rotary District Governor Joe Ruskey shared the difference Rotarians make when we work together.

In the past 10 years, he said, we have gained 1.2 million members. Also in the past 10 years, we have lost 1.2 million members.  Why?  They report their membership wasn’t relevant.  “We know this isn’t true,” he says.  “That means those who quit in the first three years simply don’t know what we really are.”

“So my goal,” Joe says, “is to tell the clubs, 3,000 members in this district, what an amazing organization of which they are part.  I want to shift their understanding of what a Rotarian is.”

Joe reported we have 34,000 clubs making an impact in 200 countries. Members are bringing peace to conflict regions.  They meet with leaders when government officials are not allowed.  Rotary teaches members about principals to prepare expatriates to return to their countries better prepared to help them.

Rotarians are making a huge impact on health, such as the major headway we are making eradicating polio, only the second disease in the world that might be eradicated.  There have been only 11 cases year to date globally.

Rotary International’s Foundation is ranked three or five in the nation, depending on the ranking, with 94 percent of gifts going to programs.  This is possibly due to our volunteer structure, ability to leverage other donors, and generous Rotarians.    Our model is all gifts are invested for three years before spending back with clubs, such as our club’s $125,000 Ghana project funded in part by the Rotary International Foundation.

Joe closed by telling about global Rotary development projects for clean water and menstrual product donations and hearing how they transformed the lives of young women. This is when he really felt the huge transformational power of Rotary for people around the globe.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here.

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.