Welcome to the seventh month of our 2013-2014 Rotary Year, January is Rotary Awareness Month. This is an opportunity to reflect on all the Good that Rotary does in the world and in our local communities. This is a time to think about how we can spread the good word and works of Rotary in our communities. Public Relations and providing stories and photos of our service projects to local media is a great way to do that and to promote membership opportunities. Use Social Media to showcase your Club’s events, fundraisers and service projects.
This is also a time when we should ask ourselves if we can do more to help others in these efforts. We should all reflect on our good fortune in life and take the opportunity to give more freely to help others in need. Are we all Sustaining members giving at least $100 a year to the Annual Fund? Could we do more? What about doing twice as much good and do $200 a year. Have you thought about becoming a Paul Harris Society member for a $1000 a year? How about being a Benefactor or Bequest Society member and leaving something in your will to our Foundation. Have you considered being a Major Donor to our Foundation and doing $10,000 in cash over a period of time?
Information on our Vocational Training Team to Peru is now available. An email has gone to every Rotarian in the District about the opportunity to participate in our District’s first Vocational Training Team. The team will be going to Peru in May 2014 for three weeks to determine opportunities to assist areas there with water, sanitation, basic education and economic development. Applications are due by January 21st and both Rotarians and non-Rotarians are eligible. Check the District Database under the “Files” tab for details.
Rotary Has Heart – Feeding the Children of our communities is a key focus for our own District’s Anne Matthews, Rotary International Vice President. You have all received information on plans to feed the children on February 14, 2014, what a great way to serve others. Every Club can plan their own activities, from donating money to organizing a full-fledged meal event as a Club service project. Let’s all do our part to make this a wonderful activity and get others in the community involved as well. Have a local town proclamation to celebrate your project and then publicize on your website, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Has your Club considered making a donation to sponsor a ShelterBox? Rotary partners with this wonderful organization which provides disaster relief supplies around the world. For all the facts on what this organization does and how you or your club can make a donation, go to their U.S. site http://www.shelterboxusa.org/
What’s on the Calendar in January??
First –District Conference Registration will be online the first full week of January. This is a great opportunity to celebrate the goals and achievements of your Club and to enjoy three days of fun and fellowship with Rotarians from around the District. Mark your Calendars now for March 28 through 30 and plan to attend in Charleston at the Charleston Marriott as we continue our Cruise into Rotary’s Future.
Second – Club elections for 2014-2015 Officers and Directors should have taken place by the end of December. Please remember to update the Rotary International database with the new Officers as well as updating our District Database.
Third – PETS (President Elect Training Seminar) is coming up March 7th and 8th at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach and registration will be online soon on the Calendar tab of the District Database. Plan to send both your President-Elect and President-Nominee to PETS as leadership continuity is a key to having a great Rotary year.
Fourth – If you haven’t registered for the Sydney Rotary International Convention, register by January 15th and save $100 on your registration fee. Register online at http://www.riconvention.org/en/2014/Pages/ridefault.aspx
This year we will not have a Southland Breakfast at the RI Convention as we have done traditionally. Instead, our Director and RI Vice President Anne L Matthews is scheduling a reception on Saturday afternoon. The Southland reception will be held Saturday May 31, 2014, 5:30 – 7:30PM at the Powerhouse Museum in downtown Sydney, amidst the main hotels and restaurants. Registration can only be done online and the link is here. http://www.directory-online.com/Rotary/index.cfm?EventID=77219415. Scroll down to May 31st and register.
Fifth – Club Presidents should be reviewing the Club Leadership and Presidential Citations and insuring that you will be able to qualify for both. Both will be due to be turned in by March 1st, 2014.
Sixth – Now is the time for Clubs to be looking for candidates for Global Ambassadorial Scholarships. These Scholars go abroad for a year of Graduate Study in a program in line with our Foundation’s Six Areas of Focus. The Timeline information is available on the District Database under the Files Tab and is found under the “Foundation Forms and Applications” folder.
Public Relations – Are you sending in your stories to our District Website at Rotary7770News@gmail.com? Andra Watkins is our District Chair for Public Relations and puts together a great weekly email with all the stories of our Clubs’ activities. Don’t miss the opportunity to get your Club’s activities, service events, fellowships and fun meetings into the weekly News-email. This is a great way to promote your Club’s events and it’s always fun to see photos of one another in action.
Foundation – Has your Club submitted your second quarter’s Foundation Contributions to Our Foundation? Remember that half of what we send to the Annual Fund each year comes back to us after three years to fund local District Grant projects as well as funding Global Grants, End Polio Now, Scholars and Peace Fellows. Consider becoming a Paul Harris Society Member, committing to giving a $1000 annually to Our Foundation. It’s less than a cup of coffee a day and you would be doing so much good in the world and in your own community. Contact PHS Chair David Tirard for information on how to do this. DavidTirard@aol.com
Ending Polio Now remains our number one goal in Rotary and we are getting “This Close”. Very modest goals are in place for every Club and we want to reach out to engage our communities in these fund raising efforts. Don’t just write a check, have a community fellowship event with a goal of raising some money for PolioPlus and having a great time with your members and the community at large. We promised the children of the world that we would end Polio, please consider contributing more individually and as a Club to get this done. Remember, the Gates Foundation will match every dollar an individual Rotarian or Club gives on a two to one basis, your one dollar becomes three dollars.
Membership – Have you set goals to increase membership this year by at least three new members? Have you engaged all your members in being part of the “Membership Team”? This is something that all Rotarians should take pride in, sharing our Rotary opportunities with others. Have you looked around you at family, friends and neighbors; these are people that you know the best and they are wonderful candidates to join Rotary.
Let’s all have a great year as we “Engage Rotary and Change Lives”.
Lou Mello DG 2013-14