Welcome to the eighth month of our 2013-2014 Rotary Year, February is World Understanding Month. This is a time to think about how we can spread the good word and works of Rotary in our communities in order to promote more understanding both locally and in the world. 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 as well. Use Social Media to showcase your Club’s events, fundraisers and service projects. Promote Peace and Understanding in our communities and support Rotary’s Peace Fellow program as well as the Ambassadorial Global Scholars program. These programs offer young folks an opportunity to work on Peace and Conflict Resolution as well as helping others in the Six Area of Focus.
Celebrate Rotary’s 109th Birthday by Raising Awareness and Funding for PolioPlus
Rotary’s Birthday on February 23rd is fast approaching. Why not take the opportunity to hold a community awareness fundraising event for polio around this time, which qualifies for one of the additional elements for the Presidential Citation. These events do not have to be major events, although they can be, but their purpose is to get the word out about Rotary’s Number One humanitarian project and increase participation and knowledge about Rotary and its programs. Over the years many clubs have had several kinds of activities such as:
• Posting Rotary Public Image bill boards along highly-traveled highways in the community
• Sending press releases about your club’s activities regarding polio eradication
• Holding pancake suppers, fish fries, BBQ suppers and wine tastings to name just a few.
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?
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 February?
First –District Conference Registration is now online for registration. 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 Leadership Citations and Presidential Citations should be reviewed with your Assistant Governors and prepared to be submitted by March 1st, 2014. Club Presidents should be working on their Club of the Year nomination submission, this is a great opportunity to showcase your Club and all the wonderful things it does. The Club of the Year in each size category will be recognized Saturday night at the District Conference.
Third – 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.
Fourth – PETS (President Elect Training Seminar) is coming up March 7th and 8th at the Marina Inn at Grande Dunes, Myrtle Beach and registration is now online 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.
Fifth – If you haven’t registered for the Sydney Rotary International Convention, 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.
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