Jul 012015

Dear Rotarians of District 7770,

I was recently asked to describe Rotary.  In my opinion, Rotary International is a humanitarian organization comprised of people of like minds focused on service.  Each of us has recognized that we can accomplish more united than we can individually.  I saw a tee-shirt recently that said “Individually we are Special. Together we are Spectacular.”  It was not a Rotary tee-shirt, but it appropriately describes our organization.  We work together to make the world a better place than we found it.


Rotary is an organization made up of caring, compassionate and loving people who band together to feed the hungry, help the lame to walk, help the blind to see, teach children and adults to read, provide water and sanitation to improve health, immunize children against dreaded diseases, and along the way work to improve world understanding and peace.  We help villages with economic development, install water and sanitation systems to help reduce disease, and replace despair with hope.  We are also leading the fight to eradicate polio from the face of the earth.


We do things not for profit, not for glory, but because they need to be done,


As you know, we get a new theme each year created by the incoming Rotary International President to help us focus on something that is of particular importance to him. The theme for 2015-2016 is “Be a Gift to the World.”  When you think about gifts, what comes to mind?  From the moment we are born, we receive gifts.  The first gift is life itself.  And then we receive gifts of love, of caring, and the nurture of our families; of education; of health; of every talent and ability that we learn and acquire. As we move through our lives, our parents, our families, our spouses and our children, our livelihoods, our material wealth, our hopes, our dreams, our health – all are gifts to us.  Sometimes, a gift is so tremendous that we are overwhelmed with gratitude.


Every time we do something to help others, we are providing a gift to the world.  You can define your world as your neighborhood or the globe.  The question of the hour is what kind of gift will you choose to be this year?  Every time you and I do something good in the name of Rotary, we are a gift to the world.  Every time our clubs complete a project, that project is a gift to the world.  When we come to the end of our lives, will we look back and realize that we have wasted our gifts, achieving nothing that will outlive us?  Or will we look back and feel proud of what has been accomplished?


I look forward to working with each of you this year to make our clubs the very best that they can be.

Rod Funderburk

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