Getting out from behind my desk, pedaling to end polio 2019-11-10 08:00:00Z 0
Afghan students celebrate World Polio Day 2019-11-06 08:00:00Z 0
Rotary members don’t turn a blind eye to need 2019-10-23 07:00:00Z 0
Water as an instrument for peace 2019-10-17 07:00:00Z 0
Water and peace in the Aral Sea basin 2019-10-12 07:00:00Z 0
Better together: the beauty of Rotaract twin clubs 2019-10-07 07:00:00Z 0
My Mother's Dream 2019-09-20 07:00:00Z 0
Reaching the unreached in India 2019-09-16 07:00:00Z 0
Rotarians respond to the crisis in the Bahamas 2019-09-12 07:00:00Z 0
An update from the Fight to Eradicate Polio 2019-09-09 07:00:00Z 0
Why our club promotes equal rights, responsibilities 2019-08-28 07:00:00Z 0
How I found support and acceptance in my Rotary club 2019-08-24 07:00:00Z 0
Leadership library transforms community 2019-08-17 07:00:00Z 0
The power of story to build a better future 2019-08-07 07:00:00Z 0
Birth of a new Rotary club: a satellite success story 2019-08-07 07:00:00Z 0
Birth of a new Rotary club: a satellite success story 2019-08-01 07:00:00Z 0
What's all the buzz about bees? 2019-07-22 07:00:00Z 0
Bridge to success in The Gambia 2019-07-12 07:00:00Z 0
What brings Rotarians, returned Peace Corps volunteers together? 2019-07-08 07:00:00Z 0
A Rotary Peace Fellow’s journey to Antarctica 2019-04-15 07:00:00Z 0
How RYLA changed my life 2018-12-11 08:00:00Z 0
An innovative idea to promote Rotary in Ghana 2018-12-01 08:00:00Z 0
New Rotaract club creates community in Ohio 2018-11-30 08:00:00Z 0
Painting the way to peace 2018-11-10 08:00:00Z 0
Fighting malnutrition with better corn 2018-10-25 07:00:00Z 0
Improving sanitation in a school in Ghana 2018-10-19 07:00:00Z 0
5 steps for establishing a garden to fight hunger 2018-10-18 07:00:00Z 0
How to make literacy fun 2018-09-09 07:00:00Z 0
Solar Lights 2018-09-09 07:00:00Z 0
How we set up a Rotaract club in a refugee settlement 2018-08-19 07:00:00Z 0
Why you shouldn't be afraid to take risks. 2018-08-19 07:00:00Z 0
Who is that poster girl? 2018-08-18 07:00:00Z 0
Our St Patrick's Day Dance and Auction was a resounding success, with over 230 in attendance we raised over $23,000.00 for local youth and literacy causes. Donors brought over 100 Silent Auction items and we also featured a live auction this year, a WestJet Flight for 2! Thanks so much to our Community sponsors and our Donors, as well as our Dance committee-- we couldn't do this with all your help and dedication! Until next year! ​​​​​​ 
Thank you for your support! 2018-04-17 07:00:00Z 0
Today Past President, Thomas McMillan received on behalf of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas, the coveted Governor's award for 2016-2017. Only 5 clubs received the Presidential citation and 4 clubs received the Governor's award out of 57 clubs in our district. Thank you District Governor Lindagene Coyle!
Governor's Award 2018-01-21 08:00:00Z 0
Projects chair Dr Ron Lewis presents a check for $2000 to the Salvation Army of BC for the wildfire evacuees so adversely affected this summer in the interior of our province. Thank you for all the work you do!
Donation Fire Relief 2018-01-21 08:00:00Z 0
Mike Adkins being awarded the Don Funk Service Above Self Award from President Rick Barkwell on behalf of the Rotary Club Abbotsford-Sumas. Mayor Henry Braun and his wife added a special touch to the evening as the guest speaker!
Don Funk Awards 2018-01-21 08:00:00Z 0
 Assistant District Governor, Michael Adkins receiving recognition as a Major Donor of the Rotary Foundation. District Governor, Lindagene Coyle along with club President Rick Barkwell and current Foundation chair, Thomas McMillan present Michael with a beautiful crystal and thank him (and his wife Gladys) for their support.
Major Donor 2018-01-21 08:00:00Z 0
The St. Patrick's Dinner Dance plans are well underway for our March 17th event.  The Committee is grateful that Prospera Credit Union has renewed as our lead sponsor for the event.  As our largest fundraising event this year we have a goal of raising over $20,000 to support our community projects.
We are asking all club members to support this event - invite your friends, buy a table, collect silent auction items and/or sponsor the event. 
If you need more sponsorship or silent auction letters please email Karina Chow at


St. Patrick's Dinner & Dance 17Mar2018 2018-01-07 08:00:00Z 0
The Power of Light 2018-01-03 08:00:00Z 0
Images from the 2017 Ride to End Polio 2017-12-27 08:00:00Z 0
The power of volun-telling 2017-11-12 08:00:00Z 0
"What excites me about Miles to End Polio" 2017-11-08 08:00:00Z 0
Ready to Ride for More 2017-10-31 07:00:00Z 0
What I think about when I cycle 2017-10-25 07:00:00Z 0
Cellphones Power Disease Fight 2017-10-10 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary Monthly Themes Sandy Watson 2017-10-07 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary partners with Habitat for Humanity 2017-10-06 07:00:00Z 0
From country doctor to international epidemiologist 2017-10-05 07:00:00Z 0
Rotarian's Help Atlanta 2017-10-03 07:00:00Z 0
2017-18 Rotary Year - Message from President Rick Barkwell 2017-06-04 07:00:00Z 0
The Rotaract Club of Abbotsford always welcomes Rotary members to support their meetings or help with projects.  To learn more click here.
Rotaract Club of Abbotsford 2017-04-06 07:00:00Z 0
2017 Strawberry Sales 2017-04-06 07:00:00Z 0
Peace Arch Journal 2017-04-06 07:00:00Z 0
Guatemala Wheelchair Delivery 2017-03-29 07:00:00Z 0
The Irish Dinner Dance was a great success!  We raised over $22,000 for Club Programs and Services through our sponsorship, ticket sales and silent auction.
Thanks to all of the Club members who contributed to our success that evening - we are so grateful for your support.
Wendy and Karina
Event Co-Chairs
Irish Dinner Dance News 2017-03-06 08:00:00Z 0
Posted on Mar 01, 2017

Empowering women in India through education

Women in the second chance literacy program.

Women in the second chance literacy program.

By Manish Shroff, past president of the Rotary Club of Ankleshwar, India

Our Rotary club is surrounded by rural and tribal villages in the Bharuch District of Gujarat State, India. The literacy rate in these villages is low and dropout rates of students in primary schools are high, most particularly among girls. We wanted to do something about that.

We conducted a survey with the help of Pratham, an NGO working in the rural literacy field across India, to gauge the condition of education in several of these villages. The study found that many girls leave school after the primary level mainly because of the lack of secondary education nearby. Students have to travel further, and for various socio-economic reasons, this makes it more likely that girls will drop out after the primary level and not go on to grades 7 or 8.

Empowering women in India through education 2017-03-01 08:00:00Z 0
100th Anniversary of The Rotary Foundation 2017-02-05 08:00:00Z 0
2017-2018 Rotary Presidential Theme announced 2017-01-23 08:00:00Z 0
Vary is 50 years old and a resident from the Battambang province. She has five children, two of whom are still dependents as they are in school. To support herself, she farms rice, corn, and sesame. She has had this business for several years. This is the first micro loan for Vary with the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas (Kiva’s partner). She was seeking 4,000,000 KHR ($1,000 USD) in order to buy seed and insecticide, and to pay for labor costs for her cash-crop. She is now earning a good income from her business that has improved her family lifestyle. Moreover, she now has enough food to feed her three children and send them to school. The future is looking bright to be able to keep her children in school until they graduate.
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas embarked on an ambitious International Program in 2013, to Creating Small Business, to assist and grow those businesses in developing countries through a partnership with KIVA, located in 79 countries around the world.
Using the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas members visionary plan that focuses on children and women within the local and international communities, the club chose the agriculture/farming sector with an initial investment of $2,000.00
The micro loan repayments by the women we supported over the past 3.5 years, has been reinvested wisely by the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas Kiva Committee President Thomas McMillan and Past President Michael Adkins.
As of December 30, 2016 just over $7,775.00 has been lent out to women with children within the farming/agriculture community in twenty-three separate countries including China, Azerbaijan, Tajikstan, India, El Salvador, Cambodia, Honduras, Armenia, Kenya, just to name a few.
By reinvesting the funds repaid, 79 individual loans to date have been made by Rotary Abbotsford-Sumas with a success rate has been 97.8% with only one repayment not completed.
To be a part of creating small businesses in developing countries, especially watching those mothers succeed for themselves and for their children is truly a remarkable experience that drives us to do more.
Their success stories are remarkable and inspiring. It reminds us of a Rotary International theme phrase that says it all:
“Teach a Women, Change the World”
For more information:
Michael (Mike) Adkins
Past President 2015-2016
Assistant Governor 2016-2019
Chair: Public Relations 2016-2017
Creating Small Business in Developing Countries.  2017-01-17 08:00:00Z 0
The Fraser Valley Rotaract Club's Community Program for December included: 
The making of 100 Christmas Cards to be distributed to Seniors throughout the Fraser Valley, the donation of 448 pairs of socks in Abbotsford. Mission and Maple Ridge, the collection of 115 ibs of food along with a cheque for $192.75 (purchase power of $578.25) that was presented to the Abbotsfood Food Bank.
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas is a Charter Sponsor, we are so proud of the Rotaract Club members and for us having the opportunity to be a part of this dynamic, energetic, goal oriented, community minded club. Thank you for all you do for the Fraser Valley Communities by seeing the need and responding to that need throughout the year.
Congratulations to you all, well done!
Rotaract Club in December 2016-12-20 08:00:00Z 0

Water is life, Rotary is good

The team visits with community leaders in Kolifianu village.

The team visits with community leaders in Kolifianu village.

By Justice Lionel Eshun, Rotary Club of Tema, Ghana

Life is usually made up of special moments which make it worth living. I least expected that my Rotary special moment was going to fall on 30 August, 2016.

I joined Rotary barely three years ago, and by dint of my dedication and commitment to service and other Rotary activities, I got elected director of club service projects for the 2016-17 Rotary year. What exactly motivated me to join Rotary?

Water is life, Rotary is good 2016-12-10 08:00:00Z 0
Visit to new ShelterBox HQ in Truro 2016-12-10 08:00:00Z 0
We have two wonderful Holiday celebrations in the month of December!
Holiday Potluck at Ron's
Tuesday, December 20
4096 Belanger Drive
Ron has offered to host a Christmas potluck at his new home (thanks Ron!).  If you are able to come to the potluck please send me an email.
Holiday Brunch and Women's Resource Centre Fundraiser
Wednesday, December 21
Once again we will be hosting a Holiday Breakfast just before we break for the Christmas holidays. Please bring an item for a child (pyjamas, stuffed animals, scarves and gloves) that we can provide to the Women's Resource Centre.  In lieu of a gift exchange each member is asked to bring a bottle of wine that will be used for the Irish Dance Wall of Wine.  I will start collecting items next week.
If you have any questions or to RSVP for the Dec 20th event please email me at
Christmas and Rotary 2016-12-01 08:00:00Z 0

Rotary Clubs present Don Funk Memorial Award

November 27, 2016 · Updated 11:35 AM 

Pictured are (from left) Thomas McMillan, Ralph Payne, Raj Patara, Mike Welte, Ron Kelly, and Sara Lawson. / SUBMITTED PHOTO

The three local Rotary Clubs have presented to three individuals the annual Don Funk Memorial Award, given to members who have demonstrated exceptional “service above self.”

The award was presented to Ron Kelly of the Abbotsford Rotary Club, Ralph Payne of the Abbotsford-Sumas club, and Raj Patara of Abbotsford-Matsqui.

A member since 1992, Kelly has been president, consistently supports club activities and programs, is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and serves as the long-standing Rotary Foundation chair.

“Ron Kelly is one of the steadiest, quietest and most conscientious leaders of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford,” said president Sara Lawson.

Payne is a past president charter member of the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club, a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient, and has helped the club to be a top achiever in donating to the Rotary Foundation.

“Ralph was always the go-to person when our club had a difficult decision to make, either financially or projects-based, and is definitely a committed Rotarian,” said president Thomas McMillan.

Patara is the current director of guest speakers and field trip planning for the Abbotsford-Matsqui club. “Raj continues to show a contagious enthusiasm for Rotary and goes out of her way to continually share the spirit of Rotary,” said president Mike Welte.

The award is named in memory of Don Funk, who was a member for many years of the Rotary Club of Abbotsford.

He was recognized for his dedication to the community and to overseas projects for Rotary International with the Service Above Self Award, the highest honour given to a Rotarian.

Funk was also instrumental in chartering the other two local Rotary Clubs.

The award to the three individuals was presented by Abbotsford Rotarian Ken Funk – brother of Don – and assistant governor Brad Whittaker of the Chilliwack Rotary Club.

Rotary Clubs present Don Funk Memorial Award 2016-11-28 08:00:00Z 0
On November 12, 2016, Past President Michael Adkins, President Thomas McMillan and Past Assistant Governor Wendy Neufeld with her husband Terry went to Mt. Vernon Washington to celebrate the great success by the clubs in providing funds to District 5050’s Foundation for 2015-2016 to continue on with financial assistance in community and global projects.
Past President Michael Adkins was very honoured and proud to be called up to accept on behalf of the Rotary Abbotsford-Sumas club members the following three awards:
  • One of only 1,564 clubs out of 35,399 Rotary Clubs worldwide, to achieve Top Three Highest in Per Capita Annual Giving honours in their district.
  • One of only 2,253 clubs worldwide to attain status as an 100% Rotary Foundation Sustaining Member Club (Every Rotarian, Every Year/Sustaining Club)
  • One of only 4,609 clubs worldwide to become 100% Foundation Giving Club.
From the Rotary Foundation: “Our sincere gratitude to every member of your club for their generous gifts to our Rotary Foundation. Your support enables Rotarians to tackle the world’s toughest challenges, in your community and across the globe.”
Foundation Awards 2016-11-24 08:00:00Z 0


Photo Credit: Rotary International/Alyce Henson

The Association of Fundraising Professionals has recognized The Rotary Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation.

The award honors organizations that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving — Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the AFP, which gives us even more reason to celebrate during our Foundation’s centennial year,” says Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair Kalyan Banerjee. “The continued strong support of Rotary members will help us keep our promise of a polio-free world for all children and enable the Foundation to carry out its mission of advancing world understanding, goodwill, and peace. We look forward to another 100 years of Rotary members taking action to make communities better around the world.”

The announcement came on 15 November, known to industry professionals since the 1980s as National Philanthropy Day. The award will be presented in early 2017 at the AFP’s annual conference in San Francisco.

Rotary Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul Netzel is set to accept the award on Rotary’s behalf, and Eric Schmelling, director of fund development at Rotary, will speak at the conference. The event is expected to draw more than 3,400 senior-level fundraising professionals from 33 countries.

“While almost everyone is familiar with Rotary, not everyone may realize just how much of an impact Rotary and The Rotary Foundation have had on countless people and communities across the globe,” says Jason Lee, AFP president and CEO. “On behalf of the entire charitable sector and people around the world, all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize The Rotary Foundation as our 2016 Outstanding Foundation.”

AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection. They also mentioned that Rotary applies a methodical, purposeful approach to support a wide variety of causes, from providing clean water to educating the next generation of peace professionals.

ROTARY CLUB OF ABBOTSFORD-SUMAS Announces Return Trip to Guatemala
By Michael (Mike) Adkins Past President 2015-2016 | Director: Foundation | Chair: Public Relations 2016-2017 | Chair: Literacy 2016-2017
The object of Rotary is to promote and support the idea of service as the foundation for worthy enterprise. The Rotary Club of AbbotsfordSumas pursues that goal by engaging in on-going campaigns to support special projects within the local community and the international community. On February 2015, with six members of the Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club and with the wheelchairs purchased by the Rotary Chilliwack and Rotary Club Abbotsford plus our club‘s partner Inspired by Vision (Grand Prairie) a container of 280 new wheelchairs were delivered to Guatemala City & Antigua, Guatemala. The hard work on the ―ground‖ in Guatemala was done by our club partnering with Rotary Club‘s of Guatemala City and Rotary Club of Antigua for the needs assessments and arrangements for the wheelchair delivery prior to the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas arrival.
The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas is currently in the process of delivering another 280 new wheelchairs to Guatemala to be distributed February 2017, to individuals and hospitals that are in dire need of them. Once again a number of Rotary Club members along with our partner Inspired By Vision, will travel to Guatemala City and Antigua in February 2017 to assemble the wheelchairs and personally deliver them to 280 recipients. This delivery however has additional partners. The Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas is honored and proud to announce the Rotary Club of Chilliwack, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford, the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Matsqui and Inspired by Vision (Grand Prairie) are partners in this financial and hands on project. These are no ordinary wheelchairs. They are crafted to be extra durable and to endure the harsh terrain of rural roads and the tests of time.
Thanks to the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, these special wheelchairs can be delivered anywhere in the world at this incredibly low cost of $195.00 per chair (they retail for over $600.00). If you wish to donate to the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation, please contact Rotary Abbotsford-Sumas c/o Dr. Ron Lewis at or Michael (Mike) Adkins at
Wheelchair Delivery to Guatemala 2016-11-14 08:00:00Z 0
On Wednesday Oct. 12, 2016 Assistant District Governor Brad Whitaker came to our breakfast meeting to present the Rotary Foundation 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club Banner to President Thomas McMillan and Foundation Director Mike Adkins. The Executive Board of Directors had approved the request to honor President Thomas for his seven years of dedication as Foundation Director and the great job he did to make us one of the highest Foundation giving clubs in District 5050. This distinction as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club is only recognized once in a club's history.
Copy of 100% Paul Harris Club 2016-10-25 07:00:00Z 0
On Wednesday Oct. 12, 2016 Assistant District Governor Brad Whitaker came to our breakfast meeting to present the Rotary Foundation 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club Banner to President Thomas McMillan and Foundation Director Mike Adkins. The Executive Board of Directors had approved the request to honor President Thomas for his seven years of dedication as Foundation Director and the great job he did to make us one of the highest Foundation giving clubs in District 5050. This distinction as a 100% Paul Harris Fellow Club is only recognized once in a club's history.
100% Paul Harris Club 2016-10-25 07:00:00Z 0
On Sept 21, 2016 some of our club members particpated in Literacy Matters Trivia contest at the Phoenix restaurant.  We had 2 teams entered and one of our teams tied for 1st place!  In the tiebreaker it was close but the other team came out on top.  A great time was had by all while supporting the programs and initiatives of Literacy Matters Abbotsford.  Check them out at this link:
Literacy Matters! 2016-09-23 07:00:00Z 0
We have had some great speakers in August - Dave Mackintosh of the Mt Cheam Lions Club presented to us the legacy project they are working on for the Chilliwack Hospital Eye Centre that serves a regional base of clients and does over 5300 eye surgeries annually.
Grace Tan spoke to us about her experience in Ottawa with the Adventures in Citizenship program sponsored by our club and organized by the Rotary club of Ottawa - she was funny and engaging in her presentation.  Our club has a strong focus on youth and supporting the various youth programs that Rotary has in place to promote leadership and mentoring skills for young adults.  Stay tuned for upcoming programs that we sponsor such as Youth Adventures in Leadership and RYLA.
Guest speakers in August 2016-09-13 07:00:00Z 0

Mentor a young leader, and discover yet another reason to love Rotary.


By Programs for Young Leaders staff

You’re up at 5:30 a.m. for your sunrise meeting. You stay long after the sun goes down to clean up after your club’s event. And, last spring, you raced daylight across twelve time zones to join other Rotarians at a national immunization day. Rotary moments? You’ve got 20. You love everything, from polo shirts to Paul Harris Society pins, except for this mentoring stuff.

For you, youth service has the awkwardness of a school cafeteria, the uncertainty of a drama club trust fall, and the terror of a university quiz on German declension. It’s small wonder you’re first on the list for the highway cleanup, with its predictable neon vests, and last to host an exchange student, advise an Interact club, or mentor Rotaractors.

Reasons to love Rotary: Mentoring Young Leaders Allycia Klassen 2016-08-26 07:00:00Z 0
The Rotary Club of Cayman Island's project team to Guatemala.

The Rotary Club of Grand Cayman’s project team to Guatemala.


By Gina McBryan, a member of the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 

We all have our stories of how we were introduced to Rotary, and for the most part, those stories are positive. I could have been a Rotary member much sooner, had someone approached me.

I’m sure every club encourages their members to bring along guests and sponsor new members. For the past five years I have been a Rotary member, I’ve heard the same words of encouragement from my club leaders. And worldwide, our membership totals have remained stable. This makes me think of that line about the definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results.”

How to reach prospective members in the workplace Allycia Klassen 2016-08-25 07:00:00Z 0
Evan Burrell and club
Evan Burrell, left, discusses membership with Rotarians in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia

As a former member of Rotaract and now a young Rotarian, I get asked quite a lot, “where do we find more young members like you?”

It may seem like young members are as elusive to catch as Pokémon, but with the right strategy and awareness, it’s not that difficult at all. The truth is, they are really all around us. They may be in your work place, they may be in your neighborhood, or they may be in those other social gatherings you belong to. Others may be active in our youth programs like Rotaract and RYLA, readying themselves for the challenges that lie ahead.

Where are all the young members? Allycia Klassen 2016-08-25 07:00:00Z 0

Avenues of Service

The Avenues of Service are part of the guiding principles of Rotary and the foundation of club activity.

Avenues of Service 2016-08-23 07:00:00Z 0
Find partners on Rotary Ideas
Joyce Dove, with the Rotary Club of Tallahassee Northside, Florida, USA, found inspiration in the 2015-16 Presidential Citation goal of contributing to a project on Rotary Ideas. On  Rotary’s crowdsourcing site, she connected with a club in the Philippines requesting materials to open a library.
“These are the sort of projects, especially the international ones, that make Rotary special,” she says. “These types of relationships, built over time, are more meaningful. Rotary Ideas is great because you feel more connected with clubs and people around the world, outside of getting just ordinary emails.” Read her full story.
Share your ideas with fellow Rotarians
Rotary discussion groups offer a place for Rotarians, Rotaractors, Rotary Peace Fellows, and program alumni to share their experiences and ideas to members of the Rotary family. We invited experts from The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers to moderate discussion groups on Rotary’s areas of focus until 30 September.
The cadre consists of volunteer Rotarians who offer technical expertise and advice to Rotarians on their Rotary projects. Whether you are looking to assess a community, make your project sustainable, or pursue a global grant, our experts are here to answer your questions and guide discussions on the most pertinent topics. Join the conversation!
Share ideas 2016-08-18 07:00:00Z 0
Rotary International 
AUGUST 2016-08-01 07:00:00Z 0
Vocational Service
July 2016 | Rotary Serving Humanity through vocational service
Children getting drinking water
Since the earliest days of Rotary, service to humanity has been our cornerstone and main purpose. RI President John F. Germ believes that Rotary, like no other organization, effectively brings together committed, capable professionals in a wide variety of fields, then enables them to achieve ambitious goals. Rotarians have the capacity, the network, and the knowledge to change the world. President Germ is challenging Rotarians to use their skills to catapult Rotary forward to be an even stronger force for good in the world. Read more about John Germ’s 2016-17 theme, Rotary Serving Humanity. Here are just a few ideas for activities your clubs can undertake:
  • Lead a vocational training team to teach others about your field, or participate in a team to learn more yourself
  • Apply your vocational skills to a project.
  • Collaborate with Rotary’s service partners and share ideas on a project
  • Join or work with a Rotarian Action Group on a service project. 
  • Emphasize integrity in your club by recognizing Rotarians for high ethical standards
  • Inspire others by sharing your vocational service projects on Rotary Showcase
Review the humanitarian service goals to learn how your vocational service projects can help your club qualify for the 2016-17 Presidential Citation.
Rotary Serving Humanity 2016-07-20 07:00:00Z 0
Why surveillance is so important to polio eradication 2016-07-18 07:00:00Z 0
Posted on Jun 07, 2016

By Gordon Matthews, past governor of District 6920 (Georgia, USA), Rotary Club of Savannah East

Members of the Rotary Club of Metro Savannah

A panel of three young members spelled out for us the issues that block young people from joining Rotary during our spring assembly a few years ago — scheduling, cost of dues, and rules.

I’ve been active in developing leaders in our community and have worked with our Group Study Exchange teams in the past, so I know the energy and potential in this “under 40” generation that we need to tap for Rotary. But I’ve also seen several Rotary clubs try to do this with limited results, because they stayed too close to the traditional model and dues structure.

Breaking the mold
To break that mold, I asked the son of a fellow member to gather a group of young people in the metro area of Savannah to explore the idea of starting a new club. I told them their are really just a few rules – to meet weekly, pay dues, and train a president-elect. The rest are just a lot of traditions. They were directed to develop a format that would meet theirneeds.

The team included young professionals with a Rotarian parent, past exchange participants, and others who were just interested in tackling the challenge. Several had taken part in our leadership development program and wanted to keep learning about the community. Others were in a social group that met monthly but craved more substance.

A recent service project.

A recent service project.

After an initial meeting or two with district leaders, the team met on their own for six months to craft a plan and draw up a list of candidates. When they had 75, they invited them to a reception to introduce the concept and explain how to become a charter member. Applications came in quickly and they froze the group at 50 to submit their charter application, adding the remainder to a waiting list.

The Metro Savannah Rotary Club started with a bang and has never looked back. They are careful to add members who maintain their diversity and bring in unique perspectives.Their membership includes engineers, construction managers, attorneys, graphic designers, sales managers, librarians, and non-profit directors.

What works
Annual dues is $300. Members stay up to date on Facebook. They meet for lunch the first and third week of the month, calling in sandwich orders. Another week, they network at a pub over drinks. This in itself invites membership inquiries from others in the pub. And at least one meeting is a service project. The club has had at least 12 projects every year.

After a year, the board held a full day retreat to examine their format and make tweaks. Attending only as an observer and resource, I was impressed these busy young professional gave up most of their Saturday to evaluate and plan.

The club continues to thrive with more than 60 members, most under the age of 40. It’s a great model for other districts who want to launch dynamic clubs of young professionals. And with the recent action by Rotary’s Council on Legislation, it’s easier than ever to step out and try new things. For more information how we got this idea off the ground, contact me at

What does a Rotary club designed by younger members look like? 2016-06-07 07:00:00Z 0
On Rotarians at Work day, April 30th, a group of club members, along with a number of volunteers and leaders Karen Funk and Brenda Falk of Tanglebank Gardens, spent the day cleaning up the gardens around the Cottage Pavilion.
Cottage Pavilion garden project 2016-05-09 07:00:00Z 0
Last week we were lucky to have Cheryl Klassen and daughter Allycia Myers visit Rotary Club 5342 in Hanover, Pennsylvania! Cheryl took this opportunity to tell the club all about the "Strawberry Club" and our other fundraising efforts. Great Job Cheryl!
Abby-Sumas goes abroad 2016-05-09 07:00:00Z 0
Recently we inducted new member, Kelly Nix, along with Jason Epp as a transfering in member.  Looking forward to their fellowship and contributions to our club!
New Members! 2016-05-09 07:00:00Z 0
Strawberry Sale 2016 2016-05-03 07:00:00Z 0
 Recently our club presented checks to various community partners for projects we are funding.  Pictured is Kelly Railton of MSA Museum, Kimberly McMillan for the MS Walk, and Steve Gill for the Gutsy Walk.  
Projects funding 2016-04-05 07:00:00Z 0
Polio Facts and updates 2016-04-02 07:00:00Z 0


Photo Credit: National Museum of Korea

From the April 2016 issue of The Rotarian

Do you need some context for all you’re experiencing while you’re in Korea for the Rotary International Convention from 28 May to 1 June? Check out one or more of these museums:

1. National Museum of Korea: If you have time for only one, this museum, the sixth largest in the world, has something for everyone: relics from prehistoric times, calligraphy, paintings, sculpture, and even a children’s museum, all housed in a six-story building in the wooded Yongsan Family Park.

2. Korea Furniture Museum: To see how Koreans of the past lived, walk through the 10 restored hanok homes that make up this museum. See how its 500 pieces of furniture on display were used in daily life. Reservations required.

3. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art: The three buildings housing this museum’s exhibits are themselves works of art, designed by renowned architects Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel, and Rem Koolhaas.

4. War Memorial of Korea: Learn about the history of the Korean War, re-enact a night battle in the combat experience room, and climb inside restored tanks and aircraft.

5. Museum Kimchikan: If you’re shopping in Insa-dong, stop at this museum that pays homage to kimchee, the pickled cabbage that’s part of Korea’s national identity. The three-story museum moved into new quarters in 2015.

Register today for the convention at Early registration savings end 31 March.

By Susie Ma
Convention: Cultural Insights 2016-04-02 07:00:00Z 0


Clara Montanez attends a reception in 2013 for the Champions of Change honorees at the White House in Washington D.C.
Photo Credit: Rotary Images

When Clara Montanez was a student, she never heard the word mentoring. The idea of having a role model help you pursue your ambitions was unfamiliar to her.

"You basically chose your career based on personal interest and hoped you could find a job," says Montanez, senior director of investment for Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. "I went the route of getting married and having children first, and started my career later in life. I had no model for how to do that."

That changed for Montanez the day a friend invited her to join Rotary.

"Frankly, I was dragged into Rotary. I didn't see a connection at first," says Montanez, who's been a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., since 2003. "But then I met several women, including Doris Margolis, who took me under her wing and started mentoring me on how to get more involved. I began seeing the value in having someone I could count on as a mentor, and I have become more of a leader in our club, in my community, and at work."

Rotary's mentoring opportunities motivated Montanez, Rotary's alternate representative to the Organization of American States, to help organize an event for International Women's Day, 8 March. The event, to be held at the World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, will feature Deepa Willingham and Marion Bunch, both previously honored as Rotary Women of Action. Rotary International Director Jennifer Jones will moderate the event, which will be streamed on World Bank Live.

Montanez says Rotary has given her a platform to mentor young women as they balance career and family, as well as manage the challenge of repaying student loans. According to a recent study by the American Association of University Women, the student loan debt burden weighs more heavily on women because of the persistent gap in pay between women and men.

"I think Rotary has given me access to young people, like Rotaractors, and they are ready to accept guidance because Rotary is a safe place to reach out and get advice," says Montanez.

Similarly, Jackie Huie, a member of the Rotary Club of St. Joseph & Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA, recognizes Rotary's mentoring power. In 2007, Huie's club created a program that matches high school juniors and seniors with a mentor in the field they'd like to enter. The program started with 40 students at one high school and has now expanded into schools across the area.

"I got a letter from a girl who came from a poor background, and through the program, she got a chance to meet with an attorney in town," says Huie, president of JohnsonRauhoff, a multimedia company that fosters creative thinking for artists. "It inspired her and gave her confidence to go to school and study law. She got accepted into four law schools and is on her way to becoming an attorney."

Besides the investment in young people's futures, mentoring brings clubs important community recognition. For example, Huie's club has 150 members, a large number for a club that doesn't hold membership drives, she says.

"Everyone in southwest Michigan knows about Rotary," says Huie. "We had a student who wanted to be a CEO for a large corporation. After we arranged for him to meet with the CEO of Whirlpool, his father was so impressed with the whole program that he joined Rotary."

Many of the program's early participants went on to form an Interact club, and there are now more than 200 Interact members at four area schools. Forty of them will travel to the Dominican Republic this summer to install water filters and take part in a medical mission.

"It's important for Rotary to make an investment in young people," says Huie. "My own daughter is in Interact because of my membership in Rotary. I think her world is broader, and she looks at the world differently. We all do, because of what we've learned through Rotary."

Successful Women Mentor Youth through Rotary 2016-04-02 07:00:00Z 0