Why I’m looking forward to Sydney!

Mark Mahoney gets around Sydney on a Segway.

Mark Maloney gets around Sydney on a Segway.

By Mark Maloney, chair of the 2014 Sydney Convention Committee, and a member of the Rotary Club of Decatur, Alabama, USA

I am looking forward to the 2014 Rotary International Convention in Sydney, Australia, for many different reasons. Conventions are a wonderful opportunity to make and renew friendships with Rotary members from around the world, a chance I’ve had many times. And it never really grows old. But also, Sydney is a stunningly beautiful city. The venue, Sydney Olympic Park, is clearly one of the world’s best facilities for a convention of 20,000 or more attendees. Developed for the 2000 Olympic Games, it is exciting and unique.  Continue reading

Milwaukee club celebrates its centennial with an arboretum

The stone arch has become  a signature icon of the new arboretum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Milwaukee

The stone arch has become a signature of the new arboretum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Milwaukee

By Jim Barry, member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

In 2007, when I was president of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, we started to look ahead to celebrating our 100th year in 2013. We put out a call to our members to identify a grand gift we could make to the community to commemorate our centennial.

That seed grew into the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum, which opened this past September – a beautiful new natural space in the heart of the city, reclaimed from post-industrial land.  Continue reading

How do you use your skills to benefit others?

Bisan Michael (right) during the ceremony in his honor.

Bisan Michael (right) during the ceremony in his honor.

By Edoja Sowho, Rotary Club of Effurun GRA, Delta State, Nigeria

The airport road junction in Effurun-Warri, Delta State, Nigeria, is a very busy and strategic location in the oil-rich city of Warri. The government of Delta State constructed a roundabout to ease traffic congestion, but it’s had little effect.

At the center of this hotspot, you’ll find Bisan Michael, a rather remarkable young man who volunteers his time and talent to keep traffic moving, rain or shine. He has been doing this work, with no reward for himself, for years. Continue reading

Seeking a world record for longest clothesline

The shirts strung out on cable between pontoon boats.

The shirts strung out on cable between pontoon boats.

By Elsa Venter, past president of the Rotary Club of Vanderbijlpark, South Africa

More than 6,700 shirts fluttered in the breeze on the Vaal River, suspended from three-miles of cable that zigzagged back and forth between floating pontoons. It was an amazing sight, and one we hoped would earn a world record for longest clothesline stretched across a river. Continue reading

Many reasons to attend a Rotary convention

Paul Wilson hangs with polio survivor Ramesh Ferris during the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal.

Paul Wilson hangs out with polio survivor Ramesh Ferris during the Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal.

By Irvin Metcalf, president of the Rotary Club of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England

Other Rotary members often ask me why I and my Rotary Club of Grantham colleague Paul Wilson attended the 2013 Rotary International Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. There were so many good reasons!

First and foremost we both wanted to see and meet other Rotary members from all around the world to find out more about Rotary and the inspirational work going on around the globe. Continue reading

Rotary’s power transcends words

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser

By Leonor Fraser, a member of the Rotary Club of Soldotna, Alaska, USA

“Even the world’s mightiest rivers have humble beginnings.”

Earlier this year, I was part of a team of Rotary members from my district who visited a school in San Jeronimo, Masaya, Nicaragua, to play with the children and deliver shoes. But what we discovered very quickly is the children needed much more than shoes.

Their school is located near a diesel-fuel plant that emits pollutants into the air. Continue reading

How do you get free ad space for Rotary?

A digital billboard advertises Rotary near the George Massey Tunnel in Vancouver, Canada.

A digital billboard advertises Rotary near the George Massey Tunnel in Vancouver, Canada.

By Penny Offer, Rotary Public Image Coordinator for Zone 24

Have you noticed how digital flat screen signs are popping up in banks, fast-food outlets, airports, sports areas and numerous other locations? They are replacing traditional fixed printed billboards on highways. This new media offers opportunities for Rotary.

In August, the Rotary Club of Ladner (Delta) in suburban Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, invited a sales rep from one of the major digital billboard companies as a speaker at a regular meeting of the club. At the end of his presentation he was asked if he would give comp space to Rotary, and he quickly agreed. Continue reading

The day we became a real Rotary club

The start of the Caulfield Racecourse Run. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Rotary Club

The start of the Caulfield Racecourse Run. Photo courtesy of Glen Eira Rotary Club

By Adrian Nelson, past president of the Rotary Club of Glen Eira, Australia

Last year, the wife of our district governor told me during their visit to our club that we had the best chips out of the whole district. She meant it as a compliment!

I’ve been a member of the Rotary Club of Glen Eira for ten years. In the past year, we have celebrated our 25th anniversary with video messages from past youth exchange students and scholars and a look back at how we sent medical equipment to a needy hospital in rural Peru and set up computers for poor students in Brazil. A contingent from our friendship club, the Rotary Club of Ogaki West, Japan, even came over to my home for an Aussie barbecue, meeting my sons, age 5 and 7. We keep busy!  Continue reading

Using Facebook to promote Rotary

130828_wagner1By Erin Wagner, a member of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis South, Minnesota, USA

I am a product of Rotary’s youth programs, which taught me some amazing lessons. For example:

Open-Mindedness
A farm girl from Idaho, my youth exchange to France (2001-02) and the associated culture shock taught me to be aware of and question my assumptions, and to recognize that people are people all over the world. Continue reading

Opening doors to service for those with special needs

Members of the Parker Rotary Community Corps

Members of the Parker Rotary Community Corps

By Kam Breitenbach, a member of the Rotary Club of Parker, Colorado, USA, and advisor to the Parker Rotary Community Corps

I have had the privilege to get to know and help support a terrific group of individuals who belong to the Parker Rotary Community Corps (RCC). The RCC, patterned after and sponsored by our club, provides an amazing growth and enrichment experience for teens and adults with special needs. Continue reading