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

Cultivating a powerful social media presence

By Antoinette Tuscano, Rotary editorial staff

Social media has been a powerful tool in spreading Rotary’s message. When BigMarker conducted a survey this summer of which nonprofits in the Chicago market had made the biggest impact on social media, Rotary came out on top in our use of Twitter and Facebook (231,000 Facebook likes and 204,000 Twitter followers), second in use of all social media in the Chicago area, and 20th in the United States.

I was approached by BigMarker to answer a few questions for their blog on what it took to cultivate our social media presence. Here’s a bit of what I shared. You can see the full article here. Continue reading

The beauty of friendship: a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Italy

130729_dudo_thBy Veronica Dudo, a television journalist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, and member of a Rotary Group Study Exchange to Italy.

Breathing crisp mountain air in the Italian Alps, feeling warm sunshine strolling along Lake Como, coasting through the canals of Venice, and taking in the majestic landscape of the Lombardy region are just some of the adventures I enjoyed as a member of the South Jersey Group Study Exchange (GSE) team from New Jersey, USA, to northern Italy. Continue reading

Interact ignites a passion for service

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This gallery contains 5 photos.

Editor’s note: Each November, Rotary celebrates the chartering of the first Interact Club during World Interact Week. Interact is Rotary’s program for youth age 12-18. The following is a post written by Adam Arents, Rotary Programs staff, earlier this year. … Continue reading

Howie’s field of dreams

The Buddy Ball baseball field in Rochester, New Hampshire.

The Buddy Ball baseball field in Rochester, New Hampshire.

By Marty Peak Helman, past governor of District 7780 (parts of Maine and New Hampshire, USA)

A child, with his buddy, uses the new field.

A child, with his buddy, uses the new field.

The Rotary Club of Rochester, New Hampshire, inaugurated its Buddy Ball baseball field with an exhibition game in front of a crowd of 300 this past June. A Buddy Ball field is a regulation Little League field specially designed for use by mentally and physically handicapped youth. As a result, the club was recognized with the RI Significant Achievement Award, which is presented to an individual club that has accomplished a major local community service project, one that all club members are involved in bringing to fruition. Continue reading

Not engaging Rotary is killing clubs

Martin “Marty” Postic, Jr.

Martin “Marty” Postic, Jr.

By Martin “Marty” Postic, Jr., past governor of District 5750 (Oklahoma, USA) and a member of the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City Midtown, Oklahoma, USA

I am proud to say that I consider RI President Ron Burton a friend. One of my first Rotary Club make up meetings in 1985 was at a small club that had bad food, a bad program, REALLY bad singing and (surprise!) very few members. However, as I sat down, a man reached his hand across the table and said, “Hi! I’m Ron Burton from the Norman Rotary Club” and introduced me to a Rotarian guest he had brought. Continue reading

RI President Ron Burton: Engage Rotary, Change Lives

RI President Ron Burton addresses the audience during the closing plenary of the 2013 RI Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

RI President Ron Burton addresses Rotarians during the closing plenary of the 2013 RI Convention in Lisbon, Portugal. Monika Lozinska/Rotary International

By RI President Ron Burton

I’m looking forward to the 2013-14 Rotary year and the immense and humbling privilege of serving as your Rotary International president. During my presidential year, I’ll let you know on the Rotary International president’s Facebook page and in blog posts about some of my travels. I hope this will help you experience some of the magic of Rotary.

I have to admit, during my first year as a Rotarian, I almost missed the magic of Rotary. Continue reading

Chance encounters on the metro

The chance to meet other Rotarians is a major attraction of the convention.

The chance to meet other Rotarians is a major attraction of the convention.

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial staff

Riding on the subway to the Atlantico Pavilion in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier in the week for the 2013 Rotary convention, I ran into a Rotarian from Nigeria, who will be governor of his district in 2014-15. I asked him about his district, his ambition for his district governor year, and how he has been enjoying the convention so far. Before I knew it, six stops had gone by, and I had arrived at Oriente station on the red  line, the nearest stop to the pavilion. Continue reading

House of Friendship opens

By Arnold R. Grahl, Rotary Editorial staff

Sandra Fidalgo, a member of the Rotary Club of Setubal, Portugal, confided she was a bit nervous before singing, “Sing with me,” an original number she wrote and composed especially for the 2013 convention in Lisbon. She needn’t have been. She performed it beautifully, and the melody and lyrics provided a moving tribute to Rotary’s big gathering in Portugal as the House of Friendship officially opened Saturday. Continue reading

Microcredit program helps small businesses in Northern Illinois

Judy Zabielski (left)  and Laura Mueller, co-owners of Acacia Organics, in Barrington, Illinois, USA, benefitted from a microloan provided by the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club.

Judy Zabielski (left) and Laura Mueller, co-owners of Acacia Organics, in Barrington, Illinois, USA, benefitted from a microloan provided by the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club.

By Narayan Murarka, chair of the microcredit committee for the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club, Barrington, Illinois, USA

For several years, microcredit projects have been helping eliminate poverty by providing small loans to poor women in developing countries. But the need isn’t always overseas. Sometimes, it’s a lot closer to home.

My club launched a program in 2010 that focuses on small businesses in our area which are facing a short-term credit challenge. Continue reading