Rotary clubs in Lahore, Pakistan, celebrate Rotary’s anniversary in 2013 with a cake. Photo courtesy of Faheem Asghar
Sunday, 23 February, will mark 109 years since Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office in Room 711 of the Unity Building in downtown Chicago for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.
From a swimming marathon organized by Rotary members in England to a balloon launch in Portugal, Rotary clubs are observing the occasion. How is your club or district planning to celebrate? Send us photos of your event, and we will create a special gallery on Rotary Voices. Continue reading →
By Harriet “Pepi” Noble, a member of the Rotary Club of Mechanicville, New York, USA
Winters are pretty cold here in the Great Northeast and making a conscious decision to jump into a freezing cold lake on the first of January takes more than courage. It takes a reason so strong and so compelling that people who normally act quite sane are happy to take part in this annual event. Continue reading →
By Marcos Netto, a member of the Rotary Club of Canoas-Industrial, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
When I first saw the End Polio Now campaign, I fell for it right away. It was my chance to work for a great cause. But even with all my efforts in participating and spreading the word about the World´s Biggest Commercial, I knew I could do more. Continue reading →
By Neo LothongKum, a member of the Rotary E-Club of the Carolinas
On 17 February, I will be starting a 999 kilometer (620 mile) run from the very top of Thailand down to the east coast of Pattaya to raise funds for polio eradication and support water projects here in Thailand.
Since coming to Thailand, I have had a desire to help people. In Phuket, I worked with the local police department to assist visitors and local Thai residents work out agreements when there were issues of insurance. I moved to Bangkok just before the 2004 tsunami, but volunteered my translation skills in helping search for missing people. Continue reading →
By Rotary staff To celebrate India’s milestone achievement of three years without polio, Rotary clubs illuminated landmarks and iconic structures throughout the country with polio-free messages. See the gallery above.
Shri K. Sankaranarayanan, governor of Maharashtra, India, administers the polio vaccine to a child being held by former Trustee Ashok Mahajan. Looking on is the governor’s wife (left) and Rajashree Birla, who has contributed more than US$7 million for polio eradication.
By former Foundation Trustee Ashok Mahajan
Since 1993, I have been deeply involved in the polio eradication program, Rotary’s top priority, both as a member of Rotary and in various leadership positions. I have many strong memories of the challenges, triumphs and setbacks we’ve faced along the way as we pursued ending this crippling disease in my country.
One thing I will always remember is the extensive efforts we made to build goodwill and acceptance of polio immunization in the Muslim community and among religious leaders. Continue reading →
Construction on a new school in Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo courtesy Leonor Fraser
By Rotary staff
Leonor Fraser and other members of her Rotary club arrived in Masaya, Nicaragua, ready to deliver shoes to the elementary schoolchildren and play with them.
It immediately became apparent that the school, located near a diesel plant, had bigger problems. The plant emitted pollutants into the air, which made the children and teachers lethargic, and the cracked building had no sanitation facilities. Fraser had difficulty breathing during her visit. Continue reading →
Santa paying a visit to a children’s hospital in Canada.
By Bruce Templeton, a member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada (Editor’s note: this post first published 10 May, 2013.)
While I know that RI President Ron Burton’s theme is “Engage Rotary: Change Lives,” I would like to add the thought that we can multiply the dollars we raise engaging Rotary before we turn them over to those who change lives.
I live in St. John’s Newfoundland, Canada. I am a Rotarian but also a good friend of Santa Claus and he and I have travelled together for 34 years. Continue reading →
A mother seeks the polio vaccine for her child during immunization activities in southern Ethiopia. Photo courtesy of John Adams
By John Adams, a member of the Rotary Club of Somerset-Pulaski County, Kentucky, USA
At first, I thought the pull on my volunteer’s vest was one of the 50 or so village children who were following us, touching me to see if I was indeed real, because I was so different from them. But this was more than a child’s curious touch; it was a pull that caused me to lose my balance.
I turned in the direction of the pull to find it was not a playful child; but a determined mother, holding an infant. I will never forget her expression. I had no idea what she said in her dialect of Amharic or the local tribal language, but I knew exactly what she wanted. Continue reading →