Victoria club celebrates 100 years by helping hungry, homeless

Rotary members in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, celebrated their centennial by financing a truck lease for the local food bank.

Rotary members in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, celebrated the club’s centennial by funding a truck for the local food bank.

By Murray Ramsbottom, president of the Rotary Club of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Our club wanted to do something special to observe the 100th anniversary of our club’s charter on 15 November, 1913. So we launched several initiatives disbursing $250,000 from club fundraisers to help those in need in our community.

The results have been nothing short of amazing, and have brought members closer together. There is nothing more fulfilling Continue reading

New England Rotarians bring Christmas to Lac Megantic

Rotarians deliver Christmas gifts in Lac Megantic. Photo courtesy of Marty Helman

Rotarians deliver Christmas gifts in Lac Megantic. Photo courtesy of Marty Helman

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

Lac Megantic in southern Quebec made headlines for all the wrong reasons last July when a train filled with crude oil derailed in the town’s central business district. The resulting fire destroyed the town’s economic base, killed 47, and 24 local children lost one or both parents. In the wake of the disaster, Rotarians in District 7780 across the border in southern Maine and coastal New  Hampshire geared up to help.   Continue reading

Santa’s helper leverages dollars for polio eradication

Santa, aka Rotarian Bruce Templeton, in Canada.

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

Running the distance for polio eradication

Tanya Wolff at the end of a marathon.

Tanya Wolff at the end of Disney’s marathon-and-a-half.

By Tanya F. Wolff, past governor of District 6330 in Ontario, Canada

I am not a runner. I can jog. I can walk and I can hike. I do these things for those in the world who cannot.

The PolioPlus program was already in effect when I joined Rotary in 1992. Seeing as I have travelitis (the need to travel constantly), the idea of traveling to another part of the world was a Rotary opportunity that I could not pass up. 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

Dolly, Rotary put books into the hands of children


Above: Dolly Patron talks about the Imagination Library and the partnership with Rotary during the 2010 Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

By David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation

The wonderful partnership between Dolly Parton and Rotary International continues to flourish in communities both large and small all across the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most recently Australia.

Although every community approaches the program in its own way, one thing impresses me much more than dollars raised or even time invested –and this is the enormous influence Rotarians exert in their communities. Continue reading

Surplus equipment saves lives

Rotarians in British Colombia, Canada, load medical and dental supplies to be shipped to Chile. Photo courtesy Chris Offer

Rotarians in British Columbia, Canada, load medical and dental supplies to be shipped to Chile. Photo courtesy Chris Offer

By Chris Offer, past governor of District 5040 (British Columbia, Canada)

There is something almost magical about loading an infant incubator, which has kept hundreds of newborn babies alive in Canada, on board a ship and knowing it will continue to help children in Chile.

I recently had the opportunity to load a 40-foot sea container with medical and dental supplies to be shipped to Iquique, Chile. Continue reading

Dr. Bob Scott’s birthday bash

Dr. Robert Scott (in traditional kilt) with Al Brisco, a member of the Rotary Club of Colborne, Ontario, Canada, during the celebration for Scott.

Dr. Robert Scott (in traditional kilt) with Al Brisco, a member of the Rotary Club of Colborne, Ontario, Canada, during the celebration.

By Dave Andrews, public relations chair for District 7070 (Ontario, Canada)

More than 200 Rotarians and guests from around the world attended a black tie dinner 31 May in  Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, to wish Dr. Bob Scott a happy birthday and honor him for a “Life of Greatness” in his never-ending commitment to the children of the world to eradicate polio, forever.

The event, organized and chaired by our past district governor and current Foundation committee chair, was a major highlight for District 7070 (southern Ontario), and a tremendous success. Continue reading

Promoting Peace Through Service in Vancouver

Chris Offer addresses the peace forum in Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.

Chris Offer addresses the peace forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

By Chris Offer, past governor of District 5040 and a member of the Rotary Club of Ladner

On 23 February, I had the pleasure of chairing a Rotary Peace Forum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This forum and other ones, a response to RI President Sukuji Tanaka’s challenge for districts to hold their own peace forums, allow Rotarians to discuss and debate regional peace issues. Local forums permit Rotarians who cannot attend one of the three Rotary Global Peace Forums to explore new opportunities and bring life to our theme, Peace Through Service. Continue reading

RI President Tanaka’s Rotary moments in December and January

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

As I traveled in 2012 to Rotary clubs and projects, I saw the joy of being a Rotarian. I noticed that the deeper your involvement with Rotary, the more you can grow as a person. Furthermore, I believe that Rotary can mean something different to each Rotarian, and it’s a part of our journey to discover that meaning. My wish for 2013 is that Rotarians discover what this organization means to them, and then share it with others. These personal experiences are our Rotary moments. Here were some of my Rotary moments from the past few months. Continue reading