Service loves company

Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny

Rotaractors Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny take part in an icebreaker during the Rotaract Preconvention Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

By Ryan Hyland, RI Editorial staff, reporting from Bangkok, Thailand

Rotaract preconventions are a time to meet new friends, get reacquainted with old ones, share projects and experiences. Most of all have fun.

But a time to fall in love? That part didn’t quite make it in the Rotaract handbook. However, Rotaractors Marc LeBlanc and Eva Gorny did just that during the 2008 preconvention in Birmingham, England.

Both are members of the Rotaract Club of the University of Lethbridge, Canada. They went to Birmingham, as friends I might add, to represent their club as it was the recipient of the North American Rotaract Outstanding Project award for raising US$25,000 for a microcredit project in Costa Rica. Continue reading

Rotaract: Inspiring new generations to service

Andrea Tirone

Andrea Tirone is a member of the Rotaract Club of the University of Toronto.

By Andrea Tirone, a member of the Rotaract Club of the University of Toronto, in celebration of World Rotaract Week 12-18 March.

When I joined Rotaract many years ago, our club’s president was phenomenal at getting everyone motivated for the basic health and literacy project we were establishing in Krishnanagar, India.

We began the InspiReacHope project, through a partnership with a local Rotary club and non-governmental organization. It was one of the most enthusiastic, driven, and focused groups of people I had ever met. The project lasted for many years.  Continue reading

Cheering India’s polio gains

Ramesh Ferris

Ramesh Ferris, a member of the Rotary Club of Whitehorse-Rendezvous, Yukon, Canada, visits with a polio survivor while in India for the recent summit.

By Ramesh Ferris, polio survivor and member of the Rotary Club of Whitehorse-Rendezvous, Yukon, Canada

Every day of my life, I’m reminded of the permanent effects of the horrific poliovirus.

Stricken with polio at the age of six months in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, I underwent a series of surgeries and physical rehabilitiation after my adoption into a Canadian family, learning to walk on crutches by age four. Polio affected my lungs, and I contracted pneumonia nine times before my 11th birthday.

Continue reading

Dolly and Rotary help spread literacy

You can never get enough books in the hands of children, says country music legend Dolly Parton.

Since 2009, Rotary International has been working with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote early childhood reading. Through the program, a child receives an age-appropriate book each month until age five. Rotary clubs throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom have been teaming up with Dolly to bring books to children in roughly 300 communities.

Dolly talks about the reasons she began her program, in this video from the Imagination Library. You can also read about Rotary’s work with the Imagination Library in the March issue of The Rotarian. David Dotson, president of the Dollywood Foundation, took part in a literacy webinar sponsored by Rotary on Tuesday.