Experiencing more flavors of Rotary

150505_huddlestonBy Mark Huddleston, a member of the Rotary Club of Edwardstown, South Australia, Australia, and District 9520 Membership Chair

My son can be a particularly picky eater. One of his favorite meals is ham and pineapple pizza. We occasionally make pizza at home, and I wouldn’t ever bother putting anything on his pizza but ham and pineapple, because he would just pick it off. If we order a pizza when we’re out, that’s exactly what he does.

So, what’s this got to do with Rotary? Many members approach Rotary like my son approaches his pizza. Continue reading

Is your club fun?

The San Francisco Evening club makes their presence known during a recent district assembly.

The San Francisco Evening club makes its presence known during a recent district assembly.

By Danielle Lallement, past president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Evening

Walking into our district assembly recently, I looked up and saw fellow club members at the top of the bleachers in crazy wigs and big funky glasses, passing out noisemakers.  When our president-elect, Ehlan Siddiqi, crossed the stage to receive his pin and banner for his presidential year, we raised the roof with our noisemakers and cheers.

This is just one example of the fun and energy that we are trying to create in our district. Our club may have unconventional ideas, but we are bringing  more life and vitality to the organization. Continue reading

The benefits of Rotary: friends wherever you go

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a former member of Rotaract

It’s nice to have connections in a foreign country. That’s what makes Rotary International so, um, international! Whether you’re travelling for work, or for leisure, you can visit a Rotary club almost anywhere you go. And one of the benefits of being a Rotary member is that you are certain to make new friends, and find valuable local information to enhance your stay, while you are at it.

Need to know the best things to see during your stay? Where to eat? You might even find someone who has a room to rent for cheap. Continue reading

What is your image of Rotary?

150209_burrellBy Evan Burrell, a member of the Rotary Club of Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia, and a regular contributor to this blog

If you are a member of Rotary, you probably already know that it’s one of the largest and oldest service organizations, that we try to attract good people and equip them to be even better, and that we are all about doing good works in our local communities. But what does the general public think about Rotary? Continue reading

Our top five stories of 2014

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

Victoria Alvarez and other youth exchange students during their trip to the West Coast of the United States.

By Rotary Voices staff

As the year draws to a close, we recap our top five stories of the year (based on number of views):

  • During her Rotary Youth Exchange to the United States, Argentinian Victoria Alvarez met teenagers from all over the world and learned how to appreciate different points of view. Alvarez shared how her Rotary Youth Exchange opened her eyes.
  • Chris Davidson, a member of the Rotary Club of Newport News, Virginia, joined 29 other Rotary members under the age of 40 during a Young Professionals Summit in Chicago to discuss how Rotary can better attract and engage young professionals. Davidson shared what young professionals are looking for in Rotary.
  • Jurag Gago, a Rotary Youth Exchange student from Slovakia, fell in love with Chicago during his year in the United States, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Aurora Sunrise. Gago shared how Rotary Youth Exchange exceeded his expectations.
  • Bill Wittich, past president of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise, Elk Grove, California, USA, is the kind of guy who hangs out in the local Starbucks. Wittich discovered that the best way to invite someone to join Rotary is to ask.
  • Ron Nethercutt, a member of the Rotary Club of Mabalacat, Pampanga, Philippines, shares his reason for wearing a Rotary pin. Nethercutt was attending a large chamber of commerce meeting in New Orleans when he was approached by a young lady who thanked him. When he asked why, she recounted how her Rotary scholarship allowed her to earn a master’s degree in international banking and improve her life circumstances.

Continue reading

Lighting up China with hope and dreams

Tara Strunk, right, and Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang at the Shanghai conference.

Tara Strunk, right, and Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang at the Rotary China Conference.

By Tara Strunk, Rotary Club of Shanghai

We all become Rotarians for a reason. Each of us has different reasons, but we all have a reason.

Rotary President Gary C.K. Huang inspired more than 130 attendees at the Rotary China Conference held in Shanghai recently with his experiences, his passion for growing Rotary (especially in China), and his family’s commitment and involvement in Rotary.

During the two-day conference, President Gary shared with us his theme for 2014-15, Light Up Rotary. This theme is particularly meaningful to Rotarians in China as many of us studied Continue reading

Treating your club like a start-up business

Elaine Lytle at a school in the Philippines her club is supporting through a service project.

Elaine Lytle, second from left, at a school in the Philippines her club is supporting through a service project.

By Elaine Lytle, Rotary Club of Como-Jannali, New South Wales, Australia

As a small Rotary club, we were on the road to extinction when we decided to hold a series of meetings as a whole club. We reviewed the usual list of strengths and weaknesses, action plans, and brainstorming ideas that we have done in the past with no real follow up.

But what really made a difference was when we looked in depth at the new means of communication and technologies available to us. One of our members is a financial consultant and another an accountant and we had them lead a session on approaching our club like it was a start-up business. Continue reading

Why we can’t afford to ignore social media

Interactors during a photo break at the Rotary Convention in Sydney, Australia.

Interactors during a photo break at the Rotary Convention in Sydney, Australia.

By Marilyn Axler, a member of the E-Club of South Jersey, and Rotary Global History Fellowship board member

I have been using social media to promote Rotary for three years now, posting on LinkedIn and other platforms to connect with others and share Rotary’s message. From time to time, I hear from members who are uncomfortable with social media. They say they feel it is invasive and they bring up concerns for privacy and safety.

Could it be that they are also afraid to embrace change? I agree the telephone is still the best way to communicate sometimes. But social media is clearly where it is at for younger people. Can we really afford to ignore the “new age of communications?” Continue reading

The richness of belonging

140820_riley_adamsBy Renée Riley-Adams, a member of the Rotary Club of Ashland, Oregon, USA

Recently, I received a blue name badge from my Rotary club. Initially, when a member first joins, my club issues a red badge with a ribbon that identifies them as new members. As we take part in a series of tasks that include things like joining a committee, attending a district meeting, and participating in a club service project, we get our blue badges.

During a short ceremony, I looked out into the crowd, and realized how much these people have become my community. Eating lunch with them every Thursday since last September and hearing about their children’s sports wins, new grandchildren, trips far and wide, and professional achievements, I have a new way of locating myself in this little town of 20,000 people. Continue reading

Who’s your Tommy?

140811_pollardjrBy William D. Pollard, Jr., Rotary Club of Churchland, Portsmouth, Virginia, USA

I joined Rotary in 1988 at the age of 25. Whenever I think of why we should invite someone to join Rotary, I think of Tommy.

Two years after starting a banking career in Richmond, Virginia, I was asked to work in my hometown of Petersburg. One of the first people to visit me was Tommy Adkins, a retired banker, who asked me to attend a Rotary club meeting. Tommy lived on the same street as my family when I was growing up, and I even delivered his newspaper. Continue reading