Rotary-UN Day and putting Service Above Self

RI President Sakuji Tanaka stands by a section of the Berlin Wall on display at the UN, during Rotary-UN Day. The first of three Rotary Global Peace Forums begins in Berlin, Germany, on 30 November. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary Images

By Sakuji Tanaka, in English and Japanese

After the RI Board meeting in November, I attended a memorable Rotary-UN Day in New York City.

While this annual event is important because it reinforces the long-standing relationship between the United Nations and Rotary International, this year was different from past Rotary-UN Days. Less than a week before the event, Hurricane Sandy hit, knocking out power and flooding parts of the area. The city was still struggling to get back on its feet during our event. Yet 950 people of the 1,300 who registered for the event were able to attend.

I was impressed by the enthusiasm of those who were at Rotary-UN Day. Coming from Japan, a county that has been torn apart by both war and disasters, I think it’s important to continue efforts to promote peace among all nations. I was honored to have this opportunity to represent Rotary in this capacity as well as to see several Rotarians, Rotaractors, and other family of Rotary members pitching in to do Hurricane Sandy relief work. They exemplified the spirit of Rotary, and I hope Rotarians from around the world will continue to assist with relief efforts.

While I was in the state of New York, I went to Rochester to visit the Sunshine Camp for people with disabilities. Any young person with disabilities, no matter their family’s economic status, can attend. The camp’s equipment and impressive 157 acres is part of a Rotarian-funded project that uses Rotarian volunteers and land donated by Rotarians. I was told that although the parents miss their children while they’re away at camp, they’re grateful their children can participate. I was glad that I could see the camp and Rotarians putting Service Above Self – both in New York and in all the many places I visit worldwide.

I hope to visit as many Rotarians as I can during my travels and see how you work to make a difference in the world. If I visit your club or project, please share those photos with me via Flickr. You also can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook..

Read more about RI President Tanaka and watch a profile.








1 thought on “Rotary-UN Day and putting Service Above Self

  1. Pingback: Rotary-UN Day and putting Service Above Self | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

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