Who knew installing solar lights could have such meaning?

A Navajo family enjoys their newly installed solar light.

A Navajo family enjoys their newly installed solar light.

By A.J. Holzer

As I landed in the Durango airport, cramped into a small airplane, my entire Rotary career flashed before my eyes. I had joined Interact at the beginning of high school as a way to help my community and connect with others. And for most of my high school years, I was able to do just that, growing as a leader and learning from my peers. The experience was uniquely personal – all I knew of Rotary was my club and the work we did in the community. But in the summer of my sophomore year, my knowledge of Rotary was about to explode to an entirely new level. Continue reading

Why you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks

John Smerdon and Daniel Vankov prepare sausages for the homeless.

John Smerdon and Daniel Vankov prepare sausage sizzle for the homeless in Brisbane.

By Daniel Vankov, Immediate Past President, Rotary Club of Brisbane, Australia

Rotary’s secret is cooperation. Alone we are useless. Together we are powerful. And together in a million we are unstoppable.

I had the honor of serving as president of the Rotary Club of Brisbane in 2017-18. It was a task that was not only challenging, but highly rewarding. My desire had been to make a difference, which also happened to be the theme 2017-18 Rotary President Ian Riseley put forward for the year. Continue reading

Why you want to risk

Visalia Rescue Mission in Visalia, California, USA.

By Ryan Stillwater, a member of the Visalia County Center Rotary, California, USA

On my walk to work on a recent morning, air crisp and clear after an overnight rainstorm, I walk past a man sitting on the street corner. I immediately recognize him as a former resident in our Life Change Academy, who left early on in the program. I nicknamed him Logan, due to his striking resemblance to one of my favorite X-Men comic book characters — with his muscular frame and prominent dark sideburns and stubble. This morning, he is angry and making loud threats against a man (not present) who had very personally wronged him. “Are you ok?” I ask. “No!” he screams, eyes fixed on an invisible enemy. I am standing with Wolverine – the enraged persona of the gentle man I had known. Continue reading

Kenyan clubs celebrate Foundation centennial

Rotary members worked with the Hope Citadel Foundation to provide health care at the medical camps.

By Valentine Nyakiere, a member of the Rotary Cub of Nyeri, Kenya

We wanted to celebrate The Rotary Foundation Centennial by addressing the health challenges of people in Kenya. So clubs in District 9212 came up with the idea to hold medical camps across the country and provide much needed health services to hundreds. This was also perfect timing as doctors in Kenya had gone on a strike that lasted 100 days! Continue reading

Rotary brought joy back into my life

Jack Bechaud with children in Cusco, Peru.

By Jack Bechaud, Rotary Club of Lake in the Hills, Illinois, USA

If you would have told me a few years ago that I’d be lugging 15 bags of cement in the high mountains of Cusco, Peru, to help local villagers, I would not have believed you.

It sounds a little cliché, but Rotary has helped me come so far, in so many ways. It’s helped me grow as a person in ways I never thought possible. It’s brought joy back to my life. Continue reading

Create ‘Twitter volunteer’ opportunities

Past District Governor Doug Vincent (left) with school children during his recent Rotary travels.

By Doug Vincent, a past district governor and member of the Rotary Club of Woodstock-Oxford, Ontario, Canada

Recently, I attended a great presentation on “Embracing Opportunity” as part of our day-to-day life. I’ve had the benefit of enjoying opportunities through my global Rotary activities and travels, but many members do not do take advantage of this outside their local Rotary club. Here is a great way to attract new member prospects with fun and enjoyment. Continue reading

3 ingredients that make a Rotarian remarkable

Our neighboring club, Sunyani East, presented exercise books and other supplies to students at Nwawasua school.

Our neighboring club, Sunyani East, presented exercise books and other supplies to students at Nwawasua school in September. Remarkable Rotarians donate time to projects such as this.

Dominic KornuBy Dominic Kornu, Rotary Club of Sunyani Central, Ghana

I first visited the Sunyani Central Rotary club in August of last year as a guest, and was instantly welcomed and integrated into club activities. I knew from the start my relationship with the club was meant to be.

I was immediately encouraged to be part of visits to project sites. My professional skills in information and communication technology were tapped to help design fliers, revamp the club’s website, and teach members about Internet security. It’s been an exciting and challenging year as I grow as a Rotarian. Through it, I’ve come to understand and appreciate three main ingredients that make a Rotarian remarkable: Continue reading

Are you willing to be third class, and serve?

Tiffany and baseball players

Tiffany Ervin with participants in a special needs baseball league her club sponsors.

By Tiffany Ervin, past president of the Rotary Club of Four Seasons – Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA

In the days of the American wild west, if you wanted to travel a great distance, you had to go by stagecoach and it was a very long trip. There were three different classes of passengers – first, second, and third class. The seats were all the same, but the prices were different. Here’s why… Continue reading

A proud son

Bill and Joan

Bill Pollard and his mom, Joan, president of the Rotary Club of Petersburg.

By Bill Pollard, past governor of District 7600 and a member of the Rotary Club of Churchland – Portsmouth, Virginia, USA

In 1988 at the age of 25, I was invited by Tommy Adkins, a retired banker and neighbor of my parents, to a meeting of the Rotary Club of Petersburg, Virginia. I had just started my banking career in my hometown of Petersburg and I remember calling my mom, Joan Pollard, asking her about Rotary. I recall her telling me it was a service oriented club and that my mom and dad had friends in the club.

We discussed it for a few minutes and I told my mom I would go because it would help Continue reading

Happy New Rotary Year!

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

It’s another new Rotary year, and with it come more decisions, responsibilities, and — more important — some inspiration.

A new Rotary year is a great time to make a fresh start. So how do you get off to a good start? That’s a question many Rotary members ask themselves when 1 July rolls around. Some dive straight in and make a big SPLASH! Others ease into it a little more gently. Continue reading