Yesterday, we were fortunate to host District Governor Ron Mabry and Assistant DG-Elect Rachel DelCampo Gatewood at our club meeting.
DG Ron Mabry has been in office since July 2013. He has dedicated countless hours to providing leadership to Rotary District 7570 by representing us to Rotary International and also visiting the 81 clubs through our district. I've had the privilege of hearing Ron speak several times over the past year or so. Ron's powerful and motivating message consistently has two main parts: the need to end polio and the need to be open to change.
"We are 'This Close' to ending polio"
DG Ron Mabry reminded us that we are "This Close" to ending polio. In 1979, Rotary clubs led a polio project to immunize 6 million children in the Philippines. In 1985, Rotary International made a commitment to eliminating polio worldwide by starting PolioPlus (now called End Polio Now). Today, polio has been reduced by 99%. But, we still have work to do. It is estimated that it will cost $5.5 billion to completely eradicate polio over the next five years. According to Rotary International, "Funding commitments, announced at the Global Vaccine Summit in April, total $4 billion. Unless the $1.5 billion funding gap is met, immunization levels in polio-affected countries will decrease. And if polio is allowed to rebound, within a decade, more than 200,000 children worldwide could be paralyzed every year." (Source: Rotary.org)
Until polio is eradicated, there is always a possibility of resurgence. In fact, the World Health Organization has recently sounded the alarm for a polio emergency.
As Rotarians, we can contribute to ending polio once and for all by giving what we can to End Polio Now. Just $15 will buy 25 vaccines. If you would like to give to End Polio Now, contact our club treasurer, Jeff Gignac or donate online at Rotary.org.
For more information about the fight to eradicate polio, visit www.endpolionow.com
"This isn't your daddy's Rotary..."
DG Ron Mabry emphasized that there are 81 Rotary clubs in our District, and each is unique. There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in the world, and each is unique. He encouraged us to remain open minded as our club's personality and preferences continue to develop. In order for our club to grow and do great work, we must do what works for our unique club, and be willing to try new things. Borrowing a slogan from an old Oldsmobile ad, Ron said, "This isn't your daddy's Rotary!"
That being said, Ron also encouraged us to look for ways to be inclusive and respectful of the traditions of Rotary. One of the most important of these is reciting the Four Way Test, which we do at every formal club meeting.
Ron commended the work we have done so far, but encouraged us to continue pushing ourselves to live the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self." He reminded us that we are are not a social club - we are a service club. While fellowship is essential to team building, it is important that we stay focused on our service to the community and to the world.
As our club continues to develop, Ron also encouraged us to be on the lookout for potential members, saying "Your community is full of Rotarians who aren't members of a Rotary club - yet." (On that note, I'll take this opportunity to remind you to visit the Prospective Members page to learn how to invite and propose new members)
District Governor Ron's message was certainly motivating. As we prepare to enter a new Rotary year in July, my hope is that we will carry this message with us and continue to identify opportunities to serve our community and the world.
Thank you to District Governor Ron Mabry for visiting our club yesterday. It was truly an inspiring program, and we appreciate your willingness to share this message with us!
For more photos from this meeting, visit our Facebook page.