The future of Rotary is being decided every day, in every one of our clubs, by every one of us. That is why The Future of Rotary is in OUR Hands.
 

Rick Merritt, Assistant District Governor, 7090, introduced District Governor Pravin Suchak.
 
Pravin was born in Tanzania and came to the United States on a US AID scholarship in 1963. He is a graduate of State University College at Buffalo and Ohio State University.
 
Pravin joined Rotary in Tanzania in 1975 and was a member of Rotary clubs in Tanzania, Zambia, and Botswana. He joined the Rotary Club of Amherst North in 1984 and was its President in 1990-1991. Since 1991, Pravin has served the District as Assistant Governor and has chaired several District committees including the 1994 District Conference. At the Zone level, Pravin has been an assistant to the Zone Coordinator for World Community Service Task Force and Polio Plus Task Force. Pravin is also the vice-president for Gift of Life. Pravin is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow.
 
Pravin's involvement in service is not limited to Rotary. Pravin is a founding member of Amherst Coalition for Diversity and organized the Martin Luther King Day celebrations in Amherst for two years. He has served as a Trustee on the Amherst Museum Board and currently serves on the Town of Amherst Information Technology Advisory Committee. Pravin is active in India Association of Buffalo and was a member of their Executive Board and its Public Relations director. He is the Founder of Western New York Indian American Political Education Committee.
 
Pravin is married to Sheela, a Buffalo School teacher, since September 1971 and they have three grown children and two grand children. In his free time, Pravin enjoys listening to jazz & blues, cooking and traveling to music festivals.
 
District Governor Pravin Suchak-

Theme:

President John Kenny reminds us that we in Rotary have potential that is unmatched by any other humanitarian organization in the world. We can bring health to the sick, education to the illiterate, water to the thirsty, and sustainable livelihood to the poor and the hungry. We can help those closest to us and those in the farthest corners of the earth. We can do all this and more, only if we choose to.

And that is why, President John Kenny's theme is "The Future of Rotary Is in Your Hands," because the future of Rotary will not be determined by him, or by any of the other leaders of Rotary. The future of Rotary is being decided every day, in every one of our clubs - by every one of us. That is why The Future of Rotary Is in OUR Hands.

This theme is not new to your club. The members of the Rotary Club St Catharines South have always known that the future of their club is in their own hands.

Hands on Projects:

One of goals that I have asked clubs to adopt this year is to do a Hands on Project this year. Hands on projects are a great way to get club members as well as members of the community involved in the activities that can be recognized in your community as Rotary activities. Involvement of the members of the community leads to your community's physical and even financial support for Rotary programs.

The fellowship you experience in serving others will help to strengthen your club. Hands on fundraising and service projects are also a great means of promoting the positive image of Rotary.

Your club has a long and distinguished history of service since 1968. You support St. Catharines Para Transit System, FUW Gift of Reading Program and Take It to Heart Gala and you are planning to do a Habitat For Humanity Hands On project. These are great projects that meet the needs of your community. Your support of education by giving out Howard Etherington Awards in your community is second to none. Your club's Dental project in Guatemala, literacy project in Guatemala, and the Microcredit project in India rounds of your complete circle of service.

Rotary Medals:

You are a proud ambassador for Rotary in your community and throughout the area, and I would like to thank you for all you do in your community.

Polio Eradication:

Eradication of Polio from the face of this earth is Rotary's number-one priority. We started with 350,000 cases a year in 185 countries in 1985 when the Polio Eradication program was launched. Today, there are less than 1000 cases, predominantly in four countries. But that is 1000 too many. Today we all stand at a turning point in Rotary's history regarding the Polio Eradication campaign. We are closer than ever before to making the world polio-free. World leaders like United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, philanthropists like Bill and Melinda Gates, all major governments in the world, and many Celebrities,  are all supporting Rotary's efforts. With the help of all these individuals and organizations and Rotarians like you and me we will finish this job.

You have has always supported the Polio Plus campaign in the past. This year, you have a goal of contributing $1150 towards Polio Plus Campaign and I thank you for that.

Membership:

Everything Rotary is, and everything we do, lies with us- with the Rotarians in our clubs. Rotary International is its clubs, and without a strong and growing membership, there can never be a strong Rotary.

The membership challenges that we face today are considerable, and in many ways new. There is no denying the difficulties posed by the current financial situation. Added to this, we have challenges in diversity of our membership; and challenges in becoming relevant to the younger generation of potential Rotarians.

President Paul and your membership committee have a plan. However, they need your help. You are in Rotary because you believe in the mission of Rotary and enjoy the fellowship of your fellow members and the service opportunity that your membership offers to you. Wouldn't it be nice to share all this with someone else- your neighbor, your business associates, or your friend. Please do your part in making sure that your meetings are interesting and full of fun. Then get into a habit of inviting someone to your meeting regularly. If every one of you invited guests regularly you would be surprised how fast your club would grow.

District Conference:

The District Conference this year will be held at the Millennium Hotel, next to the Galleria Mall in Buffalo. And the Canadian dollar is almost at par. The theme of this year's District Conference is "Rotarians Making a Difference". There is a flyer on your tables giving a brief outline of the program during the weekend.

Let me give you some the Highlights:

Painted Stool-

We are also asking every club to be creative and paint a stool to depict the character or history of the area where the club is located and to bring this stool to the District Conference instead of a Gift Basket. We will have a silent auction of most of the stools and a live auction of a few outstanding stools.

The Rotary Foundation-

Let me talk a little about the power of Rotary. Every day. in fact, every hour, somewhere in the world, Rotarians like you and me, are working hard on projects made possible by contributions made by you and me to the Rotary Foundation-projects that make a difference in lives of the people in their communities all over the world.

When you are having your dinner at home this evening, young girls in a village in India will be having breakfast in schools funded by Rotary Clubs of Amherst North, Williamsville and Akron Newsteadt with the help of District Simplified Grants made possible by contributions to the Rotary Foundation by you and me.

When you go to sleep tonight, students in Kiribi, Uganda will be waking up and washing up with clean water from the Cisterns installed by Rotarians in Uganda with monies contributed by the Waterdown Rotary Club and matched by The Rotary Foundation, once again, with contributions made by you and me.

Only in Rotary so much is done with so little money. That is what I call the magic of Rotary.

Every year we send a group of young professionals from cities and towns in the district just like St. Catharines to a developing country and we host a similar group of young professionals in our homes and our communities. This is made possible by the Group Study Exchange program of the Rotary Foundation.

This year our Group Study Exchange is with Belize and Guatemala. Their team will be in the District from Oct 3rd - Nov 1. The team from our district will be going to Belize and Guatemala in February 2010. Here is an opportunity for you to host the team for a couple of days and an opportunity for your club to select and submit applications for a Team Leader as well as a team member.

The Rotary Foundation supports several (other) educational and humanitarian projects. I suggest that you invite the Rotary Foundation Area Specialist to do a program or two on the Foundation at your club.

Your club has a goal of contributing US$3800 to the Foundation this year. With a membership of 38 this is $100 per member based on your membership on July 1. I understand that majority of funding for this comes from the fundraisers. I am sure you know that personal contributions to the Rotary Foundation are tax deductible. Have you ever considered making the Rotary Foundation one of your charity of choice? If your club contributes a total of $100 per member and every member personally contributes something - anything - every year, your club would become an EVERY ROTARIAN EVERY YEAR club. This would not happen overnight but wouldn't it be nice if someday St. Catharines South becomes an EREY club.

2010 International Convention:

How many of you have gone to an International Convention? Isn't it an experience of a lifetime? Besides learning about all the Rotary programs and visiting hundreds of booths see what other clubs, District and Non Profit Organizations do, you meet Rotarians from almost every country in the world and make lasting friendships. You will hear world leaders and celebrities speak at the Plenary sessions about their involvement with Rotary. Do you agree?

Usually Conventions are held overseas and thus quite expensive. This year all of you are in luck. The 2010 Convention will be held in Montreal, Canada. The district convention promotion committee is working on various ways for the district Rotarians to go to Montreal in a group. Details about this will be coming out soon. So, mark your calendar for June 20 - 23, 2010 for the Rl lnternational Convention in Montreal. Let me give you some advice.  If you plan to go, register before December 15th and take advantage of early registration discount. All the details are on the district web site.

Rotary Knowledge:

How many go to District web sites regularly? RI Web Site? The RI web Site always has new material and we are also update the district web site regularly with new material. These two websites are full of Rotary Knowledge. Please visit these web sites often - make sure you have enough time to spend on the website when you do so.

How many have read the July issue of the district newsletter? This is another source of Rotary Knowledge.

This year, we would like to help clubs improve the Rotary knowledge and leadership skills of their members. An effective club must have members who are well informed and knowledgeable about the Rotary programs. They must have a perspective about where Rotary has been, where it is going, and a vision of what Rotary can be.

I have asked President Paul and your board, in consultation with the total membership, to select an area of Rotary and its programs about which your club has little or no knowledge and make a plan to improve the club's knowledge of this area. It is my hope that this will result in every club adding one Rotary program to its service offerings that the club is not involved in today.

In addition to what you as a club can do to improve Rotary knowledge and leadership skills of your members, the district is working with a couple of neighboring districts to create a division of the Rotary Leadership Institute. The Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) seeks to have Rotary Clubs identify those Rotarians who appear to have the potential for future club leadership (not necessarily as club presidents) and provide them with a quality education in Rotary knowledge and leadership skills so important in voluntary organizations.

RLI offers three one day training sessions on all areas of Rotary programs, Membership, leadership skills, public speaking just to name a few topics covered during these sessions. Each session will build on the other two sessions. The district will offer these sessions in regional locations with easy and convenient access to clubs in that region. The cost of sessions is yet to be determined but will be kept to a minimum. I hope that you will take advantage of these training sessions.

Let me end by saying the you have a great Rotary club and do a lot of good in your community and in other parts of the world. Keep up the good work and have fun while you serve.

Roseanne thanked District Governor Pravin for presenting the magic of Rotary to the club today and presented him with a cheque for $1,000 US to the PolioPlus challenge.