Posted by Steve Garret, PDG 1994-1995

50 Things Every Rotarian Should Know About Rotary (by Steve Garret, District Governor 1994-1995)


The Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarships Program is the world's largest privately funded international scholarships program. In 1947, 18 "Rotary Fellows" from 11 countries were selected to serve as ambassadors of goodwill while studying in another country for one academic year. Since that time, approximately $242 million has been expended on some 25,000 scholarships for people from more than 125 countries, studying in 105 countries around the world.
The purpose of the Scholarships Program is to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries. Scholars are expected to be outstanding ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country through both informal and formal appearances before Rotary and non-Rotary groups.
Beginning with the 1994-95 program year, The Rotary Foundation offers two new types of scholarships in addition to the Academic-Year Ambassadorial Scholarship offered since 1947. The Multi-Year Ambassadorial Scholarship is awarded for two or three years of specific degree-oriented study abroad. The Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship provides three or six months of funding for intensive language study and cultural immersion in a language other than their native language.
Rotarians know that Rotary Foundation scholarships are very worthwhile investments in the future and one important step in seeking greater understanding and goodwill in the world.

One of the most popular and rewarding programs of The Rotary Foundation is the Group Study Exchange. Since the first exchange between districts in California and Japan in 1965, the program has provided educational experiences for about 25,000 business and professional men and women who have served on about 5,500 teams. The GSE program pairs Rotary districts to send and receive study teams. Since 1965, more than $42 million has been allocated by The Rotary Foundation for Group Study Exchange grants.
One of the attractive features of GSE is the opportunity for the visiting team members to meet, talk and live with Rotarians and their families in a warm spirit of friendship and hospitality.  Although the original Group Study Exchanges were male only, in recent years teams include both men and women.
In addition to learning about another country as the team visits farms, schools, industrial plants, professional offices and governmental establishments the GSE teams serve as ambassadors of goodwill. They interpret their home nation to host Rotarians and others in the communities in which they visit. Many of the personal contacts blossom into lasting friendships.
Truly, the Group Study Exchange program has provided Rotarians with one of its most enjoyable, practical and meaningful ways to promote world understanding.

In 1978, Rotary launched its most comprehensive humanitarian service activity with the Health, Hunger and Humanity Program. The 3-H Program is designed to undertake large-scale service projects beyond the capacity of individual Rotary clubs or groups of clubs.
By 1994, more than 135 different 3-H projects have been approved and undertaken in 49 different countries, with an appropriation at more than $37 million. The objective of these projects is to improve health, alleviate hunger and enhance human, cultural and social development among peoples of the world. The ultimate goal is to advance international understanding, goodwill and peace.
The first 3-H project was the immunization of 6 million children in the Philippines against polio. As 3-H progressed, new programs were added to help people in developing areas of the world. Now, in addition to the mass polio immunization of over 100 million children in various countries, 3-H has promoted nutrition programs, vocational education, and improved irrigation to increase food production, polio victim rehabilitation and other activities which benefit large numbers of people in developing countries. All 3-H projects are supported by the voluntary contributions of Rotarians through The Rotary Foundation. In years to come the 3-H Program may well be considered Rotary's finest service activity, showing how Rotarians care and are concerned about people in need, wherever they may be.

Among the programs of The Rotary Foundation are the Matching Grants that assist Rotary clubs and districts in conducting international service projects. Since 1965, more than 3,700 grants have been awarded for projects in about 135 countries with awards of more than $23 million.
A club or district must contribute an amount at least as large as that requested from The Rotary Foundation with at least half the funds that the Foundation will match coming from a country outside of the country where the project will take place. Grants have been made to improve hospitals, develop school programs, drill water wells, assist the handicapped or persons requiring special medical attention, provide resources for orphanages, create sanitation facilities, distribute food and medical supplies and many other forms of international community service in needy areas of the world. Some grants are for projects in the magnitude of from $15,000 to $50,000, but most are in the range of $5,000 to $10,000.
Matching Grants are not approved to purchase land or build buildings, and they may not be used for programs already underway or completed. Personal participation by Rotarians is required and the benefits should extend beyond the recipients.
The Matching Grants program is a very significant part of The Rotary Foundation and provides an important incentive for clubs to undertake worthwhile international service projects in another part of the world. They certainly foster goodwill and understanding, which is in keeping with the objectives of The Rotary Foundation.

PolioPlus is Rotary's massive effort to eradicate poliomyelitis from the world by the year 2005. It is part of a global effort to protect the children from five other deadly diseases as well as the "plus" in PolioPlus. The program was launched in 1985 with fund-raising as a primary focus. The original goal was to raise $120 million. By 1988, Rotarians of the world had raised more than $219 million in cash and pledges. By 1994, the cash total exceeded $246 million! These gifts have enabled The Rotary Foundation to make grants to provide a five-year supply of vaccine for any developing country requesting it to protect its children. Grants have been made to nearly 100 countries-a commitment, thus far, of $181 million to buy vaccine and to improve vaccine quality.
Achieving eradication will be difficult (only one other disease, smallpox, has ever been eradicated) and expensive (estimated cost to the international community is nearly $2 billion). It will require continuing immunization of children worldwide, and it also must include systematic reporting of all suspected cases, community-wide vaccination to contain outbreaks of the disease, and establishment of laboratory networks. Rotary will not be alone in all these efforts but in partnership with national governments, the World and Pan American Health Organizations, UNICEF and others. Rotary's "people power" gives us a special "hands on" role. Rotarians in developing countries have given thousands of hours and countless in-kind gifts to help eradication happen in their countries.
No other non-governmental organization ever has made a commitment of the scale of PolioPlus. Truly it may be considered the greatest humanitarian service the world has ever seen. Every Rotarian can share the pride of that achievement!

A special program of The Rotary Foundation was originally labeled the "Rotary Peace Forum". The concept of a center or educational program to promote greater understanding and peace in the world was originally discussed in 1982 by the New Horizons Committee and the World Understanding and Peace Committee. In 1984 it was further explored by a New Programs Committee of The Rotary Foundation.
The essence of the Rotary Peace Program is to utilize the non-governmental but worldwide resources of Rotary to develop educational programs around the issues that cause conflict among nations in the world as well as those influences and activities which promote peace, development and goodwill. The program includes seminars, publications or conferences as a means to initiate a global dialogue to find new approaches to peace and world understanding.
Specific Rotary Peace Programs are selected annually by the trustees of The Rotary Foundation. Many peace programs are held in conjunction with presidential conferences.

Undoubtedly the most important step to promote voluntary giving to The Rotary Foundation occurred in 1957, when the idea of Paul Harris Fellow recognition was first proposed. Although the concept of making $1,000 gifts to the Foundation was slow in developing, by the early 1970s it began to gain popularity. The distinctive Paul Harris Fellow medallion, lapel pin and attractive certificate have become highly respected symbols of a substantial financial commitment to The Rotary Foundation by Rotarians and friends around the world.
The companion to the Paul Harris Fellow is the Paul Harris Sustaining Member, which is the recognition presented to an individual who has given, or in whose honor a gift is made, a contribution of $100, with the stated intention of making additional contributions until $1,000 is reached. At that time the Paul Harris Sustaining Member becomes a Paul Harris Fellow.
By 1994, more than 450,000 Paul Harris Fellows and 160,000 Sustaining Members have been added to the rolls of The Rotary Foundation.
A special recognition pin is given to Paul Harris Fellows who make additional gifts of $1,000 to the Foundation. The distinctive gold pin includes a blue stone to represent each $1,000 contribution up to a total of $5,000 in additional gifts.
Paul Harris recognition provides a very important incentive for the continuing support needed to underwrite the many programs of The Rotary Foundation which build goodwill and understanding in the world.

In the annual Rotary calendar several months are designated to emphasize major programs of Rotary International.
January is Rotary Awareness Month. This is a time to expand knowledge of Rotary and its activities among our membership and throughout the community.
February is designated as World Understanding Month. This month was chosen because it includes the birthday of Rotary International, February 23. During the month, Rotary clubs are urged to present programs which promote international understanding and goodwill, as well as launch World Community Service projects in other parts of the world.
World Rotaract Week is the week in which March 13 falls. It's a time when Rotary clubs and districts highlight Rotaract by joining in projects with their Rotaract clubs.
April is set aside as Rotary's Magazine Month. Throughout the month, clubs arrange programs and activities which promote the reading and use of THE ROTARIAN magazine and the official regional magazines of Rotary.
August is Membership and Extension Month, a time to focus on Rotary's continuing need for growth, to seek new members and form new clubs.
September is Youth Activities Month. Rotary clubs of the world give special emphasis to the many Rotary-sponsored programs which serve children and young people. During this month many clubs give increased attention to youth exchange activities.
October is Vocational Service Month. During this period, clubs highlight the importance of the business and professional life of each Rotarian. Special activities promote the vocational avenue of service.
November is selected to be Rotary Foundation Month. Clubs and districts call attention to the programs of The Rotary Foundation and frequently cultivate additional financial support for the Foundation by promoting contributions for Paul Harris Fellows and Sustaining Members.
Each of these special months serves to elevate the awareness among Rotarians of some of the excellent programs of service which occur within the world of Rotary.

48 - About Community Service
A community, defined in its simplest terms, is a group of people who have something in common. But in real life, it is something far more complex than that. Each member — every individual, group, organization, and business — draws benefits from the community in many different ways. For a community to thrive, each of its members must honor a commitment to contribute to the well-being of the whole by returning those benefits in kind.
Rotarians recognize the importance of giving back to the community. After all, Community Service is one of the Four Avenues of Service. Every Rotary club and every Rotarian assumes a responsibility to find ways to improve the quality of life for those in their communities and to serve the public interest. When those efforts are effective, they not only contribute to the greater good, they also promote Rotary's positive image.
What makes a community service effort effective? Relevance. A community service project must address a real, current community concern or issue. Rotary clubs should start by surveying their communities to find out where help is needed. Once a club has listened to its community, it can begin to envision effective responses to problems.

• Were you aware that the Rotary Club of Reno, Nevada, is farther west than the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, California?
• Would you guess that the meetings of the Rotary Club of Portland, Maine, are farther south than those of the clubs in London, England?
• Can you imagine that the Pensacola, Florida, Rotary Club is west of the Detroit, Michigan, club?
• It's a fact that the Cairo, Illinois, Rotary Club is south of Richmond, Virginia.
• There are 69 Rotary clubs with the word "Tokyo" in their club names.
• The Rotary Club of Nome, Alaska, lies west of the club in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Santiago, Chile, club is located east of the Rotary Club of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
• Rotary geographers will know that virtually every Rotary club meeting in Australia is east of the Hong Kong Rotary Club.
• What do the Rotary clubs of Quito, Ecuador, Libreville, Gabon, Singapore, and Kampala, Uganda, have in common? You guessed right if you said they all meet approximately on the equator.
There are many interesting relationships and things to learn as you become acquainted with the approximately 1.2 million Rotarians in more than 32,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

50 - Object of Rotary
The Object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
FIRST. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
SECOND. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
THIRD. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life;
FOURTH. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.