As we approach the last six months of my term as your president, I am amazed at all of the things we have accomplished over such a short period of time. From the donation to Operation Coming Home to the 20+ participants to the Stop Hunger Now food packing day to assisting one of our member’s with her companies food drive, it has been an amazing six months with many more great opportunities yet to come throughout the remainder of this Rotary year.
Some of the wonderful projects and events that will be coming over the next month include two International trips from club members, a Rotary learning experience and many other wonderful opportunities.
First off, we have two of our newer members, each have been in the club less than a year, will be traveling with District Governor Leigh Hudson to the Dominican Republic to build latrines and install sanitation stations. The purpose of this mission is to improve the living conditions of many of the rural residents while improving their general health with sanitation. Last year, the district sent several members to this same country to build latrines and this year, they are looking to build on that project.
Rotarians Mike Weinold and Bobby Barnes will be flying soon to work in the most destitute of conditions on behalf of our club and making the world a better place. They will be leaving on January 25th and returning on February 1st. The goal is to build 65 latrines, provide 65 water filtration systems and 65 sanitation systems throughout villages near Santiago, Dominican Republic. They will be working with the Santiago Monumental Rotary Club with this endeavor.
I would encourage you to speak with these two gentlemen in the coming weeks prior to their leaving to show them your support in representing the Rotary Club of North Raleigh. These gentlemen will be there with 38 other members of Rotary District 7710 as they perform manual labor.
On the last day of January, Past President Terry Hutchens and I will be flying to Guatemala again. This will be my third trip to Guatemala and the second for Terry. While there, we will perform inauguration ceremonies for schools entering into the various programs to include the textbook, computer centers and Culture of Reading Program (CORP). We will be joined with around 40 Rotarians from various clubs in North America and the Grand Cayman Islands.
This year, we will have two people from the United Kingdom on the tour. If the Guatemala Literacy Project (GLP) can start to incorporate Rotary clubs in Europe, it will only add to the amazing work that is being done here. Since its inception, more than 132,000 students have benefited from these programs and over 400 Rotary clubs have supported it. They have placed textbooks in 185 schools, 54 computer centers and 33 CORP programs.
As the club who initially brought this program to Rotary, we should have pride in this club’s focus on education for the young Mayan students. This is typical of this club and its members…always looking for new and unique ways to champion.
Here in North Carolina, we have the Rotary Leadership Institute (RLI) that will be held on the 18th of this month in Cary. It is a wonderful way to learn more about Rotary to develop you understanding of the scope and impact of Rotary around the world. I plan to attend the 3rd and final level this year and I am looking forward to it.
On the 29th, we will be conducting our second New Member Orientation of the year. As we have added several new members this year, this is a great way to orient them to Rotary and give them a basic knowledge of the many projects and causes we support. It is also a great opportunity for anyone considering joining this Rotary club. Last year, we had a couple of prospective members join us and one of them actually joined the club. Plan to join us even if you are a seasoned member who wants to learn about the upcoming projects.
On the 29th, Rotarian Dee Dee Heard will announce our food drive to benefit the Food Pantry of Eastern and Central NC. Once again, the club will request that each member donate at least $25 in food or cash donations. Collection will take place during the first two weeks of February with the delivering of the food to occur after that point.
For those of you who are not aware, the club assisted one of our newer members last November with a food drive that her company does. As a result, they collected about 200 pounds of food and $1200 in donations. Another example of how generous this club is.
Another way to support hunger at the club will be at the Feb. 5th meeting where we will have Nourish International provide us lunch. It will be a meal that is typical of what many people in the developing world will eat for every meal and the money that we would normally pay to our caterers will be donated to Nourish International…around $500.
Finally, we have some great programs scheduled for this month to include the Honorable Mark Davis of the NC Court of Appeals on the 15th. I am especially looking forward to the meeting on the 22nd as we welcome last year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) student and current Millbrook Interact member, Anne Marie Hagerty who will speak on Global Hope India, which is dedicated to rescuing children from orphanages to give them an education and hope for the future. Our final January meeting will feature Stephen Barrington who will speak on the Capital Area Workforce Development. Much thanks to Vice President Chris Morden for the great speakers he has lined up for us.
Not to look too far in advance, we have some great projects and opportunities arising in coming months. In March, we will be conducting our Cedar Hills Rotary Park Beautification project and April, we will travel to Asheville for the annual District Conference. Start planning to participate in each of these events and more details will follow when they become available.
In closing, I want to encourage you to take advantage of the great opportunities that your club has to offer to serve your fellow-man. The last six months of this Rotary year will be amazing and I encourage you to bring visitors to join this great organization. The Bring a Guest…Be a Star program is in full gear, but it is not too late to win the competition. We have two members who have sponsored 2 new members each, so you can still catch them. The bottle of Catena Alta Malbec is waiting in my wine cellar for the winner of the membership contest. We have a great club, a great organization, so we need to share it with others.
Yours in Rotary Service,
Steven W. Nelson, President 2013-14
Rotary Club of North Raleigh
Engage Rotary, Change Lives!!!