My Fellow Rotarians,
I want to share with you Rotary International President Ron Burton’s message on the eradication of polio.
RI PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
I’ve had a unique opportunity to be a part of the polio eradication campaign from its very beginnings, more than a quarter century ago, to where we are now, which is truly “this close” to the end.
None of us knew back then how long eradication would take, or how many obstacles we’d meet along the way. I’m not sure how we would have felt about taking on the challenge if we had known. But there is one thing I know for sure: every single day of the last 29 years has been worth it. Over those years, we have saved millions of children from being paralyzed by polio. There’s no way to put a price tag on that. And today, we are closer than ever to a world in which no child will be paralyzed, ever again.
It’s been a long race to the finish line. That line is now in sight. But we’ll only cross it if we keep moving forward. And the only way to do that is with the help of every single Rotarian, everywhere in the world.
The first thing we need is your voice, and your advocacy. Think ahead to World Polio Day, on 24 October: What can your club and district do to raise awareness? Write letters to your elected officials, hold a purple pinkie fundraiser, plan an event with a local school. If you or someone you know has a story to tell about polio, share it at www.endpolionow.org/stories. The most important thing is to keep the momentum going. Let your community, and the world, know that the fight against polio is at its most critical stage yet.
I’m glad to report that the End Polio Now – Make History Today campaign is going well. Rotary met the terms of the new agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and received US$70 million in matching funds in January, which will be fully committed in this calendar year. We have four more years of this agreement remaining, during which the Gates Foundation will match two-to-one every dollar Rotary spends on polio, to a maximum of $35 million per year. I encourage all of you to do what you can to help us make the most of this opportunity. I know that together, we can engage Rotary to end polio – and change the world, forever.
Ron D. Burton
The Rotary Club of Hopewell continues with “Rotary Has Heart”
On April 15th, the Rotary Club of Hopewell sponsored its annual meal packing event through a $2,500 club contribution to the nonprofit organization, Stop Hunger Now! The Hopewell Club was pleased to team up with members of the Prince George and Chester Rotary Clubs, the Hopewell High School Interact Club, and local Women’s and Garden Clubs to prepare 10,000+ emergency meals. Stop Hunger Now distributes meals throughout the world to people in need. The meals packed at the Hopewell Rotary event will likely go to Sudan. Thanks to everyone who participated for those three hours of hard work!
Area 6 Rotary Clubs bring hope to those in need of dental care…
On April 12th, the Area 6 Rotary Clubs – Chester, Hopewell, and Prince George – sponsored free dental care to more than 100 people in need through a collaborative District Grant. The clubs worked together with the Virginia Dental Association Foundation (VDFA) and Virginia State University (VSU) for several months to help plan and implement the dental services for “2014 VSU Cares.” In addition to the planning, many Rotarians from each club volunteered at the event to assist patients. Special thanks to Dr. Sam Galstan, Chester Rotary, for his work organizing this event.
Portsmouth Rotary President honored as Portsmouth’s First Citizen
By Steve Milner
More than 250 persons recently honored Portsmouth Rotary Club President Richard Wentz as that city’s 2013 First Citizen. Hosted by the Portsmouth Service League, this event drew attendees ranging from Richard’s boyhood years to many who have served, and currently serve with him, in a number of non-profit community activities.
Richard is known for his proven organizational abilities, combined with his down-to-earth sense of humor. These admirable traits enable him to be an effective leader—whether in his current position as the Executive Director of the Churchland YMCA—or in his past and present community service activities.
He’s continuing a long-time tradition of his family’s community service, including lessons learned from his late father, Robert W. Wentz Jr., Portsmouth’s First Citizen in 1980, from his mother, Connie, and from his grandfather, Richard Edward Hawks, among others. Richard also attributes his desire to do community service to former Portsmouth Rotary Club president and the city’s 1996 First Citizen, the late J. Hunter Brantley Jr.
Rotary Club of Hanover County announces winners of 4-Way Test Contest…
The Rotary Club of Hanover County is pleased to announce the winners of its first annual Four-Way Test essay contest for fifth grade students in Hanover County. The theme of this year’s contest was “Rotary’s 4-Way Test and What It Means to the Conduct of my Daily Life.”
At the Club’s dinner meeting Wednesday night, each of the three students read their essays to the Rotary members and fifteen guests which included family members and classroom teachers. Club President, JoAnn Meaker, then awarded the winners: Gavin Bralley (1st place, prize of $200); Dianna Sherrod (2nd place, prize of $100); and Lexi Johnson (3rd place, prize of $50). The contest, which began in January, was open to all fifth grade students in Hanover County in public, and private schools and homeschoolers as well. Advertised in the local newspaper and through the local libraries, the students were asked to submit an essay based on the 4-Way Test. A committee of club members read and evaluated the twenty-seven entries.
The Rotary Club of Innsbrook joins in for Firefighter Games…
About 7,000 attended this truly inspiring event of the VA Firefighter Games at Short Pump Town Center on Saturday, May 3. There were live demonstrations, over 30 fire and rescue trucks and equipment, opportunities to interact with first responders, climb into rescue vehicles, Jaws of Life demonstrations, rappelling from a ladder truck, live music and a children’s area.
Throughout the day, firefighters from across the region competed in a challenging obstacle course featuring a 40 foot tower – a true test of strength, endurance, and character. Visitors gained real insight into the level of performance demanded from firefighters every day as they display the rigorous skills required to save lives.
There are five aspects to the course:
- Hose Carry & Climb: Carry a 42-lb hose pack to the top of a four-story tower and place the hose in a box at the top.
- Hose Hoist and Descend: Pulling a 42-lb hose pack up (dead lift) four stories hand-over-hand, placing on the deck at the top and descending four stories of stairs.
- Forcible Entry: Using a Keiser Machine evolution.
- Hose Advance: Zig-zag through a course of fire hydrants, pick up a charged 1 3/4″ hose line, pull it 50′ and discharge at a target.
- Victim Rescue: Drag a 165 lb rescue dummy 75 feet to the finish line.
Dozens of club members were on sight beginning Thursday night to erect fencing, Friday to set up, Saturday to staff the venue and participate in the corporate relay competition, and breaking/down packing up after the day was done.
Article and picture submitted by Phil Goodhart of The Rotary Club of Innsbrook
The Rotaract Club of John Tyler Community College is Reinstated….
Thanks go to the Rotary Clubs of James River and Brandermill for sponsoring
The Rotaract Club of John Tyler Community College (JTCC) was originally chartered on July 1st, 1992 but sadly, it fell into decline. By 2013, it had been dormant for many years. By strange coincidence, in late 2013, JTCC came to the attention of both the Brandermill and James River clubs acting completely independently. AG Don Vaught, worked with both clubs and it was agreed to do a joint sponsorship.
On May 5th, representatives of both clubs were delighted to be joined by DG Chuck Arnason and the College President Ted Raspiller and members of his executive team for the official re-launch under the watchful eye of PDG Bob Preston at the Midlothian Campus. This included the presentation of the Bell and the Charter by DG Chuck Arnason and the Banner by Richard Cunningham, President of the James River club and Campbell Pendleton, President-Elect of the Brandermill club. The Rotaract Club President, Alexandria Ritchie, spoke most warmly about the new friendships she had made through the sponsoring Rotary clubs and District 7600. She spoke from the heart of her joy as she looked forward to her journey through life as a Rotarian.
New member pins were presented to the charter members present by Chris Radke, the James River Rotaract Club Chair. Chris was followed by James River Past President Carl Duffey. Carl presented an additional contribution towards the Robert E. (Bob) Preston Scholarship fund which was launched in April. In keeping with Rotary Club tradition, Carl Duffey led us all in The Four Way Test before we closed the meeting and headed for the buffet kindly provided by the college.
Article by Richard Cunningham, President, The Rotary Club of James River (Richmond)
Pictures by Joel Traylor, Photographer College Relations, JTCC
Mark your calendars for the 2014-15 District 7600 Conference
October 9-12, 2014 in Glen Allen, VA
Get ready to join in the for a great time at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings Hotel and Conference Center for fellowship and learning more about this great organization called Rotary!
Stay tuned to this newsletter for more information in the upcoming months and of course go to the website: www.rotary7600.org!