Posted by Pete Leenhouts on Sep 27, 2019
What is Rotary, who are Rotarians, and just what is it that we do?  


Rotary International brings together a global network of volunteers who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members from more than 200 countries and geographical areas who focus on service above self. Our work positively impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in our communities to working toward a polio-free world. By our actions we seek to put into practice our vision statement that “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”


Rotarians focus their efforts in six areas: Promoting Peace, Fighting Disease, Providing Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Saving Mothers and Children, Supporting Education, and Growing Local Economies.


Rotary also offers expanded service opportunities including:


Interact: a service organization organized and sponsored by Rotary clubs for young adults aged 12-18. There are more than 12,300 Interact clubs in 133 countries. See our Chimacum High School Interact Club here


Vocational Training Teams are composed of knowledgeable Rotarians and non-Rotarians who visit other parts of the world to teach and learn new skills.  


Rotary Youth Exchange. Rotary Clubs sponsor inbound and outbound high school students for year-long or summer exchange programs to develop lifelong leadership skills, learn a new language and culture, and build lasting friendships with young people from around the world. This year, our Club is sponsoring a local student to a year in Croatia and hosting a high school student from South Korea.  


Local and global hands-on projects designed to materially improve health, support improved access to education, and alleviate poverty. Here in the Chimacum Valley, we built the Rotary Pavilion in H.J. Carroll County Park for community use, built a large garage for the local library’s bookmobile bus, supported the Jefferson Teen Center, and offer annual scholarships to local high school graduates, and are leading construction of a pavilion for the high school vocational horticultural program. Overseas, our Club most recently supported a project in Honduras to help rural villages obtain access to clean water and improved water distribution systems to improve health and reduce infant mortality, and is working with other local Rotary Clubs to develop a project to improve sanitation and reduce infant mortality in the African country of Togo.


New Generations Service Exchange. A short-term, customizable program for university students and young professionals up to age 30. Applicants don’t have to be a member of Rotary to participate in an exchange. Participants can design exchanges that combine their professional goals with a humanitarian project.   


Membership Snapshot.


  Who: Rotary brings together the kind of people who step forward to take on important issues for local communities worldwide. Rotary members hail from a wide range of backgrounds: small business owners, dentists, musicians, teachers and school administrators, executives, artists, doctors, ranchers, college students, all call themselves Rotarians. Rotary connects these unique perspectives, and helps leverage its members’ expertise to improve lives everywhere. There are 1.2 million Rotarians across the globe, sixty-one of whom are members of the Rotary Club of East Jefferson County. 


  Where: From across the United States, Canada and Mexico to Haiti and Greenland, Nigeria and Singapore, England, Korea and beyond,  Rotary unites a truly diverse set of leaders from across the world. Currently, the largest number of clubs are found in the United States, India, Japan and Brazil. The fastest growing Rotary regions include Southeast Asia and Africa.


  What: Rotarians contribute their time, energy and passion to sustainable, long-term projects in local communities around the world. Projects focus on important issues such as peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy and economic and community development. 


  Polio Eradication. Rotary is close to eliminating the second human disease in history after smallpox, with a 99.9 percent reduction in polio cases worldwide since 1985, when Rotary launched its PolioPlus program. In 1988, Rotary spearheaded the creation of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Polio eradication remains Rotary’s top priority. To date, Rotary has contributed more than US$1.8 billion and countless volunteer hours to help immunize more than two billion children against polio in 122 countries. Rotary will raise $50 million per year over the next three years, with every dollar to be matched with two additional dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 


In short: Rotary is where neighbors, friends and problem solvers share ideas, join leaders and take action to create lasting, positive change in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges. 


The Rotary Club of East Jefferson County meets on Thursdays at noon at the Old Alcohol Plant Restaurant   (310 Hadlock Bay Road - plenty of parking) in Port Hadlock WA. A cafeteria-style meal is served from 11:30 am - noon (salad $12, soup and sandwich $15). The meeting starts promptly at noon. Following a brief business meeting and announcements, a speaker, usually drawn from the communities around us, addresses the club and takes questions. The meeting wraps up at 1pm sharp. We encourage guests and welcome your interest!


Rotarians come from all walks of life. We are friendly, intensely community-minded, engaged, and pointedly non-political. If you're at all interested in one of our presentations, a speaker, Rotary International, or our club, feel free to walk in and check us out.  




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