Rotarians worldwide celebrate
On 23 February 2008, a giant Rotary wheel and "End Polio Now" were beamed onto the side of the House of Commons in London to celebrate Rotary International's 103rd birthday. Photo by Rich Hendry.
On 23 February 1905, Chicago attorney Paul Harris started the Rotary Club of Chicago, the beginning of the world's first service-club organization, Rotary International. Today, in more than 200 countries and geographical areas, more than 1.2 million men and women in nearly 33,000 Rotary clubs carry out the ideal of Service Above Self.
Since RI’s beginning, Rotarians everywhere have celebrated Rotary’s anniversary on 23 February, also known as World Understanding and Peace Day. Here’s a sampling of how clubs and districts observed the day this year.
In District 3290, about 500 Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, and other members of the family of Rotary took part in a peace march in Kolkata, according to Shyamashree Sen, past president of the Rotary Club of Calcutta Metro City. In the evening, they discussed the topic “Is Peace Possible Today?”
The Rotary Club of Meycauayan Uptown launched a short-term hunger initiative for local schoolchildren. The program, carried out daily for the next three to four months, will feed 380 malnourished children in the 25 Barangay elementary schools in Meycauayan City, according to Armando B. San Diego, district Rotary Foundation committee chair.
Each school received a gas stove, cooking utensils, and weighing scale. The Philippine Nutri-Foods Corporation is supplying the nutrition-rich foods.
Medical and dental missions also will be started in the area.
In Tennessee, the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge-Breakfast, along with the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, used Humanity in Motion materials to help produce a 24-page, full-color special section that ran 20 February 2008 in the local newspaper highlighting the work of the city’s Rotary clubs. “It’s both a fundraiser and a great PR vehicle,” said Oak Ridge-Breakfast club president Karen Bridgeman.
In addition, the club paid for lodging and meals for author and artist Andrew Shoup, who gave two days of presentations at a local elementary school and public library. Shoup wrote and illustrated Andy and Elmer’s Apple Dumpling Adventure , a children’s book on The Four-Way Test .