Guest journalist: Rotaract Preconvention Meeting
Guest journalist, Amanda R. Crysler, shares her experience at the 2010 Rotaract Preconvention Meeting. Photo by Monika Lozinska-Lee/Rotary Images
Rotaractors are an inspiring bunch
I’ve been part of the Rotaract/Rotary family for three years, and this is my second RI Convention and Rotaract Preconvention Meeting. Every time I come in contact with other Rotaractors, I am struck by their level of commitment and the passion they have for their Rotaract clubs.
There are young professionals and university students from 170 countries promoting Rotarian-sponsored organizations like ShelterBox and Rotary programs like PolioPlus. They are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, they are helping to share the story of polio and the need for vaccinations, and they are developing their own international and local projects.
Most of all, they have shown a huge commitment to their Rotarian mentors and embody what it means to place Service Above Self. These are dynamic members of the Rotary family.
Dong-Joon Lee, chair of the RI Rotaract Committee, summed it up best at the closing ceremony of the preconvention meeting: "We have witnessed the energy, enthusiasm, and creativity of Rotaractors from every corner of the world. This is the power of Rotaract!"
Looking around at Rotaractors during the ceremony, I thought about the past two days: hearing an emotional speech by Ramesh Ferris, a polio survivor who hand-biked across Canada; hearing details of international Rotaract club projects during the Outstanding Rotaract Project awards ceremony; learning that the Council on Legislation made New Generations Service a fifth Avenue of Service; hearing RI President John Kenny remind us that “we are all here because of Paul Harris and his simple but revolutionary ideas”; and listening to President-elect Ray Klinginsmith state his commitment to the principles of Rotaract and explain his emphasis on youth and young adult programs for his term.
Yes, I am inspired by my fellow Rotaractors -- and you should be too. We have a lot to learn from Rotarians, but I also think Rotarians have a lot to learn from us. I hope you take the opportunity during this convention (and also at home) to get to know Rotaractors and what Rotaract is all about.
After all, the future of Rotary is in our hands.
Amanda R. Crysler is a member of the Rotaract Club of Grand Junction, Colorado, USA, and serves as Rotaract representative for District 5470. She is a Paul Harris Fellow.