Rotarians share their proudest moments
Top: Rotarian Henning Sorknaes (middle) during a ceremony at Senta Hospital, Serbia, following a Matching Grant project that restored the hospital's cardiology unit. Bottom: A donated ultrasound. Photo courtesy of Henning Sorknaes
Rotarian Henning Sorknaes has no trouble remembering his proudest Rotary moment.
He was taking part in a community service project supported by several Rotary clubs to restore a hospital in the city of Senta, Serbia, that serves a population of about 150,000, mostly Hungarian Serbians. The hospital lacked modern technical equipment and was barely surviving on a mixture of public and private funds.
Sorknaes's club, the Rotary Club of Budapest-City, Hungary, partnered with five other clubs and the host Rotary Club of Zemun to secure a US$20,000 Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. That grant helped fund a $1.2 million project to equip and train staff to make the hospital's cardiology department fully operational. The clubs worked with Assist International, which contributed almost $1 million worth of donated equipment. Shortly after the restored unit was handed over to hospital management in September 2004, Sorknaes was approached by a relative of a heart patient who had been revived and treated by the equipment. "I will never forget the look in his eyes," he recalls.
"I had the honor and privilege to be the project manager and to see the interest from the community, which was overwhelming," notes Sorknaes. "As a side effect, this project led us into participation in another four hospital projects in Hungary and Romania, with the same story there."
The effort also brought in several prospective members for the new Rotary Club of Senta, which had been in planning stages since 2002. The club received its charter in June 2006.
Like Sorknaes, many other Rotarians have experienced their proudest moments because of a Foundation-funded project or program. Donations to the Annual Programs Fund through initiatives like Every Rotarian, Every Year ensure that these efforts can continue.
Rotarians recently shared several of their proudest accomplishments on RI's official LinkedIn group.
- Patrick Coleman, of the Rotary Club of Luanshya, Zambia, writes of helping to complete 21 wells as part of his club's centennial project. "Our initial goal was five wells, but it grew as we were able to duplicate the project several times. Simply put, Rotarians work without commissions."
- Lora Williams, of the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, has worked on several projects, including a a successful water project in Africa.
- J. Michael Cavitt, of the Rotary Club of Minneapolis South, Minnesota, USA, says his proudest accomplishment was mentoring a Rotary World Peace Fellow and an Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by District 5950. "Both of these women have the focused vision and drive that will effectively use the opportunities and channels RI has created with these programs. I look forward to seeing the impact they will have."
Learn more about how you can support The Rotary Foundation.