The theme for Rotary International this year is “Engage Rotary—Change Lives” and it is exciting to see the many ways in which the Durham Rotary Club has been changing the lives of our friends and neighbors in Durham, our fellow North Carolinians, and countless people around the world. By engaging with the students and teachers of Y.E. Smith Elementary School and Neal Middle School, our Reading Rangers program has helped increase the literacy levels of the young people of Northeast Central Durham. Led by past president Don Stanger, our efforts in these two schools were recognized by both the Durham Public Schools and the Durham Literacy Center. By growing the Reading Rangers program “sideways”—engaging other individuals, groups and organizations in our work—we intend to change the lives of even more young people in our community.
We engage our community through partnerships. We are proud to be a partner with the four other Rotary Clubs in Durham in supporting Crayons to Calculators. Through this annual program we provide needed school supplies needed in our classrooms at the start of the school year. In partnership with Sister Cities of Durham, we take a kid to the ball park every summer, and working with the Salvation Army, we ring bells during the holiday season.
But Rotary’s reach is global as well as local. Whether helping fund a water filtration project in Rwanda, building houses in Honduras or latrines in India, the Durham Club engages with fellow Rotarians to change lives around the world.
I am honored and humbled to be the President of the Durham Rotary Club for the 2013-14 year, the 108th year of Rotary International, and the 98th year of the Durham Club. I am proud to be a part of an international community of over 1.2 million members in over 220 nations on all seven continents. I hope you will join me by Engaging Rotary and Changing Lives. In the words of Rotary International President Ron Burton—the life you change the most may well be your own!
Rotary International President Ron Burton has chosen a theme for 2013-14 that is symbolized by this striking graphic
To Be a Rotarian…
The video below from Rotary International provides a quick sense of what it means to be a Rotarian.